Terri-Jane Yuzda

APEGGA Stars Shine at ASTechs

U of A Graduate Student Wins Leaders of Tomorrow Award

A Career Lifts Off
Tim Poon, E.I.T. is this year's ASTech Leaders of Tomorrow winner.

Names of APEGGA members and permit holders are found throughout the list of honourees in the 2003 ASTech Awards, presented Nov. 7 during a black-tie gala in Calgary. More than 1,000 representatives of government, academia, industry and business were on hand to acknowledge winners and recipients in 13 award and prize categories.

An engineering grad student and a professor in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Alberta won two major ASTechs at the event, now in its 14th year. And two large Calgary permit-holders also shone for their science and technology success stories.

“ASTech’s theme, Innovations for Living Well, was demonstrated admirably by this year’s field of finalists and prize recipients,” said ASTech Foundation Chair Carmen Forster. “Indeed, Albertans are making a significant contribution to an improved quality of life for people, both here and around the world.”

U of A’s Tim Poon, E.I.T., received the 2003 Leaders of Tomorrow Award and Dr. Michael Brett, P.Eng., received the 2003 Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Technology Award. The university was also cited for its outreach work, with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Outreach Program receiving the Excellence in Science and Technology Public Awareness Prize.

Mr. Poon, 24, is performing research in wireless communications theory, in the Informatics Circle of Research Excellence Wireless Communications Laboratory. This is one of the world’s top research groups in his area of study.

He attended the 2003 International Space University Summer Session Program, sponsored by the European Space Agency, and was one of 10 students from across Canada selected for full funding.

Currently working on his master of science degree, Mr. Poon received the Peter Lougheed Leadership Award in 1999 – the top U of A leadership award for students in all faculties – and in 2001 was recognized with another leadership award, this one from his peers in the Engineering Students’ Society. His high-tech contributions in Alberta, in fact, go back to when he was just 17.

The ASTechs honoured Dr. Brett of the University of Alberta for technological sophistication, commercial impact, the applicability of his research to a variety of industry sectors, international peer recognition, and overall contributions to Alberta technology. His research is in the area of thin film processes for microelectronics and nanotechnology.

Dr. Brett’s work has led to five issued patents and two major commercial spin-offs. He holds the Micralyne/Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Senior Industrial Research Chair, and is an iCORE professor in the nanotechnology frontier. A past holder of the Killam Annual Professorship and a McCalla Research Professorship, Dr. Brett was awarded the 2002 Canada Research Chair in Nanoengineered Thin Films.

Permit holder NOVA Chemicals Corporation of Calgary received the Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology Award, to corporations with gross sales of $25 million or more. Aggressive investment in developing and commercializing technology for producing polyethylene earned NOVA the award.

A project with the major involvement of Shell Canada Ltd. won the Syncrude/ASTech Innovation in Oilsands Research Prize. The ASTechs honoured Shell and CANMET Energy Technology Centre for their work with the Paraffinic Froth Treatment Technology Commercialization Team.

The treatment uses a paraffinic solvent to produce a bitumen product that’s essentially free of solids and water, and has been partially upgraded through selective deasphalting. The prize recognizes the continued development and application of the process at Albian Sands Energy’s new 155,000-barrel-per-day plant. The process was discovered and patented by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Dr. Robert Tipman, P.Eng., of Shell Canada Ltd., is a senior process consultant on the team.

The Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation has helped gain national and international attention for Alberta’s science and technology community, through the ASTech Awards. It was founded in 1989.


Visit www.astech.ab.ca
for complete list
of recipients


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