Governor General Celebrates Canada’s Top Researchers


WEBWIRE – Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ottawa – Canada’s top researchers in the natural sciences and engineering will be honoured today at a ceremony hosted by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Eight prestigious prizes, including the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, will be awarded to deserving recipients.

“Investing in science and technology has a direct impact on Canadians,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “The achievements of the top researchers honoured today, and the successful partnerships they have forged with the business community, demonstrate how our investments in research create high-value jobs and help build a stronger, more prosperous country.”

The Herzberg Gold Medal, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) highest honour, recognizes the sustained excellence and influence of a researcher whose body of work has substantially advanced the fields of the natural sciences or engineering. Stephen A. Cook was awarded $1 million in discovery research funding over the next five years. A renowned mathematician and computer scientist from the University of Toronto, Dr. Cook has made fundamental contributions to computational theory, algorithm design, programming languages and mathematical logic. His research is now among the essential theoretical results in computer science.

“Canadian researchers are making stellar contributions in their fields and are highly respected around the world,” said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. “Today we celebrate this talent, from students just embarking on their careers to seasoned researchers making internationally recognized discoveries. We are extremely proud of the talent fostered by NSERC.”

NSERC awarded a new prize today—the NSERC Gilles Brassard Doctoral Prize for Interdisciplinary Research. This award, presented to Melanie Mastronardi of the University of Toronto, honours an outstanding doctoral student whose work exemplifies interdisciplinary research. The prize was established by Gilles Brassard, winner of the 2009 Herzberg Gold Medal.

Also being announced today are prizes for top graduate students, outstanding university–industry partnerships, interdisciplinary research, groundbreaking discoveries, and excellence in multidisciplinary research. Research areas include mathematics and computational theory; environmentally friendly materials; solar energy transfer; genetic studies, drug testing and cancer research; technologies for wireless communications; transformative materials and design for medical devices; process enhancements for the forest industry; software and mathematical models for machining parts; and agricultural biodiversity best practices.

A comprehensive list of NSERC’s prizes, winners and their research can be found on NSERC’s Web site.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.



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