NSERC Discovery Grants Program

ÉTS researchers receive a total of $5.1 million over 5 years

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

ÉTS professors and researchers are extremely well positioned with respect to the NSERC Discovery Grants Program. Twenty-nine of our colleagues will benefit from a total funding envelope of $5.1 million over the next 5 years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). It is also worth mentioning that all of the researchers who applied for the first time this year had their applications approved!

Ghyslain Gagnon, Dean of Research at ÉTS, is delighted with these results: “I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in this exercise for the quality and scope of their scientific programs. I would also like to thank the entire team at the Dean of Research Office, who lent their support to our researchers in preparing their applications.” 

The NSERC Discovery Grants Program is an extremely competitive program that is intended to fund creative research programs. All researchers anxiously await the decisions of the granting agency, but for new researchers, receiving a favourable response represents a significant milestone in their career. In fact, having obtained a Discovery Grant is often a prerequisite for applying for other sources of funding.

José Dolz, Diala Naboulsi, David St-Onge and Simon Drouin are among those who obtained their first Discovery Grant this year. 

According to Jose Dolz: “For me, the most satisfying aspect is that I am now seen as an independent researcher”. It is important to note that all projects submitted within the context of this program are reviewed by an Evaluation Group comprised of peers from around the world. This funding will allow him to recruit students and put together a research team to study new limited-supervision deep learning techniques, primarily in the field of medical imaging. 

For Diala Naboulsi, the grant represents an opportunity to head a long-term research project and to attack a problem from a global perspective. “The Program offers a certain amount of freedom, which gives me the necessary leeway to explore all of the interesting aspects of the project and initiate collaborations”, she states. This grant will enable the researcher to study network slicing in future mobile networks. She adds: “This is a relatively new concept that involves creating network slices comprising sets of logical networks supporting mobile services on top of a shared physical network”. 

For his part, Simon Drouin is very proud of the fact that he has now been recognized by his peers. He explains: “I am delighted to see that my research hypothesis is of interest to my colleagues”. The grant will not only allow him to improve the performance of augmented reality interfaces, which may eventually be used to guide surgeons during operations, but also to reduce the cognitive load on users associated with existing interfaces. 

David St-Onge, whose research focuses on groups of autonomous robots, was surprised by the response his project generated. Self-described as a somewhat unusual engineering researcher, he received a substantial grant from NSERC. Professor St Onge, whose partners include artists, museums and theatre companies, proudly explains: “This was my first application, and my project doesn’t fit into any predefined box, so I was pleasantly surprised by the response. To me, this signifies that Canadian researchers, who are also my peers, see that my approach and my ideas have potential.” The funding will allow him to explore more intuitive solutions that will have a slight impact on the mental load of those who are responsible for operating groups of robots. In other words, this work will enable users to take full advantage of the technology without requiring extensive advance training. 

We would like to congratulate all of the researchers who impressed their peers with the quality and relevance of their projects. This is a notable achievement, considering that these grants are becoming more and more difficult to obtain. If your project was not approved this year, don’t give up! You have until November 1 to submit your application. 


List of 2020 recipients


Jose Dolz


Diala Naboulsi


Simon Drouin


David St-Onge


Michel Baraer    
Hydrological Changes in Alpine Glacierized Catchments

Francois Brissette
Impacts of anthropogenic forcing and internal variability at the watershed scale – going from the daily to the hourly time scale

Katherine D'Avignon
Centering HVAC system design and operation on the occupant: early childhood educational spaces

Ivanka Iordanova
BIM-integrated Computational Design and Robotic Fabrication in Construction

Danielle Monfet
Integration of agricultural spaces into buildings

Ali Motamedi
Integrating the Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Analytics and Immersive Computing to Enable Cognitive BIM

Annie Poulin
Study and development of approaches for evapotranspiration modelling under current and future climate conditions

Michel Vaillancourt
Mitigation of urban heat islands through the development of a high-thermal-resistance pavement structure incorporating post-consumer glass

Ruxandra Botez
Green Aircraft Performance Analysis using Morphing Systems Modeling and Experimental Validation

Ali Gharbi
Stochastic optimal feedback control policies for evolving production systems and supply chains in a dynamic environment 

Mustapha Ouhimmou
Advanced data-driven approaches to designing and planning robust and sustainable networks for the forest biorefinery value chains, taking into account uncertainty

Kamal Al-Haddad 
New generation of high-performance and high-power-density electronic power converters 

Yves Blaquière 
automatic infrastructure optimization for applications on heterogeneous computing platforms based on FPGA

Zbigniew Dziong
Dynamic Resource Allocation and Pricing for Fog-Cloud Networking as a Service

Jose Dolz
Limited-supervision for efficient medical image understanding

Simon Drouin 
Novel human-computer interaction paradigms for surgical augmented reality

David Labbe
Study and development of immersive multi-sensory systems for avatar embodiment in virtual reality

Michael McGuffin
Virtual and Augmented Reality for Knowledge Work

Diala Naboulsi
Network slicing in future mobile networks: from the Core Network to the Radio Access Network

Pierre Bélanger    
Development of ultrasonic wave inversion methods

Vladimir Brailovski
3D-printed superelastic lattice-based structures for load-bearing biomedical applications 

Raynald Guilbault
Tribo-dynamics of gears - interactions among the dynamics, lubrication and degradation of surfaces: Modeling, optimization and detection

Sébastien Lalonde
Fatigue damage in stranded cables: Development of a multi-scale digital and experimental analysis strategy 

Sophie Lerouge
Modular injectable scaffolds for cell therapy and 3D bioprinting

Fawzy Samuel
Role of heat treatment in optimizing the microstructure of Al-Si cast alloys for elevated temperature applications

Marlene Sanjose
Development of loss and noise models for fan design based on high-fidelity simulations

Patrice Seers
Improvements to direct-injection spark ignition engines by advanced technologies

David St-Onge    
Dynamic swarm representation for teleoperation adapted to cognitive load

Antoine Tahan    
Measurement-assisted assembly without access to templates

By the numbers

  • 137 ÉTS professors currently receive funding through this Program, with the funding spread over a period of 5 years.
  • More than 400 students have received research training during this period
  • 100% of professors who applied to the Program for the first time in their career received a favourable response
  • 76.3% of researchers who submitted an application received a favourable response

Chantal Crevier

Communications Service

514 396-8800, ext. 7893

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