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NSERC’s Deputy Director for the Prairies Regional Office visits CUE

Posted on: Feb 20, 2020

Concordia University of Edmonton was thrilled to host Irene Mikawoz, Deputy Director of the NSERC Prairies Regional Office on Tuesday, February 18, on a tour of our campus and to discuss upcoming research- and innovation-related events.

Today was a great opportunity to speak directly with Ms. Mikawoz about the latest developments in terms of our NSERC-related activities, and to show her around the new labs and other research facilities at CUE,” explained Valerie Henitiuk, Vice-President Academic and Provost. “As a smaller scale institution, we offer niche science programming, as well as the hands-on experience and early involvement in research that ensures our students are well prepared for careers as well as future study. As we move forward with new NSERC funding, such as CUE’s first Discovery Grant currently held by Dr. Ha Tran, everyone benefits.”

This was CUE’s first official visit by NSERC officials from the Prairies Office. During her visit, the Deputy Director was shown the research facilities in the Allan Wachowich Centre for Science, Research, & Innovation. The tour included the Biology Lab, where undergraduate student Donovan Makus described his current research activities, demonstrating the significant contribution and value of undergraduate students to research programs due to their unique creativity and drive.

At the BMO-CIAR, Ms. Mikawoz learned about the continuous effort to develop partnerships with industry and community, and the spaces we have available for such collaborations. She was provided with a glimpse of the upcoming artificial intelligence lab that houses computers with advanced graphic processing units that will be used for machine learning based computer vision projects.

She also took part in a demonstration of the HoloLens system with CUE’s Public Health director Cecilia Bukutu and student Khartik Tamarapalli. The technology being developed by CUE will enhance the training of public health inspectors in the province, providing significant value to regulators and to those in the service industry, such as hotels, restaurants and daycares, to name just a few.

Finally, Ms. Mikawoz participated in a discussion on the Research Data Management policy from the Tri-Agency, in preparation for an upcoming event being organized by Colin Neufeldt, Ramses Ilarraza and Dan Mirau (Library Director). More information on this event will be released within a few weeks.

It was a pleasure to meet Ms. Mikawoz. Concordia is growing rapidly as an academic research institution with the state-of-the-art infrastructure in Allan Wachowich Centre, excellent research-oriented faculty members and strong regional, national and international partners. Support and guidance from NSERC is and will continue to be vital for this growth,” said Manfred Zeuch.

Ms. Mikawoz met with Valerie Henitiuk (Vice-President Academic and Provost), Manfred Zeuch (Vice-President of External Affairs and International Relations), Ramses Ilarraza (Assistant Vice-President of Research), Patrick Kamau (Dean of Science), Isha Katyal (Manager of the BMO-Centre for Innovation and Applied Research, BMO-CIAR), Cecilia Bukutu (Director, Public Health). Colin Neufeldt (Professor, Faculty of Arts) and Karthik Tamarapalli (Graduate Student, MISSM/MISAM). Our president, Tim Loreman, also dropped in briefly to meet Ms. Mikawoz at the BMO-CIAR.