2023 ASTech Awards Gala Winner’s Gallery

34th Annual ASTech Awards Winners 2023

Award: Aerospace Innovation

Winner: Dr. Yang Gao, University of Calgary

Presenter: Roger Haessel, Advisor – RPAS Strategy, APEX Alberta (Regional Innovation Network of Medicine Hat)

Initiative: Innovation Brings High-Precision Satellite Navigation to People and Applications

Award: Hydrogen and Alternative Energies

Winner:Exro Technologies Inc.

Presenter:Chris McLeod, Vice President, Global Marketing & Communications, Edmonton Global

Initiative: Power Electronics Experts: Exro’s innovations in the transportation and energy sectors

Award: Construction / Smart Cities / Transportation

Winner: Levven Electronics(James Keirstead, President)

Presenter: Alicia Cafferata-Arnett, Industrial Applied Research Specialist, Red Deer Polytechnic; co-lead CARIN (Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network)

Initiative: Whole Home Automation System that Saves Time and Materials for Builders.

Award: Community Initiatives

Winner: NeurAlbertaTech Neurotechnologies Ltd. (Keerat Sandhu, Director, Business Development)

Presenter: Crys Vanier – Executive Director, Post-Secondary Investments & Emerging Technology, Alberta Innovates

Initiative: NeurAlbertaTech presents natHACKS: A Hackathon Like No Other

Award: Medical / Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals

Winner: Dr. Elise Fear, Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary; Co-Founder, Wave View Imaging

Presenter: Jesse Monck, Director – Alberta Blue Cross

In photo: Dr. Elise Fear’s colleague accepted the award on her behalf.

Initiative: Imaging Technologies to Improve Breast Cancer Detection

Award: Agriculture / Agrifood Innovation

Winner: Livestock Gentec (Graham Plastow, CEO; John Basarab, Head of Beef Operations)

Presenter: Lorna Baird – Manager, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Olds College of Agriculture & Technology, and co-lead Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network – CARIN

Initiative: Developing and Driving Adoption of Transformative Genomic Technologies for Cattle

Award: Environment / Water / Air Innovation

Winner: Excir (Hiwa Salimi,CTO;  Loghman Moradi, CIO;  Pat Derkacz, Eng Manager, Aaron Logan, COO)

Presenter: Jeffrey Priest, Professor,Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary

Initiative: Critical Minerals Recovered from Waste with Ultra Low Environmental Impact

Award: Environmental Applications in Energy 

Winner: Kathairos Solutions (Dick Brown, CEO)

Presenter: Mal Carroll, Manager of Research and Development, Syncrude Canada Ltd (Operated by Suncor)

Award: Energy / Cleantech Innovation

Winner: Applied Quantum Materials Inc. (Jonathan Veinot, Chief Technical Officer)

Presenter: Justin Riemer, CEO – Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)

In photo: Award accepted by Dr. David C. Bressler, Associate Dean, University of Alberta

Initiative: Silicon Nanomaterials: Small particles making a big impact

Award: Sustainability Solutions / Approaches

Winner:  Reimagine Architects (Vivian Manasc, Executive Principal)

Presenter: Peter Fenwick, Director, Mount Royal University – Catalyst Growth Program

Initiative: Reimagining the Built Environment

Award: Digital (General)

Winner: SMART LabDr. Rafiq Ahmad, Associate Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta

Presenter: Rainer Iraschko, Principal Technology Architect, TELUS

Initiative: Smart and Sustainable Systems Empowering Industries and Society

Award: AI/ML Advancement

Winner: Hadis Karimipour, Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Software Engineering, University of Calgary

Presenter: Rollie Dykstra, Executive Vice President, Impact – Alberta Innovates

Initiative: Secure and Resilient Cyber-Physical Systems

Award: AI/ML Application

Winner: Willowglen Systems (Wayne Karpoff, President); Suncor (Gordon Meyer, Manager – Automation); NTwist (Chowdary Meenavilli, CEO)

Presenter: Rollie Dykstra, Executive Vice President, Impact – Alberta Innovates

Initiative: SentientQ: Empowering Pipeline Optimization through AI-Driven Decision Support

Award: Social Innovation/Educational Technologies

Winner:  Robogarden Inc. (Mohamed Elhabiby, President)

Presenter: Dr. Steve Larter – Associate Vice President (Research & Innovation), University of Calgary

Initiative: Democratization of Digital Skills Training through AI-Powered Learning Platform

Award: Excellence in Furthering Inclusive Communities

Winner: Technology North Corporation (Ling Huang, CEO)

Presenter: Presenter: Dr. Lisa Carter, Faculty of Science and Technology – Athabasca University

Initiative: Innovation in Inclusion by TN Digital Services

Award: Indigenous-led Entrepreneurship and Contribution to Knowledge

Winner: Chief Calvin Bruneau – Papaschase First Nation (PFN)

Presenter: Tim Carwell – President, The CommAlert Group and Past-ASTech Award Winner

Initiative: Enhancing the Nation’s ability to apply land stewardship initiatives through advanced technical products and services

Award: Women in Innovation (Lifetime Contribution to the Ecosystem)

Winner: Marlene Huerta, Senior Business Advisor – Alberta Innovates

Presenter: Presenter: Amber Hall – Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Initiative: Decades of Stewarding Innovation, Inventorship and Entrepreneurship in Alberta

Women in Innovation (Research)

Winner: Kathryn Birnie, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anesthesiology,
Perioperative and Pain Medicine, University of Calgary

Presenter: Presenter: Amber Hall – Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Initiative: The new Pediatric Pain Management national health standard

Award: Change Makers (Company)

Winner: Dr. Phone Fix (Piyush Sawhney, Founder, CEO )

Presenter: David James – Deputy Minister of Technology and Innovation – Government of Alberta

In photo: Accepting on his behalf – Chris McLeodEdmonton Global

Initiative: Pioneer ‘Fixer’ of scientific marvel – the cell phone

Award: Innovation of the Year Award

Winner: RUNWITHIT Synthetics (Myrna Bittner, CEO; Dean Bittner, CTO); Edmonton Global (Malcolm Bruce, CEO); Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (Karen Wichuk, CEO)

Presenter: Darren Fast – Associate Vice President, Innovation, Knowledge Mobilization & Partnerships – University of Alberta

Initiative: SEEITAL – The Synthetic Edmonton Environment Intelligent Advanced Laboratory a Digital Twin

Award: Researcher of the Year

Winner: University of Alberta (Ying Tsui, Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Tarek El-Bialy, Professor, Dept. of Dentistry; Jie Chen, Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
SmileSonica Inc (Cristian Scurtescu, CEO)

Presenter: Rainer Iraschko – Principal Technology Architect, TELUS

Initiative: Invention and Commercialization of Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound Dental Therapy Device

Awards: Alberta-wide Community Champion of Innovation

Winner: Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (Andrew MacIsaac, CEO)

Presenter: Derek Armstrong, Manager Innovation Ecosystems, PrairiesCan

Initiative: Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation secures game-changing support for life sciences.

Award: Student Changemaker of the Year

Winner: Connor Povoledo, President, Level 7 and Wound3

Presenter: David James – Deputy Minister of Technology and Innovation – Government of Alberta

Initiative: A Young Change Maker in Action

Award: Early Adopter of Innovation

Winner: Sumantra “Monty” Ghosh, Doctor of Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine, Alberta Health Services; Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Alberta / University of Calgary

Presenter: Hasnain Baloach – Alberta Catalyzer Coach, Edmonton Unlimited

In photo: Ron Murch, Senior Instructor Emeritus, Haskayne School of Business

Initiative: Using technological innovations to preventing drug overdoses for people using substances alone during the opioid epidemic.

Award: Regional Innovation Champion

Winner: TruMe Whole Health (Melissa Hozack, CEO/President/Founder)

Presenter: Carla Otto, Executive Director, Entrepreneurial Investments,  Alberta Innovates

Initiative: Empowering transformative actions that build a whole health lifestyle.