2020 Year in Review

Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Image of person scrolling through CEPS website

From prestigious awards to incredible discoveries, a look back at our most-read stories from 2020.

2020 was a year of challenge and change. But it was also a year of innovation and advancement. Many of our faculty and staff pivoted to support the battle against COVID-19; maintained groundbreaking research that will be critical for the world; and supported students and each other during a year unlike any other. From prestigious awards, to COVID-19 projects and outstanding student leaders, we present a look back at some of our top-read stories from 2020 (ranked in order of readership).

General Interest Stories

Composite image of headshots of women featured

5. Women in STEM

February 11, 2020
On the United Nations' International Day of Women and Girls in STEM, we profiled a series of oustanding U of G community members who each have unique stories about their journeys in science, technology, engineering and math. Meet Carolyn, Sarah, Joanne, Anemmeabasi, Karen, Jennifer and Valerie.

Image of computer in engineering lab

4. Bringing High-Quality Learning Home

August 6, 2020
When it became clear that COVID-19 would continue to disrupt campus life this past fall, the School of Engineering was determined to maintain the world-class learning that students expect. In engineering, those experiences are highly dependent on one core component of engineering education: computers and their software. Faculty and staff strategized a program to loan engineering students the necessary equipment for their schooling.

Collage of headshots of faculty and staff award winners

3. 2020 CEPS Awards

June 25, 2020
Our success in making research advancements, promoting collaboration across sectors, and teaching and training is a direct result of the dedicated faculty and staff employed by CEPS. Never has that been proven more than in the face of the unprecedented global pandemic this year caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. Each of our team members deserve recognition, and particularly so in this context. Six CEPS faculty and staff were presented awards to recognize their contributions.

Headshot of Sara (left) and Mahmoud

2. U of G VSAI Winners

May 26, 2020
Two of the prestigious Vector Scholarships in Artificial Intelligence (AI), provided by the Vector Institute, were awarded to Collaborative Specialization in Artificial Intelligence (CSAI) students in 2020: Sara El-Shawa and Mahmoud Salem. At U of G, students enrolled in the CSAI program are eligible for the entrance scholarship, which is valued at $17,500 and designed to attract top-tier students into Ontario-based AI graduate programs.

Headshot of Fatima (left) and Ryan

1. 2020 Convocation Awards

July 16, 2020
Each year, the University of Guelph recognizes a select number of outstanding faculty and students during the convocation ceremonies. These university-level honours and awards are conferred by Senate and recognize the achievements and contributions of recipients. This year, PhD students Fatima Haque, School of Engineering, and Ryan Dunlop, Department of Physics, have received two of U of G's convocation awards.


Research Highlights and Features

artistic image of gloved hand holding clear vial with plant growing inside. Other similar vials are in the background

5. Catalysts for Change

June 30, 2020
From melting polar ice caps to devastating natural disasters, we are feeling the impacts of global warming. Unfortunately, rising carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere, which leads to global warming, is a by-product of items that we depend on. Replacing many of those materials from a renewable and sustainable carbon source would help alleviate global warming—a challenge that chemistry professor Marcel Schlaf, PhD student Maryanne Stones and team are investigating.

Hand touching dark soil with young plants growing around the edge of the scene

4. Capturing Carbon

June 16, 2020
Gas-guzzling morning commutes and other human activities have led to significant increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. In turn, high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere block the sun’s heat from escaping and are a recognized cause of global warming. Engineers Emily YW Chiang, Rafael Santos and team aim to slow climate change by trapping carbon dioxide in soils.

headshot of Kathryn Preuss

3. CEPS Researchers Awarded $2.5 Million from NSERC

June 18, 2020
Researchers within CEPS have received $2.5 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to fund a whopping 14 research projects that span its five units: Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics.

a young woman lays in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask on, while a doctor stands over and adjusts the mask

2. Testing and Treating COVID-19

June 23, 2020
U of G's Office of Research and CEPS funded nine projects designed to support the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impacts. Five of the projects—spanning Chemistry, Computer Science and Engineering—focus on testing, screening and treating the virus SARS-CoV-2.

a camera and microphone are in the foreground. In the background, a young person is blurred but speaking directly into the camera and making hand gestures

1. Inaugural CEPS Graduate Student Research Day

October 27, 2020
In October, the CEPS community gathered to celebrate and discover graduate student research across the College’s five diverse academic units in recognition of its high-achieving graduate students. The event consisted of 15 three-minute graduate student presentations; a panel of experts discussing the role of physical scientists and engineers in the health of our planet; and graduate student awards.

News Archive