Carrefour de l'actualité

Engineering Physics Professors Ludvik Martinu and Jolanta-Ewa Sapieha win NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation

November 17, 2021 - Source : NEWS

Awarded in the “Two or More Companies” category, Full Professor Martinu and Associate Professor Sapieha received one of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - NSERC's most prestigious honours, the Synergy Awards for Innovation.

Professor Jolanta-Ewa Sapieha and Professor Ludvik Martinu. (Photo: Denis Bernier)

Professor Jolanta-Ewa Sapieha and Professor Ludvik Martinu. (Photo: Denis Bernier)

The Polytechnique professors received the award for research partnerships they've established within the framework of Functional Coatings and Surface Engineering Laboratory (LaRFIS) activities, and with the companies Groupe Safran, Essilor International, Pratt & Whitney Canada, MDS Coating Technologies, Guardian Industries, and Velan.

Formed in 1996 by the two professors, the LaRFIS laboratory is dedicated to the development of new fabrication techniques and materials for custom-controlled thin film and multi-property coating systems. The research focus is on thin film growth control and surface and interface engineering, as well as metrology of coating properties for their applications in a variety of fields, including optics, photonics, aerospace, manufacturing, energy, biomedicals, and security.

Presented annually by NSERC, the Synergy Awards for Innovation recognize collaborations that are Canadian models of effective partnerships between industry and universities or colleges. The "Two or More Companies" category (where Professors Martinu and Sapieha were nominated and won), recognizes a partnership with two or more industrial companies of any size, or a partnership with a consortium of companies.

"I'm very pleased to receive this prestigious award, which for me and our laboratory, represents very important recognition of the research and development work and recognition of the training of highly qualified personnel that has been carried out in partnership with industry," says Professor Ludvik Martinu. "Close collaboration with industrial partners in Canada and internationally, and their appreciation of our activities is a clear indication of our contributions' importance to cutting-edge technology, with economic impact and development prospects in several application sectors."

"I'm so pleased to receive the Synergy award, because it's so motivating in terms of continuing our research activities, and training students and personnel in the field of surface engineering – which is a field that represents important benefits in sustainable development and for the well-being of our country,” adds Professor Jolanta-Ewa Sapieha.

Recognition of research contributions

The Synergy Awards for Innovation was awarded to Professor Martinu and Professor Sapieha in recognition of research activities carried out in partnership with industry, which have brought significant benefits to the Canadian economy and to the well-being of Canada's population in terms of sustainable development.

In particular, the internationally-recognized research program in optical coatings for ophthalmic applications has established a process for depositing (on vision correction lenses), highly-resistant hybrid (organic-inorganic) coatings that feature new characteristics. This process has been used to manufacture lenses that offer lens users improved eye protection, reduced eye fatigue, and enhanced vision, comfort, productivity, and personal well-being.

Additionally, pioneering work in protective coatings for aerospace applications led to the development of erosion- and oxidation-resistant coatings for aircraft engine components, all of which made performance and engine efficiency improvements possible, and opened up new perspectives for the Canadian aerospace market.

Lastly, under the leadership of Professor Ludvik Martinu, the NSERC Multi-Sector Industrial Research Center in Coatings and Surface Engineering has been able to find solutions to surface engineering problems via a unique, comprehensive approach, since its inception in 2012. The multi-sectoral nature of and the synergies inherent to the collaborations, as well as the scientific and technological exchanges between the partners, have provided new perspectives on sustainable development.

Impressively, activities carried out in partnerships forged by Professor Martinu and Professor Sapieha have resulted in the completion of projects and contracts worth over $21 million, the issuance of 15 patents, the training of no less than 50 graduate students, 25 postdoctoral fellows and 40 undergraduate students, as well as the creation of 10 research professional positions.

Congratulations to Professors Martinu and Sapieha!

Learn more

Professor Ludvik Martinu expertise
Professor Jolanta-Ewa Sapieha expertise
Functional Coatings and Surface Engineering Lab expertise
Department of Engineering Physics website
NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation website

Suggested Reading

September 25, 2012

Polytechnique Montréal and seven partners inaugurate the largest NSERC research chair in coatings and surface engineering

April 26, 2024

Polytechnique Montréal Creates Three New Institutional Research Chairs