Parex Resources Innovation Fellowships

We believe our researchers and students can change the world – one discovery and innovation at a time.

The Parex Resources Innovation Fellowships were launched in October 2019 for researchers from across the university who are immersed in academic research and community partnerships leading to start-ups or technology advancement based on new discoveries, insights, and innovation.

These fellowships are supported by a $3.24 million endowment from alumnus Wayne Foo and Parex Resources Inc. with the goal of enabling researchers to focus on innovation and technology-transfer activities. Parex Resources Inc. is a Calgary-based company engaged in oil exploration, development, and production in Colombia. The fellowships have been established to honour Parex’s 10-year anniversary, as well as the company’s commitment to innovation in the energy sector and beyond.

Grounded in the University’s research-intensive environment, the Fellowships will provide researchers and students resources to focus on how their science and expertise will positively impact society and solve some of the world’s most complex challenges in areas such as data science and analytics, cybersecurity, precision medicine and energy sources.

The 2021-2022 Cohort of Parex Innovation Fellows

Dr. Zhangxing (John) Chen

Dr. Zhangxing (John) Chen, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering
NSERC/Energi Simulation Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Reservoir Simulation
Director, Energi Simulation/Frank-Sarah Meyer Collaboration Centre


Dr. Chen’s research areas include carbon capture and storage, cyclic steam stimulation, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), expanding solvent SAGD, vapour extraction for heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs, hydraulic fracturing for shale, tight oil and gas, and coal bed methane. Through his research program, Dr. Chen will develop a state-of-the-art reservoir simulation toolkit to improve current modelling and simulation processes for enhanced oil recovery.

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Dr. Laura Curiel, Phd

Dr. Laura Curiel, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering


Dr. Curiel’s research concentrates on therapeutic development and design of ultrasound technology, known as focused ultrasound (FUS). Most recently, her research has focused on user-centred design approaches to improve FUS devices’ utilization. Outcomes from this work, have led to the development of pre-clinical FUS devices that integrate functional imaging to increase the adoption of FUS technology by non-traditional user groups. 

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Dr. David Eaton, PhD

Dr. David Eaton, PhD
Professor, Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
Co-director Microseismic Industry Consortium (MIC)


Dr. Eaton’s research focuses on induced (anthropogenic) earthquakes, characterized by tremor activity associated with enhanced hydrocarbon recovery and seismicity, with a secondary emphasis on deep lithospheric structure of continents. Research in this area is important to address knowledge gaps in understanding induced seismicity along with its associated risks, and to provide solutions to improve monitoring processes and mitigation outcomes. 

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Dr. Yeonjung Lee, Phd

Dr. Yeonjung Lee, PhD
Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work

Dr. Lee’s current research focuses on applying innovative Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies to assess, measure, and quantify the accessibility of social and physical environments to bolster community impacts in healthy aging. With an emphasis on improving the quality of life for older adults, Dr. Lee examines the impacts social and built environments have on greying populations, while considering individual well-being and the ability for individuals to age in place.

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Dr. Guenther Ruhe, Phd

Dr. Guenther Ruhe, PhD
Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science
Professor, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering
Industrial Research Chair in Software Engineering


Dr. Ruhe is a software engineer working in the field of decision support, where he leads a research team whose primary aim is to establish and demonstrate scientific excellence in Software Engineering Decision Support (SEDS). His research and innovation practice, focuses on development, testing, evaluation, and implementation of software systems in a broad range of domains such as health, energy, finance, and logistics. His research outcomes are directed towards applicability using empirical evidence-based approaches to evaluate software products and services.

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Dr. Gerald Zamponi, PhD

Dr. Gerald Zamponi, PhD
Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine
Canadian Research Chair, Molecular Neurobiology


Dr. Zamponi’s research addresses how ion channels and receptors contribute to neurological disorders such as chronic pain, with the goal of developing strategies to regulate ion channel function for therapeutic intervention. As well, his work deciphers the structural and functional connection of brain circuits that control sensory and emotional components of pain. 

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