Celebrating Research Excellence at Lakehead University: Thunder Bay’s Beacon of Innovation

Lakehead University honors exceptional achievements in research and innovation in Thunder Bay, shining a spotlight on academic excellence
Lakehead University honors exceptional achievements in research and innovation in Thunder Bay, shining a spotlight on academic excellence

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Lakehead University in Thunder Bay once again highlighted the incredible talents within its halls at the prestigious annual Research and Innovation Awards of Excellence last Thursday, underscoring the institution’s pivotal role in fostering research excellence and innovation. Dr. Andrew P. Dean, the Vice-President of Research and Innovation, led the celebration, emphasizing the global and local impact of Lakehead’s research community.

This year’s ceremony was marked by the recognition of two eminent professors, Dr. Pauline Sameshima and Dr. Andrew J. Dean, who were honoured with the 2024 Distinguished Researcher Award, reflecting their outstanding contributions to their fields and the broader community.

Dr. Pauline Sameshima: A Beacon of Innovative Learning Dr. Sameshima, lauded for her innovative approaches to education and community collaboration, brings a unique blend of artistry and academia to her role in the Faculty of Education. Her recognition speaks volumes about her ability to transcend traditional learning boundaries, creating impactful university-community partnerships. Her illustrious career is adorned with accolades, yet she remains grounded, viewing her achievements as collective victories for her team and a source of joy akin to a “high five” of gratitude and celebration.

Dr. Andrew J. Dean: Shaping the Future Through Mathematics Dr. Dean’s journey from a Lakehead undergraduate to a celebrated professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences highlights the transformative power of dedication and scholarly pursuit. Specializing in the intricate world of C*-algebras, his work has significant implications for quantum mechanics and beyond. Dr. Dean’s passion extends to nurturing his students’ potential, preparing them to excel in diverse fields by instilling robust problem-solving skills and a deep appreciation for research.

A Spectrum of Excellence: Award Recipients Across Disciplines The awards spanned various categories, recognizing achievements in natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, and social sciences, among others. Noteworthy winners included Dr. Jian Deng for his innovative work in civil engineering, Dr. Charles Levkoe in the realm of health sciences, and the collaborative efforts of Dr. Pedram Fatehi and Dr. Stephen Kinrade in chemical engineering research.

The ceremony also celebrated the future of research with awards for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, showcasing the depth and breadth of talent within Lakehead University’s academic community.

A Reflection of Lakehead’s Commitment to Impactful Research The Research and Innovation Awards of Excellence not only spotlight individual achievements but also reflect Lakehead University’s steadfast commitment to advancing knowledge, fostering community engagement, and nurturing the next generation of innovators and leaders. As Thunder Bay continues to thrive as a hub of academic excellence, the contributions of Lakehead’s researchers and students promise a brighter future, filled with innovation and impactful discoveries.

A full list of the awards and recipients follows:

Distinguished Researcher Award

Dr. Andrew J. Dean, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Faculty of Education

Research Excellence Awards

NSERC Category

Dr. Jian Deng, Department of Civil Engineering

SSHRC Category

Dr. Charles Levkoe, Department of Health Sciences

Research Support Award

Mannila Sandhu, Quantitative Research Assistant, EPID @Work Institute

Building Research Capacity Award

Dr. Pedram Fatehi, Department of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Stephen Kinrade, Department of Chemistry, for their project, “NMR for advanced research.”

Indigenous Partnership Research Award

Dr. Jian Deng, Department of Civil Engineering, and Marcus Hardy, Chief of Red Rock Indian Band, for their project, “Nipigon River landslides: monitoring, mechanisms, and mitigation.”

 Community Engaged Research Award

Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, Faculty of Education, Dr. Gerardo Reyes, departments of Sustainability Sciences and Biology, and Katherine Killam from Camphill Communities Ontario

Innovation Award

Dr. Deborah Scharf and Dr. Amanda Maranzan from the Department of Psychology

Three-Minute Thesis

First Place: Madeline Fabiano, MSc Kinesiology (Supervisor: E. Pearson)

Second Place: KarLee Lefebvre, MSc Kinesiology (Supervisor: N. Ravanelli)

GRADflix Award

Tristen Brown, PhD Civil Engineering (Supervisor: A. Elshaer) 

Graduate Studies Research Excellence Awards

Natural Sciences and Engineering Category

Sana Sharif, PhD Electrical and Computer Engineering (Supervisor: W. Ejaz)

Social Sciences and Humanities Category

Casey Oliver, PhD Clinical Psychology (Supervisor: D. Mazmanian)

Graduate Student Conference Poster Winners

Winner Engineering Category

Eduardo Reis, PhD Software Engineering (Supervisor: T. Akilan)

Winner NSERC Category

Nicholas Bel, PhD Biotechnology (Supervisor: N. Khaper)

Winner SSHRC Category

Crystal Hardy, PhD Health Sciences (Supervisor: R. Schiff and C. Mushquash)

Winner CIHR Category

Chiao-En Joanne Kao, PhD Clinical Psychology (Supervisor: R. Schiff) 

Post-Doctoral Fellow Excellence Award

Dr. Yurii Shepelytskyi (Supervisor: M. Albert)

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