Concordia University

From autonomous vehicles to age-related disorders: Concordia recognizes 8 professors for their diverse explorations

The Celebration of Research Excellence shines a light on faculty who further the wide-ranging power of knowledge at the university
August 31, 2018
By Renée Dunk

Their work explores everything from agency in urban environments to autonomous vehicles, nanomaterials and age-related disorders.

Eight Concordia researchers were celebrated for their investigations in a wide range of fields at a special reception on August 29. Other honourees at the event included the new cohort of Concordia University Research Chairs as well as this year’s Distinguished University Research Professors.

Christophe Guy, vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies, presented six University Research Awards to Angela Alberga, Cynthia Hammond, Sherry Simon, Rafik Naccache Youmin Zhang, and Vladimir Titorenko, as well as two Petro-Canada Young Innovator Awards to Carolina Cambre and Xiaolei Wang.

On behalf of the university, the vice-president congratulated the recipients on their exceptional contributions to furthering the scholarly and social impact of research at Concordia.

“The University Research Awards and the Petro-Canada Young Innovation Awards recognize outstanding research achievements and leadership. The excellent track records of these faculty members demonstrate the important, wide-ranging power of knowledge and innovation generated at Concordia.”

Other celebrants at the Celebration of Research Excellence included the new cohort of Concordia University Research Chairs, Concordia’s first Distinguished University Research Professors and recipients of several external awards.

Concordia’s University Research Award winners are selected for their exceptional achievements and their contributions to advancing knowledge, building a productive training environment for students and increasing the university’s visibility as a research institution.

Each recipient is awarded $5,000 and holds the title of Concordia University Research Fellow for one year.

The Petro-Canada Young Innovator Awards recognize outstanding young faculty members who are pursuing innovative research that strengthens the learning environment within their departments and has the potential to be of significance to society.

The award, which is made possible by a generous endowment from Suncor Energy, carries a $10,000 research grant.

The University Research Award winners

Angela Alberga, Department of Health, Kinesiology & Applied Physiology
University Research Award in the Person and Society Strategic research cluster (category A)

Angela Alberga's interdisciplinary research program focuses on understanding how institutional, community and societal factors affect weight-related issues — including obesity, eating disorders and physical inactivity — in children and adults.

Alberga is particularly interested in policy and public health efforts aimed at reducing weight stigma and discrimination in health care and education.

Cynthia Hammond, Department of Art History
University Research Award in the Person and Society strategic research cluster (category B)

Cynthia Hammond's research-creation addresses situated knowledge and unexpected agencies within the city. Hammond uses her art practice and storytelling to make visible the roles that women, elders, animals and plant life play in shaping urban environments.

As co-director of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Hammond’s interdisciplinary, place-based work explores the right to the city through its occupants, resulting in university-community partnerships and collaborative public art.​

Sherry Simon, Département d'études françaises 
University Research Award in the Person and Society strategic research cluster (category C)

In her most recent research endeavours, Sherry Simon looks at how urban cultural history, in particular that of linguistically divided cities, evolves through translation. 

Her publications have played a role in revitalizing the debate over cultural diversity in Quebec. She has also contributed to the promotion of the French language at local, national and international levels.

Rafik Naccache, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University Research Award in the Technology, Industry and the Environment strategic research cluster (category A)

Rafik Naccache examines how nanomaterials can address challenges in the areas of food safety, the environment and nanomedicine. His research interests revolve around the use of metallic and luminescent nanoparticles for the development of novel sensors, imaging probes and drug delivery vehicles. 

Youmin Zhang, Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering
University Research Award in the Technology, Industry and the Environment strategic research cluster (category B)

Youmin Zhang studies ways in which unmanned systems in the air, space, land and water, as well as renewable energy systems, can be made more intelligent, autonomous, reliable and safe. Zhang’s work is chiefly in the area of guidance, navigation and control (GNC) and fault-tolerant GNC.

Vladimir Titorenko, Department of Biology
University Research Award in the Technology, Industry and the Environment strategic research cluster (category B)

Vladimir Titorenko investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying aging, age-related disorders and cancer. Through his research, he has confirmed that active mechanisms limiting the longevity of any organism can be manipulated by natural molecules to delay aging and improve health.

The Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award winners

Carolina Cambre
, Department of Education
Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award in the Person and Society strategic research cluster

Carolina Cambre’s research interests range from critical policy analysis and the sociology of information to image studies and the politics of representation. She has ongoing projects on visual processes of legitimation, representations of online sharing, selfies and the politics of identity, and polymedia literacies.

Xiaolei Wang, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award in the Technology, Industry and the Environment strategic research cluster

Xiaolei Wang investigates how to design nanoscale materials for efficient, renewable, sustainable energy storage and conversion. His research has been used in the development of nanoarchitectured energy materials, the creation of clean energy technologies and the fabrication of wearable devices.

Find out more about 
Research at Concordia.


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