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The Dr. C. Ravi and Shanti Ravindran Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis

The Dr. C. Ravi and Shanti Ravindran Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis was established in 2008 (the 60th year of the creation of TMU as an educational institution) by his family in recognition of his long and distinguished industrial and academic career. He was the first winner of the TMU-Sahota Faculty Research Award, Trustee of ASM International, and the first TMU faculty member elected as Fellow, and later President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

This Award recognizes the excellence of the winning doctoral dissertation from the points of originality, contribution to better understanding of the theory, philosophy, science, practice or their interrelationship, application of theory and impact on society, industry or some aspect of national value.

One annual award of $3,400.

  • registration as a graduate studies student in a program of study leading to a PhD;
  • a nominated student must have applied to graduate at the upcoming Fall Convocation ceremonies or have already graduated at the previous Spring Convocation ceremonies;
  • one student may be nominated by a Program Director from each PhD program
  • each nomination package submitted to the YSGPS must contain a Nomination Form, and all necessary signatures including the support of the student’s Program Department Chair/Director.
  • originality;
  • contribution to enhanced knowledge in the area of study;
  • mobilization of that knowledge to social, cultural, economic, and/or industrial advances of national significance.
  • students must be nominated by their graduate studies Program Director;
  • each nomination package submitted to YSGPS must contain a complete Nomination Form; all necessary signatures including the support of the student’s Program Department Chair/Director
  • incomplete forms will not be considered;
  • the Program Chair/Director is not obligated to nominate or support a nomination if in any one year there is not a suitable candidate.
  • Please email your nomination to Natasha Mills at

Final decisions will be made by the YSGPS Scholarship and Awards Committee following the submission deadline. Decisions are final.

The Committee will inform YSGPS of their recipient in writing. YSGPS will monitor the recipients’ final grades, academic standing and graduation eligibility and will confirm with the Dean’s their final eligibility. Student Awards and Scholarships will make announcements and Convocation presentation arrangements with each recipient.

The award will be presented at the Fall Convocation ceremony applicable to the recipient’s program of study.

Please contact Natasha Mills, Coordinator, Graduate Scholarships and Awards, Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at

Award Recipients

Richard Wen

Dr. Richard Wen, Civil Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Richard Wen's research focuses on improving lives with intelligent decision-support systems. His thesis introduces co-designing precise and locatable interventions, where decision makers and artificial intelligence collaborate to create real-world interventions that save and improve lives. During Dr. Wen's PhD, he published over six articles, won numerous scholarships/grants (OGS, QEII-GSST, QES-AS, NSERC Engage), developed open-source software, and worked at the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital to tackle global health issues. Dr. Wen seeks to build software systems that bridge the gap between research and practice, bringing novel interventions to improve lives at scale.

Dr. Farokh Laqa Kakar

Dr. Farokh Laqa Kakar, Civil Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Farokh Laqa Kakar’s research focuses on using anaerobic digestion to treat not only organic waste but also produce valuable materials such as methane, organic acids and fertilizer. Dr. Kakar aims to develop a new strategy to enhance the production of these byproducts, as well as a novel technology for extracting organic acids from waste. Her research will use anaerobic digestion to reduce waste volume, remove pathogens from waste and produce renewable energy, helping Canada achieve the goal of COP21. 

Dr. Kurt Van Delinder

Dr. Kurt Van Delinder, Physics PhD, Faculty of Science

Dr. Kurt Van Delinder’s dissertation examines the clinical feasibility of producing a new imaging procedure coined “Particle Neutron Gamma-X Detection (PNGXD).” PNGXD is a newly proposed imaging concept developed specifically for the application of particle therapy; a new frontier within radiation oncology. Dr. Van Delinder's research has led to the publication of four high-impact journals with significant interest in the medical community.

Maryam Navi

Dr. Maryam Navi, Biomedical Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Maryam Navi’s research is in cancer diagnostics and treatment. In addition to multiple conference presentations, Dr. Navi’s thesis outcome is three journal publications, which have been very well received in respected high impact journals. The content of this thesis is very impactful and highly promising to be translated to industry for laboratory and clinical biomedical applications. Dr. Navi’s thesis outcome has great promise of being vastly used by other researchers due to the simplicity and biocompatibility of the platform that she has developed, in addition to being considered for use in clinical settings for diagnostics and targeted drug delivery.  

Dr. Yashodhan Rajiv Athavale accepts the C. Ravi Ravindran Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award at the 2019 convocation ceremony

Dr. Yashodhan Rajiv Athavale, Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

For outstanding contributions in research, innovation, and design of a low-cost sleep monitoring system for many vertical applications, Dr. Athavale has solid background in signal processing theory, algorithms and implementation. Dr. Athavale has been a great addition in the research area of signal processing and its applications in biomedicine and audio data. The research program of Dr. Athavale in advanced healthcare technology fits very well with the strategic growth plan of Signal Analysis Research (SAR) group, Toronto Metropolitan University and Canada in general. Dr. Athavale is a recipient of many awards, especially the prestigious NSERC Post-graduate Scholarship (PGS) for Doctoral Studies, and iBEST design and innovation competition for his innovative work on wearable brain stethoscope.

Dr. Jamie Fine accepts the C. Ravi Ravindran Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award


Dr. Jamie Fine, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Jamie Fine has been an exemplar for excellence in graduate research at TMU. He held three Ontario Graduate Scholarships and was recognized as a top graduate student in his program, receiving a Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Graduate Excellence Award in 2017. Dr. Fine’s research into the development of sustainable building energy systems led to major advances in the use of hybrid solar photovoltaic thermal panels. His work is helping to bring this technology to the forefront of the Canadian clean-energy sector. Dr. Fine’s research and development efforts have attracted the attention of local technology companies including Ecologix and Solar Tomorrow, both of whom partnered with TMU as a result.

Dr. Afshin Rahimi


Dr. Afshin Rahimi, Aerospace Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

During his PhD, Dr. Afshin Rahimi was able to develop innovative fault diagnosis and prognosis for satellite actuators. His research was supported by the prestigious Vanier scholarship and resulted in six peer reviewed publications. During his research, he was able to transfer the knowledge into industry through two different collaborative programs; one with Bombardier Aerospace through Mitacs and another one with Pratt and Whitney Canada through RIADI. He also received the TMU Gold Medal in the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science for his academic excellence, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. Dr. Rahimi is now pursuing a career in the aerospace industry at Pratt and Whitney Canada where he is implementing his knowledge and experience gained in his TMU education to help improve the reliability of the existing engines.

Dr. Ali Kamel H. Al Jibouri


Dr. Ali Kamel H. Al Jibouri, Chemical Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

In his PhD research, Dr. Ali Khamel Al Jibouri developed innovative continuous ozonation and ozone-based processes that effectively degrade industrial non-biodegradable pollutants. His process successfully removes pollutants and toxicities in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Dr. Al Jibouri received the three stages of Norman Esch Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards and filed a provisional patent for his process. In addition, Environment and Climate Change Canada will feature the process in the national technology matrix for the treatment of oil sands wastewater. Dr. Al Jibouri is the founder and CEO of CleanInWater Inc.

Dr. Amira Abdelrasoul


Dr. Amira Abdelrasoul, Chemical Engineering PhD, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Amira Abdelrasoul’s research on sustainable water use and sustainability improved the ultrafiltration process of latex solutions, such as paint, by reducing contamination of the membrane filter. Using a novel mathematical model to analyze particle attachments, she was able to predict the amount of contamination and identify efficiencies. Her significant research achievement was recognized with the 2015 Membrane Technology Conference Award from the American Membrane Technology Association/American Water Works Association. Eventually, Dr. Abdelrasoul plans to commercialize the techniques on a global scale.

Dr. Eric Strohm


Dr. Eric Strohm, Biomedical Physics PhD, Faculty of Science

The first PhD graduate of the Faculty of Science, Dr. Eric Strohm’s thesis research produced five first-authored papers in prestigious journals, one book chapter and a provisional U.S. patent application. He served on the Research and Graduate Affairs Committee when it was undertaking the program’s launch, and has also been a reviewer for numerous scientific journals.

Dr. Fenwick McKelvey


Dr. Fenwick McKelvey, Communication and Culture PhD

By the time of his doctoral defence, Dr. Fenwick McKelvey had already established an international reputation as a leading researcher in digital communications infrastructures. Central to his work is the study of throttling, the controlling of data transfer rates.

Dr. Meera Paleja


Dr. Meera Paleja, Psychology PhD, Faculty of Arts

Dr. Meera Paleja’s dissertation, “Neural networks involved in spatial and temporal pattern separation,” provides new direction and perspective into our current understanding of how different regions of the brain interact to support memory formation. Her research may be used to further examine the nature of memory impairment in clinical populations, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease.