Sept. 12, 2019

Three UCalgary scholars named to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Honour recognizes excellence in medicine, social work, and engineering

Author

Pamela Hyde, for the Office of the Vice-President (Research)

Three new honourees of Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Jeff Biernaskie, top left; Julie Drolet, right, and Lina Kattan.

Jeff Biernaskie: Riley Brandt; Julie Drolet: Jeff Allen; Lina Kattan: Schulich file

On Sept. 10, the Royal Society of Canada announced the induction of three UCalgary faculty members into the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, PhD (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Cumming School of Medicine); Dr. Julie Drolet, PhD (Faculty of Social Work); and Dr. Lina Kattan, PhD (Schulich School of Engineering) were selected for this honour based on scholarly excellence and glowing nominations from their leaders and peers.

“It is with great delight that I congratulate our three new members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor, and Fellow of the RSC. “This honour recognizes emerging leaders who demonstrate the highest levels of scholarship. As such, it is a fitting recognition of Drs. Biernaskie, Drolet and Kattan and their exceptional records of accomplishment. UCalgary is proud to support the success of these extraordinary scholars.”

The mandate of the College is "to gather scholars, artists and scientists at a highly productive stage of their careers into a single collegium where new advances in understanding will emerge from the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural and social perspectives."

Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, PhD – Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Cumming School of Medicine

Associate professor Jeff Biernaskie is a leading young scientist in the field of tissue regeneration and stem cell biology. He has made seminal discoveries in this area, including how reactive immune cells contribute to tissue regeneration, and how dermal stem cells are activated following an injury, and initiate the formation of healthy cells within a wound. His multidisciplinary research program, which includes work with biomedical engineers, biologists, and clinicians, has allowed him to develop creative approaches to solve complex health problems.

Working with the community is central to Biernaskie’s research activities. Through the Calgary Stem Cell Talks initiative, Biernaskie educates the public, promotes patient health, and debunks misconceptions about stem cell research. He is the inaugural Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (CFTBS) Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing, working directly with clinical caregivers and patients to give patients a voice in directing research.

Read more about Jeff Biernaskie’s work with the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society

Dr. Julie Drolet, PhD – Faculty of Social Work

Julie Drolet, professor in the Faculty of Social Work, leads an international research program that has advanced knowledge in the fields of social work and social development, and increased awareness of the important role social workers play in Canadian immigrant settlement and integration, long-term disaster recovery, and field education.

Drolet has built capacity in the profession of social work through her teaching, research, service and mentorship roles. Her applied research has informed immigration policy, and research projects on Canadian immigrant settlement and integration have increased Canadians’ awareness of vulnerable populations.

As the leader of large, multi-investigator and international research projects, Drolet has highlighted the critical role of social workers in the aftermath of the 2016 Alberta wildfires, the 2013 Alberta floods, and the 2004 tsunami in affected communities in Tamil Nadu, India. Her research combines local expertise with academic scholarship to address practical concerns and challenges, making Drolet a sought-after expert in her field.

Read more about how Julie Drolet is working to transform social work field education through her new SSHRC Partnership Grant-funded program

Dr. Lina Kattan, PhD – Schulich School of Engineering

Lina Kattan, professor in the Schulich School of Engineering, is an award-winning expert in emerging technologies for transportation systems. As Alberta Motor Association (AMA) Chair in Smart Multimodal Transportation Systems and the Urban Alliance Professor in Transportation System Optimization, she collaborates extensively with municipal and industry partners to develop intelligent transportation system solutions and advanced control of traffic systems, and to assess the impacts of emerging vehicular technologies.

Kattan’s research is highly interdisciplinary, including collaborations with other professors from geomatics engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, urban planning, and behavioural analysis. Her research in advanced traffic and transit management has resulted in innovative traffic control solutions. These include variable speed limit systems that respond to traffic, demand estimation based on cell phone data, bus arrival prediction, and dynamic congestion pricing.

Read about the research of Lina Kattan’s grad students on variable speed limits and autonomous vehicles.

Nominations for the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists close Dec. 2, 2019. The College is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. Nominations must be made by a current Fellow or a Member of the College. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate a scholar, visit the Research website.