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Engineering professors were awarded the lion’s share of U of T’s Canada Research Chairs, announced on November 24 in Toronto at a two-day conference to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Canada Research Chairs program.

Three Engineering profs were awarded new chairs, and another two had their chairs renewed. A total of nine new chairs were awarded to U of T, with 29 chairs renewed.

“The Harper government is continuing its longstanding commitment to invest in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” said Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, at the conference Thinking Ahead for a Strong Future.

Clement announced a total investment of $275.6 million to fund 310 new or renewed chairs at 53 universities. U of T has 249 chairs, the largest number at any university in the country.

“For the past 10 years, the Canada Research Chairs program has brought breakthroughs in clean energy, the control of infectious disease, business management and digital technologies,” said Clement. “This funding will help strengthen Canada’s capacity for leading-edge research while, at the same time, building economic opportunities for Canadians.”

Canada Research Chairs are divided into two tiers. Tier I chairs are world leaders in their fields of study, according to their peers. This type of chair is awarded for a seven-year period and may be renewed at the discretion of the university. Tier I chairs receive $1.4 million over seven years.

Tier II chairs have the potential to become world leaders in their fields. They are awarded $500,000 for five years and may be renewed once at the discretion of their university.

The new U of T Engineering Tier I chairs are Professor Zheng-Hong Lu, Materials Science & Engineering, CRC in Organic Optoelectronics; Professor Ted Sargent, Electrical & Computer Engineering, CRC in Nanotechnology; and Professor Peter Zandstra, Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, CRC in Stem Cell Bioengineering.

In Tier II, the renewed chairs are Professor Hani Naguib, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering, CRC in Smart and Functional Materials; and Professor Craig Simmons (MIE), Dentistry, CRC in Mechanobiology.

“The awarding of these Canada Research Chairs to five of our faculty illustrates our exceptional strength in engineering research,” said Cristina Amon, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “We are grateful for this recognition and proud that our professors received such a significant proportion of the CRC Chairs, which will assist us in furthering Canada’s research and innovation agenda.”

For a complete list of U of T’s Canada Research Chairs, click here.

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