New and renewed Toronto Metropolitan University Canada Research Chairs will lead vital research initiatives
A Toronto Metropolitan University faculty member has been named as a new Canada Research Chair (CRC), an appointment that will support their work in creating innovative approaches to Indigenous digital culture. Two TMU researchers have received renewals of their chairs to continue their research into sustainable energy modelling and advancing polymeric materials.
The new chair was awarded to Jas Morgan, an English professor from the Faculty of Arts. Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science professors Seth Dworkin, of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Dae Kun Hwang, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, have had their chairs renewed.
Digital culture initiatives
Professor Morgan is the new Tier 2 CRC in Digital Wahkohtowin and Cultural Governance. Their research will address a gap in the representation of Indigenous people as leaders in fields such as technology, digital media and heritage curation. They will develop governance models that decolonize the creation, analysis and collection of digital Indigenous arts, heritage and culture.
“I want to help train the next generation of critical heritage leaders alongside Indigenous communities and in service of Indigenous communities in order to collect and disseminate art and objects and Indigenous knowledges by and for Indigenous Peoples,” said professor Morgan. The new CRC plans to collaborate closely with the Yellowhead Institute and the Centre for Digital Humanities, creating the Yellowhead Cultural Centre and initiating public engagement and knowledge sharing activities.
Expanding applications and research
Professor Dworkin’s renewed Tier 2 CRC is in Sustainable Energy Modelling and Simulation, and he will further advance his research in the area of clean combustion by creating simulations and models that can accurately predict emissions from the use of fossil and alternative fuels. His second term will also focus on developing and applying machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) tools to this work.
A machine learning infrastructure that is effective at forecasting particle emissions from engines or any type of fuel burning activity could be used by industry to assess pollution impacts early in the design process. “If we can do that, that’s somewhat of a game changer because we could predict emissions profiles before costly prototyping,” said professor Dworkin.
Professor Hwang’s renewed Tier 2 CRC is in Microarchitecture for Advanced Polymeric Materials. After success during his first term in developing functional materials, this renewal enables professor Hwang to build on his progress and to continue the design and development of innovative biomedical platforms and devices, supporting diagnostics and treatment.
“Polymeric materials can be used in a really wide range of applications,” professor Hwang said. He notes potential uses range from health care, such as cancer detection, to energy storage. His research will also explore how to make these materials easier to use and more economical.
In addition to the CRC program funding, professors Dworkin and Hwang will receive infrastructure support for their research through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund.
“I’m thrilled to congratulate professor Morgan on their new Canada Research Chair and professors Dworkin and Hwang on their renewals,” said Steven N. Liss, TMU’s vice-president, research and innovation. “Their leadership and research will advance knowledge in important and diverse ways, from expanding our understanding of Indigenous art production and cultural governance to supporting the pursuit of clean energy and to the development of leading edge biomedical materials.”