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UOIT students showcase their big research ideas

Students propose today’s solutions to tomorrow’s challenges

2016 Student Research Showcase award winners (from left): Jacob Morra (Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science); Cameron Wright (Faculty of Health Sciences); Maria Victoria Navy (Faculty of Social Science and Humanities); Sara Kyriakopoulos (Faculty of Education); Devarsh Pandya (Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science); Sierra Dargan (Faculty of Science); Ralph Laite (Faculty of Business and Information Technology); Michael Owen, Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International.
2016 Student Research Showcase award winners (from left): Jacob Morra (Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science); Cameron Wright (Faculty of Health Sciences); Maria Victoria Navy (Faculty of Social Science and Humanities); Sara Kyriakopoulos (Faculty of Education); Devarsh Pandya (Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science); Sierra Dargan (Faculty of Science); Ralph Laite (Faculty of Business and Information Technology); Michael Owen, Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International.

Working alongside professors to turn innovative ideas into real solutions: it’s one of the greatest student experience opportunities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Students are offered a glimpse into the world of research and get to play key roles in research projects, from investigation and interviewing to data analysis and modelling.

Dozens of undergraduate students shared their discoveries and findings August 25 with fellow students, faculty members, industry partners and the community at the university’s annual Student Research Showcase (SRS).

Students presented posters summarizing their work, which offered practical ideas in a wide range of research areas, such as (but not limited to):

  • alternative transportation fuels
  • crime investigation techniques
  • energy efficiency
  • improving patient experiences in the health-care system
  • water quality

The posters were judged by faculty members, university instructors and external judge Darren Levine from the Regional Municipality of Durham. One Best Poster Award was presented for each faculty. Many of the students’ research projects recieved funding by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the university.

To help sharpen their presentation skills, participants watched presentations by recent winners of the university’s Three Minute Thesis competition (organized annually by the university’s Office of Graduate Studies). They also heard from featured SRS guest speaker Natascha Kozlowski, Director of Research at Lakeridge Health, a key university partner, who gave a talk entitled Cultivating Research at the Community Hospital.

Quote

“The Student Research Showcase was an exciting opportunity to see the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s unique learning environment in action. Our undergraduate students conduct research side-by-side with professors on projects that range from discovery through to application in various industry sectors. Through these projects, they develop the skills that will allow them to become the scientific and industry leaders of tomorrow. Congratulations to all student participants, poster judges and community partners who ensured the success of the showcase.”
-Michael Owen, PhD, Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International

External participants

  • Mitacs Canada: Partnership builder between academia, industry and the world--to create a more innovative Canada.
  • Natural Sciences Research Council of Canada (NSERC): Invests in scientific discovery and people for the benefit of Canada--science and engineering at the frontier of knowledge.
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence: Accelerates innovation through game-changing research leading to successful commercialization and vibrant collaboration between industry and academia helping to launch the next generation of products and jobs.

Quick facts

  • Held every August, the SRS is one of the university’s longest-running annual events.
  • More than 70 students presented research posters on 50 topics this year.
  • All seven of the university’s faculties were represented in the showcase.
  • Since 2006, hundreds of emerging UOIT students have demonstrated their knowledge, enhanced their research capacity working alongside professors, and honed their presentation skills through the SRS.

Background information

  • The SRS supported by the university’s Office of the Vice-President Research, Innovation and International.
  • The university provides both undergraduate and graduate students with an enriched and distinctive learning experience that comes from being part of a dynamic research community.
  • The university recognizes the opportunity to take part in research and share in critical discoveries at an early stage of student development is an important aspect of the university experience.
  • More than 85 per cent of our undergraduate students participate in experiential learning opportunities offered at the university.
  • Information about the next SRS showcase in August 2017 and details on how to apply for UOIT and NSERC student research awards will be posted on the university’s Research website early in the new year.

Additional resources

2016 Best Poster Award winners and Honourable Mentions:

  • Faculty of Business and Information Technology
    • Winner: Ralph Laite
      • Project: Optimization of agent-based modelling simulation with neural networks
        • Supervisor: Dr. Karthik Sankaranarayanan
        • Honourable mention: Shane MacDonald, Ruba al Omari and Chris Bellman
          • Project: Applications of consumer BCIs (brain-computer interfaces)
            • Supervisor: Dr. Miguel Vargas Martin
  • Faculty of Education
    • Winner: Sara Kyriakopoulos
      • Project: Tale of a two-year initial teacher education program expansion: Examining the development, implementation and outcome of one Ontario program
        • Supervisor: Dr. Diana Petrarca
  • Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science
    • Winner: Devarsh Pandya
      • Project: Thermochemical hydrogen production system integration: Linkage of thermolysis and electrolysis
        • Supervisor: Dr. Brian Ikeda
  • Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
    • Winner: Jacob Morra
      • Project: Empirical evaluation of Python-based tools for distributed computing on the Raspberry Pi
        • Supervisor: Dr. Qusay Mahmoud
        • Honourable mention: Daniel Komosa, Mohammed Alziadeh, and Moamen Abdelmwgoud
          • Project: Investigation of acoustic pressure pulsations in piping systems
            • Supervisor: Dr. Atef Mohany
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • Winner: Cameron Wright
      • Project: Heated high-flow nasal cannula use at The Hospital for Sick Children: A retrospective chart review
        • Supervisor: Dr. Mika Nonoyama
  • Faculty of Science
    • Winner: Sierra Dargan
      • Project: Proteomic investigations of the ethylene response in Komagataeibacter spp.
        • Supervisor: Dr. Janice Strap
        • Honourable mention: Kevoy Lopez and Matthew Hammill
          • Project: Chemical modification of nucleobases into triazole-linked phosphoramidites
            • Supervisor: Dr. Jean-Paul Desaulniers
  • Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
    • Winner: Maria Victoria Navy
      • Project: Responsibility to protect and Indigenous Peoples
        • Supervisor: Dr. Natalie Oman


The following organizations were on site to provide information to students about funding programs and the entrepreneurial opportunities available to them:

External:

  • National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program
  • NSERC
  • Mitacs Canada

Internal:

  • UOIT Brilliant Entrepreneurship (supported by FastStart and Firefly)
  • UOIT International office
  • UOIT Office of Graduate Studies
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