Nano Ontario, an organization dedicated to celebrating and supporting the accomplishments of Ontario’s diverse scientific community, has bestowed the 2021 Nano Ontario Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology upon Dr. Emilio Alarcón, a pioneering researcher at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and NexQT fellow.
Dr. Alarcón’s groundbreaking work has consistently pushed the boundaries of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. His research is devoted to unravelling the potential of nanoscale interactions in creating biomaterials with augmented biological properties for tissue and organ repair. Additionally, Dr. Alarcón is at the forefront of developing innovative tools and technologies for minimally invasive, on-the-spot bioprinting of complex tissues, ushering in a new era of medical possibilities.
One of Dr. Alarcón’s recent breakthroughs involved exploring the application of a sprayable therapy for treating heart attacks. This work, which was published in the journal ACS Nano, was prominently featured on the cover page of the March issue, attesting to its significance and impact on the scientific community.
In addition to his exceptional research contributions, Dr. Alarcón’s dedication to scientific outreach and knowledge dissemination can be felt through his involvement in BEaTS Research Radio, a weekly science podcast hosted by early-career scientists and investigators.
As we celebrate Dr. Alarcón’s achievements, his work stands as an inspiration for aspiring scientists and reinforces the significance of supporting and celebrating diverse talent in Ontario’s scientific landscape. His contributions to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine hold the potential to revolutionize medical treatments and significantly impact the lives of countless individuals. Congratulations to Dr. Emilio Alarcón on receiving the Nano Ontario Award, a recognition truly well-deserved.
The University of Ottawa and the Nexus for Quantum Technologies would like to congratulate Dr. Alarcón on this noteworthy award, and we look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future.
Canadian physicist, Dr. Paul Corkum, has been awarded the prestigious Wolf Prize in Physics for his pioneering contributions to the field of attosecond science. The Wolf Foundation announced the winners of the 2022 Wolf Prize, and Dr. Corkum shares this recognition with European physicists Ferenc Krausz and Anne l’Huillier. The Wolf Prize is widely regarded as one of the highest honours in physics and chemistry, second only to the Nobel Prize.
Dr. Corkum’s career has been marked by groundbreaking research and transformative discoveries in ultrafast laser spectroscopy. He is currently a Professor at the University of Ottawa, a Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and co-director of the NRC-uOttawa Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics.
At the heart of Dr. Corkum’s work lies the realm of attosecond science, which deals with phenomena occurring at a mind-bogglingly brief time scale—one billionth of a billionth of a second. Collaborating with fellow physicist Ferenc Krausz, Dr. Corkum achieved a monumental milestone by producing 650-attosecond pulses of light. These ultrashort, powerful pulses have allowed scientists to capture the movement of subatomic particles and witness molecular reactions in real-time.
A key achievement of Dr. Corkum’s research is the first experimental image of a molecular orbital and the first space-time image of an attosecond pulse. His work has paved the way for studying electron motion in atoms, molecules, and solids, unravelling the underlying processes behind essential chemical reactions and biological functions on the molecular level. Such insights are invaluable for advancing fields like medicine, computing, and engineering.
The Wolf Prize, awarded by the Wolf Foundation, recognizes outstanding contributions to science and the arts for the betterment of humanity and fostering global harmony among diverse communities. To date, 345 scientists and artists worldwide have been honoured with this distinction.
The University of Ottawa and the Nexus for Quantum Technologies congratulates Dr. Corkum on this remarkable achievement, acknowledging his pivotal role in shaping the field of attosecond science.
UOttawa physics professors Adina Luican-Mayer and Jean-Michel Ménard have been awarded the Ontario government’s Early Researcher Awards. The honour recognizes the work of new researchers at Ontario research institutions and is awarded to catalyze the building of a research team.
The University of Ottawa is proud of this exceptionally talented new generation, determined to expand the frontiers of knowledge in key areas for our shared future,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, research and innovation. “Their ability to distinguish themselves so early in their careers speaks amply of their rich and diverse research contributions to come.
Adina Luican-Mayer: Quantum technologies have raised expectations of a veritable revolution in physics, computer science, medicine and many other sectors. With the emergence of two-dimensional quantum materials made up of one single layer of atoms, new breakthroughs are now within reach. Researcher Adina Luican-Mayer specializes in condensed matter. Through her work, she seeks to understand and control quantum functionalities of two-dimensional materials. The experimental research lab she heads combines scanning microscopy and nanofabrication techniques to push the boundaries of knowledge regarding quantum matter at the scale of individual atoms. With precise atomic techniques, Luican-Mayer and her team will apply themselves to designing quantum devices of high scientific and technological value.
Jean-Michel Ménard: Quantum systems will be central to tomorrow’s technologies. Nevertheless, we still know of few methods to master them and fully harness their potential. Researcher Jean-Michel Ménard relies on the latest photonics techniques to make advances in this area. Building on the breakthroughs already achieved in his time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy lab, his team will conduct research on manipulation of the quantum state of solids and molecular systems. His experiments on semiconductor microsamples or chemical components strongly coupled to light will pave the way for new computing and quantum communication technologies, as well as prepare interns to join the exciting Ontario R&D market for these emerging fields.
The University of Ottawa and the Nexus for Quantum Technologies would like to congratulate Professors Lucian-Mayer & Ménard on their accomplishments and look forward to seeing what breakthroughs they will undoubtedly bring to the field.
September 2022 marked the return of the in-person Annual JCEP Progress Meeting, which was being held for the first time in three years. The meeting included reports and project updates form each pair of PIs in the joint centre, with topics such as UV frequency combs (Corkum & Gertsvolf), high-sensitivity detection of terahertz radiation (Gamouras & Ménard), four-wave mixing in optical fibers (Lundeen & Sussman), free-space high-dimensional QKD over the city of Ottawa (Heshami & Karimi), ultrafast electronic coherences in molecules (Staudte & Stolow), and high harmonic generations at the nanoscale (Ramunno & Vampa). Once the updates were given, the event concluded with a poster session allowing students, postdocs, and PIs alike to delve into the details of individual projects.
UOttawa physics professor and NexQT co-chair Ebrahim Karimi has been awarded the Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship in recognition of advancements made in the field of structured quantum waves and quantum communication. This NSERC fellowship is awarded annually to early stage academic researchers in STEM based in Canadian universities to support and enhance their research and to help them become leaders in their respective fields.
Dr. Ebrahim Karimi is a distinguished leader in the field of structured quantum waves and manipulation. In 2016, he and his team demonstrated the feasibility of high-dimensional quantum communication in an urban setting by constructing the first-ever 300-meter free-space quantum communication link between two rooftops on the University of Ottawa campus. Following this achievement, Karimi’s team collaborated with the National Research Council to establish the infrastructure for a 5.4-km free-space quantum link between uOttawa and the NRC Campus, which is currently the longest link of its kind in Canada.
Presently, Karimi’s research is geared towards extending the boundaries of quantum communication, simulation, and sensing. His team is engaged in developing an extreme quantum microscope, an innovative technology that has the potential to establish Canada as a pioneer in this burgeoning field. This groundbreaking device will enable Karimi’s group to investigate the behavior of physical phenomena occurring at the nanoscale and pave the way for the creation of innovative photonic, electronic, and spintronic devices.
Professor Karimi can be reached through his website at sqogroup.ca.