The Carleton University Research Achievement Awards are administered by the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International). The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding research achievements. The awards were established in 1989 to enhance the quality of research and to recognize research excellence. The recipients’ terms run from May to April.

View past winners.

2020 Research Achievement Award Recipients

Andy Adler

Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Project: Rapid, non-invasive diagnosis of lung disease in cattle and horses

Andy Adler’s technology uses measurements on body-surface electrodes to create images of air and blood flow in the chest. This research will develop technology to diagnose lung disease in large animals. Their non-invasive solution will provide diagnostic information in seconds (compared to current sampling of airways and subsequent lab analysis), and will help to screen and manage infectious diseases in horses, livestock and wild populations.

Patricia Ballamingie

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Project: Governance Insights from Food System Elders: Civil Society and Social Movement Perspectives

As co-applicant on a SSHRC-funded Insight grant, Civil Society and Social Movement Engagement in Food Systems Governance (2019-2024) (PI Dr. Charles Levkoe), Patricia Ballamingie will interview “food system elders” across the country to glean their critical perspectives on: How food movement actors and organizations engage in food systems governance, while also modelling alternative food futures? Broadly, the project aims to identify effective, innovative and collaborative approaches to food systems governance that build healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems.

Doris Buss

Department of Law and Legal Studies

Project: Gender and Sustainable Development in Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa 

Momentum is building to add gender considerations into initiatives aimed at improving the sustainable development outcomes of mining in sub-Saharan Africa. Doris Buss’ project focuses on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) which has been growing in size and significance over the past two decades. Women are estimated to comprise 30-50% of those working in ASM. Building on research conducted with partners at universities and civil society organizations in Canada and Africa on women’s livelihoods in ASM in Kenya, Sierra Leone and Mozambique, this project will conduct new research on how women working in ASM are impacted by the surge in new mining sustainable development initiatives, while also exploring how and with what effects gender mainstreaming is unfolding in the transnational policy initiatives on resource extraction.

Michael Hildebrand

Department of Neuroscience

Project: Characterizing the Effects of Cannabis and its Bioactive Components on Human Peripheral and Spinal Pain Processing 

Chronic pain represents a public health crisis. With limited treatment options, pain sufferers are increasingly turning to cannabis to help manage their pain. However, a lack of fundamental research means that it is still unclear how cannabis may directly alter pain processing. To address this knowledge gap, Michael Hildebrand’s team will characterize the effects of cannabis and its individual active ingredients on human pain signalling neurons from organ donors as well as in clinically relevant models of chronic pain.

Hashmat Khan

Department of Economics

Project: Macroeconomic Stability: Assessing the Roles of Monetary Policy Actions and the Inflation Environment

A conventional view is that when a central bank adjusts the policy interest rate more than one-for-one for each percent change in inflation, both inflation and unemployment remain low and stable. An alternative view is that the level of a country’s average inflation over a decade or so (the inflation environment) is the major determinant of stability. My proposal will develop a framework to assess these two views, while overcoming conceptual and computational challenges.

Uma Kumar

Sprott School of Business

Project: Enhancing Firm’s Performance through Cloud Manufacturing

Many manufacturing firms have their operations and resources (e.g. design, R&D, manufacturing), at geographically decentralized locations that need to be integrated to facilitate information and data sharing. Advancements in Cloud Manufacturing is thought to do this; question, however, is – does cloud manufacturing help and how. This research investigates: To what extent cloud manufacturing influence the firm’s performance and does it help to create synergy between strategy and manufacturing capability. This empirical study is case-based to be conducted in Canada and the U.S.

Hillary Maddin

Department of Earth Sciences

Project: Carboniferous tetrapods from Nova Scotia

Following the recent discovery of a remarkable assemblage of fossils preserved within a single ‘tree’ stump from the Carboniferous of Nova Scotia, our team will undertake research on the rare animals inside. Already noted for containing the earliest record of parental care in land vertebrate, the fossils inside appear to represent new earliest occurrences for several tetrapod lineages, as well as a new earliest occurrence of complex behaviours and ecologies. Using modern, cutting-edge techniques, including CT and histology, this discovery will revise current understanding of the tempo and mode of evolution in some of the earliest terrestrial communities.

Johanna Peetz

Department of Psychology

Project: Tools of Self-Control: Tracking financial self-control strategy use in daily life

Failing at financial self-control is common and can be pernicious. Financial self-control is facilitated by using cognitive strategies (e.g., taking the perspective of an older self) rather than relying on willpower alone to resist tempting spending situations. However, there is scant evidence to suggest that the general public knows of or uses the specific self-control strategies that have been proposed by behavioral scientists. My research tests interventions to increase financial self-control literacy and strategy use in day-to-day life.

Oren Petel

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project: The Cadaveric Response to Concussive Impact: Tracking brain tissue displacement and strain fields with high-speed X-ray imaging

Oren Petel’s research is focused on developing technologies that will expand existing methods of helmet performance evaluation. His custom high-speed X-ray imaging system, designed and built in his lab, has enabled multidisciplinary research measuring the relative motion between the brain and skull of cadavers, data required to calibrate brain injury models. His group currently works with commercial helmet designers to translate their innovations outside of the university, in an effort to reduce concussion incidence, and ultimately benefit public health.

Steve Ulrich

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project: Adaptive Coordinated Motion Control of Free-Floating Space Robots

Controlling a small free-floating space robot is a challenging and risky task due to the large dynamic coupling between its manipulator arm and its base platform. Indeed, if left uncontrolled, these coupling effects will result in undesired changes in the orientation and position of the space robot. Prof. Ulrich’s research will address this challenge by developing a new coordinated space robot control strategy that intelligently adapts its behavior to efficiently manage adverse dynamical manipulator-platform coupling effects as well as large uncertainties inherent to robotic maneuvers in space. Experimental validation of the innovative control strategy will be conducted with the Spacecraft Proximity Operations Testbed; a unique facility in Canada which is part of Prof. Ulrich’s research laboratory.

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