Pictured from left to right: Yagiz Aksoy, Hang Ma and Gordon McTaggart-Cowan.

Three SFU applied science researchers receive the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund

August 11, 2021

This year, Simon Fraser University applied science researchers received a total of $500,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (CFI’s JELF) for three research projects. This funding will allow researchers to perform leading-edge research by providing them with foundational research infrastructure to become leaders in their fields. This enables SFU to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development that align with the university’s strategic priorities.

Recipients of the CFI’s JELF:

Yagiz Aksoy, a professor in the School of Computing Science, leads the Computational Photography Lab at SFU. Funding of $200,000 from CFI’s JELF will be used to help build a computational photography studio that will support research in an active production environment while producing educational videos for the School of Computing Science. This research targets the application of modern computer vision and artificial intelligence methodologies to solve everyday problems in photography and post-production in film. The aim of this research is to support the movie industry and independent artists in BC through publicly available tools and datasets.

Hang Ma, a professor in the School of Computing Science, leads the Autonomous Intelligence and Robotics Lab at SFU. Funding of $100,000 from CFI’s JELF will be used to establish a unified framework that combines artificial intelligence techniques with real-world, multi-robot systems. The funding will be used to support research to develop techniques to bring motion-coordination and human-robot interaction simulations to the real world. The goals of this research are to allow humans and robots to operate safely in a combination of physical and virtual environments, and to improve the quality of life for humans with the use of robots for labour-intensive or dangerous work.

Gordon McTaggart-Cowan, a professor in the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, leads the Vehicle and Engine Systems for Sustainable Transportation research group. Funding of $200,000 from CFI’s JELF along with matching funds from the BC Knowledge Development Fund will be used to establish a research facility focused on sustainable low-carbon fuels for transportation. These fuels offer dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional fossil fuels, and can be used with relatively minor modifications to existing technologies. The research to be conducted will improve efficiency through the entire fuel process from production to distribution to end-use, while increasing the ability to use varying fuel types depending on their availability. The facility will be used to train the next generation of engineers while developing technical solutions that can use available renewable energy sources to ease and accelerate the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon future.

See the full list of SFU recipients here >>
Read the official news release from CFI here >>