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‘We are at a very special moment in our history — and this is just the beginning’

Spotlight on: Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science
July 15, 2021

Tsz Ho Kwok Tsz Ho Kwok was the only researcher from a Canadian university honoured by SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) this year.

The Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science held its inaugural faculty-wide day of celebration on March 18.

Gina Cody School Day featured a social-media campaign and two virtual events — a midday talk with Charlie Kawwas, BEng 93, MASc 99, PhD 07, chief operating officer at Broadcom, and a student research showcase in the evening. More than 300 people attended the online events, and the promotional hashtag — #GinaCodySchool — trended nationally on Twitter.

“The Gina Cody School community is something special,” says Mourad Debbabi, the faculty’s newly appointed dean as of June 1.

Debbabi served as interim dean since May 2020. “We are one of the fastest-growing and top-ranked faculties of engineering and computer science in Canada. We are at a very special moment in our history, and I believe this is just the beginning.”

New programs in chemical engineering

Quebec’s Minister of Higher Education approved two new graduate programs in chemical engineering during the winter semester. Only five years after being established, the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering (CME) now boasts a Master of Applied Science and a PhD program.

“We have ambitious research goals and are on an aggressive growth trajectory,” says Alex De Visscher, chair of CME. “The students we welcome into these programs will need to stand out.”

Federal funding

Several Gina Cody School researchers secured funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Chadi Assi, Tier I Concordia University Research Chair in Advanced Internet Technologies, and his multidisciplinary team, secured $1.8 million to support their research on resilient smart cities. “We will build a safe, secure and resilient network that will allow Internet of Things (IoT)-connected smart cities to thrive and grow,” says Assi. “I will lead a team of 10 faculty members to create prototypes of scalable infrastructures in three key areas of research.”

Other faculty researchers awarded CFI funding include Rolf Wuthrich, Wenfang Xie, Masoumeh Kazemi Zanjani and Tsz Ho Kwok, all professors in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering; Glenn Cowan, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Christian Moreau, director of research at the Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation.

Top honours

Charlie Kawwas Charlie Kawwas, BEng 93, MASc 99, PhD 07, was presented with the Concordia University Alumni Association’s Alumnus of the Year Award on March 18.

Tsz Ho Kwok won the 2021 SME Geoff Boothroyd Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award for his research on bridge design and manufacturing processes. The award recognizes manufacturing engineers, aged 35 and younger, who have made exceptional contributions to the manufacturing industry.

Mohamed Amine Arfaoui, MASc 18, a PhD student in information systems engineering, won the Prix Relève étoile Louis-Berlinguet from Quebec’s Fonds de recherche in February 2021. Arfaoui was recognized for his research developing 6G networks using visible light communication technology.

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