Connaught New Researchers Awards to UTTRI associates Bodur, Higgins, Wang

three head shots: Merve Bodur, Christopher Higgins, Jue Wang
(L-R) Merve Bodur, Christopher Higgins, Jue Wang

Congratulations to three UTTRI associated faculty who received a 2020 Connaught New Researchers Award!

Merve Bodur is Assistant Professor in the the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Dean’s Spark Professor, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Her research interests include theory and applications of stochastic programming, integer programming, multiobjective integer programming and combinatorial optimization.

Professor Bodur has been a guest speaker twice on the UT-ITE Seminar Series. She delivered “Model Optimization Problems via Stochastic Programming” last year and “Integrated Staffing and Scheduling for Service Systems via Stochastic Integer Programming” in 2018.

Christopher D. Higgins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Geography at U of T Scarborough.

His research is focused on the relationship between form and function in cities, with special focus on spatial analysis and GIScience, built environment and urban morphology, and accessibility and travel behaviour.

Professor Higgins is author and coauthor of two UTTRI Research Reports: “Transportation Accessibility Advice, Report 1: Literature Review,” submitted to the City of Toronto Planning Department in December, 2019, and “Transportation Accessibility Advice, Final Report,” submitted to the City of Toronto Planning Department in January, 2020.

Jue Wang is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto and the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

His research specialty focus areas are health geography, environmental health, human mobility, GIScience, big data, and spatial analysis.

Professor Wang participates in “Geospatial Systems & Geomatics” and “Urbanization, Transportation & Health” research clusters.

About the Connaught New Researcher Awards

Connaught New Researcher Awards are funded internally from U of T’s Connaught Fund, which was founded in 1972 when the university sold the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories.

The New Researchers program recognizes assistant professors within the first five years of a tenure-stream academic appointment. In 2020, the program awarded $1 million in funding to 56 researchers: 14 researchers in humanities, nine in life sciences, eight in physical sciences and engineering, and 25 in social sciences.

The awards, part of U of T’s commitment to fostering excellence in research and innovation, are designed to help recipients establish a strong research program and increase their competitiveness for external funding.