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Four U of T Engineers were honoured by the Faculty at the 6th Annual Celebrating Engineering Excellence Reception for their world-leading research. Professor Joyce Poon (ECE) was announced as the 2013 recipient of the McCharles Prize for Early Career Research Distinction. The BioZone team of Elizabeth Edwards, Radhakrishnan Mahadevan and Emma Master (ChemE) received the inaugural Research Leader Award.

Professor Joyce Poon is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Integrated Photonic Devices. Already considered a thought-leader in her field, her research focuses on the creation and exploration of novel photonic devices. While the most immediate application of these devices is reducing the energy requirements of data centres by replacing electronic signals with light signals, her breakthrough discoveries in optical switches and lasers could eventually lead to new kinds of computers which would run on optical rather than electrical systems. Joyce received an Early Researcher Award in 2009. She garnered IBM Faculty Awards in 2010 and 2011 – the only Canadian to receive this prestigious award in either year. In 2012, Joyce was named one of the world’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review. She is the third recipient of the McCharles Prize, which was established in 1907 by Aeneas McCharles and re-established in 2007 as an award for exceptional performance and distinction in early career research on the part of a pre-tenure member of the Faculty.

Elizabeth Edwards, Radhakrishnan Mahadevan and Emma Master are the inaugural recipients of the Faculty’s Research Leader Award, for a faculty member (or team of faculty members) who has made significant contributions to enhancing the research profile of the Faculty. They are being recognized for their leadership in the creation of BioZone, a unique multidisciplinary centre conducting leading-edge research at the intersection of biology and engineering. The original impetus for BioZone was a series of successful major funding applications by this team, including two CFI/ORF projects and the first environmental engineering project to be funded by Genome Canada. With Elizabeth serving as Director and Radhakrishnan and Emma serving as Associate Directors, BioZone now unites nine research groups (including approximately 80 students) working towards a common goal: to use innovative biotechnology to address some of our most urgent societal needs in energy, environment and health.

“The accomplishments of these exceptional colleagues demonstrate the originality and impact of the research conducted in our Faculty,” said Cristina Amon, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “I congratulate them for this well-deserved recognition and for their many achievements.”

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