Engineering professor named University Scholar

May 5, 2016

A diverse group of McMaster researchers have been named this year’s University Scholars.
The title is intended to recognize faculty members in mid-career who have already distinguished themselves as international scholars.

Engineering’s Steve Hranilovic’s research interests are in optical wireless systems – wireless communications that use light.

Hranilovic, and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor, and his team develop information theory, signalling design and experimental prototypes for these systems operating in the infrared, visible and ultraviolet bands.

He was the lead architect on the highly- successful re-design of our Department’s capstone design project and the establishment of the public exposition of the students’ achievements. His teaching of that course has placed him on the Dean’s Teaching Honour Roll in both of the years that that award has been in place. Furthermore, in his role as the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs, he has created truly engaging processes to rise to the challenge of “continuous improvement” issued by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

“I am truly blessed to be able to spend my days working with incredibly capable individuals on important topics,” Hranilovic said. “Being a researcher and a professor is not just a job for me, but rather it is my calling.  The recent awarding of the title of University Scholar is a humbling experience and is really a recognition of the fantastic students, colleagues and staff that surround me in the Faculty.   I am especially grateful to my wonderful team of graduate students who make coming to work an inspiring and exciting occurrence.”

Among the other recipients are two researchers tackling infectious diseases in two very different ways.

Biophysicist Maikel Rheinstadter uses the world’s most powerful in-house x-ray instrument dedicated to cell membrane research to study trans-membrane proteins – the first to be attacked by infectious diseases.

A technique developed in the Rheinstadter lab allows researchers to study membrane-embedded proteins under realistic physiological conditions, which could lead to better treatments for disease and the development of advanced materials and biosensors.


Steve Hranilovic

Steve Hranilovic, Professor Electrical & Computer Engineering and University Scholar

Health Sciences’ Brian Coombes is the Canada Research Chair in Infectious Disease Pathogenesis. He investigates how the organisms that enter our bodies and cause serious problems with our gastrointestinal systems infect humans, and how human and environmental activities influence the evolution of these infectious diseases.

Sonia Anand, a professor in Cardiology, focuses on the environmental and genetic determinants of vascular disease in populations of varying ancestral origins, women and cardiovascular disease.

Each University Scholar will be awarded for a period of four years (beginning July 1, 2016), and will receive $15,000 per year provided by McMaster provost David Wilkinson and the applicable faculty dean.

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