summit award® recipients

The Alberta Ingenuity Fund
Research Excellence Award


r. Warren H. Finlay, P.Eng.


Dr. Warren H. Finlay, P.Eng., received his PhD from Stanford University in 1987 and an M.Sc. (1984) and B.Sc. (1983) from the University of Alberta. He is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta, where he has been since 1987 and where he currently holds the title of Killam Annual Professor. He has excelled in his research career with more than 80 highly respected scientific papers in refereed journals. The majority of these papers are dedicated to technology advancements in inhaled aerosols and drug delivery to the lungs.  Dr. Finlay’s papers are heavily cited by his peers, a strong testament to their relevance.  His contributions have helped advance this modern form of drug delivery, which promises to increase life quality and life expectancy for millions of people.

Dr. Finlay’s reputation has already earned him an international award from the governing body in his field (the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine) as well as many research contracts with the pharmaceutical industry. His scholarly contributions were solidified by the publication of his authoritative book, The Mechanics of Inhaled Pharmaceutical Aerosols: An Introduction, which has received high praise from both the scientific community and industry.

He has also successfully realized the practical applications of the scientific advancements brought about in his research. His work was instrumental in the development of a delivery system for a cystic fibrosis medication that is in advanced clinical trials and being commercialized by a Canadian company. Companies around the world have adopted his work in their development of new inhalers, and his research has opened the door to person-specific, tailored aerosol drug delivery.

Dr. Finlay's lab, the Aerosol Research Laboratory of Alberta, has used its methods to aid more than 20 companies around the world in the development of aerosol drug delivery systems, including Alkermes, Sanofi-Aventis, Boehringer, and GlaxoSmithKline, among many others.  In addition, Dr. Finlay has been one of the most productive researchers at the University of Alberta in terms of translation of research work into practical inventions.  TEC Edmonton, the University of Alberta service responsible for promoting and commercializing university-generated technologies, reports 18 invention disclosures submitted by Dr. Finlay. There are active patents on seven of these technologies, as well as commercialization agreements with the companies Respironics (U.S.), PARI (Germany), Mediscovery (U.S.) and LAB (Canada).

Honours, Awards and Distinctions

  • Killam Annual Professorship, University of Alberta (2005-present)

  • 1st Prize, Association of Health Technologies Industry 7th Innovation Research Contest (2004)

  • Young Investigator Award, International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (2001)

  • McCalla Award, Faculty of Engineering, U of A (1995-1996)

  • Invited plenary speaker at 13 international conferences including

    • International Society for Aerosols in Medicine Biannual Congress

    • Respiratory Drug Delivery Biannual Conference

    • Drug Delivery to the Lungs

    • Dry Powder Inhalers

    • Nasal and Pulmonary Drug Delivery

Professional Affiliations and Activities

    • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Aerosol, Science & Technology (2005-present)

    • Member, Editorial Advisory Panel, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery (2004-present)

    • Member, APEGGA (1988-present)