From left to right: Jon Driver, VP Academic; award winners Rodney Vaughan, Eric Matthews, Max Whitney, Jiangchuan Liu, Paul Ho, Kathleen Bizjak; Nimal Rajapakse, Dean of Applied Sciences. (not pictured: Harinder Khangura)

Engineering Science

2012 FAS Awards of Excellence

November 15, 2012

The Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) held its third annual Awards of Excellence reception on November 15, 2012. Dean Nimal Rajapakse took this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of members of FAS in the past year. Seven faculty, staff members and TAs were presented with awards, and other notable achievements by faculty, staff and students were celebrated.

The 2012 Awards of Excellence winners are as follows:

Harinder Khangura – Superior Performance in Teaching

Harinder Khangura joined the School of Computing Science in 2005 as a Lecturer, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010. He teaches a broad range of undergraduate courses, regularly attends conferences that focus on teaching and learning in higher education, and is heavily involved in curriculum development and change. His students have called him “a well prepared instructor with a strong teaching ability” and “one of the best lecturers I have had so far.”

Dr. Jiangchuan Liu – Superior Performance in Research by an Early Career Faculty Member

Dr. Liu joined the School of Computing Science as an Assistant Professor in 2004 and was promoted to Associate Professor in the same year. Dr. Liu’s areas of research include multimedia communications, cloud and peer-to-peer computing and sensory networks. His publication record is remarkable: he has published 70 journal papers and over 100 conference papers. Dr. Liu is currently the associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, the editor of IEEE Communications, and is also co-chair for several international conferences. He is currently supervising six PhD and eight MSc students; three of his former students have joined research universities as Assistant Professors. Dr. Liu has received approximately two million dollars in research funding as a project lead or co-project lead, including awards such as the NSERC Discovery Accelerator, as well as Strategic Project and Engage grants.

Dr. Rodney Vaughan – Superior Performance in Research by a Senior Faculty member

A Professor in the School of Engineering Science, Dr. Vaughan is one of the world's leading researchers in wireless communications. He holds the Sierra Wireless Professorship in Mobile Communications and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Between 2007 and 2011, he published 13 journal articles, 40 conference papers and filed three patents. Dr. Vaughan believes that research should be of practical value to practitioners in the field, and has received funding from several sources to continue conducting industrial research. These sources include Nokia; MITACS; NSERC Engage and Strategic grants; Canadian Foundation for Innovation; BC Knowledge Development Fund; and Western Economic Diversification Canada. He also won an NSERC Discovery grant for 2011-2016.

Dr. Paul Ho – Superior Performance in Service

Dr. Ho has been the Acting Associate Director for the School of Engineering Science since 2010, and has a history of providing exemplary professional service to the Engineering School. He led the School’s efforts in the 2006 accreditation by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, which resulted in the School’s first 6-year accreditation. Dr. Ho took on a leadership role again during the 2012 accreditation process. Dr. Ho provides invaluable service to the Engineering School, frequently providing advice and leadership on strategic matters.

Kathleen Bizjak – Superior Performance in Service

Ms. Bizjak, who retired in June of this year, provided 20 years of outstanding service to SFU, six of them with the School of Computing Science. She showed exceptional dedication to her work, consistently going above and beyond the normal expectations of her position. Ms. Bizjak built many positive and long-lasting relationships in the SFU community, and is well respected by faculty, colleagues and peers.

Eric Matthews – Superior Performance in Teaching Assistance (Engineering Science)

As a TA for Engineering 351, Eric Matthews provided exemplary support to students and his efforts regularly exceeded requirements of his position. He is described as “an invaluable asset to the ENSC 351 students he was engaged with.” The assistance he provided to students working through the milestones of the ENSC 351 semester-long project was exceptional. Many comments stated that his knowledge is comprehensive, and his demeanour admirable in all dealings with students and the instructor.

Max Whitney – Superior Performance in Teaching Assistance (Computing Science)

Max Whitney, who graduated with an MSc from Computing Science this August, provided outstanding work as a TA for CMPT 379 and 413. He consistently received strong evaluations from students and instructors and many acknowledged the high quality of his work. He showed initiative in developing a compiler contest so that students could competitively apply course content and their assignments, and assisted in the development and implementation of an auto-check program for student assignments.

View 2011 Awards of Excellence winners