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Newly inducted Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, Professors Ted Sargent (left) and Peter Zandstra.

Engineering professors Ted Sargent (ECE) and Peter Zandstra (IBBME) have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada.

Professor Sargent, of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), was elected to the Academy of Science in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division. His research has resulted in advances in nanotechnology and materials chemistry, which he has translated into new engineered devices for energy harvesting, light sensing and medical diagnosis. He pioneered solution-processed solar cells that absorb the sun’s full spectrum, including both its visible and infrared components. He has also created exceedingly sensitive light detectors to enable image acquisition in low light.

“It is a great privilege – particularly in light of the number of superb U of T scholars who have joined the ranks of FRSC, both from within and beyond the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering,” said Sargent.

Professor Zandstra, of the Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), was elected to the Academy of Science in the Applied Science and Engineering Division. Zandstra is a pioneer in the field of stem cell bioengineering, an area that applies engineering principles to stem cell biology. He has discovered new ways to grow stem cells in clinically-relevant bioreactors and used mathematical modeling to study stem cell behaviour. He has also employed micro-fabrication technologies to generate functional human stem cell-derived cardiac micro-tissues. Zandstra’s work has advanced our understanding of difficult-to-access developmental processes and catalyzed development of novel cell-based technologies.

“Professors Sargent and Zandstra’s groundbreaking research contributions have earned them reputations as leaders in their fields, not just in Canada but on a global level,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “Their remarkable achievements exemplify the calibre and impact of the research conducted by our faculty members. On behalf of the Faculty, I congratulate them on this richly deserved honour.”

Sargent and Zandstra were among 21 new Fellows from University of Toronto – more than the university has ever seen inducted in a single year. Ninety new Fellows were named in 2014 in total, including three Foreign Fellows, three Specially Elected Fellows and one Honorary Fellow. [Read the Citations for all 2014 Fellows here]

The Royal Society’s mission is to recognize scholarly, research and artistic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada. Membership in the RSC, which comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities, and Sciences of Canada, is one of the highest honours a researcher can achieve, and the 21 U of T new Fellows join the nation’s most distinguished scholars, artists and scientists in an organization that dates back to 1882.

The Fellows will be formally inducted at a ceremony in Ottawa on November 22, 2014.

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