Distinguished University Professors take centre stage

From primary health care and biochemistry to engineering and military history, Western’s latest Distinguished University Professorship (DUP) winners emulate the motivation behind why the award was created. In honouring faculty who have built a record of excellence in the areas of teaching, research and service over a substantial career at Western, this year’s recipients receive an award of $10,000 to support their scholarly activities and three of the four winners will deliver a public lecture at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 in Conron Hall, University College.

Stanley Dunn will deliver his lecture at a later date.

This year’s DUP winners are:


Jesse Zhu, Faculty of Engineering

With more than 27 years researching powder handling and fluid-particle multiphase flow, Jesse Zhu, professor and Canada Research Chair in Powder Technology Applications in Western’s Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, has become one of the world’s most renowned researchers in his field.

With more than 40 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research engineers, Zhu also heads the Particle Technology Research Centre at Western, comprised of 15 professors carrying out numerous research projects over a wide range of particle-related technologies.

Besides basic research, Zhu also has several inventions, some of which have been commercialized or are now ready for licensing, including an ultrafine powder technology for automobile and materials industry, a dry powder inhalation technology and a fluidized bed bioreactor for efficient wastewater treatment.

“Jesse is a world-renowned researcher furthering the understanding of the science and the technology in chemical engineering,” said Faculty of Engineering Dean Andrew Hrymak. “He has demonstrated an outstanding ability to excel in his many areas of responsibility.”


Jonathan Vance, Faculty of Social Science

A specialist in Canadian military and cultural history, Western History professor Jonathan Vance’s current research revolves around Canada and the First World War. In his 14 years at Western, he has supervised more than a dozen dissertations to completion, and has nearly 10 more in progress, yet students never have difficulty getting his time. His work in social memory and military history attracts graduate students from across Canada and has contributed substantially to the growth of the faculty’s graduate program.

From 2000-10, he held the Canada Research Chair in Conflict and Culture, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008. His book Death So Noble won the 1998 Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, the 1998 C. P. Stacey Award, and the 1998 Dafoe Book Prize.

“We consider professor Vance to be one of the ‘master teachers’ in our department and an extremely valuable teaching mentor to younger faculty and our graduate students,” said Margaret Kellow, Department of History chair.


Moira Stewart, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Considered an international leader in research methods in primary health care (PHC), Moira Stewart’s flourishing research program has created a first-in-Canada database using the international classification of primary coding within an electronic medical record.

A professor in the Department of Family Medicine, Stewart holds the Dr. Brian W. Gilbert Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Primary Health Care. Under her leadership, the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine, a multidisciplinary centre focused on the enhancement of family medicine and primary health care practice through research, has grown in funding and scope, currently encompassing 10 researchers and attracting more than $8 million in grants on a yearly basis.

“We are extremely grateful for the contributions Dr. Stewart had made to Schulich and to the university over her distinguished career,” said Schulich Dean Michael Strong.


Stanley Dunn, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Stanley Dunn’s productivity – and ensuing recognition – within the field of biochemistry is astounding.

His work has graced the pages of Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of Molecular Biology, to name just a few. While the significance of his contributions can be measured by the prestige of the journals, consider also the fact Dunn’s published papers have received more than 3,000 citations to date, with a current citation rate of nearly one every other day.

As a researcher, he has made important advances and achieved intentional recognition in the field of bioenergetics and bioinformatics. Since 1983, his laboratory has been funded without interruption by the Medical Research Council and then the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). With his current CIHR grant awarded for another five years, Dunn is assured of at least 30 years of continuous funding.

“His unselfish nature, common sense approach and outstanding critical judgment are highly respected by many colleagues,” said Schulich Dean Michael Strong.


Western also selected 13 Faculty Scholars to recognize their significant achievements in teaching or research. The recipients are considered all-around scholars and will hold the title of Faculty Scholar for two years and receive $7,000 each year for scholarly activities. This year’s Faculty Scholars are: Ajay Ray and Jun Yang, Faculty of Engineering; Matthew Heath, Faculty of Health Sciences; Liwen Vaughan, Faculty of Information and Media Studies; Jan Cami, Chris Guglielmo, Paul Ragogna and Robert Solis-Oba, Faculty of Science; Lorne Campbell, Jason Gilliland, Lance Lochner and Joanna Quinn, Faculty of Social Science; and Claus Rerup, Richard Ivey School of Business.