Katarina Grolinger receives Junior Faculty Award for Excellence in Research

Katarina Grolinger, an assistant professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the 2022 recipient of the Junior Faculty Award for Excellence in Research.  

The Award recognizes a junior faculty member who has demonstrated great potential in research scholarship. 

katarina-grolinger-ins“Winning this award is a tremendous honour, and it means a great deal to me personally and professionally,” said Grolinger.  “This award is a recognition of the dedication and hard work of myself and my research team, and it validates the efforts we have put into our research.” 

Miriam Capretz, software and engineering professor at Western Engineering, contends Grolinger’s expertise in machine learning is a significant asset to the Faculty. 

“It has been just over five years since her appointment, and we can now clearly see her leadership abilities, and her demonstrated ability to drive her work, to obtain funding and to successfully manage a research program.” 

Grolinger has published 28 journal papers, 30 conference papers and a book chapter. In 2022, she received 790 citations. According to Google Scholar, Grolinger has an h-index of 23 with a total of 3220 citations. 

Her collaborations with industry have been widespread. Industrial partners include London Hydro, XLScout, Canadian Tire, and Utilismart Corporation, which led her to obtain prestigious grants such as the NSERC CRD, the OCE VIP, and the NSERC Alliance grant. 

She has been awarded 12 research grants as a principal investigator, totalling over $760,000, and she is a co-investigator on 10 grants totalling over $7.5 million. Of those grants, 14 are in collaboration with an industry partner. 

“These awards and collaborations demonstrate the impact of her work and ensure that the results of her research will become practical solutions to everyday problems,” said Ana Luisa Trejos, associate professor and Tier-II Canada Research Chair in Wearable Mechatronics in the department of electrical and computer engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering. 

Trejos added: “Although she is an excellent researcher, she is also an outstanding instructor currently co-supervising six PhD and five MESc students. She has already graduated two PhD, five MESc and 10 MEng students. Some graduated students are pursuing PhD studies, while others have started careers with companies such as Amazon, IBM, Capital One and BMO, demonstrating the impact and quality of her supervision.” 

“I have greatly enjoyed the opportunities to collaborate with researchers from different engineering disciplines as well as with diverse industry partners, as these collaborations enabled me to extend the reach of my research and to have a wider impact,” shared Grolinger. 

While her expertise is sought across the field to serve as an expert reviewer for journals and granting agencies or to participate in program and adjudication committees, the Canada Research Chair (CRC), Tier 2, in Engineering Applications of Machine Learning nominee finds time to nurture the next generation of engineers. 

She engages in numerous outreach activities for undergraduate and K-12 students and actively mentors girls and young women, often giving tours of her lab and participating in the Western Engineering Summer Academy. 

When asked what she hoped to achieve in the years to come, Grolinger shared, “I hope to inspire, train, and mentor the next generation of researchers and professionals that will drive developments in machine learning and increase the impact of machine learning in society… to grow interdisciplinary collaborations with academics from Western Engineering and Western faculties, both nationally and internationally, as well as with industry/community partners to design solutions to real-world problems.”