UBC physicist, computer scientist among new RSC fellows

September 11, 2018

Andrea Damascelli, one of the newly named Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada.

Physicist Andrea Damascelli and computer scientist Uri Ascher are among UBC’s newly named Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) – the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the sciences in Canada.

Since 2000, 40 UBC Science researchers have been recognized by the RSC.

Currently scientific director of UBC's Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, Damascelli uses spectroscopic techniques, including time-, spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and resonant elastic X-ray scattering to study the low-energy electronic structure of quantum materials. His research could be used in the future to make faster transistors, more sensitive sensors, and novel quantum devices.

Ascher investigates and promotes novel, efficient and reliable methods in scientific computation, particularly for approximation problems involving differential equations with constraints and optimization. In addition to numerical methods, his work touches on multibody systems simulation, virtual reality, robotics, data inversion in geophysics, 3D electromagnetic modeling, image reconstruction, 3D mesh denoising, cloth simulation, computational fluid dynamics and medical imaging applications.

Also named to the RSC today was UBC wood scientist Shawn Mansfield, an associate member of UBC Botany and member of the Biodiversity Research Centre. His lab is involved in studying tree biotechnology, the relationship between genes expression and phenotypic fibre characteristics, and fibre morphology and chemistry as related to the formation and properties of paper.

UBC's William Cheung was also honoured today by the RSC's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Canada's first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. Cheung assesses impacts of fishing and climate change on marine ecosystems and their goods and services, and studies ways to reconcile trade-offs in their management.

The fellowship of the RSC comprises over 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field. These are distinguished men and women from all branches of learning who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.


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