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February 9, 2009

Professors Grant Allen (ChemE), Brendan Frey, (ECE), Christopher Yip(ChemE/IBBME) and Professor Emeritus Mary Jane Phillips (ChemE) have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest international organization dedicated to advancing science or its applications on a global basis. This singular honour recognizes their outstanding efforts in furthering the objectives of AAAS. The University of Toronto received four of the thirty-seven Fellowships awarded in the Engineering Section, more than any other single institution.

“The election of four of our professors to Fellowship in such a prestigious international scholarly organization as the AAAS is both an honour and a testament to the strength of Engineering at U of T,” said Cristina Amon, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. “The citations for these honours illustrate the exceptional breath of our faculty’s work and the high calibre of their accomplishments.”

Currently serving as the Vice-Dean, Undergraduate for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, Grant Allen is a former director of the University of Toronto’s world-renowned Pulp and Paper Centre, where he continues to lead the Environment Group. His research focuses on the performance and design of biological treatment systems for toxicity reduction in pulp and paper production. His citation for AAAS Fellowship notes his “distinguished contributions to biotechnology, particularly the use of biological processes to treat air emissions and wastewater, and for service to the chemical engineering profession.”

Brendan Frey is a Canada Research Chair in Information Processing and Machine Learning and his work in this area is already considered foundational. He has also made significant contributions to computational biology and genomics and his research has helped to further our understanding of the structure and function of genes and genomes. His election to AAAS Fellowship is based on his “distinguished contributions to the field of information processing and machine learning and to genomics research.”

Christopher Yip’s innovative approaches to combining biophysical science and engineering have made him a leader in both fields. Elected as an AAAS Fellow on the basis of his “distinguished contributions to biophysical science and bioengineering, particularly single molecule biophysics, and for contributions to bioengineering education,” his research focuses on the development and application of novel tools for the measurement of the biophysical characteristics of single molecules. Christopher Yip served with distinction as Interim Chair of IBBME from 2007-2008.

Mary Jane Phillips has been a path breaker for women in Canadian Engineering. She joined the Faculty in 1962 and was the first female faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. She is the only female academic to have served as President of Professional Engineers Ontario. A leading researcher in the field of catalysis, Professor Phillips was elected an AAAS Fellow for “distinguished service to the engineering profession, and for her role as a pioneering woman in the profession and as a mentor to female engineers.”

The new Fellows will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum held on Feb. 14, 2009 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.

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