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Four Ryerson professors receive Early Researcher Awards

October 11, 2019

Ryerson researchers Idil Atak, Elsayed Elbeshbishy (above l-r), Shelagh McCartney and Sharareh Taghipour (below l-r) have received Early Researcher Awards.

Four Ryerson professors have secured new research funding through the highly prestigious Early Researcher Awards (ERA) program, allowing them to push forward with innovations addressing critical issues such as sustainable energy and First Nations housing.

The successful Ryerson applicants to the Ontario-wide initiative are professors Idil Atak (Criminology), Elsayed Elbeshbishy (Civil Engineering), Shelagh McCartney (Urban and Regional Planning) and Sharareh Taghipour (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering).

“Congratulations to these four researchers on their awards,” said Steven N. Liss, vice-president, research and innovation at Ryerson. “Receiving an ERA is a testament to their own outstanding work, potential to be leaders in their field and to Ryerson’s university-wide support of research excellence. The research programs supported by the ERA have the potential to have positive societal impacts for the province, country and the world.”

Run by the provincial government’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, the ERA program gives support to new researchers at publicly funded Ontario research institutions. The money enables academics to pursue innovative projects and to build research teams, including the hiring of students to help conduct the studies.

Professor Atak will investigate the impact that border security measures have on the human rights of migrants who enter a country without legal permission. The study will examine changes that have been made to two policies — immigration detention and border controls — in Europe and Canada, and monitor their consequences.

Professor Elbeshbishy will continue his research into the ways that waste created by towns and cities can be a source of sustainable energy. The study will develop new treatments that can be applied to waste in order to increase the amount of natural gas that can be extracted. Professor Elbeshbishy will also create a software model to estimate biogas production from various wastes.

Professor McCartney is working with First Nations partners to develop strategies and community-created policies that can address the housing and homelessness crisis in Northern Ontario First Nations communities. The project will build on professor McCartney’s field-leading work and document alternatives to the policies and programs currently dictating on-reserve housing.

Professor Taghipour will help Ontario manufacturers transition into the “fourth industrial revolution” by developing maintenance scheduling tools for emerging technologies like autonomous robotics and artificial intelligence. These new tools will allow for increased efficiencies and less downtown by predicting when systems will fail and automatically providing solutions.

Read more about the Early Researcher Awards (ERA) program, external link.