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Two engineering professors named Canada Research Chairs

Seth Dworkin and Dae Kun Hwang receive funding to advance their research
November 03, 2017
From left: Seth Dworkin and Dae Kun Hwang

Photo: Seth Dworkin, mechanical engineering (left), and Dae Kun Hwang, chemical engineering, named Canada Research Chairs.

Engineering professors Seth Dworkin and Dae Kun Hwang are Ryerson’s newest Canada Research Chairs.

The Canada Research Chair program invests in post-secondary institutions to retain and attract some of the brightest and most innovative minds to academia in Canada. The new chairholders are at the Tier 2 level, designated specifically for emerging researchers who are showing leadership potential in their fields.

“We are thrilled to announce two new chairholders for Ryerson, a testament to the strength in research in our Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, and a tribute to the outstanding talent at the university,” said Professor Steven Liss, vice-president, research and innovation. “external,Our researchers are tackling important issues and the Canada Research Chair program further strengthens their research and creates opportunities for our research students.”

The university will receive funding over five years for each of the new chairholders dedicated to their research programs and to support graduate and post-graduate research in their respective fields.

Seth Dworkin, professor of mechanical engineering, has been named Chair in High Performance Computing and Sustainable Energy. His work focuses on improving emissions profiles for aircraft engines, as well as geothermal heating and cooling systems. Using computer models, Dworkin’s work looks at ways to improve performance of these systems and to develop models that are adaptable to industry use.

“Climate change and air quality are the motivators behind this work,” said Dworkin. As a chairholder, he and his team will better be able to tackle “big picture problems,” as the research program progresses over five years.

Dae Kun Hwang, professor of chemical engineering, has been named chair in Microarchitecture for Advanced Polymeric Materials. In his work, Hwang is creating “novel polymer-based platforms” using microparticles with 3D shapes, membranes with 3D pores, and surfaces with wrinkled 3D microstructures. His research aims to create solutions with biomedical applications such as less invasive microneedles for therapeutic drug delivery, low-cost detection of circulating tumor cells and better understanding of cellular responses to 3D environments.

The two new chairs are both part of Ryerson’s Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. Dean of the faculty, Tom Duever, said the new chairholders serve to enhance Ryerson’s reputation in engineering and will help attract bright young minds.

“The Canada Research Chair Program brings prestige and recognition to Ryerson,” he said. “These appointments will serve to not only advance research in areas of global importance such as sustainable energy and fundamental understanding of our world through cell growth patterns, but will also help us attract the best graduate and post-graduate students in those fields to build on our strengths.