Research Chairs and Recent Awards

Burnaby Mountain Endowed Professor

Dr. Farid Golnaraghi

Professor, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Burnaby Mountain Endowed Professor, Engineering
Area of research: Application of Intelligent Sensor Systems, Smart Materials and Actuators, Vibration and Control
Dr. Golnaraghi is Director of SFU’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, leading an integrated program that develops skilled engineers in mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Dr. Golnaraghi develops intelligent sensors and smart materials that can be applied in a wide variety of uses, such as in biomedical systems, vehicles, consumer electronic products and heavy industry. Prior to joining SFU, he held the Canada Research Chair in Mechatronic and Smart Material Systems at the University of Waterloo.

Canada Research Chairs

Dr. Majid Bahrami

Professor, Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Alternative Energy Conversion Systems
Area of research: Thermal management of batteries and hybrid vehicles, Sustainable Energy Storage and Management
Dr. Bahrami's innovative research in green energy is advancing a broad range of energy-efficient tools and systems, from more sustainable fuel cells, to high-power polymer lithium-ion batteries with a number of uses. His research team designs, prototypes and integrates energy-efficient systems to reduce the environmental impacts of a number of industries, including the automotive, manufacturing, micro-electronics and food sectors. He has fostered highly successful industry collaborations, receiving more than $8M for research from various agencies and industry and serves on several committees, including an NSERC Discovery Grant Evaluation Committee. 

Dr. Bozena Kaminska

Professor, School of Engineering Science
Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Wireless Sensor Networks
Area of research: Communication, Computation and Technology and Health and Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Kaminska invents tiny yet powerful nanotechnologies, integrated systems and powering solutions. A groundbreaker in every sense of the word, Dr. Kaminska developed wearable wireless biosensors for heart monitoring, and a new generation of devices that can be used for secure document storage and for monitoring energy, objects and people. Her third-generation of functional polymers with specialized optics is attracting the attention of banks and security printing companies for counterfeit security applications. In addition to being an engineer, Dr. Kaminska is also a seasoned businesswoman and entrepreneur.

Dr. Jian Pei

Professor, School of Computing Science
Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Big Data Science
Area of research: Big data analysis as applied to health care, social sciences and many other applications
Think big data, and you might imagine exploding volumes of digital information as vast, faceless statistics. But for SFU computing science professor Jian Pei, people are at the heart of big data. Dr. Pei is one of the Top 10 authors in the world—and the only from Canada—in the field of data mining, according to Microsoft Academic Search. Dr. Pei's other prestigious awards include induction as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and NSERC’s Discovery Accelerator Supplements Award. An ACM Distinguished Speaker, Pei is a highly sought-after lecturer with SFU’s new professional master’s degree in big data program.

Dr. Stephen Robinovitch

Professor, School of Engineering Science and Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Injury Prevention and Mobility Biomechanics
Area of research: Biomedical Engineering, Injury Biomechanics
Dr. Robinovitch uses the tools of biomechanics to study disability and injury. He leads university-community partnerships in developing new technologies to prevent falls and fall-related injuries, particularly in older adults. Falls can be devastating in this population, causing more than 90 per cent of hip and wrist fractures, and 60 per cent of head injuries. Dr. Robinovitch investigates new approaches (such as video capture and wearable sensors) to determine the causes and circumstances of falls, and to develop and test the effectiveness of engineering interventions such as protective clothing and compliant flooring in reducing fall-related injuries.

Dr. Cenk Sahinalp

Professor, School of Computing Science
Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Computational Genomics
Area of research: Computational Genomics

Dr. Sahinalp has enhanced the university's reputation as an international research centre in the area of computational biology. This is a complementary field to bioinformatics, which focuses on using algorithms to define problems in the life sciences. Since arriving at SFU, Dr. Sahinalp has set up a world-class computational biology lab to complement the existing life sciences-based research efforts already existing at SFU, as well as in the region. He works with top life scientists in the Pacific Northwest on challenging algorithmic problems in bioinformatics, and was recently involved in the international 1000 Genomes Project.

Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF) Chair

Dr. Ryan D'Arcy

Professor, Schools of Computing Science and Engineering Science
Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation BC Leadership Chair in Multimodal Technology for Healthcare Innovation

Dr. D'Arcy explores new frontiers in neurotechnology to further understand the brain and help patients with devastating brain illness and traumatic brain injuries. He is leading the development of a diverse and prosperous medical technology sector in the province. This is one of five SFU research chairs supported by the Government of British Columbia through the Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF). LEEF contributed $2.5 million toward this Chair, and SFU and Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation each contributed $1.5 million. The Fraser Health Authority is also a strategic partner that provides lab space for the Dr. D'Arcy, as well as access to clinical facilities and resources at Surrey Memorial Hospital and other healthcare facilities.

Sierra Wireless Professorship in Mobile Communications

Dr. Rodney Vaughan

Professor, School of Engineering Science
Sierra Wireless Professorship in Mobile Communications
Area of research: Signal Processing Theory, Antenna Theory and Design, Wave Propagation Measurement and Modeling
As SFU’s Sierra Wireless Professorship in Mobile Communications, Dr. Vaughan is engaging organizations and industry across North America in some of the world’s most progressive communications research. His projects include developing antenna concepts for satellite communications, new on-chip antennas, industrial “green energy” microwave food drying and spatial signal processing for acoustic noise reduction. Dr. Vaughan leads research in radiowave propagation, communications signal processing, and antenna design and evaluation methods. The results are being used by industry for new and improved products.

Award News

Dr. Mirza Faisal Beg

Professor, Engineering Science
APEG BC Meritorious Achievement Award Winner
NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement
Dr. Beg received numerous research awards, including the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEG BC) 2012 Meritorious Achievement Award. Dr. Beg is trained in engineering, biology and mathematics. Drawing from international MRI databases containing the brain scans of hundreds of older adults with and without Alzheimer’s, he is taking precise measurements to pinpoint where and how brain structures change at the onset. His research will help take the guesswork out of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, especially in its early stages and assess whether new Alzheimer’s drugs are effective in slowing progression of the disease.


Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Fedorova

Associate Professor, Computing Science
Sloan Fellowship

Dr. Fedorova received a Sloan Research Fellowship in 2012, placing her among the next generation of scientific leaders. Sloan Fellowships support fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded to 126 researchers each year for distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Dr. Fedorova leads SFU’s Systems Research Group and her research focuses on finding new algorithms that can more efficiently allocate a computer system’s hardware resources.

Dr. Pavol Hell

Professor, Computing Science
SIAM Class of 2012 Fellows

Dr. Hell has been named to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' (SIAM) Class of 2012 Fellows. Dr. Hell is considered one of Canada’s leading graph theorists and is currently managing editor of the Journal of Graph Theory. Nominated by the SIAM community, the 2012 Class includes 35 academics and professionals from the fields of applied mathematics and computational science. They are recognized for their exemplary research in the field, as well as outstanding contributions to the community.

Dr. Jie Liang

Professor, Engineering Science
NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement
Humboldt Research Fellowship, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Excellence in Leadership for Graduate Studies

Dr. Liang has been recognized for his research with a Humboldt Research Fellowship. He was also awarded an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement to develop signal processing algorithms to enhance the quality of photos and videos uploaded to social media. Compression reduces page loading time and bandwidth, but it also produces image pixilation and colour changes — issues Liang is trying to address. Dr. Liang won an award for Excellence in Leadership from SFU's Dean of Graduate Studies for his major contributions as Graduate Program Chair in engineering science (2012-2014). He was credited with leading a restructuring of the funding policy for graduate students, enhancing student life and introducing the graduate student co-op program. 

Dr. Carlo Menon

Associate Professor, Engineering Science
New Investigator Award recipient, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Career Investigator Award recipient, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

Dr. Menon has been awarded two major grants for his work developing a robotic device that could allow people suffering from neuromuscular disorders to regain control of their upper extremities. Dr. Menon won both the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Career Investigator Award and the Canadian Institute of Health Research New Investigator Award for his biomedical robotics research. Both awards will allow him to work on an Interactive Wearable Robotic Device (IWRD) designed to improve quality of life for those who have lost neurological control of their arms and hands, due to stroke, injury, aging or disease.

Dr. Ash Parameswaran

Professor, Engineering Science
Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE)
APEG BC Meritorious Achievement Award Winner
NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement
Dr. Parameswaran has a long history of achievements in biomedical engineering, as well as outstanding technical and community service. Dr. Parameswaran has been refining his "lab-on-a-chip” technology--a low-cost, portable device that will allow for speedy point-of-care diagnosis of pathogens that cause infantile diarrhea, a leading cause of death for young children in developing nations. He was named a fellow with CAE and won the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEG BC) in 2013. He also won the APEG BC Teaching Excellence Award in 2007 and has held the J.L. Wighton Professor of Experimental and Laboratory Studies since 2004.

Dr. Lesley Shannon

Associate Professor, Engineering Science
APEG BC Teaching Award of Excellence
NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (2015-2020)
Dr. Shannon is well-respected by students for simplifying teaching material in her area of computer system design. She received the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEG BC) 2014 Teaching Award of Excellence. Described as “exceedingly likeable” and “down to earth,” Dr. Shannon leverages her network of contacts to host seminars connecting students with leading B.C. engineering companies. While chair of the School of Engineering Science computer option, she spearheaded the computer stream curriculum redesign. In 2015, Dr. Shannon was named NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, BC/Yukon region.