You are now in the main content area

Ryerson University researchers named Canada Research Chairs

December 16, 2020
Professors Reza Arani, Ali Tavallaei, Damien Lee and Anatoliy Gruzd

Ryerson professors Damien Lee (top left), Reza Arani (top right) and Ali Tavallaei (bottom left) have been appointed as new Canada Research Chairs. Professor Anatoliy Gruzd (bottom right) has had his chair renewed.

Ryerson University is pleased to announce the selection of three faculty members as new Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and the renewal of a second-term CRC.

Professors Reza Arani and Ali Tavallaei from the Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, along with professor Damien Lee from the Department of Sociology, were awarded new chairs. Professor Anatoliy Gruzd of the Department of Information Technology Management had his chair renewed for an additional five-year term.

Professor Arani was named the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Smart Grid Cyber-Physical Security. Professor Arani will develop new models and controls to ensure that smart power grids are secure, sustainable and resilient. His research considers factors such as increasing digital communications along the grid and the growing availability of renewable and clean energy sources. Professor Arani will address potential digital and physical vulnerabilities in the power system while innovating ways to eliminate, mitigate or detect attacks and threats. “I believe what I’m doing with this research is very timely, is really important to Canadians, and is very useful,” said professor Arani. “We’re going to make the system resilient and sustainable.”

Professor Lee, an Indigenous Studies scholar, was named the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Biskaabiiyang and Indigenous Political Resurgence. Biskaabiiyang is an Ojibwe term that translates to “returning to ourselves” in English and expresses a research methodology that promotes decolonization using Ojibwe thought. Using this methodology, professor Lee’s CRC research will focus on Indigenous governance and how various Indigenous communities are practising their own systems of government while disengaging from the systems imposed by Canada’s Indian Act. “It’s also going to be very collaborative; I consider the First Nations that I work with as full partners in this research,” said professor Lee.

Professor Tavallaei is the new Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Systems and Devices for Cardiovascular Interventions. Cardiovascular diseases are the number-one cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization. His research will generate new image-guided therapeutic and diagnostic solutions to overcome and better understand the limitations of the conventional devices employed during minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures, which are the main interventions performed to diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases. “I believe the outcome of this research program will greatly benefit patients and health-care providers, and it will also have a great positive impact on Canada’s medical device industry,” said professor Tavallaei.

Professor Gruzd’s renewed Tier 2 Canada Research Chair is now in Privacy-Preserving Digital Technologies. He’ll continue his research into the emerging areas of social media data privacy and stewardship and build on his previous work by examining the adoption and use of new privacy-preserving technologies and methods by social networking platforms such as blockchains and differential privacy approaches. “We’re thrilled the work we started five years ago will have support going forward,” said professor Gruzd. The overarching goal of the initiative is to better understand how privacy-preserving technologies can be leveraged to benefit Canadians and organizations and deployed to foster digital innovation while still protecting and empowering data and privacy rights.

“Congratulations to professors Arani, Lee, Tavallaei and Gruzd,” said Steven N. Liss, Ryerson’s vice-president, research and innovation. “These scholars are advancing critical streams of knowledge that aim to benefit Canadian society across a number of disciplines. The Canada Research Chair program is one of the most prestigious in our country and will provide Ryerson researchers with the resources needed to propel their work forward and contribute to research excellence.”

The four Ryerson researchers are among the 259 chairs at 47 post-secondary institutions across Canada that were announced as new or renewed appointments by the federal government on December 16. This represents an investment of approximately $195 million. 

Each of these researchers will receive additional infrastructure support for their work through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The CFI is providing more than $14 million in research infrastructure funding to new and renewed Canada Research Chairs across the country.

To learn more about Ryerson's Canada Research Chairs, visit our researchers page.