Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame inductees are recognized for having made major, internationally recognized impacts on science and/or technology during their lifetime. Inductees are required to have roots in Nova Scotia having either been born here or having made significant achievements while living and working in Nova Scotia. Through their outstanding lifetime contributions to society, the Hall of Fame inductees serve as inspirational role models for the youth of Nova Scotia to pursue STEM careers.
The Youth Award is awarded to the junior or senior high school student(s) in Nova Scotia who achieved the highest ranking among all Nova Scotia participants at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. The Youth Award is designed to recognize extraordinary work in the early scientific efforts of young Nova Scotian students.
Dr. Ken Lee
Dr. Kenneth Lee is a prominent expert in the field of oil spill response technologies, both in Canada and internationally. Over the course of his career, Dr. Lee has focused his research on oil spill clean-up, including the use of chemical dispersants to counter the environmental and damaging impact of oil spills.
Within the federal government of Canada, Dr. Lee served as the National Senior Science Advisor for Oil Spill Research, Preparedness, and Response for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In this position he led a Multi-Partner Research Initiative of the Oceans Protection Plan supporting international collaboration among oil spill researchers, response experts, and indigenous communities, to identify knowledge gaps and research priorities, improve our understanding of spill behaviour and impacts on biota, develop new clean-up technologies and protocols, and support science-based decisions to minimize environmental impacts and enhance habitat recovery.
Dr. Lee’s expertise in oil spill countermeasures has been utilized by the oil spill response community following several major spill events around the world including the 1989 grounding of the Exxon Valdez off the coast Alaska, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and, later that same year, the Kalamazoo River oil spill near Marshall, Michigan which released over a million gallons of diluted bitumen into the river.
Dr. Lee has coordinated and led major international collaborative research programs involving federal government agencies, academia, industry and the public. Deliverables from these research programs have supported the development and revision of national policies and regulations and international standards and governance for the protection of the marine environment. In recognition of his ability to champion support for research in marine sciences, Dr. Lee was elected by his peers to serve as Chair of the Canadian National Committee for the Scientific Committee Oceanic Research of the International Council for Science.
Silas Eastwood, a grade 11 Citadel High School Student, understands the challenges and frustrations that come with scientific exploration, but his passion keeps him striving toward his goals, “if you truly love the subject, it can be the most rewarding thing ever!”
Eastwood is back as the 2022 Youth Award recipient, after receiving the Excellence in Astronomy Award and a gold medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair for the second year in a row. His winning project, SMARTEN: Simulated Microgravity and Reduced Friction Test Environment for Nanosatellites, makes it possible to easily perform pre-launch tests on miniaturized satellites called CubeSats. Eastwood’s project will make space exploration more accessible to small organizations who can use it to improve pre-launch testing, enhance mission success, and support further understanding of the universe.
Eastwood’s goal is to improve the success rates of CubeSat programs and expand the types of mission objectives they can pursue by providing low-cost alternatives to conventional testing facilities and commercial satellite components.
In addition to his academic achievements, Eastwood has participated in the ATLAS (ATLantic Academy of Space) program, and he received an Excellence in Physics award in 2019. When he isn’t developing space technology or attending classes, Eastwood can be found playing chess, rock climbing, swimming or competing in mathematics competitions. He spent the summer of 2021 working with the Dalhousie Space System Lab’s CubeSat project LORIS which launches this November.
Professional of Distinction
Awarded to a world-class science and/or technology researcher or developer (in academia, a public research institution or private sector) who demonstrates ingenious and innovative thinking in the creation of ideas, concepts, perspectives, and processes within their field. The recipient is recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in their work but may not necessarily be well known locally by members of the general public.
Dr. Ron El-Hawary
Dr. Danika van Proosdij
Dr. Ron El-Hawary is the Chief of Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at the IWK Health Centre. He is always striving to improve care for his patients and in 2014 was awarded the IWK Award of Excellence in Patient and Family Centered Care. He is an innovative leader in paediatric scoliosis, and in 2018 became the first and only surgeon in North America to perform a new and innovative technique called ApiFix, which gives children suffering from scoliosis greater mobility. This less-invasive surgery meant the operating time was reduced to half compared to other methods and allowed for a shorter recovery time.
Many of his over 80 peer reviewed papers have been presented at 165 different national and international scientific meetings and presented at over 90 national and international hospitals and universities. Dr. El-Hawary highlights the importance and value of research as a mechanism in the development of improved clinical in the training of medical students, residents and fellows.
Dr. El-Hawary is a gifted surgeon, clinician, scientist and teacher. He has mentored approximately 100 medical students, 65 medical residents and 35 surgical and research fellows. His impact on these future leaders was so inspirational he was awarded the “2020 Culture Changer Award” by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and the 2019 and 2020 “Clinical Teaching Award” by the Dalhousie Orthopaedic Residency Program.
As a geomorphologist, Professor and Director of the TransCoastal Adaptations Centre for Nature-Based Solutions at Saint Mary’s University (SMU), Dr. Danika van Proosdijis is actively working to help promote nature-based solutions to preventing coastal erosion. Over her 23 years at SMU, her research on a wide range of coastal system issues has placed her at the forefront of researchers focused on how ecosystems and, ultimately, human systems will respond to climate change. By helping to understand and address the effects of climate change, Dr. van Proosdij’s work will have a vital impact on the ecosystem in Nova Scotia and beyond.
Dr. van Proosdij has authored over 42 papers and given 200+ presentations around the world, including 69 invited or keynote talks. This work has been supported by an additional 105 technical reports. She is considered an expert researcher in creating a safer, sustainable coastal zone for future generations and has given 30+ broadcast interviews on the subject. Factoring in the training of over 57 students, and 77 research personnel, she has influenced climate change understanding across multiple individuals and key policy bodies. Dr. van Proosdij was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal is a Professor for the Department of Biology at Mount Saint Vincent University and is a global leader in the study of the development and evolution of the vertebrate skeleton. Dr Franz-Odendaal is a fellow of the American Association of Anatomy, serves on several editorial boards for scientific journals in her field and is the past-president of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science.
Dr. Franz-Odendaal is also the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for Atlantic Canada, and conducts a significant amount of science outreach for youth and professional development for women in science through her WISEatlantic program. Her efforts in educating the public and scientific communities about the achievements of women in science, and her research in the area of evolutionary-developmental biology are impacting Canadian communities and have reached thousands of individuals as well as many STEM industries in Atlantic Canada.
Dr. Franz-Odendaal actively applies an EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) lens to her research and knowledge translation activities and leads important discussions on EDI best-practices at Mount Saint Vincent University and beyond, making her a leading advocate for EDI at post-secondary institutions in Canada.
Science Champion is awarded to a working scientist, technology professional, full-time science teacher, professor, journalist, or media personality who devotes their time to the promotion of science and technology to the public. The recipient serves as a role model for all Nova Scotians, particularly for youth and students, in support of the development of a culture of science and innovation in the province.
Dr. Arunika Gunawardena
Simone Le Gendre-King
Dr. Arunika Gunawardena is a Professor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at Dalhousie University. Dr. Gunawardena has a genuine interest in bringing science to as many youth as possible, and her unwavering passion and enthusiasm for science is evident in her hands-on approach to workshops in her research lab.
Dr. Gunawardena has been the recipient of excellence in teaching and mentorship awards at the institutional level, and the magister award from the Canadian Botanical Association for high level of teaching excellence. She serves as President of the Atlantic Science Links Association and has been involved in a wide array of outreach activities for teachers and students across Nova Scotia. She has been instrumental in coordinating science conferences, contests, presentations and laboratory workshops which give teachers the skills and tools to inspire youth to learn about the biological world.
As a professional biologist, Dr. Gunawardena has been an active member of the Canadian Botanical Association, an Associate Editor for the scientific journal Botany, and served on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council discovery grant panel. Additionally, Dr. Gunawardena supervised the Herbarium Digitization Project, and the establishment of a tropical plant collection in the Dalhousie Biology Department Greenhouse which has been enjoyed by students from across Nova Scotia.
Dr. Gunawardena’s research is focused on Programmed Cell Death (PCD) in plant development. She is transforming non-model lace plant species into a model species for studying PCD in planta. Dr. Gunawardena and her collaborators (both national and international) discovered that lace plant anthocyanins have anti-cancer properties and are currently exploring the mechanisms that mediate cell death in cancer cells and other medicinal properties of lace plant anthocyanins.
Simone Le Gendre-King is currently the Director of Immigration Programs for the Province of Nova Scotia and worked previously as a STEM Curriculum Consultant for the Adult Education Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education. Over the past three years she has been a critical part of the team responsible for the transformation of the Adult Education system in Nova Scotia.
Le Gendre-King incorporates innovation into her work and was recently recognized with her team for the Digital Skills Innovation sandbox project. She was responsible for conceptualizing and implementing a rapid prototyping methodology to deliver digital skills programming to vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19. Thirteen community organizations across the province were able to help address Nova Scotia’s digital divide by teaching adults the critical skills needed.
Le Gendre-King has designed and delivered formal and informal STEM education programming and professional development for educators over the past 13 years. Her programs have touched the lives of thousands of individuals from the early childhood age group to seniors. She is a passionate advocate for women and girls in STEM and has promoted science and technology for girls and underrepresented populations. She has been a guest lecturer on science communication and has made complex scientific information easy to understand by non-science audiences. She believes that scientific literacy is a key component to building a knowledge-based and innovative economy and seeks to bring science to all.
Dennis Langille, a senior project manager with Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., has been a relentless promotor and supporter of STEM education for youth in Nova Scotia over the course of his career. Dennis is an industrial engineering graduate, from what is now the Faculty of Engineering at Dalhousie University. He has worked for 38 years in a wide variety of technical assignments for Procter & Gamble and Michelin and understands the challenges of learning about new areas of science and technology and fostering healthy and productive teams. His work with engineers and students has always been centered on their understanding of technical topics using an easy, fun, and accessible approach.
Langille is dedicated to inspiring youth to have interest in STEM and this is proven in both his personal and professional lives. He has been instrumental in the founding and success of the Acadia Robot Programming Competitions since they began in 2005, serving on the advisory board and as a judge, as well as fundraising to put on the competitions and ensure teams who advance can compete at the international level. Professionally, Langille has advocated for his company’s support of STEM education at Discovery Centre and of robot programming competitions. He has also made mentorship a priority, coaching new engineers and new project managers on the importance of technical competence, interpersonal skills and human connection.
The Emerging Professional Award is awarded to a post-secondary science and/or technology student, graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, or practicing professional, who is early in their career, and lives and studies or works in Nova Scotia. This person demonstrates intellectual achievement, excellence and has potential for ongoing growth and development. They also demonstrate ingenious and innovative thinking in the creation of unique ideas, concepts, perspectives and processes within their field.
Dr. Souvik Mitra
Dr. Amina Stoddart
Dr. Souvik Mitra is a Neonatologist in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the IWK Health Centre and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, cross-appointed with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University.
Spearheading research in neonatal hemodynamics at IWK Health, Dr. Mitra leads two major clinical trials on management of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a common heart condition in premature babies. Dr. Mitra’s work in the past six years has had a direct impact on the lives of premature babies and their families, globally. His research on the best treatment pathway for PDA saw a major shift in its treatment policies locally, nationally and internationally, as he demonstrated that what was the most widely used treatment, was in fact, not optimally effective. Dr. Mitra’s dedication has resulted in better, safer care for preterm babies, as well as reduced need for heart surgeries.
Dr. Mitra also recently completed a Doctorate Degree in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research at Dalhousie University, and mentors his peers and extends his knowledge to ensure research excellence at IWK Health Center as a valued member of the Scientific Review Committee.
Dr. Amina Stoddart joined the Dalhousie University Department of Civil and Resource Engineering in 2018 as an Assistant Professor. Currently, her research focuses on wastewater surveillance and wastewater treatment optimization. She uses her expertise in wastewater treatment to help advance Halifax Water’s state-of-the-art utilities and minimize wastewater pollution.
Municipal wastewater is one of the largest sources of pollution, by volume, to surface water in Canada. The overarching goal of Dr. Stoddart’s research is to improve the effluent quality of the wastewater systems to identify chemical treatment optimizations, elucidate fouling mechanisms, test new technologies for disinfection, and assess discharge of contaminants of emerging concern, including microplastics. Dr. Stoddart works closely with Atlantic Canadian communities and companies to develop innovative solutions to unique wastewater issues. Her work has resulted in improvements in water services and quality for several Nova Scotian and New Brunswick communities.
Dr. Stoddart was awarded the Young Professional of the Year Award (2017) from the Atlantic Canada Water and Wastewater Association and, most recently, the 2021 L.A. White Young Engineer Award from Engineers Nova Scotia for making significant contributions to the profession of engineering, and the community. She is recognized as a champion for promoting women in engineering and the water industry. She was a moderator at Dalhousie University’s Open House Women in STEM Panel Workshop in 2019 and served as a Women in Engineering Panelist at the GoEngGirl.
Dr. Erin Mazerolle
Dr. Erin Mazerolle studies human brain function and explores changes in brain function related to neurological disease.
Since joining St. Francis Xavier University’s Department of Psychology as Assistant Professor in 2020, Dr. Mazerolle became one of four co-principal investigators on a major grant focused on vascular contributions to cognitive decline. At StFX, she will be exploring functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), an accessible and promising technology to measure brain function in humans. Her research shows enormous potential for wide ranging health benefits, particularly for rural and under-served populations. Dr. Mazerolle is collaborating with the Family Service in Mi’kma’ki on a research project called “Sharing the neuroscience of living with housing instability”.
Dr. Mazerolle has a strong commitment to advancing the interest of women and girls in science, as well as anti-racism and social justice efforts. She was a founding leader of Industry, Technology and Science for GIRLS! (SuperNOVA at Dalhousie University) and has served as a demonstrator, tour guide, and mentor for numerous youth events held in scientific labs, including Actua Canada, Shad Valley, Girl Guides of Canada, and university open houses in Montreal and Halifax.
The Innovation Award is awarded to a company or individual for science and/or technology innovation in the commercial development of a new product or service. Presented to an enterprise or individual that has developed a commercially viable product or service and is either ready to bring it to market or has recently successfully done so. This award is intended to recognize a team or individual who saw the commercial potential of a concept/research and applied innovative business practices, combined with the strategic investment of time and money, to bring it to the market.
Precision BioLogic Inc.
Precision BioLogic, led by CEO Paul Empey, develops frozen diagnostic products that help hemostasis labs and patients around the globe. Their proprietary line of frozen hemostasis products – CRYOcheck™ – is unique, accurate, and reliable – and made in their facilities in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Their latest product CRYOcheck Chromogenic Factor IX is a response to the demand for chromogenic assays by researchers and laboratories to effectively monitor new treatments for hemophilia. The product will identify factor IX activity in human plasma and can aid in the management of hemophilia B. It was recently approved for use by regulatory authorities in Canada, EU, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The product launch was announced at the World Federation of Hemophilia Congress in Montreal.
Precision BioLogic’s line of products helps to advance research, promote careers in STEM and innovative ways to detect diseases such as hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.
As a local researcher and manufacturer, the work of Precision Biologic has increased understanding and appreciation of the need for advanced scientific research, collaboration and development of products that can identify coagulation disorders that can severely impact the daily lives of patients, their families and the life expectancy of those diagnosed. For example, severe hemophilia can lead to life-threatening hemorrhages. By having these frozen products, communities, employees, labs, health professionals and patients get to see that scientific ideas can turn into products that help save lives. And those products are used every day in labs and hospitals all over the world.
Innovasea developed the V3 fish tag, the smallest in the industry, over the course of two years in response to customer demand. Smaller than a pharmaceutical caplet, the V3 is ideal for tracking fish in noisy freshwater environments like those found around barriers, dams and fish passage systems.
The V3 also gives researchers the ability to study smaller species of fish and larger species that are at earlier stages of their lifecycle. This will become increasingly important as scientists look to understand the effects of climate change on fish and other aquatic animals and their habitats.
Both the product development team and its process were unique. The R&D Team was led by a woman in engineering. Sara Stout-Grandy, P.Eng., who kept all the teams involved moving toward their goal and solving every issue they encountered. There were several technical breakthroughs that enabled the V3 to move from concept to commercial viability, including finding a battery that was small enough to work in it and powerful enough to deliver sufficient operating life.
The V3 development team at Innovasea was made up of members from the R&D, Production Engineering, Production and Product Management teams. The diversity of this group enabled the V3 to be scrutinized from many different perspectives, allowing the best possible product to enter the market.
Graphite Innovation & Technologies
Founded in 2017, by Mo AlGermozi and Marciel Gaier, Graphite Innovation and Technologies (GIT) is a materials engineering company which commercializes novel uses of graphene to produce ultra-durable, ultra-smooth coatings for marine applications. GIT has developed a patent-pending graphene product line that makes it very hard for biofouling, microorganisms, plants, algae, or small animals, to settle on ship hulls and propellers, and works better than traditional paints. GIT graphene product line coatings also reduce drag, which decreases fuel use, and are more durable and longer lasting than other marine coatings.
The company is at the key point of demonstrating the performance and value of their first-of-a-kind “smart” coatings through projects with real customers funded by sales revenue and grants from Transport Canada and Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. GIT is distinguished by being the first Dalhousie University spin-out to be awarded an Ocean Supercluster project to demonstrate their innovative solutions with commercial partners.
In addition to GIT, AlGermozi is an active volunteer, helping other young Nova Scotian entrepreneurs identify their passion and guide them towards successful ventures. This enthusiasm has allowed him to explore various mentorship roles where he encourages other entrepreneurs to view their business issues as challenges rather than problems.
Public Impact Award
The Public Impact Award recognizes a Nova Scotian researcher in academia, a public research institution, government, or the private sector, whose research has benefited Nova Scotians by tangibly improving the economy, environment, healthcare system, or society. The recipient’s work has developed in response to the needs of society, and is solving a problem, managing a risk, or creating an opportunity for Nova Scotians.
Dr. Timothy Webster
Professor Jennifer Llewellyn
Dr. Tim Webster has been a Research Scientist with Nova Scotia Community Campus’ (NSCC) Applied Geometrics Research Group since 2000. He is one of the top researchers in the geomatics sector, specializing in flood risk mapping, shoreline delineation, and landscape evolution utilizing LiDAR and other remote sensing techniques.
Dr. Webster’s research group is the only academic institution in Canada to own and operate a topo-bathymetric LiDAR sensor. This technology can be used in several areas including coastal zone management, river and coastal flood risk, and erosion and land stability studies. Dr. Webster’s focus includes LiDAR and other high-resolution remote sensing and Geographic Information System techniques for mapping, monitoring and modelling processes in the coastal zone, with an emphasis on flood risk and erosion. Tim continues to expand his research efforts in the area of climate change and flood risk, with his work focusing on coastal communities located on major river systems where the threat of heavy-rainfall runoff events can combine with higher sea levels of storm-surge events that compound the flood-risk issues.
In addition to his research, Tim supervises courses and students at the Centre of Geographic Sciences. He also co-supervises graduate students in the Acadia–NSCC joint Master of Science in Applied Geomatics program.
Jennifer Llewellyn is a Professor of Law at Dalhousie University and the Chair in Restorative Justice and Director of the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab (Restorative Lab. Her teaching and research focus in the areas of relational theory, restorative justice, truth commissions, peacebuilding, international and domestic human rights law, public law, and Canadian constitutional law.
Professor Llewellyn has advised governments and NGO’s and supported many governments, projects and programs including the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Jamaican government, the government of New Zealand and the United Nations. Her world-renowned expertise resulted in her appointment as an expert on the UN mechanism to review the UN Basic Principles for the Use of Restorative Justice in Criminal Matters. Additionally, Professor Llewellyn facilitated the design process for the first ever restorative public inquiry and served as a commissioner for The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry. She previously advised the Assembly of First Nations and Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the response to residential school abuse.
Recognized for her contribution in the field of restorative justice, Professor Llewellyn was awarded the National Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award from Correctional Services Canada in 2015 and was the 2018 recipient of the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council National Impact Award, the highest award for research achievement and impact in Canada. In 2019, she received the Dalhousie University President’s Research Excellence Award for Research Impact.
Dr. David Percival
Dr. David Percival is a Professor of Whole Plant Physiology in the Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University. He is the Director of the Wild Blueberry Research Program and is also the Manager of the Wild Blueberry Research Centre. For 26 years he has undertaken wild blueberry research and development activities.
Dr. Percival’s research includes assessing the impact of climate change on biotic and abiotic factors affecting plant growth, development and berry yield, remote sensing of wild blueberry fields, pest and nutrient management technologies, and berry composition, quality and safety. He has developed new technology-based products, processes, and services and provided ongoing production management training to producers and industry representatives. This has allowed producers to remain competitive in an increasingly globally competitive market and mitigate threats including emerging pests and late spring frosts associated with climate change.
In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Percival has also been an executive member of Plant Canada, served as the President of the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, and has been the representative for Canada on the Council of the International Society for Horticultural Science.
David has supervised and evaluated over 200 Masters, PhD and Postdoctoral fellows over his career. A former student noted that Dr. Percival was always “an inspiring instructor who linked theory to practice especially for the lab, but always emphasized the importance of supporting the local agricultural community and industries”.