Breakfast of champions

Research award winners fêted at Faculty Club

barbara black

From left to right, Zhi Chen, Paula Wood-Adams, Subhash Rakheja, Christopher Wilds, Robert Boushel and Vincent Martin.

Photo by andrew dobrowolskyj

It was a coincidence of planning, but Valentine’s Day marked an occasion for the university to express how much we love our researchers.

At a breakfast on Feb. 14 in the downtown Faculty Club dining room, Vice-Provost (Research) Truong Vo-Van introduced the group with pride. President Claude Lajeunesse invited seven recent recipients of internally adjudicated awards to give informal explanations of their work.

Subhash Rakheja was the senior recipient of the 2004 University Research Award. He works in vehicular ergodynamics (see Journal, Feb. 9).

Robert Boushel was the emerging recipient of the same award. His research is focused on cardiovascular regulation during exercise. Some of the work is done in the extreme environmental conditions of high altitude and polar locations with Inuit hunters, where physiological responses define the limits of the human organism.

Vincent Martin won a 2004-05 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award. His work in microbial genomics and engineering focuses on the conversion of simple plant residues into valuable bioproducts.

Catherine Mulligan won a 2004-05 Petro-Canada award as well. She’s working on the sustainable conversion of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to methane energy, among other projects. Since she is currently in Japan on a fellowship, she had a colleague explain her work.

Zhi Chen was one of three who won a Petro-Canada award for the current year. His work focuses on long-term risk assessment. He is using an IT-supported special modelling approach for the management of produced water discharges resulting from oil and gas extraction.

Although she is still a young researcher, Paula Wood-Adams is well known in the field of polymer rheology and polymer structure characterization.

Christopher Wilds is looking for a way to use chemically synthesized DNA to understand how cancer cells fight back against chemotherapy.

Provost Martin Singer spoke to the group about the loss of many faculty members to retirement a decade ago. Today, with a massive renewal of the faculty, he feels that Concordia is well placed to become one of the top universities in Canada.