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Rising stars maintain perfect score in research grant applications

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Thomas Spalek, 604.2913105,
Stephen Campbell,
Dong In Kim, 604.291.3248,
Bill de la Mare, 604.291.3067,
Karim S. Karim, 604.291.6859,
Carol Thorbes, Media & PR, 604.291.3035,

July 7, 2004

The talent pool of new researchers at Simon Fraser University continues to maintain a 100 percent success rate in its application for Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) New Opportunities funds. The average success rate nationally among researchers at institutions eligible for the funds is 89 percent.

Thomas Spalek, a psychology researcher specializing in memory and attention, Stephen Campbell, a specialist in mathematics education, and Dong In Kim, an expert in wireless communications, are SFU's latest recipients of the grants. They came to SFU in the last three years, and have each been awarded $200,000.

Spalek, an assistant professor of psychology, will use his grant to acquire equipment, such as virtual reality goggles, that will enable him to better understand the cognitive processes involved in allocating attention. Spalek’s work may also benefit people suffering from attention deficit disorders.

Campbell, an assistant professor of education, will use his grant to create a first-of-its-kind facility in Canada for measuring learners' physiological responses while mathematical problem solving with computers. The mathematics educational neuroscience lab in the education faculty will help educational neuroscientists and software designers improve computer-learning environments.

Kim, an associate professor of engineering science, is researching the creation of an ultra wideband wireless communication system to meet the increasing demands of mobile users and alleviate clogged Internet-based services.

In April, another three recently recruited researchers obtained grants from CFI's Innovation fund. Professor Bill de la Mare and assistant professor Sean Cox, both in SFU's school of resource and environmental management (REM), have been awarded $400,000 to create a facility for marine and freshwater fisheries and ecosystem research.

Karim S. Karim, an assistant professor of engineering science, secured $200,000 to acquire a large area, thin film electronics fabrication tool, which will be one of the few such devices available internationally. The tool will enable Karim and his colleagues at SFU’s institute for Micromachine and Microfabrication Research to develop novel thin film silicon devices and circuits for imaging, displaying and powering solar cells.


Canadian Foundation for Innovation:
Thomas Spalek:
Stephen Campbell:
Dong In Kim:
Karim S. Karim:
Bill de la Mare: