2021 ASTech Award Winners & Finalists

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION, sponsored by Syncrude Canada Ltd.

George ShimizuWINNER: DR. GEORGE SHIMIZU, Calgary

Key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is affordable carbon capture (CC). Dr. Shimizu has discovered and, with academic and industry partners, de-risked the most promising solid for CC in the 10-50% range, broadly applicable for capture from cement, steel and chemical reforming industrial gas streams. Learn more.

FINALIST: DR. MILANA TRIFKOVIC and EnviCore
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EMERGING CHANGE MAKER sponsored by RSM Canada

WINNER: DR. ALI TELMADARREIE, Calgary

Dr. Telmadarreie co-founded CNERGREEN in 2019, a start-up looking to commercialize one of his patents designed to help the transition to a low carbon future by recovering more oil and storing more CO2. CNERGREEN tailors nanoparticles and commercial chemicals to make CO2 foam stable in any reservoir. Learn more.

FINALIST: DR. CATHERINE LEBEL, Calgary
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OUTSTANDING WOMAN IN INNOVATION sponsored by TSGI Corporation

Deborah KurraschWINNER: DR. DEBORAH KURRASCH, Calgary

Dr. Kurrasch’s lab developed a novel drug screening platform designed to uncover therapies with unexpected mechanisms of action, with their lead program focused on pediatric epileptic encephalopathies. Learn more.

FINALIST: DR. BEATRIZ MOLERO-SANCHEZ, SEEO2 ENERGY, Calgary
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RESEARCHER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Innovate Calgary

Walter HerzogWINNER: DR. WALTER HERZOG, Calgary

Dr. Herzog’s research has revolutionized the understanding of muscle contraction and biomechanics. His discoveries have changed how scientists think about muscle contraction and force production. Learn more.

FINALIST: DR. HONGBO ZENG, Edmonton
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INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Bennett Jones 

Jianhua Zhu WINNER: DR. JIANHUA ZHU, Edmonton

Dr. Zhu had a dream in 1989 of developing a technology to replace sugar to improve public health by developing and commercializing healthy new food and beverage products. His lifelong ambition led to a patented technology for VitaFiber, a natural, low calorie plant-based alternative sweetener to replace sugar. VitaFiber is both a prebiotic and a dietary fiber which contributes to a solution to two global health problems: weight management and gut health. Learn more.

FINALIST: DR. MICHAEL TASCHUK, G2V OPTICS INC., Edmonton
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Special thanks to Reality Engine for designing the digital badges for the winners.