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Campus Life - Kamloops  

Discovery Grants support innovative TRU researchers

Six Thompson Rivers University (TRU) researchers received $675,000 through the federal Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grants program, announced today by the Government of Canada.

The Discovery Grants Program funds innovations in chemistry, physics, life sciences, mathematics, computer science, geoscience and the many branches of engineering.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced new discovery research funding, as part of the Government of Canada’s plan to provide 3,471 researchers and students with the means to pursue world-leading discovery work.

Dr. Omer Waqar

Dr. Omer Waqar has been awarded $152,500 over five years to develop disruptive new technologies for the next generation of communication systems, such as sixth-generation (6G) networks, to meet the stringent requirements of the future digital society. Waqar’s research will focus on designing smart and reconfigurable radio environments for 6G networks.

“The current 5G networks may not be able to support these services efficiently. To this end, the visioning, planning and development of 6G networks have become inevitable,” Waqar said. “Canada can play an important international role in the development of 6G networks, and in bring enormous socio-economic benefits through these intelligent and smart communication networks.”

TRU faculty member Dr. Yan Yan received a Discovery Grant to focus on developing novel computational methods to assist plant breeding. The funding will be pivotal to building a strong research team that is working to predict the physical properties of crops, using the whole genome population data and environmental factors.

Dr. Jabed Tomal

Dr. Jabed Tomal is keenly interested in studying the influence of big data and how it influences research in science. “My research focuses on improving the prediction performance of machine learning models by exploiting the richness of useful variables in high-dimensional data to answer interesting research questions,” said Dr. Tomal. 

The following is a list of all TRU researchers who received Discovery Grants:

Discovery Grants

  • Omer Waqar, assistant professor, Engineering, Agile and Smart Radio Environments with Intelligent Reflecting Surfaces for Sixth Generation (6G) Communication Systems
  • Yan Yan, assistant professor, Computing Science, Computational Methods for Phenotype Prediction to Assist Plant Breeding
  • Jabed Tomal, assistant professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Methods for Big Data, Sparsity, and Environmental Thresholds
  • David Hill, professor, Geography, Integrating Very-High-Resolution Imagery into Adaptive Rangeland Management
  • Safwat Hassan, assistant professor, Computing Science, Mining Modern App Stores to Improve the Perceived Quality of Software Products

Discovery Developmental Grant

  • Mohamed Tawhid, professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Metaheuristics and Heuristics for Combinatorial and Discrete Optimization Problems



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