Outstanding discoveries by Black researchers in Canada

February 1, 2024
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Dr. Akindele Odeshi on the left, Dr. Enid Montague in the middle and Dr. Temitope Oriola on the right // M. Akindele Odeshi sur la gauche, Mme. Enid Montague au milieu et M. Temitope Oriola sur la droite.

In honour of Black History Month, we are recognizing the outstanding achievements made by Black individuals in research and innovation. The stories shared below are only a few examples of the many invaluable ways Black researchers have advanced knowledge and contributed to Canadian society, including by addressing healthcare issues, transforming manufacturing techniques and creating positive police-community relations.

Enid Montague: Using AI to reduce Canada’s doctor shortage

University of Toronto professor, Dr. Enid Montague, is using artificial intelligence to reduce Canada’s doctor shortage. At the Automation and Equity in Healthcare Lab at U of T Engineering, she is using AI to help doctors with paperwork so they can spend more time with patients.

This innovation will benefit those most in need of health care access, such as those living in smaller cities, and will assist medical professionals in avoiding burnout. Ultimately, she hopes her discovery will help guarantee equitable access to healthcare for all.

Dr. Akindele Odeshi: Innovation for affordable material production

Overcoming language barriers and moving from Nigeria to Germany for his PHD, Dr. Akindele Odeshi is the new assistant dean academic at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Engineering. His research explored new techniques for producing carbon fiber reinforced carbon composites—materials used to make spacecrafts for example—at a lower cost. He succeeded in finding new, cost-effective methods to manufacture materials with similar qualities, which could be used across several industries.

Dr. Odeshi’s discovery is one of many significant contributions made by Black professionals in science and engineering. His journey is one of perseverance and dedication and highlights the value of diversity and inclusivity.

Dr. Temitope Oriola: Reducing problematic use of force and improving police-community relations

Dr. Temitope Oriola, a University of Alberta professor, studies dynamics between police and the communities they serve, to improve relations between them. Specifically, he studies the use of tools, such as the taser, and the impact these have on police-community relations.

Dr. Oriola’s work has helped reform public policy around policing for the better. As a special advisor to the Government of Alberta on Police Act Review, Dr. Oriola provided policy advice and several of his recommendations were turned into law. The new law, the Police Amendment Act 2022, represents the most comprehensive set of changes to policing in Alberta in the last 30 years.

Dr. Oriola’s work is recognized nationally and internationally, and he has received many prestigious awards. He continues to help advocate for human rights and create a more just and equitable society through his research.

About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.

Media contact:

Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications
Universities Canada
[email protected]

Tagged:  Equity, diversity and inclusion, Research and innovation

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