Professor Kibret Mequanint honoured for Excellence in Research


Western Engineering News | May 8, 2018

Each year, Western Engineering presents a faculty member with the Engineering Award for Excellence in Research to recognize their outstanding research contributions. This year’s recipient is Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor Kibret Mequanint.

“[Mequanint] has demonstrated an outstanding ability as both an effective educator and innovative researcher,” said Ajay Ray, Professor and Chair in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. “His contributions continue to be original and significant and have been widely accepted and recognized by his academic peers, both nationally and internationally.”  

Most recently, Mequanint was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) College of Fellows for his distinguished contributions in biomaterial design and the applications of biopolymers to medicine. He is one of just 18 Canadian engineers – and the first from Western – to be part of the U.S.-based non-profit organization.

Mequanint has greatly contributed to various aspects of research including tissue engineering, biomaterials syntheses and hydrogel-based radiation dosimeters. Specifically, his fundamental work on growing engineered blood vessels using human cells could change the lives of millions of Canadians suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease.

Mequanint’s research impact in biomaterials and tissue engineering is lauded by leaders in the field.

"His research impact in biomaterials and tissue engineering is lauded by leaders of the field," wrote Dr. Yadong Wang from Cornell University. "[Mequanint's] publications contained systematic and influential studies on elastin synthesis and signaling mechanisms. These studies are original and their impact is significant and far-reaching.” 

Dr. Heather Sheardown from McMaster University referred to Mequanint as "a world class researcher in the field of biomaterials and is one who will continue to make contributions to the field for years to come."

These sentiments were echoed by multiple colleagues and peers in the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering who wrote letters of support for Mequanint’s nomination.

“This award serves as a motivation to further advance biomaterials and tissue engineering research not only for fundamental understanding, but also for translation to the clinic,” said Mequanint. “I want to thank former graduate students who worked in my lab over the years and those who are currently engaged in our research.”

Mequanint will receive the Engineering Award for Excellence in Research at the Western Engineering Faculty and Staff Award Luncheon on June 1.