Two members of the U of T Engineering community were recently recognized with Engineers Canada awards for their contributions and achievements in engineering. Professor Goldie Nejat (MIE) received the Young Engineer Achievement Award and alumnus Tyler Irving (ChemE MASc 1T0) garnered the inaugural Award of Journalism Excellence in Engineering. Established in 1972, the Engineers Canada Awards are national awards which honour the contributions of Canadian engineers to their profession, their community and to the safety and well-being of Canadians.
Professor Nejat is researching the development of intelligent assistive robots that can help find victims in disaster scenarios, improve the quality of patient-centered care and transform the way hospital wards and nursing homes function. Her research is helping Canada meet the challenges posed by an aging population – and keeping both the province and country at the forefront of the multi-billion-dollar personal and service robotics industry.
Her contributions in this area include the development of assistive technologies, including socially intelligent assistive robots to aid cognitive and physically impaired individuals with the activities of daily living. In particular, she and her students have developed a unique robot named Brian for healthcare applications. Brian is a human-like robot designed to remind, monitor, aid, stimulate and motivate elderly individuals suffering from dementia. Professor Nejat received the 2012 Ontario Professional Engineers Young Engineer Medal in recognition of this work.
Irving is the Science Writer/News Editor at ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News. While at U of T, his Master’s research focused on bioprocessing and biotechnology. However, his true passion was communicating the excitement of science and engineering to the public. His education and outreach roles include science camp counselor, outreach program coordinator, museum host, high school teacher, lecturer, radio broadcaster, tutor and science writer.
Irving was recognized for his article ‘Nature’s Industrialists’ in the November/December 2012 edition of Chemical Engineering News, which featured the research of U of T chemical engineers Radhakrishnan Mahadevan and Emma Master. The article not only explains this cutting-edge research – which focuses on producing chemicals from biological materials that could eventually replace those made from non-renewable resources – it demonstrates why this work matters to Canadians.
“These prestigious awards recognize the wide range of contributions made by U of T engineers and the impact our early-career professors and alumni are already making,” said Cristina Amon, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “I congratulate these two outstanding young engineers on this recognition and on their achievements.”
The award recipients will be honoured at the Engineers Canada Awards Gala in Yellowknife on June 8, 2013.