Lin Tan, a professor in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo, is collaborating with a leading software company to develop techniques that will accelerate software development and improve testing by detecting more defects automatically.

“The increased software programming capability and error detection realized by these techniques will improve Ontario’s competitiveness in the software sector,” said Professor Tan. She is among 19 Waterloo researchers receiving a prestigious Early Researcher Award (ERA).

Daiene Vernile, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre, and Kathryn McGarry, Member of Provincial Parliament for Cambridge, announced awards for 26 Waterloo researchers receiving the Ontario government’s ERA, Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence (ORF-RE) and Ontario Research Fund - Small Infrastructure programs. Waterloo received more ERAs than any other institution that applied – which recognize talented, recently appointed researchers.

Other researchers receiving awards include Lingling Wu, a professor in earth and environmental sciences, who will investigate how iron minerals influence metal contaminants in Ontario’s soils and wetlands. She will conduct testing under a variety of environmental conditions to determine how iron minerals can limit the release of metals from contaminated sites.

Laura Sanita, a professor in combinatorics and optimization, will explore ways to design new algorithms that control data flow in communication networks in order to route network traffic more efficiently. “These algorithms will lead to faster and cheaper data transmission procedures, which will benefit Ontarians,” said Professor Sanita.

Along with the 19 ERA recipients, seven other projects received funding from the ORF-RE and Small Infrastructure programs.

“These funds will help build the exceptional research teams, as well as the infrastructure needs, required to advance world-changing research,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor at Waterloo. “We thank the Province of Ontario for making this important investment in first-class  researchers at the University of Waterloo that will enable them to contribute to some of the most important challenges the world faces today and tomorrow."

In addition to Professors Tan, Wu, and Sanita, the Ontario government awarded funds to the following Waterloo researchers and projects:

  • Nasser Azad (Systems Design Engineering), ERA, $140,000: Intelligent Energy Management of Electric Vehicles Under Driving Behaviour Uncertainty
  • Zhongwei Chen (Chemical Engineering), Small Infrastructure Award, $75,000: Advanced Chemical Vapour Deposition System for Nanostructured Clean Energy Materials Development 
  • Kyung Soo Choi (Physics & Astronomy and Institute for Quantum Computing), ERA, $140,000: Extreme Quantum nonlinear Optics with Rydberg Polaritons
  • Robert Gracie (Civil and Environmental Engineering), ERA, $140,000: Hydraulic Fracturing: Modelling and Uncertainty Assessment in an Ontario Context
  • Roxane Itier (Psychology), Research Infrastructure Award, $50,000: Portable Eye Tracking EEG System
  • Peter Johnson (Geography and Environmental Management), ERA, $140,000: Measuring the Value and Impact of Open Data
  • Eric Katz (Combinatorics & Optimization), ERA, $140,000: Tropical Geometry: Structure and Degeneration
  • Amir Keyvan Khandani (Electrical and Computer Engineering), ORF-RE, $3,422,007: Full-duplex Communications: A New Frontier in Connectivity
  • Robert Koenig (Applied Mathematics), ERA, $140,000: Robust Quantum Computation from Many-body Physics
  • Hyock Ju Kwon (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering), ERA, $140,000: Development of 3D Cell Traction Force Microscopy
  • Andrew Laing (Kinesiology), ERA, $140,000: Probabilistic Modeling of Hip Fracture Risk and the Effects of Prevention Strategies
  • Vivek Maheshwari (Chemistry), ERA, $140,000: Nanostructured Material for New and Enhanced Devices: Using Geometry, Flexibility & Multi-functionality at Nanoscale
  • Vadim Makarov (Institute for Quantum Computing), ERA, $140,000: Security of Quantum Communications Against Hacking Attacks
  • Raafat Mansour (Electrical and Computer Engineering), ORF-RE, $1,576,687: High-throughput Metrology Instruments to Enable Low-cost Manufacturing at the Micro and Nanometer Scales.
  • Ian Milligan (History), ERA, $140,000: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Canadian World Wide Web as a Historical Resource, 1996-2014
  • Praveen Nekkar Rao (School of Pharmacy), ERA, $140,000: Novel Small Molecule Therapies to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Luis Ricardez-Sandoval (Chemical Engineering), ERA, $140,000: Optimal Design of Full-scale CO2 Capture Technologies for Clean Power Generation
  • Evan Risko (Psychology)ERA, $140,000: Thinking with Our Bodies and World: Investigations into Cognitive Offloading
  • Derek Schipper (Chemistry), Small Infrastructure, $125,000: Equipment for Organic Materials Synthesis, Purification, and Characterization
  • Alberto Sciaini (Chemistry), Small Infrastructure Award, $375,000: Ultrafast Electron Sources for Atomically-resolved Dynamics and High-resolution Imaging
  • Maria Strack (Geography and Environmental Management), Small Infrastructure Award, $59,936: Gas Chromatograph and Ultraportable Sensor for Determination of Peatland Greenhouse Gas Exchange
  • John Wen (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering), ERA, $140,000: Development of Nanothermite-based Micro-joining Technology for Advanced Manufacturing and Clean Technology
  • David-Antoine Williams (English Language and Literature), ERA, $140,000: The Life of Words: English Poetry and the Oxford English Dictionary

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