Successful partnerships

Research endowment links SFU, Fraser Health as medical technology leaders

Faculty of Applied Sciences and Fraser Health Authority are poised to become leaders in medical research and technology innovation with the launch of a $5.25 million Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation B.C. Leadership Chair in Multimodal Technology for Healthcare Innovation.

Ryan D'Arcy, who holds a position in the Faculty of Applied Sciences' Schools of Computing and Engineering Science, was appointed BC Leadership Chair.

With a goal of improving the lives of patients through innovation, D’Arcy will combine health research and technology by linking the Faculty of Applied Sciences at SFU with the medical expertise at Surrey Memorial Hospital and elsewhere in the Fraser Health region.

The Chair was created through a partnership with $2.25 million in funding provided by government’s Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF), and SFU and Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation each contributing $1.5 million. Fraser Health Authority is providing lab space and access to clinical facilities and resources at Surrey Memorial Hospital, the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, and other healthcare facilities.

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Above, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts (left) joins Ryan D'Arcy at the announcement of  his BC Leadership Chair appointment at SFU.

Sierra Wireless: Collaborators drawn to new wireless communications lab

The Sierra Wireless Mobile Communications Laboratory at Simon Fraser University places B.C. at the forefront of wireless communications research and education. The laboratory, comprising a world-class antenna chamber, also extends the outreach of SFU’s research by enabling new collaborations with industry and research partners across North America.

Based in Richmond, B.C., Sierra Wireless contributed $400,000 to develop the Mobile Communications Laboratory. This gift enabled a further $1,125,000 in support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Western Economic Diversification Canada and B.C.’s Knowledge Development Fund.

Additionally, Sierra Wireless established a Professorship in Mobile Communications with a $600,000 endowment. Leading researcher Rodney Vaughan, a professor in the School of Engineering Science, holds the Professorship position.

The lab is one of the most advanced in Canada and is capable of high-speed antenna pattern mapping. Researchers can now measure antenna patterns within minutes or hours, a process that would take up to 48 hours, and involve a lot of human intervention, using conventional methods. Sierra Wireless, a wireless industry leader, has partnered with SFU’s School of Engineering Science in the Faculty of Applied Sciences to promote excellence in the area of wireless communications.

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Above, left-right: Dean of Applied Sciences Nimal Rajapakse, ENSC alumnus Andrew Lea, Sierra Wireless CEO Jason Cohenour, SFU President Andrew Petter, SFU VP of Advancement Cathy Daminato, Sierra Wireless Professor in Mobile Communications Rodney Vaughan.

SFU Technovation helps close gender STEM gap with industry support

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is working with industry partners to create opportunities for young women to get more involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

In 2016, we joined a global initiative called Technovation, an entrepreneurship program that invites girls aged 10 to 18 to build mobile apps addressing community problems.

With the guidance of industry mentors, the girls worked in small teams to bring their apps from concept to reality – brainstorming, conducting user research, creating a business plan and building a prototype. Leaders from the technology and business sectors judged the submissions and provide feedback.

Fifty-six participants presented their final apps to a panel of judges at SFU’s inaugural Dragon’s Den-style pitch event. Six finalists were recognized, with first, second and third place winners in two age categories: high school and middle school.

Five grade 12 girls from Rockridge Secondary High School developed the winning app named “Hello,” designed to ease the transition of Syrian refugees to life in Canada.

This year, our Technovation industry sponsors Safe SoftwareFrozen Mountain and Samsung Canada will help us inspire even more young girls to develop a life-long interest in applied sciences, and inspire the next generation of technological leaders. 

>> Find out more about how you can get involved with the Technovation challenge. 

From left, Cameron Elementary School Grade 4 students Jasmine Shim, Liyah Li Barbara Castano and Mitra Abtahi pose with the winning app they designed for Technovation, a global technology competition for girls 18 and under. Their app is a game designed to help new students and their families get to know the community. Photograph By Cornelia Naylor, used with permission of Burnaby Now.