This year, four Carleton University doctoral students won Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships making this the best ever showing for Carleton students.

These scholarships are open to PhD students across Canada and are valued at $50,000 per year for three years during their doctoral studies.

When Carleton grad student Mohamed Abdelazez received a letter about his application for the Vanier CGS, his reaction was one of disbelief.

“When I opened the letter and it said that I was awarded the scholarship, I didn’t believe it,” said Abdelazez. “I actually went to my supervisor and asked him if it was true or not.”

Aldelazez did win a Vanier CGS and will now use the funds to fully dedicate his time toward research.

Abdelazez is pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on the development of a contactless, non-obtrusive healthcare monitoring system.

A “contactless” and “non-obtrusive” system can be achieved through the use of monitoring sensors. Contactless sensors allow the patients to move about their lives with no hindrance of wires or cables attached to them.

“In recent years, the market and consumer adaptation of healthcare monitoring sensors has been booming,” explained Abdelazez.

However, these sensors have been developed for everyday consumers and are not yet ready for medical use.

Abdelazez hopes his research will bridge this gap and has the potential to provide many benefits to the Canadian health care system.

“As an example, the elderly can be more independent and live in the comfort of their homes knowing that their health is constantly monitored,” said Abdelazez.

Contactless sensors are especially important in Canada as they can be deployed in isolated rural areas.

“They can also be deployed in nurseries, or even the waiting room of a doctor’s office for pre-visit vitals checkup,” said Abdelazez.

The goal is for this system to be integrated seamlessly into the homes and workplaces of patients and consumers to provide reliable vitals monitoring.

Abdelazez is co-supervised by Dr. Adrian Chan and Dr. Sreeraman Rajan.

“Both of my supervisors have provided tremendous support throughout my academic career,” said Abdelazez.  “They have advised me and directed me towards what was best for me, like volunteering in internal and external organizations such as Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Hacking Health. Their guidance and advice led to me winning the Vanier CGS.”

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