University of Saskatchewan

September 20, 2014   

U of S Selects Two New Petro-Canada Young Innovators

March 08, 1999

Sept. 10, 1998

News Release


Dr. Ram Balachandar and Dr. Yuanming Pan were each awarded a $20,000 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award at a special campus event today.

"These outstanding young researchers are excellent examples of what the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award Program was designed to encourage," said Dr. Michael Corcoran, U of S Vice-President (Research).

"Their work will not only enrich student learning but have the potential to be of significance to the business community and society at large."

Balachandar, an associate professor of civil engineering, will do basic research that could lead to more environmentally friendly vapor sprays -- such as more efficient fuel injection devices in car engines, more effective clean-up of toxic chemical sprays from the rupture of pressurized canisters in rail and truck accidents, and more environmentally safe spray cans for insecticides, deodorants and paint.

Pan, an associate professor of geological sciences, will study the origin of ancient fossilized organic matter responsible for the formation of oil and gas resources, work of immense interest to the petroleum industry. The research could also provide new insights into the early evolution of the Earth's atmosphere.

In 1996, Petro-Canada contributed $100,000 to the U of S's First and Best National Campaign to create five new awards under the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Awards Program. The program, intended to assist young researchers launch their scholarly careers, was created in 1995 in response to concerns by universities that some of Canada's most promising young minds were leaving the country to conduct their research elsewhere.

The program recognizes, promotes and supports outstanding young faculty researchers whose academic work is particularly innovative, enhances the learning environment in the department in which they study, and has the potential to be significant to society at large.

Ken Cummings, Petro-Canada terminal manager for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, said the purpose of the program is to "keep Canada strong and competitive economically by helping ensure that our most promising young researchers can continue their careers here at home."

The research undertaken by Dr. Balachandar and Dr. Pan "is contributing to the knowledge base of our industry and we are pleased to be able to help support their work," he added.

Candidates for the award are nominated by their department and selected by a committee chaired by the Vice-President (Research). Selection criteria include the researcher's overall research promise, the degree of innovation of the work, quality of the proposal, and relevance to the interests of Petro-Canada. Recipients must be full-time, tenure-track faculty. The first award was in 1996.

For more information, contact:

Ken Cummings
Petro-Canada Terminal Manager
Saskatchewan/Manitoba Region
(306) 668-5353

Kathryn Warden
U of S Research Communications
(306) 966-2506

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