FAS Excellence award winners. Front row, l-r: Paul Yoon, Shaghayehgh Zihajehzadeh, Richard Zhang, Tony Dixon, Ash Parameswaran. Back row, l-r: Geoffrey Tien, Mehran Shirazi, Dean of Applied Sciences Nimal Rajapakse, VP, Academic Jon Driver, Greg Baker, Fred Heep (missing: Majid Bahrami)

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FAS rewards staff/faculty excellence

October 24, 2014
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Each year in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, staff, students and faculty submit nominations for Excellence awards to recognize outstanding performance in teaching, research and service. This year, the faculty selected eight winners who are shining examples of engagement, passion and innovation.

Teaching: Greg Baker, senior lecturer, School of Computing Science
Greg Baker teaches large undergraduate classes, where he has an aptitude for “breaking down complicated ideas into understandable lecture notes,” according to one nominator. His contributions to the School of Computing Science’s teaching community include revising undergraduate curricula and developing widely used textbooks and online tools for managing student work. He has also taught at Zhejiang University in China through the SFU/Zhejiang Dual Degree Program in Computing Science.

Research (senior faculty): Ash Parameswaran, professor, School of Engineering Science
Ash Parameswaran is an internationally recognized researcher in microsystems technology, with a remarkable publication and funding record. A gifted teacher and well-regarded mentor to students, he has been recognized with teaching awards from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) and SFU. His groundbreaking research in point-of-care diagnostic tools for rural regions of India received a highly competitive Grand Challenges research grant and garnered attention from India’s former president Abdul Kalam. In 2013 Parameswaran received the Meritorious Achievement award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C., recognizing his long-standing contribution to microsystems technology.

Research (early career): Richard Zhang, professor, School of Computing Science
Richard Zhang, the recipient of an NSERC-Discovery Accelerator Supplement and numerous other grants, is a highly respected international authority on computer graphics research. He received the 2010 Most-Cited Paper award from the journal Computer Aided Design, and was awarded best paper at the 2008 SGP Awards. He serves on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals and on the paper selection committees of SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia.

Research (early career): Majid Bahrami, professor, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Majid Bahrami is making an impact in clean-energy technology research. He was recently awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Alternative Energy Conversion Systems. He has been highly successful in collaborating with industry and has received more than $8 million from various agencies and industry to fund his research. He holds a highly qualified personnel (HQP) training record and serves on several committees, including an NSERC Discovery Grant Evaluation Committee.  

Service (faculty): Tony Dixon, professor, School of Computing Science
Tony Dixon has made numerous service contributions to the School of Computing Science since he joined more than 30 years ago. He has held the position of associate director, academic, since 2001, managing the undergraduate program and liaising with staff on faculty-related information. A key member of the school executive committee, Tony is respected for his professional and proactive approach to administration and his excellent knowledge of university systems.

Service (staff): Fred Heep, lab technician, School of Engineering Science

A source of electronics expertise in the School of Engineering Science, Fred Heep provides advice, develops custom equipment, and logs a complete inventory of parts by memory. His technical work shows a high degree of elegance and efficiency and he has received high praise from faculty for his attention to detail. He has made excellent contributions to improve the laboratory experience of students, developing his own instruction materials for technical training.

In addition, teaching assistants Mehran Shirazi from mechatronic systems engineering and Geoffrey Tien from computing science each won the Outstanding TA Award for their strong class management skills and commitment to students.