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NSERC Discovery Grants awarded to 52 Ryerson researchers

June 26, 2020

Fifty-two Ryerson University researchers have secured Discovery Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Their projects will investigate topics such as tornado dynamics, robot perception, bacteria structure, human memory, inclusive technology and the composition of soot.

In total, the researchers will receive $9,270,000 over the next five years to fund their work. Fifteen of the successful applicants are early career researchers.

“Congratulations to all the members of our scholarly, research and creative community who have secured these valuable NSERC Discovery Grants, which will enable the recipients to explore exciting new avenues of study with applications in the real world,” said Steven N. Liss, vice-president, research and innovation at Ryerson.

“These diverse projects exemplify the wide variety of leading-edge science and engineering research being undertaken at Ryerson, and highlight the creativity and vision of both our early career researchers and senior faculty members. The investments in the Discovery Grant program are vital to the training of the next generation of researchers and innovators, and the experiences that will be essential to Canada’s future.”

The researchers were awarded the grants as part of a national NSERC investment, external link of close to $500 million in science and engineering.

List of 2020 NSERC Discovery Grant recipients from Ryerson University


Faculty of Arts

  • Karl Szpunar: Toward an understanding of why retrieval practice supports the construction of integrated memory representations
  • Lixia Yang: Boundary Conditions for Age-related Associative Deficit: Behavioural Moderators and Neural Mechanisms


Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

  • Javad Alirezaie: Sparse Coding and Auto-encoders for Advanced and Robust Processing of Biomedical Images 
  • Marco Antoniades: Adaptive electromagnetic metamaterial structures for emerging applications
  • Mohammadreza Arani: Resilient Smart Distribution System Control and Protection
  • Jun Cao: An adaptive hybrid computational framework for study of tornado dynamics
  • Ramdhane Dhib: Kinetics Study and Modeling of ATRP Emulsion Polymerization Systems
  • Said Easa: Advancing Road Safety and Geometric Design for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles
  • Faezeh Ensan: Semantics-driven Information Retrieval
  • Bilal Farooq: Towards Social Intelligence in Smart Mobility Systems: Technologies, Methods, and Applications
  • Ling Guan: SCK - Sparse Coding Based Key-point Detectors for Knowledge Discovery
  • Ahmet Karataş: Understanding Combustion-Generated Soot and Its Morphology
  • Naimul Khan: Multimodal, Interpretable, and Interactive Machine Learning for Multimedia
  • Sri Krishnan: Biomedical Signal Sensing and Analysis
  • Jinyuan Liu: Data-Driven Reliability-Based Design Methods for Piles in Glacial Deposits
  • David Naylor: Fundamental Experimental and Numerical Convective Heat Transfer Research
  • Comondore (Ravi) Ravindran: Phenomenological Studies of Light Alloys for Enhanced Efficiency, Performance and Strength of Automotive Powertrain Components for Next Generation Vehicles
  • Sajad Saeedi: Next Generation Robot Perception Systems
  • Ziad Saghir: Optimizing Heat Transfer with Nanotechnology
  • Ahmed Shaker: Advanced techniques for hyperspectral/LiDAR sensor data integration
  • Sharareh Taghipour: Decentralized Data Analytics and Optimization Methods for Physical Asset Management
  • Ali Tavallaei: Systems and Devices for Minimally Invasive Image Guided Surgery
  • Karthi Umapathy: Adaptive Data Processing, Modeling, and Quantification Methods for Analyzing Cardiac Fibrillation
  • Simant Upreti: Advanced Optimal Control Methods for Non-Linear and Distributed-Parameter Processes
  • Fengfeng (Jeff) Xi: Paneled Morphing Skins for a Full Shape Adaptive System
  • Victor Yang: Targeted robotic and Optical Coherence Tomography mediated laser ablation for biomedical and machining application
  • Nariman Yousefi: Smart Porous 3D Macrostructures of Graphene Oxide for Selective Removal and Transformation of Contaminants from Water
  • Fei Yuan: Development of Energy-Efficient High-Resolution Analog-to-Digital Data Converters for Power-Constrained Applications
  • Xiao-Ping (Steven) Zhang: Statistical Signal Processing and Learning on Networks and Graphs
  • Lian Zhao: Service Provisioning and Resource Management for Next-Generation Heterogeneous Wireless Networks


Faculty of Science

  • Marc Adler: Practical and Powerful Synthetic Organic Methods Using Silanes
  • Colleen Bailey: Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging techniques for microscopic tissue characterization
  • Anthony Bonato: Graph searching and modelling complex networks
  • Roberto Botelho: Regulation and Function of Phosphoinositide Lipid Signals
  • Sean Cornelius: Harnessing Network Dynamics for “Smart” Infrastructure and Urban Resilience
  • Eric De Giuli: Extreme tuning in complex systems
  • Chen (Cherie) Ding: Cloud-based Personal Information Harvesting and Recommendation Service
  • Nariman Farsad: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Future Generation Communication Networks
  • Jeffrey Fillingham: Functional Analysis of Transcription in a Protist Model
  • Silvana Ilie: Numerical Methods with Applications to Biochemical Networks
  • Raffi Karshafian: Interaction of ultrasound cavitation with membranes: Theoretical modelling and experimental characterization
  • Janet Koprivnikar: Diet and foraging-related aspects of host-parasite dynamics in freshwater systems
  • Steven N. Liss: Properties and Dynamics of Flocculated, Granular and Fixed Film Microbial Structures in Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Dustin Little: Molecular mechanisms of bacterial tyrosine phosphorylation
  • Jelena Mišić: New research directions for blockchain networks
  • Vojislav Mišić: Networking, consensus, and security of blockchain applications
  • Sadaf Mustafiz: Modelling and Simulation Based Engineering for IoT
  • Michael Olson: Actin cytoskeleton: Regulation through protein interactions and epigenetic re-programming
  • Guerino Sacripante: Novel Polymers Derived from Sustainable Building Block Monomers
  • Mikhail Soutchanski: Principled Reasoning about Dynamical Systems
  • Wei Xu: Developing a Model-free Data-driven Framework for Problems in Finance


Ted Rogers School of Management

  • Deborah Fels: Inclusive technology and design


Learn more about NSERC’s 2020 Discovery Grants program, external link.