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Showcasing McMaster's top innovators

Showcasing McMaster's top innovators

Dr. Mo Elbestawi (left) congratulates Dr. Simon Haykin after presenting him with the Lifetime Innovator Award at the 2012 Innovation Showcase

June 29, 2012


Chemical engineering professor Heather Sheardown was named Innovator of the Year  Wednesday at the McMaster Innovation Showcase.

Known for her work using hydrogels in biomaterial development for ophthalmic  applications, Sheardown has developed two inventions with significant promise:  material for intra-ocular lenses used in the treatment of cataracts and material designed  to deliver therapeutic drugs to the back of the eye in a controlled and sustained  manner.

Simon Haykin, distinguished university professor and professor of electrical and  computer engineering, was recognized with the Lifetime Innovator Award.

Haykin was honoured for his work inventing the field of cognitive radio, which has  significant potential for making a difference in wireless communications. McMaster has  filed eight patents based on Haykin's research. Both military and consumer-oriented  companies are interested in his work and some have already agreed to license it.

Haykin also contributed to work VitaSound Inc. - winners of this year's Industry Partner  Award - licensed from McMaster.

The Industry Partner Award recognizes corporations who have made a significant  contribution to developing the University's research mandate.

The Ontario-based early stage company uses patented technologies to  create solutions for those with hearing problems. It was recognized for its role in  commercializing the NeuroCompensator hearing aid.

The NeuroCompensator was developed by Suzanna Becker, professor of psychology,  neuroscience & behaviour, which grew out of earlier research performed at McMaster by  Haykin and Ian Bruce, along with Becker.

To acknowledge their achievement, Mo Elbestawi, vice-president research and  international affairs, presented the three award recipients with sculptures by local glass  artist Kelly Lowe.

The McMaster Innovator Awards recognize researchers who contribute to McMaster  University's ongoing efforts to build a culture of innovation, commercialization and  entrepreneurship by creating a product or service to transfer their research discoveries  and inventions to society.