McGill researchers have been awarded two of the six 2013 Killam Fellowships.
Projects led by Allan Greer, from the Department of History and Classical Studies, and David Plant, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, each were awarded $70,000 a year for two years. The Fellowships enable researchers to be released from teaching and administrative duties so that they can pursue independent research.
The Canada Council for the Arts, which administers the Fellowships, announced that close to $1 million was being awarded to six successful applicants. Their projects were chosen by the national Killam Selection Committee, which included 15 eminent scientists and scholars representing a broad range of disciplines.
The Killam Program was established in memory of Izaak Walton Killam through the Will of his wife, Dorothy Killam, and through gifts made during her lifetime. Their primary purpose is to support advanced education and research at five Canadian universities and the Canada Council for the Arts.
To develop a stronger understanding of aboriginal issues, at a time when land and treaty rights continue to create tensions between natives, non-natives and governments in Canada, Greer’s project explores the historical roots of current aboriginal issues in Canada and across North America. He will study how European and native property systems collided, overlapped and affected one another over time, in the contrasting settings of New Spain, New England and New France, from 1600 to 1800.
The goal of Plant’s project is to build tomorrow’s Internet, by improving the fibre optics networks that are its backbone. These networks, once viewed as having unlimited capacity, are currently supporting annual capacity growth rates of 50-60 per cent. The research will concentrate on fibre optic transmission and what are called silicon-photonic transceiver arrays. This will potentially address looming capacity limitations that will arise in the next generation of the hardware that powers the Internet.
The Killam Research Fellowships support scholars engaged in research projects of outstanding merit in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering and interdisciplinary studies within these fields. The Killam Program at the Canada Council for the Arts also includes the Killam Prizes, which were created to honour eminent Canadian scholars and scientists actively engaged in research, whether in industry, government agencies or universities.
See the full list of 2013 Killam fellowship recipients here.