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Concordia’s newly appointed chairs enhance the university’s research, teaching excellence and impact

12 innovators from multiple faculties and disciplines will advance key strategic areas
July 19, 2022
A view of the top of several neon-glowing rechargeable batteries.

The Concordia University Research Chair (CURC) program provides direct support for research aligned with Concordia’s strategic areas and recognizes research and teaching excellence. Faculty who are named CURCs do innovative work on a broad range of topics that impact people, communities and economies.

The future of battery power, cellular systems and manufacturing, as well as Indigenous language ontology and the science of sound, sleep and learning are only a handful of topics that this year’s newly appointed CURCs will advance in the coming years.

Funded through the Office of the Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies, and selected by the University Research Committee, the chairholders represent multiple faculties and disciplines.

“Faculty recognized by the CURC program enhance Concordia’s reputation as a forward-looking institution on the global stage,” says Paula Wood-Adams, interim vice-president of research and graduate studies.

“Their innovative research and mentorship are essential to prepare the next generation for a world of new challenges and opportunities. Congratulations to this year’s group for achieving this prestigious designation.”

Meet Concordia’s 12 new CURCs and learn about their programs, expertise and impact.

Hannah Claus

Concordia University Research Chair in Onkwehonwené:ha (New Scholar)
Studio Arts 

Hannah Claus is an artist of Kanien’kehá:ka and English heritage who employs Indigenous methodology to give voice to Indigenous histories and teachings. The objectives of her program are to create a space for Onkwehonwené:ha methodologies regarding research–creation and to establish a Kanien’kehá:ka ontology. Her transdisciplinary, practice-based research engages with the idea of space shaped by language, material culture and place as transversal living concepts.

Emily Coffey

Concordia University Research Chair in Sleep and Sound (New Scholar)

Emily Coffey examines sleep, audition and aging, exploring how sound can be used to enhance memory. Coffey wants to determine the optimal timing between brain activity and memory enhancement to develop preventative and restorative applications that help maintain cognitive function and improve learning while aging. Her lab uses neuroimaging tools to study the neural bases of learning complex tasks.

Xia Li

Concordia University Research Chair in High Energy Rechargeable Batteries (New Scholar)
Chemical and Materials Engineering

Xia Li’s research seeks to address the urgent need to bring energy storage and conversion research at Concordia to the next level and to advance the clean energy and nanotechnology sectors in Canada. She is also developing safe and high-energy batteries by applying new technologies to design and synthesizing novel materials. Li’s other research includes battery interface and materials design and fabrication.

Angela Alberga

Concordia University Research Chair in Maternal, Child and Youth Weight-Related Issues (Tier 2)
Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology

Angela Alberga is devoted to research, teaching and knowledge transfer efforts that reduce weight discrimination in society. Her program’s goal is to deliver more efficient behaviour-change interventions to address weight-related issues including obesity, physical inactivity, eating disorders, body dissatisfaction and body shame. This program will build upon currently funded research to improve weight-related issues addressing pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.

Xiao Huang 

Concordia University Research Chair in Operations and Technology (Tier 2)
Supply Chain and Business Technology Management

Xiao Huang studies competition and cooperation in supply chains, supply chain risk management, product and pricing strategies and data-driven decision-making. Her research will explore how businesses can revise and reinvent their operations with artificial intelligence, data science and machine learning and how to properly harness technology-enabled solutions. She also explores how strategic alliances can reshape a business’s operational plans.

Tsz Ho Kwok

Concordia University Research Chair in Design and Manufacturing for Mass Customization (Tier 2)
Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering

Tsz Ho Kwok’s research goal is to mass-produce custom products to make them more publicly accessible. One example is customized personal protective equipment, which is more comfortable and effective than mass-produced versions. By using mathematical modelling, simulation, smart material and robotics, Kwok focuses on design for additive manufacturing, functional design and fabrication, and cybermanufacturing.

Weiyi Shang

Concordia University Research Chair in Software Performance Engineering (Tier 2)
Computer Science and Software Engineering

With software being indispensable to our daily lives, software performance is among the most critical aspects of its functionality and quality of service. Software for ultra-large-scale systems and performance engineering are among Weiyi Shang’s research areas. He will seek to develop systematic methodologies for software engineers that identify performance issues and improve processes.

Dajana Vuckovic

Concordia University Research Chair in Clinical Metabolomics and Biomarkers (Tier 2)
Chemistry and Biochemistry     

Metabolomics is an emerging technology in personalized medicine that can measure hundreds to thousands of metabolites, such as cholesterol or vitamin D, using a single specimen. Dajana Vuckovic seeks to develop new analytical tools for clinical and nutritional biomarker discovery and validation and preventative health metabolomics. Her lab studies circadian rhythm, cardiovascular health, stress and mood conditions such as bipolar disorder.

Chadi Assi   

Concordia University Research Chair in Technologies and Trends for Future Cellular Networks (Tier 1)
Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering

Chadi Assi’s research interests include the future of cellular networks, enabling disruptive technologies for the next generation of cellular systems, as well as network design and optimization, resource allocation, security and cloud computing. His program and research will aim to play a major role in advancing 5G and 6G technologies.

Kathleen Boies       

Concordia University Research Chair in Leadership Development (Tier 1)

Kathleen Boies aims to understand how leaders shape others’ thinking to develop effective leadership practices. Her objectives are to advance scientific knowledge and multidisciplinary research in leadership development, as well as improve the practice of developing leaders and leadership in organizations, particularly in educational institutions and community groups.

Prosper Dovonon

Concordia University Research Chair in Econometrics of Large Datasets (Tier 1)

Prosper Dovonon studies theoretical econometrics, a field of economics that seeks to develop tools for quantitative analysis of economies, as well as economic policies and perspectives. His program’s research activities will revolve around causality analysis in the context of high-dimensional models, commonly referred to as big data. Econometric methods have seen widespread use in a broad range of fields including health and environmental economics, forecasting and portfolio, asset and risk management.

Ramin Sedaghati   

Concordia University Research Chair in Smart Materials and Adaptive Structures (Tier 1)
Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering

Ramin Sedaghati aims to cultivate transformative research for the next generation of light-weight adaptive structures and systems that include functionalities such as controlling vibration, noise, motion and more. Sedaghati has conducted extensive research on the dynamic characterization of smart materials, multidisciplinary design optimization and control of adaptive structures using advanced multifunctional materials. Motivated by the substantial and growing interest in magnetoactive materials, his research focuses specifically on using magnetoactive materials to design adaptive energy absorption systems and magnetoactive soft robotic actuation systems.

Read more about the
Concordia University Research Chair program.



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