Sustainable transportation earns York new designation

Bike share station on York University's Keele campus

York University is the first Canadian institution to earn the designation of a “Best University for Commuters” for its many sustainable travel options available to the community.

The designation was awarded on Sept. 13 by Best Workplaces for Commuters, the North American authority for recognizing and assisting workplaces that provide exceptional commuter benefits to employees.

With this designation, York joins institutions such as Harvard University, Princeton, Stanford and Yale, which have also been commended for options available to travellers.

“York has spent many years building a strong transportation network, working with city partners to ensure our campuses are well-connected and accessible, and considering the ways we can lower our carbon footprint with sustainable travel options,” said Carol McAulay, vice-president finance and administration. “This new designation is a celebration of that work and a reflection of what’s to come. We’re continuing to invest in sustainable travel options and are committed to working with municipal and provincial partners to advocate for more affordable transit options, including fare integration, to improve benefits for our community.”

To earn this designation, York was recognized for the variety of benefits and options it provides to students, faculty, instructors and staff who travel to and from campus. These are:

  • Bike share – York was the first university in the Greater Toronto Area to partner with Bike Share Toronto and offer three bike share stations on the Keele and Glendon campuses.
  • Secure bike parking and repair stations – two secured bike enclosures on the Keele Campus offer peace of mind to cyclists and four do-it-yourself repair stations on the Keele and Glendon campuses provide tools for quick fixes.
  • Carpool incentives – a partnership with Zipcar enables easy car sharing, and preferred parking at a lower rate is available for those who regularly carpool to campus through the Diamond Pool Parking program.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations – there are currently more than 30 charging stations available at the Keele and Glendon campuses.
  • Glendon-Keele Shuttle – the shuttle offers service from 7:10 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. to all community members with a valid YU-card.

These benefits are made available through Transportation Services, which has a mission to support the University community through smart transportation options that are consistently evolving.

“The transit options to York have improved enormously since I was a student, with two subway stations to get you to class easier and faster,” said Mike Layton, chief sustainability officer. “Choosing sustainable travel is a great way for community members to contribute to York’s net-zero commitment and reduce their personal carbon footprint.”

To learn more about transportation options at York, visit the Transportation Services department’s website.

Watch a video about the award and York’s sustainability efforts here:

Lassonde prof becomes member of International Academy of Astronautics

George Zhu, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, has been inducted as a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) following his appointment as a corresponding member in 2020.

Zheng Hong (George) Zhu
George Zhu

The IAA is an independent organization of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for their outstanding contributions to astronautics and the exploration of space. With 1,200 active members worldwide, it is the only international academy of elected members in the broad area of astronautics and space.

Zhu’s contributions to these areas include work in spacecraft dynamics and control, and space debris mitigation. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and 163 conference papers, and has supervised more than 100 highly qualified personnel. He led the development and launch of two CubeSats funded by the Canadian Space Agency. The first was launched in November 2020 and showcased pioneering technology for space debris removal; the second was launched in July 2023 and is dedicated to observing ice in the Arctic, as well as monitoring thawing permafrost in Northern Canada for climate change research.

Through $3.6 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Zhu is currently developing transformative additive manufacturing and 3D bioprinting technologies for human space exploration. This work aims to revolutionize spacecraft manufacturing and provide self-sustaining medical support for space missions.

Zhu is also a college member of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and an associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Learn more about the IAA at

LA&PS professor wins best paper at international politics conference

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During the 2023 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles earlier this month, Basileus Zeno, a sessional assistant professor in the Department of Politics in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), received the Best 2022 APSA Paper award from the association’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Politics Section. Zeno presented his paper, “The Shifting Rhetorics of the Syrian Uprising: Politics of Sectarianization,” at APSA’s annual event in Montreal last fall. 

Basileus Zeno
Basileus Zeno

A peer-reviewed version of Zeno’s winning paper, which addresses the puzzle of how narratives articulated during the Syrian uprising shifted from calls for political reform to sectarian and militarized discourses, was published in the Nations and Nationalism journal last March, and it was also recognized by the Syrian Studies Association with the 2022 Most Outstanding Article Prize at the 2022 Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting.

“Seeing your work acknowledged by scholars who have always inspired you is truly an honour,” says Zeno, who joined York in July of last year from Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he held the Karl Loewenstein Fellowship in Political Science. “The paper deals with a sensitive and thorny topic, and it benefited from several rounds of feedback and critiques, so I owe my Syrian interlocutors and friends, as well as many scholars, my deepest gratitude. In fact, I almost gave up on completing this research project, but now I’m glad I didn’t.”

APSA’s MENA Politics Section is an academic society established to support, develop and publish research on the politics of the MENA region using interdisciplinary methodological, theoretical and empirical tools. The APSA selection committee praised Zeno’s paper for its unique contribution to the wider scholarship of agency, identity, violence and international relations.

“The seed of this article was sown following the Syria uprising, in the context of the ‘Arab Spring,’ ” Zeno explains. “It’s based on my first-hand observations and weekly meetings with activists in Damascus between March 2011 and July 2012, before being forced to leave the country. The article uses an interpretivist approach and thick description to trace meaning-making processes and the gradual evolution of sectarian framing in the context of the Syrian uprising and the subsequent civil war.”

While Zeno hopes his winning paper will contribute to important academic literature on violence and identity, authoritarianism and social movements, he also has a very personal attachment to this project and its impact. “Like all Syrians, I’ve been grappling with existential questions about home, identity and belonging since 2011,” he says. “Hopefully my paper will be seen as a modest contribution to this ongoing debate among Syrians about the future of their destroyed country and fragmented society.”

Earlier this year, Zeno released an academic book (in Arabic) on archeology, political economy, politics and ancient religions, titled The Empire’s Mirror: The Coinage of Seleucid Kings of Syria. Published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha/Qatar, it is based on the professor’s field work in archeology before his displacement after the Syrian civil war. Additionally, his co-authored policy report titled “Lives in Limbo: How the Boston Asylum Office Fails Asylum Seekers” received the 2022 Clinical Legal Education Association Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project for its impact on U.S. immigration law practices.

Applications open for Commercialization Fellowship

lightbulb idea innovation

The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) will open the call for applications for the Commercialization Fellowship program that supports projects with commercial potential from across York University on Sept. 7.

The fellowship, organized by Innovation York, is open to postgraduate students and postdoctoral Fellows with approval from their academic supervisor. It provides $7,500 in funding to support commercialization of research. Applications close on Oct. 31.

The fellowships aim to support the research commercialization process by providing strategic, short-term funding to assist in the development of commercially viable projects. The goal is to prepare projects for commercial engagement with industry and/or community partners, with a view to licensing and/or co-development of the project intellectual property.

Visit the Commercialization Fellowship website to review program details and eligibility, and for more details on how to apply.

First-year Schulich student wins free tuition contest

Mehwish Imran holding oversized tuition cheque

First-year Schulich School of Business student Mehwish Imran sat down for a video-taped interview with York University’s marketing team recently, which she initially thought was part of a recruitment initiative. Instead, she was thrilled to learn that her name had been randomly selected from 3,000 entries to win free first-year tuition – a win that she said will drive her to excel in her studies.

Mehwish Imran
Mehwish Imran

“It’s a privilege and I’m extremely grateful for it,” said Imran of her tuition win. “Even though I was prepared to do my best in school this year, winning free tuition is definitely motivation to work even harder.”

The Bachelor of Business Administration student, who said she was most looking forward to making friends and connecting with her professors this year, was born in Pakistan and immigrated to Mississauga, Ont., in 2014, when she was just nine years old. Leaving her extended family behind was difficult, she said, but her adjustment to Canadian life was smooth and pleasant overall.

Since she was a child, Imran excelled at math, and in high school she pursued her business interests by getting involved in clubs like the Model United Nations and attending DECA student leadership conferences. “I think that’s where my passion for business really came from,” she explained.

Imran chose Schulich for her post-secondary studies because of its international reputation, specialization offerings and tight-knit community environment. “It also has an amazing recruitment network, especially focused on accounting,” she said, “which is what I’m planning to further specialize in.”

After completing her undergraduate degree, Imran currently has her sights set on pursuing her Certified Public Accountant designation or continuing on to law school – but she’s reserving the right to change her mind.

Lassonde students place fourth at international unmanned aircraft competition

unmanned flying device

This summer, a team of graduate students from York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, in Professor Jinjun Shan’s research group, placed fourth at an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) competition at the 2023 International Conference of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS) in Warsaw, Poland.

Pictured, left to right: Professor Jinjun Shan, Ingredy Gabriela Gomes Carmo and Hunter Schofield. Mingfeng Yuan on laptop screen

The competition, designed to mimic challenges faced by UAVs performing infrastructure inspections in unknown environments, required teams to program a UAV with the ability to navigate an obstacle course safely and autonomously while identifying defects in the course infrastructure.

The Lassonde students, Hunter Schofield and Mingfeng Yuan (both PhD candidates), together with Ingredy Gabriela Gomes Carmo (MASc candidate), formed a team and spent months preparing and qualifying for the ICUAS UAV competition. The team adopted the name SDCN Lab, after Shan’s Spacecraft Dynamics Control and Navigation (SDCN) Lab at Lassonde.

“The initial event was the qualification round,” says Schofield. “We had to compete in a challenge against 39 international teams to navigate our UAV around a simulated environment and identify any defects at different points of interest.”

After successfully placing among the top five teams, the SDCN Lab team was off to Poland to compete against other top contenders.

In preparation for the final competition, the team combined their expertise in object detection, machine learning, control design, decision-making for autonomous vehicles and more, to develop and implement a code for their UAV. The code was designed to help the UAV achieve the required benchmarks in the final competition – exploration, perception and pose estimation. Exploration allows the UAV to safely navigate the obstacle course and find defects in infrastructure; perception is used to identify and classify defects; and pose estimation helps the UAV evaluate its position and trajectory in a given environment. The team also had the opportunity to work with industry professionals from Quanser Consulting, who provided technical support and practice facilities.

“Preparing for the competition in Poland was a steep learning curve, and we had to collaborate with each other a lot for each benchmark,” says Schofield. “None of us are experts on pose estimation, so we had to work with other lab members to figure it out. It was good experience because it allowed us all to learn something new.”

At the final UAV competition, the team’s drone autonomously navigated and inspected the challenging obstacle course. After each of the teams’ drones made their way through the competition arena, scores were given based on their performance quality. The Lassonde students ultimately finished in fourth place – only 0.5 points behind the third-place team.

“The competition was really difficult, but it was a great experience to collaborate with my team and see the work done by other students,” says Carmo. “I also liked travelling to a new country.”

This opportunity allowed the students to network and collaborate with other international teams at the competition, share interests, build relationships and discuss different approaches and strategies used throughout the competition.

“Professor Shan gave us a great opportunity with this conference and through the partnership with Quanser. We’ve now learned how we can put all our knowledge together to create solutions for real-world problems,” says Yuan.

York faculty members elected to Royal Society of Canada

Medal surrounded by glitter

York University professors Joshua Fogel, Sara Horowitz, Ali Kazimi and Debra Pepler are among the latest Fellows to be elected to the ranks of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) – one of the country’s highest honours in the arts, social sciences and sciences – in recognition of their career achievements and their positive contributions to public life.

“York University is thrilled that the exceptional work and leading expertise of professors Fogel, Horowitz, Kazimi and Pepler has been recognized by the Royal Society of Canada,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “Their appointments as RSC Fellows are a testament to their passion and dedication in their respective fields of Asian studies, Jewish studies, film and psychology. The entire York community congratulates them on this well-deserved academic honour and recognition for advancing inclusive excellence for the benefit of Canada and the world.”

The RSC fellowship is made up of over 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists and scientists, who are all distinguished individuals in the arts, the humanities and the sciences. The York scholars join 101 new Fellows as part of the RSC Class of 2023. The new appointees will be inducted at an official ceremony hosted by the University of Waterloo in November.

The new RSC Fellows elected from York University are:

Joshua Fogel

Joshua Fogel, professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Fogel is a professor in the Department of History. A leading scholar in Asian studies, his research focuses on the cultural, political and economic interactions between China and Japan, the importance of Japan in China’s modern development and the changing attitudes both countries have towards one another from the 14th to 19th century.

Sara Horowitz
Sara Horowitz

Sara Horowitz, professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Horowitz is a professor in the Department of Humanities, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, as well as the graduate program in the Department of English. She is the former director of the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York. One of the world’s foremost experts in Jewish studies, her research and published works focus on Holocaust literature, women survivors, Jewish American fiction and Israeli cinema. She received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Holocaust studies from the Holocaust Education Foundation in 2022.

Ali Kazimi
Ali Kazimi

Ali Kazimi, professor, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Kazimi is an award-winning independent filmmaker and a professor in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts. Among Canada’s most acclaimed artists, his work explores issues of race, social justice, migration, history and memory, including documentaries that explore the diasporic South Asian relationship with Indigeneity. In 2019, he received the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts. His most recent feature film, Beyond Extinction: Sinixt Resurgence, won the People’s Choice Award at Toronto’s Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival in 2022.

Debra Pepler
Debra Pepler

Debra Pepler, professor, Faculty of Health

Pepler is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology and an Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. Pepler’s influential research on bullying, aggression and other forms of violence, particularly among marginalized youth, has received international attention. She is a member of Ontario’s Safe Schools Action Team and the co-founder of PREVNet, a national research and knowledge mobilization hub focused on youth interpersonal violence prevention.

Schulich Leader Scholarships go to Lassonde students

innovation research digital AI network
innovation research digital AI network

Two students beginning their post-secondary studies at York University have been named recipients of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship.

Out of a pool of 350,000 potential candidates across Canada, more than 1,400 students were nominated, of which 100 received this celebrated award.

With the help of the scholarship, the graduating high-school students from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will further their knowledge at the Lassonde School of Engineering at York to support their goals of starting their own companies and putting their skills to use for the greater good.

Mitchell Clapperton, 17, of Waterdown, Ont., is entering an electrical engineering program; and Jasmine Gherman, 18, of Toronto, will study computer programming.

The Schulich Leader Scholarship is Canada’s largest for undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It is awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, charisma and creativity, as well as financial need.

Clapperton will receive a $120,000 scholarship and Gherman will receive $100,000, as per the scholarship funding for the Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science programs.

“We’re delighted that Jasmine and Mitchell have chosen Lassonde as their academic home,” says Jane Goodyer, dean of Lassonde. “Their decision to pursue their aspirations here underscores our school’s reputation as a world-class hub for future engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs to collaborate in improving the world for everyone. As they embark on their post-secondary journeys with the generous support of the Schulich Leader Scholarship program, we look forward to seeing the positive impact they’ll make within our school, the STEM field and beyond.”

Mitchell Clapperton

Headshot of Mitchell Clapperton
Mitchell Clapperton

Clapperton hails from the Waterdown area, situated halfway between Westdale Secondary School in Hamilton, Ont. – where he was enrolled in the French Immersion program and founded the school’s STEM club – and Burlington, Ont., where he volunteered as a coach for the Special Olympics softball and floor hockey teams. He was a gold medallist in four regional science fairs, three of which went on to win medals Canada-wide and one that qualified for an international competition.  

“The cool thing about science fairs is there’s always a little piece of ‘for good’ in there. I’d love to keep that up and keep ‘innovation for good’ as a goal in the future,” he says. “I am really looking forward to getting this education, so I can tackle more projects like this, and this Schulich Leader scholarship will help me to do that.”

Headshot of Jasmine Gherman
Jasmine Gherman

Jasmine Gherman

Born to an immigrant family from Romania, Gherman is from Scarborough, Ont., where she attended Mary Ward Catholic Secondary – one of only a handful of self-directed learning schools in Canada – where she took a leadership role at the coding club. She is a contributor for an award-winning, arts-and-science, Romanian-language newspaper, where she has written about advice for parents and encouraging girls to consider STEM career paths. A self-described introvert, Gherman has embraced her quiet leadership style and says teachers describe her as being someone who does not always speak up, but when she does, everyone listens.

“I’m not someone who likes cut-throat competition. I appreciate drive and collaboration for the greater good, and I believe that this program will give me those opportunities,” she says. “I’m grateful that this scholarship will allow me to focus on my studies without taking on a large debt burden.”

“We are proud to celebrate the continued success of Schulich Leader Scholarships, the premiere STEM scholarship program in Canada,” says program founder Seymour Schulich. “This group of outstanding students will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer and will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators.

Learn more at News @ York.

Government invests more than $15.5 million in York-led research projects

light bulb in front of colorful background

More than 30 projects led by York University researchers in the social sciences and humanities were awarded a combined total of $15,541,343 in federal funding from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grants, Partnership Development Grants and Insight Grants.

The funding, announced on Aug. 29 by the Randy Boissonnault, minister of employment, workforce development and official languages, on behalf of the François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, goes towards 33 projects, ranging from research on migrant labour and gender inequality in retirement to heritage design in Canada.

“This week’s funding announcement highlights the council’s faith in the high calibre of our researchers’ work, ranging from Indigenous circumpolar cultural sovereignty, ecological footprint, to renewable greener transition and policy gaps in international mobility, in collaboration with other local and international subject experts,” says Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation at York. “I thank SHHRC for their support and I commend York’s research community for their ongoing commitment to creating positive change, both locally and globally.”

The new round of grants will support 605 social sciences and humanities research projects across Canada. Learn more about the York-led projects below.

Partnership Grants

SSHRC Partnership Grants support teams of researchers from post-secondary institutions working in new and existing formal partnerships with public, private or not-for-profit organizations. Through collaboration, sharing of intellectual leadership and resources by cash or in-kind contributions, the grants support work for four to seven years to advance research, training and knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities.

Four York-led projects received a combined total of almost $10 million ($9,978,586) in funding.

Peter Victor, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change
The International Ecological Footprint Learning Lab: Training, research and novel applications

Richard Saunders, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
African Extractivism and the Green Transition

Leah Vosko, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Liberating Migrant Labour?: International Mobility Programs in Settler-Colonial Contexts

Anna Hudson, Department of Visual Art & Art History, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Curating Indigenous Circumpolar Cultural Sovereignty: advancing Inuit and Sami homelands, food, art, archives and worldviews

To learn more about the York-led projects, click here.

To view all Partnership Grant recipients, click here.

Partnership Development Grants

Partnership Development Grants support teams of researchers from post-secondary institutions working in a formal partnership with public, private or not-for-profit organizations for one to three years. The grants support research development, existing and new partnerships, knowledge mobilization, and related activities in the social sciences and humanities.

Eight York-led projects received a combined total of more than $1.5 million ($1,514,498) in funding.

Anna Agathangelou, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Building an International Partnership to Research and Address Reparative Justice in Post-Conflict Situations: Canada, Africa and Europe

Thi Viet Nga Dao, Department of Social Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Slow violence and water (in)justice: Feminist political ecologies of intergenerational struggles in the Mekong region

Anne MacLennan, Department of Communication & Media Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Interrogating Canadian Identities/ L’identités canadiennes – une interrogation (ICI)

Jan Hadlaw, Department of Design, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
The xDX Project: Documenting, Linking, and Interpreting Canada’s Design Heritage

Christopher Kyriakides, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Refuge, Racisms, and Resistances: A Co-Created Analysis of the Experiences of Syrian and Ethiopian Refugees in Canada

To learn more about this project, click here.

Abigail Shabtay, Department of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Strengthening Participatory Drama-Based Research in Institutional, Community, and Educational Contexts

Susan Winton, Faculty of Education
The Public Education Exchange

Debra Pepler, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Walking the Prevention Pathway for Indigenous Communities’ Journey of Change

To view all Partnership Development Grant recipients, click here.

Insight Grants

Insight Grants are awarded to emerging and established scholars in the social sciences and humanities to work on research projects of two to five years.

21 York-led projects received a combined total of more than $4 million ($4,048,259) in funding.

Tasso Adamopoulos, Department of Economics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Inequality and Productivity in Developing Countries

Kee-hong Bae, Department of Finance, Schulich School of Business
Incentive-focused corporate culture

Anh Nguyen, School of Administrative Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Labour force aging and business vibrancy: Evidence and solutions for businesses and workers in Canada and around the world

Thanujeni (Jeni) Pathman, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
How accurate is memory for time across childhood and adolescence? Theoretical and practical implications for forensic settings

Alexandra Rutherford, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Intersecting difference: Gender, race and sexuality in 20th century U.S. psychology

Robert Savage, Faculty of Education
Tackling two of the most important unresolved tasks in reading intervention

Marlis Schweitzer, Department of Theatre, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Decoding the Lecture on Heads: Performing Objects and Satire on the 18th-Century Stage

Simon Adam, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health
Entangled identities: Exploring neurodiversity through social media expression

Kean Birch, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change
Digital Data Value Paradox: An Empirical Investigation of Personal Data Valuation

Antony Chum, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Social and policy determinants of self harm across gender identities in Canada

Julia M. Creet, Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Digital Afterlives

Robert Cribbie, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Extensions of Negligible Effect Statistical Testing

Ganaele Langlois, Department of Communication & Media Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
The Art of Necessity: Making Sustainable and Just Worlds through Local Textiles

Brenda Longfellow, Department of Cinema & Media Arts, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Abolition Feminism: Collaborating Across Communities

Kinnon MacKinnon, School of Social Work, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Detransition: Examining pathways and care needs

Jonathan Nitzan, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
The capital-as-power fractal: toward a general theory of the capitalist mode of power

Yuval Deutsch, Schulich School of Business
Social capital, corporate social responsibility and corporate irresponsibility

Caitlin Fisher, Department of Cinema & Media Studies, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Mobilizing the arts for global health: a virtual museum of antimicrobial resistance

Kamila Kolpashnikova, Department of Design, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Gender Inequality in Retirement: Understanding Social Organization in Domestic Tasks

Palma Paciocco, Osgoode Hall Law School
The Gatekeeper and The Timekeeper: Regulating Expert Evidence and Trial Delay in Criminal Courts

Yan Shvartzshnaider, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering
Virtual Classrooms Privacy

To view all Insight Grant recipients, click here.

CFI funding supports professors developing sustainable future

hands holding a globe

A new engineering facility to develop innovative nanomaterials at York University is part of the latest round of research infrastructure projects to receive support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), announced by the federal government earlier this week.

Reza Rizvi, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Lassonde School of Engineering, will oversee the facility alongside co-principal investigators Stephanie Gora, an assistant professor of civil engineering, and Marina Freire-Gormaly, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

The JELF investment, totalling $138,585, will enable the York engineers to utilize cutting-edge scientific techniques and conduct the precise analysis needed to develop innovative nanomaterials that address energy and environmental challenges, like climate change, clean energy generation and storage, e-waste, and water treatment and monitoring. The project is titled “Infrastructure for Innovative Nanomaterials for Energy and Environment.”

“I am grateful for CFI’s investment in our applied research to create a more sustainable future for Canada and the world,” said Rizvi, who specializes in the scalable manufacturing of advanced materials. “Nanomaterials have a critical role to play in technological solutions that will help protect our planet.”

The facility will be housed in a shared lab space at Lassonde and will feature: a confocal Raman microscope (a Bruker Senterra II), a laser-based device that allows for microscopic examination; and an infrared spectrometer (Bruker Alpha II), an instrument used to measure light absorbed by a material sample. The facility will also be used to train highly-qualified personnel, including graduate students and postdoctoral Fellows.

“Every day, researchers dedicate their knowledge and skills to addressing issues that are important to Canadians, including improving the environment, health care and access to education. They contribute to a better future for all Canadians,” said Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and CEO of CFI. “At the Canada Foundation for Innovation, we are proud to support their efforts with well-designed labs and necessary equipment placed in the communities and environments where they will be the most effectively employed.”

The nanotechnologies developed by Rizvi, Gora, Freire-Gormaly and their teams will advance several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including: good health and well-being (SDG 3); clean water and sanitation (SDG 6); affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); responsible consumption and production (SDG 12); and climate action (SDG 13).

Other JELF-funded projects at York

Three other York researchers also received funding: Shooka Karimpour, an assistant professor of civil engineering at Lassonde, for “Infrastructure for High-Definition Microplatic Detection (HD-MPD) and Identity Analysis” ($126,254); and Adeyemi Oludapo Olusola and Joshua Thienpoint, assistant professors in the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change, for “Landscapes in Transition: Environmental Sensitivities Due to Climate Change” ($198,161).

The York-led projects are among 396 research infrastructure projects to receive more than $113 million at 56 universities across Canada.

The CFI funding is part of a wave of recent investments made by the Government of Canada, supporting 4,700 researchers and research projects with more than $960 million in grants, scholarships and programs. “Through this funding, the Government of Canada is investing in the next generation of researchers and inspiring them to continue to think outside the box and tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry.

For the full CFI announcement, visit