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Today is a special day marking the 100th installment of Simon Fraser University’s Scholarly Impact of the Week!

Launched in March 2021 to celebrate SFU researchers’ inspiring ideas and discoveries, the series has travelled to the far reaches of the universe, deep into the microscopic world—and many points in between.

It has demonstrated how scholarly impact at SFU is advancing the priority areas of the 2023-2028 Strategic Research Plan, contributing to an inclusive and sustainable future and championing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The series is a testament to how research at SFU creates and connects knowledge, learning and community for deeper understanding and meaningful impact. 

“We are grateful to all the scholars who have contributed to this series,” says vice-president research and international Dugan O’Neil. “We should be immensely proud of the scope and depth of research at SFU—work that advances knowledge, improves lives and illuminates our world in so many meaningful ways. I encourage you to keep up the momentum of mobilizing SFU research by nominating a colleague today.”     


A few of the researchers with their Scholarly Impact of the Week plaques [l-r]: SFU Beedie School of Business professor Ian McCarthy's first of two; executive director of community-centred climate innovation Alison Shaw with VP research and international Dugan O'Neil; and AVP knowledge mobilization and innovation Elicia Maine

For this 100th publication, we are featuring a highlight from each of our eight faculties. While we cannot recognize in one story all of the amazing work that has been covered, we are providing an update on just a few of our featured scholars.

One of our first published stories highlighted the collaboration between the SFU School of Interactive Art and Technology’s Wolfgang Stuerzlinger and Bernard Rieke, to improve the virtual reality (VR) experience. Stuerzlinger was recently inducted into the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Community Virtual Reality Academy acknowledging his contributions to the field of VR. And Rieke’s  Semester in Alternate Realities challenged students to create immersive VR experiences with a positive social impact.

Faculty of Applied Sciences’ Erik Kjeang spoke to us about his quest to develop ready-for-market fuel cell technologies, which was followed by a tour of his Fuel Cell Research Laboratory and a Faculty and Staff Dashboard story about his new Mitacs-supported partnership. The four-year project with Greenlight Innovation will develop diagnostic tools to enable rapid testing of the electrochemical stacks used in fuel cells.

Beedie School of Business professor Ian McCarthy was featured twice in the series, once for his article with David Hannah and Leyland Pitt on dealing with workplace “B.S.” and also for his exploration of how to use social media to increase research impact. Both topics were published as articles in The Conversation Canada, while these features have become two of the most-read stories in the series. 

Research by education professor Elina Birmingham and psychology professor Grace Iarocci continues to support individuals with autism. Birmingham’s Autism in Education Lab is leading a study on using artificial intelligence to address sound sensitivity in autism. Iarocci’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Lab is exploring topics relating to the mental wellbeing of people with autism.

Faculty of Environment’s Tammara Soma recently co-wrote and co-directed the documentary Food is My Teacher, featured on CBC. Soma’s Food Systems Lab continues its collaborative research on solutions to reduce food waste and support sustainable food systems.

In 2021, health sciences professor Angela Kaida spoke with us about her study on healthy aging in women living with HIV. The following year, she accepted a position as scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Gender and Health.

SFU Indigenous Studies chair and professor Eldon Yellowhorn, featured for his work on the Brandon Indian Residential Schools Project, earned a British Columbia Reconciliation Award. He also received accolades from the Ontario Library Association for his book, Sky Wolf's Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge (with Kathy Lowinger).

Science superstar Stephanie Simmons’ groundbreaking work in quantum technology has led to her accepting a position to help lead Canada's quantum strategy. Simmons works collaboratively with the Quantum Algorithms Institute (QAI), hosted at SFU’s Surrey campus and is a member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Quantum Technologies.


Congratulations, scholars on your outstanding contributions to your fields and to SFU. We recently sent all featured researcher a Scholarly Impact of the Week plaque, honouring their milestone. We will continue to distribute plaques at the beginning of each calendar year to newly published scholars in the series. We are grateful to everyone who took time to share their work and we look forward to featuring and reading many more.


Have a research impact to share? Nominate yourself or a colleague for a Scholarly Impact of the Week profile.

SFU scholars can also reach out to their faculty communications and marketing team for support sharing their work as a news story or on social channels. They can become SFU media experts, and/or pitch an article to The Conversation Canada.


SFU's Scholarly Impact of the Week series does not reflect the opinions or viewpoints of the university, but those of the scholars. The timing of articles in the series is chosen weeks or months in advance, based on a published set of criteria. Any correspondence with university or world events at the time of publication is purely coincidental.

For more information, please see SFU's Code of Faculty Ethics and Responsibilities and the statement on academic freedom.