Craigdarroch Research Awards 2012

- Valerie Shore

Passion, enthusiasm, a commitment to making a difference in our lives—these are the qualities that are shared by all winners of the Craigdarroch Research Awards, and this year’s “class” is no exception. The 2012 Craigdarroch Research Awards, which honour achievement in research at UVic, were presented at a celebration event on May 1.

“The number and eminence of the nominations this year speak volumes about the extraordinary investigative and creative activity taking place each day in every corner of our campus,” says Dr. Howard Brunt, UVic’s vice-president research. “These six individuals exemplify UVic’s commitment to excellence and the open transfer of knowledge to the wider community.”

Gold Medal for Career Achievement (two recipients)

Prof. Lorna Crozier

Department of Writing

Poet, essayist, teacher and mentor—Lorna Crozier is without doubt one of UVic’s most publicly celebrated faculty members. Winner of the 1992 Governor-General’s Award for Poetry for Inventing the Hawk, she continues to captivate readers across Canada and around the world with her poetry and creative non-fiction. The arresting, lyrical honesty for which she is best known infuses her 15 books of poetry and her award-winning 2009 memoir, Small Beneath the Sky. In 2009 she was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada—the country’s highest academic honour.

Dr. Don VandenBerg, Professor Emeritus

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Just as we can guess the age of someone from their appearance, Don VandenBerg can determine the age of stars and stellar systems. He is internationally acclaimed as a pioneer in his field for using computer models to understand the structure and evolution of stars, and for developing tools and techniques now used routinely by stellar astronomers around the world. He is also one of the world’s most “highly cited researchers”—a clear indication of the lasting impact he continues to have on his field.

Silver Medal for Excellence in Research

Dr. Andre Kushniruk

School of Health Information Science

The challenges of introducing computer and telecommunications technology to the health care sector are many and complex. Andre Kushniruk is an emerging international leader in the field of health informatics, which studies how health data are collected, stored and communicated. He is renowned for his work on computer usability in the health care context and is an expert on such topics as e-health telemedicine and computerized patient record systems. Through his research and teaching, Kushniruk continually strives to develop user-friendly systems for medical practitioners and their patients.

Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization

Dr. E. Paul Zehr

School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education/Director, Centre for Biomedical Research

Whether he’s talking about the physical limits and potential of the human organism or sharing his knowledge of neurobiology with students and the public, Paul Zehr demonstrates a remarkable talent for communicating science at a general level. He is an accomplished neuroscientist but is equally well known for his tireless efforts to engage general audiences in the wonders of scientific research. Both passions inspired his two popular books—Becoming Batman and Inventing Iron Man—which use superheroes to explore the outer limits of our scientific and technological abilities.

Award for Excellence in Artistic Expression

Dr. George Tzanetakis

Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering

Automated understanding of multimedia content is one of the major challenges facing computer systems today, especially with the proliferation of digital music on the internet. George Tzanetakis blends computer science and the creative arts to advance a new interdisciplinary area of research—music information retrieval. The work draws on his broad expertise in signal processing, machine learning, music perception and human-computer interfaces to develop more effective tools for manipulating large audio collections and improve musician-computer interactions.

Award for Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. John Lutz

Department of History

John Lutz has few equals in popularizing the history of the Pacific Northwest. In the words of one nominator, he “throws the doors of academe wide open and invites everyone—students, amateur historians and the general public—to walk in.” Through an innovative weave of traditional historical research, community-based fieldwork and popular interactive websites, Lutz sheds new light on settler-Aboriginal relations in the Pacific Northwest and makes Canadian history fun, accessible and exciting for students and the general public.

Meet the 2012 Craigdarroch winners on video


In this story

Keywords: research, award

People: Howard Brunt, Lorna Crozier, Don VandenBerg, Andre Kushniruk, E. Paul Zehr, George Tzanetakis, John Lutz

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