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Four University of Waterloo Engineering Professors Named Canada Research Chairs

WATERLOO, ON--(Marketwired - March 28, 2014) - Critical research into health care operations, medical imaging systems, micro-nano devices for cancer detection and smart energy distribution received a boost with four University of Waterloo engineering professors receiving new and renewed appointments as Canada Research Chairs today.

The appointments add more than $2 million in funding to the University.

"This research will ultimately improve quality-of-life for millions of Canadians through the early detection of disease, less invasive treatment, more efficient health care operations and sustainable energy delivery," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "We have built uncompromising standards of excellence in research at this university and these appointments underline our leadership in addressing global challenges." 

As Canadians are challenged by long hospital wait times, Professor Hossein Abouee Mehrizi of the Department of Management Sciences will focus on developing systems to more efficiently admit higher acuity patients; developing, validating, and analyzing a dynamic prioritization mechanism as well as informed discharge planning guidelines for hospitals. Professor Mehrizi was named the new Canada Research Chair in Health-Care Operations Management.

Instrumental in the development of a new Biomedical Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo, Professor Alexander Wong in Department of Systems Design Engineering holds the new Canada Research Chair in Medical Imaging Systems. He will develop medical imaging systems that will improve the understanding and early diagnosis of cancer, making it easier to use minimally invasive therapies for treatment and improving recovery times and reducing discomfort for patients.

Professor John Yeow, as Canada Research Chair in Micro and Nanodevices, is developing miniature devices and highly selective sensors that will help create new medical instruments for diagnosing and treating disease, including a miniaturized catheter device for in vivo, or internal, body imaging. The device allows physicians to examine small and previously unseen human cavities, and assist in the early detection of cancer.

Yeow is also developing miniature radiation instruments and sensors for cancer treatment that will allow for a more focused, less invasive delivery of radiation treatment, as well as real-time measurement of the delivered dose during radiation therapy. 

Professor Ehab El-Saadany of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will renew his term as Canada Research Chair in Smart Energy Distribution Systems. He is examining how to integrate decentralized power generation sources into the central electricity system to develop both knowledge and cost-effective measures needed for electric utilities to increase their use of clean-power generating technologies.

"The appointment of four Canada Research Chairs in Engineering is an endorsement of our research excellence in this very competitive national program. The targeted research areas reflect our commitment to advancing technologies that will improve the human condition," said Pearl Sullivan, dean of engineering. "These are areas of critical importance to future societies and I applaud the professors for their hard work and significant accomplishments."

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced the latest round of Canada Research Chair recipients at the University of Alberta. "Our government is committed to supporting top researchers across all disciplines through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs Program," he said. "More than 1,700 chairholders are pushing the frontiers of knowledge in universities and colleges throughout Canada, driving jobs, growth and economic prosperity for Canadians."

The Canada Research Chairs program was established by the Government of Canada in 2000 to build Canada's research and development capacity. The program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit

Attention broadcasters: Waterloo has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds with a double-ender studio. Please contact us to book.

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