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President’s Faculty Lectures put spotlight on SFU researchers making a difference for B.C.

September 18, 2023

Simon Fraser University researchers making real-world differences to life in British Columbia will share their important work with the community as the SFU President’s Faculty Lectures return Sept 27 through April 30, 2024.

The lecture series, co-organized by the President’s Office in partnership with SFU Public Square, shines a light on the research excellence at SFU. Hosted by SFU president Joy Johnson, these free public lectures celebrate cutting-edge research and researchers that engage with communities and mobilize knowledge to make real-world impacts.

The theme of this year’s lectures is Making a Difference for B.C.
“As a researcher—and now as a university president—I know that university research can sometimes feel inaccessible or irrelevant to communities outside academia,” says Johnson. “But one of the things I love most about SFU is how engaged and committed we are to making a difference in the communities we serve. This year’s lectures will showcase how researchers at SFU are making an impact and building a more inclusive, sustainable British Columbia.”
Approaching this theme from a variety of disciplines, each short lecture will be followed by a conversation with Johnson and an audience Q&A session. They will be held at the various SFU campuses and in community across Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey, as well as streamed online.
The series kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 27 with a lecture from Woo Soo Kim, professor in the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering and the scientific director of the SFU-led B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation (BCCAI).
Kim’s lecture will focus on how 3D printing and other cutting-edge technologies are revolutionizing agriculture as B.C.’s food security is coming under threat from climate change.

Woo Soo Kim

“Recently with floods, drought and wildfires in B.C., we’ve seen how climate change is impacting our lives,” says Kim. “Similarly, climate change is impacting our farmers and growers a lot. So we’re trying to think of how we can secure our food and empower agriculture by creating synergies between traditional agriculture methodology and modern, cutting-edge agritech.”
BCCAI was created last year through federal and provincial funding, and is focused on creating 200 jobs, training more than 700 workers and adding 30 new agritech projects in B.C. by 2025.
Kim’s unique expertise in 3D printing and sensors is already helping farmers make more efficient, sustainable decisions with the help of better data.
“When it comes to 3D printing, the public’s conception probably doesn’t involve creating high-tech sensors, but I would like to demonstrate what we’ve done in my lab with 3D printing sensors dedicated to agriculture.”
For more information on the President’s Faculty Lectures and to register for Kim’s lecture, visit the event page here.

Upcoming President’s Faculty Lectures

  • September 27: Woo Soo Kim, professor and scientific director of B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
  • November 29: Caroline Colijn, professor and Canada 150 Research Chair Department of Mathematics
  • January 23: Andrèanne Doyon, assistant professor and director of REM Planning Program, School of Resource and Environmental Management
  • February 13: Victoria E. Thomas, assistant professor, School of Communication
  • March 12: Wenona Hall, associate professor, Department of Indigenous Studies
  • April 30: Bohdan Nosyk, professor and St. Paul’s Hospital CANFAR Chair in HIV/AIDS Research, Faculty of Health Sciences