1993: Keeping Pace

In 1993, Alberta’s research and technology arms were keeping pace with the world, with breakthroughs in infectious disease research, parallel computation, and remote field technology where recognized by the ASTech Awards.

Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell was recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Science in 1993 for his work in Infectious Disease Research. Dr. Tyrrell found clues while teaching a graduate course at the University of Alberta that lead to the discovery of an antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B, a virus that affects over 300 million people world wide. Dr. Tyrrell has since been inducted in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Joining the University of Calgary in 1981, Dr. Nigg built a premier biomechanics research center, leveraging his expertise across Medicine, Engineering, and Physical Education. His pioneering work spans the design of sports shoes, optimization of floor surfaces, enhancement of amputee children’s gait, and analysis of biomechanical stress on the human body. Dr. Nigg is the founder and chief science officer of Biomechanigg – a multidisciplinary group of specialists who concentrate on research related to movement, exercise and sport. Dr Nigg was awarded the Outstanding Leadership In Alberta Science.

The Time Warp or Optimistic Synchronization technology was a major breakthrough in parallel computation and the impetus for Jade, a computer simulation company launched by Dr. Brian Unger, for which he won the Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Technology award. Dr. Unger, a Professor Emeritus for the University of Calgary, continued to play an important role in Alberta’s research community, and founding president of the Netera Alliance, now called Cybera Inc, a consortium that builds cyberinfrastructure to support research and organizations in Alberta.

Dr. Harry Emmet Gunning received an award for Outstanding Contribution To The Alberta Science And Technology Community. A pillar in education and research and a distinguished career spanning Harvard University and the National Research Council of Canada. He played a pivotal role in advancing the University of Alberta’s Department of Chemistry, and in 1974 became the President of the university. He spearheaded the Edmonton Research Development Park Authority and has received honours such as the Order of Canada and Province of Alberta Achievement Awards.

Today the Edmonton Research Park continues to support innovation through the presence and collaboration of community builders and entrepreneurs such as Innotech Alberta (formerly Alberta Research Council), C-FERSyncrude ResearchERPBCIntellimediaClinisysFrontechBiostreamQuantiam TechnologiesATC, and more. ASTech Award winning companies from the research park have included: APINanopreciseNTwistNanospeed DiagnosticsMicrolyne, and Zedi.

Russell Technologies Inc won the Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology award for their Industrial Research, specifically for Filling the Market Void for Pipeline Inspection Tools. The Russell team specialize in Remote Field Technology, for assessing tubes, pipelines and plate. Since 1993, this Edmonton based company has continued to expand and develop, and now offer inspections for pipes, tanks, pressure vessels and towers, and own more than 8 patents for technology that it has developed. Now known as Russell NDE Systems Inc, they work with global partners – and have been recognized by the ASTech awards again in 2001 and beyond.

Dr. Raymond Lemieux, a native of Lac la Biche, and a researcher at the University of Alberta was the 1993 Winner: Alberta Pioneer in Science and Technology, celebrated for synthesizing sucrose and pioneering scientific research in Alberta, earned 14 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the inaugural NSERC Gold Medal. He founded three companies –R&L Molecular Research in 1963, Raylo Chemical in 1966 and Chembiomed Ltd. in 1977 – and significantly contributed to Alberta’s research-intensive industry, with over 200 publications and 28 patents. Lemieux’s extensive achievements are commemorated by awards including the Order of Canada, a biography, and his active engagement in academia and industry beyond retirement.

Dr. Jacob Masliyah, winner of Innovation In Oil Sands Research, was pivotal to the oil sands industry through his research in fluid-particle mechanics. His Extraction Simulation Model was crucial for the Syncrude Expansion Project and informed the design of other facilities. Beyond his technical contributions, Dr. Masliyah has enriched the scientific community with over 150 publications, participated in numerous committees, and received multiple awards for his excellence in teaching and service. Jacob’s work has greatly contributed to the University of Alberta, which awarded him its highest award: the J. Gordin Kaplan Award.

1993’s Other Winners Include:

CS Resources Limited was awarded the Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (>25M). CS Resources Limited emerged as a leading player in resource exploration, leveraging horizontal production techniques and innovative technologies, the company achieved impressive oil production rates surpassing 8,000 barrels per day, a feat unattainable through conventional methods at that time. CS Resources was acquired Pan Canadian Petroleum (now Cenovus) in 1997.

As a communications officer at Mount Royal College (now Mount Royal University), Rae Haaland, the 1993 Award for Journalism: Specialized Publications, highlighted science illiteracy in Canada through her piece “Another Science Story” in the bi-monthly magazine Imprint. Her work, aiming to shed light on efforts by Alberta’s educational and scientific institutions to address this issue, garnered positive feedback from both individuals and organizations within the scientific community.

As a CFRN Eye Witness News reporter in Edmonton, Michelle Renne Jones was the 1993 ASTech Award Winner for Journalism: General Public for her work preparing a series of in-depth medical features. The specific objective was to explain the relevance of medical breakthroughs to the general public. Her interviews – all conducted with Albertans and all discussing Alberta research projects – were aired to an enthusiastic response from viewers.

Malibu Engineering Ltd earned an ASTech Award in 1993 for Innovation in Industrial Research. Honoured for developing a tool known as Tally-Ho. This bright idea enabled on-site crews to measure racks of drilling pipe or casing by means of frequency modulation, using laser technology.

Valmet Automation, winner of Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology, specialized in turnkey open architecture control and information systems to monitor and control pipeline operations. Built its reputation on supervisory control and data acquisition systems – SCADA, and OASyS® at the time a new operating system, designed and developed in Calgary. (Now under the name AVEVA Enterprise SCADA a leading Pipeline Management System).

1993 Winner for Industrial Research, Z.I. Probes for products that electronically measured temperature and pressure in oil and gas wells. The Edmonton company’s highly sophisticated probe incorporates advanced software and electronics, resulting in superior levels of accuracy, resolution and reliability. In developing the instrument, Z.I. Probes Inc. has performed advanced research in power consumption, sensor technology and associated analog instrumentation.