Success Stories

A quantum leap in cybersecurity 

In the post-quantum world, the password authentication schemes that companies and consumers rely on for secure transactions will be more vulnerable to attack. A team of researchers at the University of Ottawa is working on a way to foil cybercriminals in the not-so-distant future.

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Headshot of Kyle Briggs

Advancing nanopore research into the mainstream

Scientists are often asked about their ‘eureka moment’ — the flash of insight that led to a discovery. But sometimes those moments are made possible by a much more prosaic reality: having the right tool or method at hand to spark those unexpected ideas, and enable their exploration.

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Professor Mohammad Zarifi standing in a lab surrounded by computer and other lab equipment

Breaking the ice with microwave sensors

Sophisticated sensors have become embedded in virtually every aspect of our daily environment. Yet today, airplane pilots and wind turbine technicians still largely rely on visual inspection to assess ice buildup, a potentially catastrophic condition.

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Photo of samples being worked on in a lab, superimposed headshot of Prof. Ghafar-Zadeh.

On the road to success

Prof. Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh and his team are on the cusp of changing how we test for COVID-19. They are using cutting edge technologies in machine learning and microsystems to develop the simplest, most efficient test possible.

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Headshot of Professor Matthew Morrison with superimposed Cadence Logo

Pandemic sparks game-changing approach to hardware training

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered research labs around the world, University of Notre Dame’s Matthew Morrison was thinking about a different kind of threat: the looming limits of Moore’s Law, which pose critical problems for the development of more powerful, ever-smarter computer hardware.

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Photo of Leslie Rusch and Wei Shi

Commonplace material, extraordinary performance

An all-silicon modulator developed by Université Laval professors Leslie Rusch (left) and Wei Shi achieved the fastest-ever transmission on silicon photonics. Their low-cost, low-energy component, produced through standard foundry processes, solves a significant challenge in next-generation semiconductor design.
Photo credit: Reinier deSmit

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Dr. Pierre Sullivan, with Dr. Amirreza Amighi and Dr. Nasser Ashgriz standing in front of lab equipment

Sizing up an industrial solution

Dr. Pierre Sullivan, left, with Dr. Amirreza Amighi (centre) and Dr. Nasser Ashgriz combined imaging, machine-learning, and statistical analytics to bring quality control to the tiny particles emitted by spray nozzles in a wide variety of industrial applications.
Photo credit: Reinier deSmit

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Photo of Jean-François Pratte working in laboratory

Adding a new dimension to light detection

Ultra-sensitive detectors for capturing light signals developed by Université de Sherbrooke’s Jean-François Pratte and his team, including Frédéric Vachon, foreground, are advancing the power and sophistication of a broad range of imaging technologies, from PET scanners to big-science endeavours such as neutrino detection.

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A gem of a technology

Dr. David Roy-Guay, right, is working with students Vincent Halde (centre) and Olivier Bernard to miniaturize his novel, diamond-based magnetometer prototype. The quantum sensor technology shows promise in a wide variety of applications, including research in outer space.

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Monitoring disease with microfluidics

Alphonsus Ng, right, and his University of Toronto supervisor Aaron Wheeler used digital microfluidics to develop a rapid, simple diagnostic tool that can transform disease tracking in low-resource environments such as refugee camps.

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Photo of Professor Jayshri Sabarinathan and her team at Western University

Seeing modern agriculture in a new light

Jayshri Sabarinathan, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Western University, has used her experience with microsensors and nanofabrication to develop higher-performing multi-spectral cameras for agricultural monitoring in collaboration with industry partner A&L Canada Labs.

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Deep learning, big impact

Building on his groundbreaking work in computer hardware innovation, Andreas Moshovos (second from left) of University of Toronto is leading a national network of university researchers focused on advancing machine learning into new levels of function akin to human capabilities of hearing, sensing or reading.

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Dr. Brendan Crowley and Dr. Enver Kilinc displaying their prototype microchip

A new approach to an old cure

Drs. Brendan Crowley (left) and Enver Kilinc, founders of Micromensio, worked with University of Toronto researchers to develop a low-cost, rapid sensing technology that targets bacterial infections.

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Breaking sound barriers

Dr. Tony Sinclair (right), University of Toronto, and Master’s student Neelesh Bhadwal, work with business partners on ways to improve the precision and reliability of ultrasonic imaging used to monitor the integrity of critical infrastructure.

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photo of Queen’s University PhD candidate Marko Krstic (right)  and Dr. Praveen Jain, Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics

Taking power conversion to a new level

A novel power converter developed by Queen’s University PhD candidate Marko Krstic (right) under the supervision of Dr. Praveen Jain, Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics, offers significantly higher efficiency than commercially available chips.

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Professor Walied A Moussa, University of Alberta

Unlocking the power of 3D touch

University of Alberta Professor Walied Moussa and graduate student Shichao Yue have taken touchscreen capability to a new level through their development of a “Real Touch” 3D sensor array (inset) that can measure the full range of forces on a surface with unprecedented sensitivity.

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photo of Malcolm Eade, Spectra CEO; Graham Gibson, Hannah Dies, Aris Docoslis and Josh Raveendran.

Nano research yields sensing breakthrough

Nanofabrication capabilities helped Queen’s University researchers and their graduate students develop a novel, highly sensitive portable biosensor that can be manufactured simply and inexpensively. Their technology now forms the basis of an award-winning startup company, Spectra Plasmonics. Shown left to right: Malcolm Eade, Spectra CEO; Graham Gibson, Hannah Dies, Aris Docoslis and Josh Raveendran.

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Small, sensitive sensors sound out new markets

Developing ultra-sensitive vibration sensors for a global defence company enabled microsensor
innovator Dr. Behraad Bahreyni (left) and his team at Simon Fraser University to identify new commercial
opportunities—and establish an award-winning startup company—for advancing their technologies into
civilian applications.

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Global conference recognizes made-in-Canada photonics innovations

Joyce Poon, Sorin Voinigescu and their teams solved a significant problem in short-distance optical communications with their development of a 3-D integrated transmitter using a CMOS driver. Their novel solution combines the advantages of high performance and low power consumption with low-cost, established manufacturing processes.

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New direction for a dependable dish

Neil Roy Choudhury and Hamid Sadabadi, Concordia University graduates, leveraged their mutual expertise and interest in microfluidics and biosensing to create their Calgary-based startup, Frontier Fluidics. Experience using advanced design tools and industrial manufacturing processes is enabling them to create next-generation labs-on-a-chip that mimic real-world environments, customized for innovators doing a broad range of research and experimentation.

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Motsai Chenard, 2017Aug

Integration innovation: Low power, high function

Dr. Jean Samuel Chenard’s graduate student research more than a decade ago into integrated, networked technologies anticipated the Internet of Things. Today, Motsai Inc., the company he founded on his research, develops specialized, sophisticated technologies for wearable device and telecommunications markets.

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Resolving a Quantum Conundrum

Nanomechanics specialist John P. Davis (left) and his students Pearse
and Callum Doolin developed the first digital photodetector capable of
measuring the quantum properties of nanomechanical systems. Their
instrument, now on the market through their startup company Resolved
Instruments, opens up new opportunities in the emerging field of quantum

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Novel transceiver paves the way for a battery-less future

A fresh approach to wireless transceiver design has helped École de technologie supérieure professors Frederic Nabki (bottom right) and Dominic Deslandes (bottom centre) develop a new technology with dramatically lower energy requirements, offering potential for devices that never need recharging Their chip is now being commercialized by their startup company, SPARK Microsystems. Other team members, from left to right include Rabia Rassil, Antoine Collerette, Gabriel Morin-Laporte and Michiel Soer.

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Western University’s Jun Yang (left) and Patrick Therrien (right), showing award and a bottle of Formicast Resin

Formi 3DP: Spawning the ‘stem cells’ for circuitry

Western University’s Jun Yang (left) uses surface chemistry to modify and add functionality to materials through initiator-integrated 3D printing (i3DP). Formi 3DP, his startup company co-founded with assistance from Patrick Therrien (right), uses this novel, low-cost process to develop polymer “stem cells” capable of creating 3-D objects with user-defined properties, and holds promise for the efficient production of complex electronic circuitry.

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Photo of University of Waterloo innovator Karim Karim (far right) and his team

Reinventing X-ray technology

University of Waterloo innovator Karim Karim (far right) and his team combined existing LCD technology
and manufacturing processes with a unique electronic architecture to create better, safer and lower-cost
X-ray imaging. Their technology offers the potential to improve disease screening and diagnosis worldwide,
especially in remote and underserved communities.

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Photo of Dr. Réjean Fontaine and his graduate students at Université de Sherbrooke examining the detection system of their novel LabPET II small-animal scanner.

Small scanners offer big advances

Dr. Réjean Fontaine and his graduate students at Université de Sherbrooke examine the detection system
of their novel LabPET II small-animal scanner. Data-acquisition capability integrated within the system
enables imaging with unprecedented contrast-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution. The technology has earn
multiple awards for his graduate students.

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Dr. Boris Stoeber with company co-founder Iman Mansoor and Dr. Mehrsa Raeiszadeh, a Microdermics employee, demonstrating less invasive blood sampling.

Taking the sting out of injections

Dr. Boris Stoeber (right), professor at University of British Columbia, is redefining drug delivery through the
development of painless, hollow metal microneedle arrays that barely penetrate the skin. More recently,
he and his team have integrated optical sensing properties into these arrays, offering a faster, cheaper and
less invasive alternative to hypodermic-based blood sampling for drug monitoring. Founder of microneedle
startup Microdermics, he is shown here with company co-founder Iman Mansoor (centre) and Dr. Mehrsa
Raeiszadeh (left), Microdermics employee.

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Photo of U of T researchers Dr. Richard Teuscher and Dr. Robert Orr in a lab

A new heart for ATLAS—with help from Canadian innovators

Tasked with upgrading the thousands of complex sensors that help drive the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, U of T researchers Dr. Richard Teuscher (Institute of Particle Physics – IPP) (right) and Dr. Robert Orr (left) found the expertise they needed in Canadian company Celestica.

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Photo of Dr. Leonid Belostotski working in a lab

Novel receivers target world’s largest radio telescope

Dr. Leonid Belostotski’s pioneering development of focal plane arrays with low-noise receivers is solving a
major problem in cosmic research while creating novel technologies with broad commercial potential. The
University of Calgary researcher’s work is part of a global effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope
for transformational research into the evolution of our universe.

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Photo of Sudip Shekhar holding a chip being viewed through a microscope

Integrated R&D community attracts innovative chip designer to Canada

The opportunity to nurture new talent and share technology innovation via Canada’s National Design Network proved irresistible to industrial research scientist Sudip Shekhar. Now assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering at University of British Columbia, the former Intel employee left the U.S. to pursue research innovation in silicon photonics while mentoring students in this emerging field.

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