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Date: November 12, 2004

UVic Awarded Six New Research Chairs

Six outstanding scholars in the fields of engineering, oceanography, chemistry, mathematics and physical education are UVic’s newest Canada Research Chairs.

The Canada Research Chairs program seeks to increase Canada’s research capacity by attracting and retaining the best researchers. The new UVic chairs are among 194 such positions awarded to universities across Canada—for a total investment of $194 million—that were announced today in Vancouver by Prime Minister Paul Martin.

“We’re proud that the funding announced today will support research by Canada’s leading scholarly and scientific minds,” says Martin. “The work of these chairs will have a direct impact on the lives of Canadians and help position Canada as a world leader in the 21st-century economy.”

Canada Research Chairs come in two tiers. Tier-one recipients are considered the “stars of today” and are provided with $200,000 annually for seven years, renewable indefinitely. Tier-two recipients are considered the “stars of tomorrow” and receive $100,000 in research funding annually for five years, renewable once.

UVic’s new tier-one recipients are:

Dr. Randy Giles, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Network Architectures and Support Technologies, designs and tests new optical and photonic communication networks for applications in civil, industrial and governmental environments. He’s currently director of advanced photonics research at Lucent Technologies in New Jersey. He’ll join UVic’s department of electrical and computer engineering on Jan. 1.

Dr. Eric Kunze, Canada Research Chair in Seagoing Physical Oceanography, studies how internal waves cause turbulent mixing in the ocean, which is critical to understanding the uptake of greenhouse gases, ocean circulation, and how nutrients and contaminants are dispersed. Kunze joined UVic’s school of earth and ocean sciences and department of physics and astronomy this September.

The new tier-two recipients are:

Dr. Natia Frank, Canada Research Chair in Multifunctional Materials Design, explores new classes of compounds for use in the next generation of molecular-scale electronics. Frank is currently a faculty member at the University of Washington. She’ll join UVic’s chemistry department on Jan. 1

Dr. Christo Papadopoulos, Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology, develops novel ways of synthesizing a wide range of advanced nanoscale materials and devices. Nanotechnology is a branch of engineering that uses individual atoms or molecules as the components of minute machines. Papadopoulos is an assistant professor in UVic’s department of electrical and computer engineering.

Dr. Anthony Quas, Canada Research Chair in Measurable Dynamics and Ergodic Theory, applies the probability techniques to the study of election voting systems and to ergodic theory, which makes predictions about the average long-term behaviour of chaotic dynamic systems such as the weather and electronic circuits. Quas is currently a faculty member at the University of Memphis. He’ll join UVic’s department of mathematics and statistics on Jan. 1.

Dr. Joan Wharf Higgins, Canada Research Chair in Health and Society. studies how citizens view healthy lifestyles and how social and economic circumstances influence a person’s everyday behaviour and activities. Wharf Higgins is a professor in UVic’s department of physical education,

UVic now has 26 Canada Research Chairs and will be awarded another nine by the end of 2005. For more information on UVic’s other chairholders visit www.chairs.gc.ca/web/chairholders/index_e.asp.

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Media contacts:
Valerie Shore (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7641 or vshore@uvic.ca

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