Science Minister names seven Canada Research Chairs at Western

November 15, 2018


Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) highlight world-changing science and innovation. Seven Western researchers are newly named, or newly renewed, Canada Research Chairs.

Western will be home to three new Canada Research Chairs whose work will have global impact on earthquake disaster preparedness; psychology and brain science; and neuroimaging to help people with epilepsy.

The federal announcement this week also highlights one researcher upgraded to a Tier 1 (from a Tier 2), specializing in wireless engineering; and three renewals for researchers working in advanced robotics in health settings; meteor analysis; and particle technology.

The Canada Research Chair Program is intended to attract, support and retain outstanding scholars and scientists. Funding flows through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSRC), National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Chairholders with Tier 1 designation are outstanding researchers acknowledged as leaders in their fields; Tier 2 chairs are exceptional emerging researchers recognized for their potential to lead in their fields.

Western’s new Canada Research Chairs:

Michael Anderson, Philosophy, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science (SSHRC): His research explores new conceptual systems for psychology and provides a deeper understanding of how the brain works. His work emphasizes an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the cognitive sciences in helping researchers understand complex systems like the brain. Anderson comes to Western from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

Katsuichiro Goda, Natural Risk Disaster Management, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment (NSERC): Goda focuses on the cascading impact of natural disasters (mainly earthquakes) on nature, society, and infrastructure. He is working to develop an integrated, multi-hazard framework for to improve preparedness and manage issues against an earthquake. He comes to Western from University of Bristol in the UK.

Ali Khan, Computational Neuroimaging, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Computational Neuroimaging (CIHR): He uses imaging to bring together the latest advances in brain imaging with novel computational techniques. This will directly benefit patients with epilepsy and other neurological disorders and translate to better diagnosis and treatment

The announcement also included a researcher whose work as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair is recognized in moving to Tier 1 support:

Xianbin Wang, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in 5G and Wireless IoT Communications (NSERC): His research helps industry design complex telecommunication products, ensure secure data handling, manage converged Internet of Things and accelerate the shift in the digital economy across new and emerging networks.

And Canada Research Chair Tier 1 renewals:

Peter Brown,  Planetary Sciences, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Planetary Science (NSERC): Brown investigates the origins and physical features of meteors, develops computer models of their distribution throughout the solar system and uses radar, sound, and satellite data to document examples of meteorites arriving on the Earth.

Rajnikant Patel, Robotics and Mechatronics, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Advanced Robotics and Control (NSERC): The research focus is on developing robotic systems and devices for minimally invasive surgery and therapy and for post-stroke rehabilitation.

Jesse Zhu, Chemical Engineering, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Particle Technology and its Applications in the Chemical, Materials, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Industry: This research will lead to a wide variety of industrial applications of particle technology that will benefit material, bio/environmental, and pharmaceutical industries, and lead to commercialization opportunities.


  • Minister of Science and Sport Kristy Duncan announced 285 new Canada Research Chairs.
  • The Canada Research Chairs program has allocated $210 million over five years, plus $50 million in ongoing funding.
  • 14 Tier 1 and 90 Tier 2 Chairs conduct research through funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and an equal number through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC).
  • 7 Tier 1 and 53 Tier 2 Chairs conduct research through funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  • 17 Tier 2 Chairs are designated Special Chairs