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The university celebrates standout research

Newly appointed Concordia University Research Chairs will join 2 public roundtable sessions
September 16, 2020
By J. Cohen

Over the past year, more than 30 Concordia researchers have received recognition both internally and externally for their innovative inquiry and mentorship.

With the usual in-person celebration not being possible this year, Paula Wood-Adams, interim vice-president of research and graduate studies, congratulated the award-winning faculty members through a video message produced for the occasion.

“I’m immensely proud of their leadership, their contributions to knowledge and to Concordia’s reputation,” Wood-Adams says. “Thanks to our professors and graduate students, Concordia is known for scholarly and creative initiatives, as well as its commitment to mentoring the next generation.”

Among the many awardees are two recipients of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, six recipients of University Research Award and the recently named PERFORM Centre Chair in Human Centered Engineering. Find the full list of 2020 honourees below.

Concordia University Research Chairs

The university is also acknowledging 12 newly selected Concordia University Research Chairs (CURCs). Appointed for five years, chairholders play a vital role in creating and mobilizing knowledge through outstanding research. They also make an essential contribution to the university’s capacity to teach and train highly qualified personnel.

Chunjiang An, Concordia University Research Chair in Spill Response and Remediation (New Scholar)

Working in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, An focuses on pollution control, risk assessment, environmental protection and sustainability in the use of natural resources.

Joel Bothello, Concordia University Research Chair in Resilience and Institutions (New Scholar)

Bothello, assistant professor in the Department of Management, looks into how organizations and individuals respond to institutional and market demands. His research is aimed at developing more responsible organizations.

Christopher Brett, Concordia University Research Chair in Applied Cell Science (Tier 2)

A professor in the Department of Biology, Brett conducts molecular biology research focused on how particular parts of cells affect the aging process, and is intended to be used in the treatment of disease and the enhancement of longevity.

Carmela Cucuzzella, Concordia University Research Chair in Integrated Design and Sustainability for the Built Environment (Tier 2)

Cucuzzella, associate professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts, carries out research into sustainable design for urban living, focusing on the social and environmental aspects of architecture and design. At the crossroads of the arts and sciences, she investigates how social factors and questions of creativity operate alongside questions about technology and sustainability.

Elizabeth Fast, Concordia University Research Chair in Land-Based Learning and Indigenous Pedagogies (Tier 2)

Fast, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences, researches Indigenous children and youth, particularly focusing on questions of historical trauma, healing and education.

Hua Ge, Concordia University Research Chair in High Performance Building Envelope for Climate Resilient Buildings (Tier 2)

Ge, associate professor in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, develops high-performance and durable building envelopes. This research helps ensure design and architecture that is resistant to different weather conditions and climates over time.

Walaa Hamouda, Concordia University Research Chair in Internet-of-Things and Machine-to-Machine Communications (Tier 1)

Hamouda, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, conducts research focused on digital communications, satellite and wireless communications, cognitive radios and ad hoc networks.

Ashlee Howarth, Concordia University Research Chair in Metal-Organic Frameworks (New Scholar)

Howarth, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is especially devoted to the treatment of contaminated water. Among other methods used to treat water, she develops sophisticated materials that selectively absorb hazardous material while leaving behind other components.

Chunyan Lai, Concordia University Research Chair in Transportation Electrification (New Scholar)

Lai, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, focuses on electrical motors, power electronics and charging design and optimization. Among the goals of Lai’s work is the development of efficient and reliable electric motor drives for regular use in transportation.

Erin Manning, Concordia University Research Chair in Culture, History and Identity: Creative Expression and Production (Tier 1)

Manning is professor of studio arts and cinema and founder of Concordia’s SenseLab. At the intersection of art and philosophy, much of her work constitutes an exploration of the relationship between perception, sensation and experience.

Natalie Phillips, Concordia University Research Chair in Sensory-Cognitive Health in Aging and Dementia (Tier 1)

Phillips, professor in the Department of Psychology, investigates cognitive aging and adult human neuropsychology. Among other topics, Phillips studies how the audiovisual perception of speech and linguistic abilities deteriorate in older patients.

Tanja Tajmel, Concordia University Research Chair in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) (Tier 2)

An interdisciplinary scholar and associate professor in Concordia’s Centre for Engineering in Society, Tajmel investigates inclusion and equality in STEM disciplines, as well as other social-ethical aspects of scientific research.

Important to the university’s values of equity, diversity and inclusion, 31 of the total 61 current CURC chairholders are women faculty members. Concordia’s Research Chairs webpage has the full list of university chairholders.

Upcoming roundtable sessions

4TH SPACE will hold two roundtable events with Wood-Adams and the new CURCs on September 17 and September 23.

The free, online, interactive events will give participants a chance to learn about leading research at Concordia. Chairholders will discuss the importance of interdisciplinary and community collaborations, how university research is practically implemented and how research relates to the mentorship of students.

2020 Celebration of Research Excellence

List of honourees:

AWARD: Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award

Alice Jarry, Petro-Canada Young Innovator

Aphrodite Salas, Petro-Canada Young Innovator

AWARD: University Research Award

Category A

Carolina Cambre, Concordia University Research Fellow

Tsz Ho Kwok, Concordia University Research Fellow
Giovanni Rosso, Concordia University Research Fellow

Category B

Nizar Bouguila, Concordia University Research Fellow
Nadia Chaudhri, Concordia University Research Fellow

Category C

Elizabeth Miller, Concordia University Research Fellow


Jun Cai, PERFORM Centre Chair in Human Centered Engineering

AWARD: NSERC Industrial Research Chairs

Jeremy Clarke, NSERC/Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton/Catallaxy Industrial Research Chair in Blockchain Technologies

Lingyu Wang, NSERC/Ericsson Industrial Research Chair in Software-Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization Security

AWARD: Distinguished University Research Professor

Sherry Simon, Distinguished University Research Professor

AWARD: Canada Research Chair

Arseli Dokumaci, Canada Research Chair in Critical Disability Studies and Media Technologies, Tier 2

AWARD: Research awards and distinctions from external organizations

Chadi Assi, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Guylaine Beaudry, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Natasha Blanchet-CohenChaire-réseau Jeunesse : Les parcours vers l’autonomie et l’épanouissement des jeunes dans une société en transformation (volet Jeunes issus des Premières Nations et jeunes Inuits), FRQSC

Alice Ming Wai Jim, Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada

Catherine Mulligan, President of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering

Muthukumaran Packirisamy, Foreign Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering

Pat Riva, Award of Merit, Canadian Association of Research Libraries

University recognized Research Units

Indigenous Futures Research Centre (IFRC)
Director: Jason Lewis

Security Research Centre (SRC)
Director: Mourad Debbabi

Thermal Spray and Surface Engineering Research Centre (TSSE)
Co-Directors: Ali Dolatabadi and Christian Moreau


Register for the upcoming roundtable events on September 17 and 23 featuring Paula Wood-Adams and several of the newest Concordia University Research Chairs.

Learn more about all the Concordia University Research Chairs.



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