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Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal announced as top researchers honoured


Ottawa, ON Some of Canada’s top researchers in the natural sciences and engineering are being honoured today at a ceremony hosted by Canada’s Governor General, David Johnston. Eight prizes, including the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, will be awarded.

The Herzberg Gold Medal, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) highest honour, recognizes the sustained excellence and influence of a researcher whose body of work has substantially advanced the fields of the natural sciences or engineering. Stephen A. Cook was awarded $1 million in discovery research funding over the next five years. A renowned mathematician and computer scientist from the University of Toronto, Dr. Cook has made fundamental contributions to computational theory, algorithm design, programming languages and mathematical logic. His research is now among the essential theoretical results in computer science.

“Canadian researchers are making stellar contributions in their fields and are highly respected around the world,” said Suzanne Fortier NSERC’s president.

NSERC awarded a new prize today – the NSERC Gilles Brassard Doctoral Prize for Interdisciplinary Research. This award, presented to Melanie Mastronardi of the University of Toronto, honours an outstanding doctoral student whose work exemplifies interdisciplinary research. The prize was established by Gilles Brassard, winner of the 2009 Herzberg Gold Medal.

Also being announced today are prizes for top graduate students, outstanding university–industry partnerships, interdisciplinary research, groundbreaking discoveries, and excellence in multidisciplinary research. Research areas include mathematics and computational theory; environmentally friendly materials; solar energy transfer; genetic studies, drug testing and cancer research; technologies for wireless communications; transformative materials and design for medical devices; process enhancements for the forest industry; software and mathematical models for machining parts; and agricultural biodiversity best practices.