MECH faculty receive reach awards

Excellence in Undergraduate Research-Inspired Teaching


Stephanie Willerth, Mechanical Engineering

As a world-class researcher in the field of tissue engineering, Stephanie Willerth’s classroom is rich with undergraduate student opportunities for creative production and inquiry-based learning. Linking classroom learning to real-life applications, she seamlessly incorporates wet lab experiences, in-depth projects with in-progress feedback and innovative technologies such as 3D printing to promote student learning. Undergraduates describe her scholarship and guidance as inspirational, including them with graduate students on vibrant research teams and giving them access to a state-of-the-art lab. Students thrive—completing independent research, presenting at conferences and publishing in scholarly journals—with more than 30 undergraduates published as co-authors and countless others engaged in knowledge translation and dissemination activities.

Excellence in research awards

David H. Turpin Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research


Ned (Nedjib) Djilali, Mechanical Engineering

Imagine a time when we can heat and light our homes, drive our cars and power our many devices and appliances without such heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Ned Djilali can. That’s what’s driven his remarkable 25-year career in sustainable energy research—in particular the flow of fluids, gases, heat and charges in a variety of systems and devices. Along the way, he’s charted new paths in international fuel cell science and renewable energy systems, partnered with clean energy technology companies and organizations around the world, become one of the world’s most highly cited research engineers, and inspired the next generation of sustainable energy researchers in Canada and beyond.

Excellence in Research Partnerships

Four people standing
(L-R) Lardière, Bradley, Venn, Andersen

Colin Bradley, Mechanical Engineering; David Andersen, NRC Herzberg; Olivier Lardière, NRC Herzberg; Kim Venn, Physics and Astronomy

Taking the twinkle out of the stars may seem like a very unpoetic thing to do, but that’s the technology at the heart of an astronomy and engineering collaboration known as RAVEN. The project, led by UVic in partnership with NRC Herzberg, has developed advanced adaptive optics instrumentation—in effect, eyeglasses for large telescopes—that allows astronomers to peer further and more clearly into space, at multiple objects simultaneously, through the Earth’s blurry atmosphere. The RAVEN partnership successfully ended in 2017. But it will transform international astronomy research for decades to come as its technology is incorporated into the next generation of ground-based optical telescopes around the world.