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Pressing questions

Engineer named inaugural fellow of international research program


By Jackey Locke

A prominent engineering researcher and Memorial’s associate vice-president (research) has been named a CIFAR fellow.

Dr. Ray Gosine joins CIFAR’s new program on Innovation, Equity and the Future of Prosperity (IEP), which was recently launched following an international competition to select new research programs that address important global complex, fundamental questions.

The CIFAR IEP program brings together an international network of scholars from a range of academic disciplines to develop a comprehensive theoretical and practical framework to better understand the complex relationships between innovation, prosperity, and opportunity. The network will support a rigorous and groundbreaking approach to exploring research questions, developing a framework and generating insights about the interface between the distribution and innovation that will extend scholarly work and innovation practice.

Rigorous criteria

The ideas were selected according to rigorous scholarly criteria that were novel, bold and potentially transformative in a way that warranted the creation of a sustained, interdisciplinary and collaborative research program.

Dr. Gosine recently spent time working in the Innovation Policy Laboratory at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto where he was involved in a research collaboration to explore the impacts of digital technology innovation – also known as digitalization – within the context of the extractive industries of offshore oil and gas and mining.

“Ray has been invaluable in spearheading the bridges between engineering and the social sciences.” — Dr. Dan Breznitz

The research, which is supported by Petroleum Research Newfoundland & Labrador, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Mitacs, will be expanded within the context of the CIFAR IEP program.

Spending much of the past two years at the Innovation Policy Laboratory at the Munk School allowed Dr. Gosine to pursue a different field of research and lay a foundation for ongoing research within the CIFAR IEP program.

“The issues being considered within the CIFAR IEP program are particularly timely in the context of natural resources industries given the potential for digitalization to significantly alter the nature and geographic distribution of development-related benefits, including employment,” said Dr. Gosine.

“Historically, this has been a significant component of the value proposition to the region in respect of permits or rights to develop resources. My participation in the CIFAR IEP program provides a unique opportunity to engage with world-leading innovation scholars on issues of significant academic and practical interest.”

‘Great minds’

Dr. Gosine is one of 112 new appointments from across CIFAR’s four research theme areas: life and health; individuals and society; information and matter; and earth and space.

The CIFAR IEP program is directed by Dr. Dan Breznitz from the University of Toronto, Dr. Susan Helper from Case Western Reserve University, and Dr. Amos Zehavi from Tel Aviv University.

“It is a pleasure and an honour to be able to work with Dr. Gosine as part of the CIFAR IEP program,” said Dr. Breznitz, Munk Chair of Innovation Studies at the University of Toronto. “Our team uniqueness is in bringing together great minds from all across the disciplines, and Ray has been invaluable in spearheading the bridges between engineering and the social sciences.”

The other inaugural fellows and advisors include researchers from Stanford University, Harvard University, Oxford University, Brown University, Seoul National University, Florida International University and the University of Massachusetts.

As a CIFAR fellow, Dr. Gosine is one of 400 interdisciplinary researchers from 22 countries who are associated with 12 global research programs.

The fellows convene at regular program meetings to address science and humanity’s most pressing questions. The first program meeting will take place this weekend in Toronto.

In addition to his role as associate vice-president (research) at Memorial, Dr. Gosine is a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He will also continue as a visiting professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and as a professor (status) of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Toronto.

Research excellence

During his 25 years at Memorial, he has held various senior roles, including vice-president (research) pro tempore; associate vice-president (research); dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; and director of intelligent systems at C-CORE, a separately incorporated entity of Memorial University.

Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, says he is pleased Dr. Gosine is being recognized for his research excellence.

“Congratulations to Dr. Gosine on becoming a CIFAR fellow,” he said. “This is well-deserved recognition of Dr. Gosine’s expertise in interdisciplinary themes of global importance. His research has importance in how the benefits of technological innovation are distributed and how they make economic impact on Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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