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Carleton University welcomes new Canada research chair, renews two current chairs

Carleton University

Carleton’s Merlyna Lim, a faculty member in the School of Journalism and Communication, has been named Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Digital Media and Global Network Society, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced today.

Carleton’s Steve Cooke, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, and Winnie Ye, an associate professor in the Department of Electronics, will be renewed as CRCs for a second term. Cooke holds the CRC in Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology, while Ye holds the CRC in Nano-scale IC Design for Reliable Opto-Electronics and Sensors.

“Carleton continues to attract internationally renowned researchers who are doing important work and solving critical problems that engage a range of disciplines,” said Kim Matheson, vice-president (Research and International). “I’d like to welcome Merlyna Lim to the Carleton research community and congratulate Steven Cooke and Winnie Ye for their renewed CRCs.”

“Our government is committed to supporting top researchers across all disciplines through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs Program,” said Holder. “More than 1,700 chairholders are pushing the frontiers of knowledge in universities and colleges throughout Canada – driving jobs, growth and economic prosperity for Canadians.”

Lim investigates the use of digital media in recent uprisings, including the Arab Spring, the Malaysian Bersih (electoral reform) movement, and Occupy Wall Street movements. There is a mainstream perception that these movements were ignited by social media, but Lim asserts that “revolutionary moments” do not originate only in online space but also in physical spaces and spaces in between.

“We need to locate digital activism within the context in which it operates,” says Lim. “In the materiality of the technology and the socio-political landscapes in which activists are operating and in terms of the scales and boundaries of the problem it seeks to remedy.”

Lim’s research is contributing to understanding the actual role of digital media in supporting contemporary social movements and transforming politics globally. She joins the Carleton University community after holding research and teaching positions at Princeton University, Arizona State University, the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and the University of Southern California.

Cooke was named as a CRC in 2009, and since then he has worked to improve the sustainability of all fishing sectors by researching common problems such as post-release stress and mortality. The first phase of Cooke’s tenure as a CRC, during which he demonstrated an immediate and pressing need to ensure that fishing activities in Canada and elsewhere are sustainable, was highly successful in achieving the research goals of the program.

Ye, who was also named as a CRC in 2009, examines nano-scale circuits for solving large-scale health problems. She is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of optical sensing technology. Her primary research field is photonics—a science that studies how light interacts with matter. Ye designs and fabricates nano-scale integrated circuits for reliable optoelectronics, which is the study and application of electronic devices that source, detect and control light. She also develops affordable and multifunctional biosensor systems. Her research has aided efforts in the discovery of vaccines and new drugs for the prevention and treatment of life-threatening diseases such as malaria.

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