Canadian Manufacturing

Five researchers win 2014 Killam Prize; work has dramatic industrial impact

Each winner receives $100,000 in the awards endowed in the memory late Canadian industrialist Izaak Walton Killam.

TORONTO—Five of the country’s top scholars and scientists have been named winners of the 2014 Killam Prize, created to honour Canadians who have made contributions to research that has had far-reaching national and international impact.

Winners of the annual Killam Prize, administered by the Canada Council of the Arts, each receive $100,000. The awards were endowed by Dorothy Killam in memory of her late husband, Canadian industrialist Izaak Walton Killam.

The winners are:

Sajeev John, University of Toronto
A physicist and theoretician who pioneered in photonic band gap (PBG) materials, a new class of optical materials sometimes referred to as “semiconductors of light.” PBG materials could eventually be used for optical communications processing, clinical medicine, lighting and solar energy harvesting.

Andreas Mandelis, University of Toronto
An engineer who specializes in diagnostic applications of lasers in applied physics, materials science and biomedical engineering. His fundamental and applied research has led to non-invasive biomedical and dental technologies, and non-destructive methods for monitoring structural faults in industrial materials ranging from cars to aerospace products and optoelectronic devices.

James Miller, University of Saskatchewan
An historian whose research and teaching has focused on the history of relations between Canada’s indigenous and immigrant peoples over the past four centuries. His public presentations, publications and counsel have enriched and informed national discussions and public policy.

Frank Plummer, University of Manitoba
The chief scientific officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada and director of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. Best known as a tenacious HIV/AIDS researcher and vaccine crusader, his finding that some women have a natural immunity to HIV has fuelled the search for an effective vaccine.

Fraser Taylor, Carleton University
Introduced the world to the power of cybercartography, an enhanced form of multimedia mapping using geographic information management, to deepen our understanding of socio-economic issues. In Canada, and around the world, his cybercartographic atlases have delivered new perspectives and a way to comprehend complex issues such as trade and economic patterns, international development and the risk of homelessness.

According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Killam built an investment empire in Canada and Latin America with holdings in publishing, utilities (International Power, Calgary Power, Ottawa Valley Power Co), pulp and paper (BC Pulp and Paper, Mersey Paper), construction and films.

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