Systems Design Engineering (SYDE) Professor Parsin Haji Reza was awarded the Engineering Research Excellence Award from the Faculty of Engineering and the Friend of Natalie Award from the Waterloo Engineering Society.
Professor Haji Reza received the Engineering Research Excellence Award in recognition of inventing and pioneering a ground-breaking optical imaging system (PARS – photoacoustic remote sensing) that can revolutionize non-destructive testing, spectroscopy, and various medical applications.
He also received this term’s Friend of Natalie Award (formerly Friend of the Society Award) for his efforts to support student mental health. Professor Haji Reza noticed the challenges students were facing in the transition to online learning and the aspects of the university experience that were lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We see our students thriving when they work together and make connections in labs, after classes, and going to events,” said Professor Haji Reza. “Without these moments it’s harder for students to focus and feel productive.”
When asked how he made a difference to students, Professor Haji Reza commented, “I made myself available to students whenever they needed and shared what I could to help them stay positive.”
Professor Haji Reza exemplifies a long-term commitment to the betterment of student mental health. “What drives me both in academia and teaching is to make an impact on people’s lives and for the greater society,” he continued. “Our students are motivated to make a difference in their own way so I’ll do whatever I can to support them on their journey.”
Join us in sending congratulations on these two awards!