Nov. 20, 2023

UCalgary faculty, alumni recognized at 2023 ASTech Awards

34th annual awards celebrate Alberta’s science and technology innovation community
2023 AsTech Award winenrs pose holidn their plaques

Recipients of the 34th Annual AsTech Awards who attended the Nov. 3 awards gala.

AsTech Awards

Five UCalgary faculty members were recognized for their leadership and advancements in research at the 34th Annual ASTech Awards in Calgary Nov. 3.

The ASTech Awards recognize and celebrate the brightest minds and the greatest achievements of outstanding individuals and organizations within Alberta’s science and technology innovation community with numerous UCalgary researchers recognized across multiple categories as finalists.

“Congratulations to all our UCalgary award winners and finalists. Their innovative research is a testament to our university’s commitment to pushing boundaries and making significant societal impacts," says Dr. Stephen Larter, associate vice-president (research and innovation).

"Their accomplishments are a shining example of the entrepreneurial spirit we cultivate at our university."

Best in Sector: Aerospace
Dr. Yang Gao, PhD’93, professor, Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering (SSE)

Gao’s research focuses on high-precision positioning and navigation using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS and their integration with other enabling sensors. His research provides solutions to important applications from scientific, to engineering, to daily life activities. His latest work makes high-precision satellite navigation possible at a low cost to mass-market products, including self-driving cars, drones, and smartphones.

Best in Sector: AI / ML Advancement
Dr. Hadis Karimipour, PhD, associate professor, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, SSE

Karimipour is the first Canada Research Chair in Secure and Resilient Cyber-Physical Systems. Her ground-breaking research employs artificial intelligence to detect cybersecurity threats within the operational technology of Critical Infrastructure, which includes smart power grids, utilities, communication networks, and transportation systems.

Best in Sector: Medical/Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Elise Fear, PhD, professor and associate head - research, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, SSE

Fear is the co-founder of Wave View Imaging, which is creating a microwave signal technology that measures breast tissue properties to provide pain-free and timely breast imaging. Applications under investigation for this technology include monitoring breast cancer treatment, providing breast density scores without a mammogram, and detection of breast tumours.

Fear is a member of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM).

Leadership/Equity Diversity & Inclusion: Women in Innovation – Research
Dr. Kathryn Birnie, PhD, BA(Hons)’07, assistant professor, departments of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine

Birnie is the associate scientific director for Solutions for Kids in Pain (Skip), a national knowledge mobilization network, that developed the world’s first national Paediatric Pain Management health standard — a set of guidelines for the delivery of pain management for children from birth to 19 years. The standard provides guidance to health-care organizations and health professionals on how to deliver equitable and quality pain care across hospital settings.

Birnie is a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Owerko Centre at the CSM.

Leadership/Equity Diversity & Inclusion: Early Adopter of Innovation
Dr. Sumantra ‘Monty’ Ghosh, MD'09, BSc'03, MBT'04, clinical assistant professor, departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, CSM

Ghosh works with various community partners and academics to create innovative ways to support harm reduction for people who use drugs alone. He has co-created the National Overdose Response Service with Grenfell Ministries, a 24/7 virtual safer consumption hotline available Canada-wide and has also worked with the Alberta Government to co-create the Digital Overdose Response Service.

Ghosh is a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the CSM. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

UCalgary was a supporter of the 2023 ASTech awards and presented two awards recognizing members of UCalgary’s alumni community.

Best in Sector: Social Innovation/Educational Technologies
RoboGarden | Dr. Mohamed Elhabiby, PhD’07, MBA’17, president

RoboGarden is a cloud-based publisher that uses artificial intelligence and interactive, game-based learning to develop STEAM content. The technology empowers instructors to aid the teaching and training of students when it comes to future skills.

Best in Sector: Environment/Water/Air
Excir | Pat Derkacz, BSc'11, mechanical engineer manager

Excir’s technology enables the ethical and sustainable extractions and recovery of precious metals from secondary sources, including electronic, spent catalysts and scrap jewelry waste streams.