Six Carleton University researchers — looking at everything from transgender films, skull evolution and high-speed X-rays to autonomous spacecraft, health service planning and comic books — have been awarded funding from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade through the Early Researcher Awards (ERA) program

Researchers will receive $100,000 from the ministry and $50,000 in matching funds from Carleton to cover expenses for undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates and technicians.

“We are grateful to the Ontario government for this funding and their recognition of our early-career researchers as leaders in these diverse and vital areas of study,” said Rafik Goubran, Carleton vice-president (Research and International).

This year’s ERA recipients are:

Laura Horak

Horak, a professor in the Film Studies program, studies American and Scandinavian cinema, gender and sexuality. The funding will support the emerging field of transgender film and media studies. Horak’s project investigates the films, web series and film festivals created by Canadian and American transgender artists from the 1990s through today.

Hillary Maddin

Maddin, a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, leads a research program investigating the fundamentals of the development and evolution of the skull. This research has far-reaching significance, particularly in understanding how skull morphology originated and diversified during millions of years of evolution.

Oren Petel

Petel, a professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the dynamic behaviour of materials at high-strain rates. Petel is applying his research to health care and specifically to concussions. This funding will enable him to use a high-speed X-ray imaging system he has designed and built to investigate the response of the brain and skull to impacts. This will provide the knowledge required to design superior helmets.

Paul Peters

Peters, a professor in the Department of Health Sciences, is focused on connecting health data to the analysis of problems in urban neighbourhoods and rural villages. This funding will help map patient trajectories in the health-care system. The results will directly relate to health service planning and  understanding health inequities in rural Ontario communities.

Steve Ulrich

Ulrich, a professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is the founding director of the Spacecraft Robotics and Control Laboratory comprised of 10 researchers who focus on path planning, control, robotics and computer vision connected to autonomous spacecraft. His current research addresses the problem of space debris—where collisions of large fragments hinder access to space. He will develop methods that enable robotic spacecraft to autonomously and safely interact with space debris.

Benjamin Woo

Woo, a professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies, is a leading researcher in the interdisciplinary field of comics studies and director of the Comic Cons Research Project. His research examines the comic book industry and its audiences. This funding will support several projects exploring the place of comic book reading in contemporary fan cultures with a particular focus on comic conventions, festivals and related fan events.

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Friday, September 27, 2019 in
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