For the fifth consecutive year, the INRS Foundation is proud to recognize eight graduates who submitted the best doctoral theses and master's theses or essays, and who distinguished themselves by their quality, rigor and contribution in each of INRS's four research and training centers.

Presented on May 11, 2024 at the 2023-2024 Convocation, this recognition is accompanied by prizes awarded to our newest graduates thanks to the generous support of members and partners of the INRS community.

Together, we awarded $12,000 to eight laureates - four $1,000 scholarships at the master's level and four $2,000 scholarships at the doctoral level - in recognition of their outstanding work. Congratulations and thank you!

Prize for the best master's thesis or essay 

Sabin Dhakal
Master of Applied Micrology, 2023
Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie
Supervisor: Charles M. Dozois

Sabin Dhakal pursued his master's degree under the supervision of Dr. Charles Dozois. He studied the importance of the virulence factor (SPATEs) of E. coli during systemic infections in poultry. At INRS, Sabin established a new model of turkey air sac infection for pathogenesis research. In addition to his laboratory work, he was ranked among the top 12 students in Canada for an oral presentation at the Canadian Society of Microbiologists conference in 2022, and published a review on pathogenic E. coli and vaccine development in 2023, already cited more than 40 times. 



Pejman Abolhosseini
Master of Water Science, 2023
Center Eau Terre Environnement
Supervisor: Richard Martel

Pejman, who arrived in a new country at the height of the pandemic, has distinguished himself in his international career. Immersed in a French-speaking world, he took French language courses in addition to his university studies. He managed to write his dissertation in French, his third language after Persian and English.

His master's project focused on the development of a remediation method for diesel contamination in permafrost. Along the way, Pejman also wrote a journal article and four conference papers.



Connor Rowe
Master of Science in Energy and Materials, 2024
Centre Énergie, Matériaux  Télécommunications
Supervisor: José Azaña

Connor Rowe's master's thesis describes a new technique for real-time spectrogram analysis on arbitrary signals using photonics. The method increases performance by several orders of magnitude over the state of the art, while improving energy efficiency and cost.

The significant scientific value of his work is demonstrated by its publication as a featured article in the journal APL Photonics, with a patent pending in the USA. Connor has also presented his work at prestigious international conferences in eight countries, and received a letter from the President of Keysight Technologies Canada in support of a market assessment grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).



Raphaëlle Ainsley-Vincent
Master of Urban Studies, 2023
Center Urbanisation Culture Société
Supervisor: Xavier Leloup

Raphaëlle Ainsley-Vincent's dissertation, “Parcours résidentiels de Siqinirmiut (Inuit vivant au Sud) à Montréal”, was awarded the distinction Excellent for its theoretical, analytical and ethical quality.

The jury underlined the significant contribution of Raphaëlle's work from a scientific and social point of view, as well as the richness of her literature review and the originality of her dissertation, articulated between two fields of study: aboriginal studies and housing studies.

Through her dissertation, Raphaëlle was driven by the desire to contribute to social transformation by addressing the needs identified by communities, in a respectful and rigorous manner.



Prize for best doctoral thesis

Fares Saidi
PhD in Biology, 2023
Center Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie
Supervisor: Salim Timo Islam

During his PhD under the supervision of Professor Salim Timo Islam, Fares' scientific work led to the publication of eight scientific articles, five of which were first-authored. One of these was selected for the cover of the journal Molecular Microbiology.

Fares' publications have been cited more than 80 times and viewed more than 21,000 times in four years. Fares has also presented seven oral papers and nine posters at national and international conferences. He has benefited from collaborations in France, the United States, Belgium and India. Finally, he supervised several students during his thesis and played an active role in the student life of his center, as well as in the organization of an international congress.


 Véronique Dubos
PhD in water sciences, 2023
Center Eau Terre Environnement
Supervisor: André Saint-Hilaire

Véronique Dubos' thesis defense: “Characterization and modeling of the habitat of anadromous Arctic char (salvelinus alpinus) in freshwater, based on traditional Inuit knowledge and scientific methods”.

Véronique's research focused on Arctic char, a fish of great cultural, economic and social importance in Nunavik. Her work to characterize and model Arctic char habitat was carried out by combining science and traditional Inuit knowledge.

The results of her thesis have been presented at national and international conferences including Arcticnet, The Ecological Society of America, the Canadian Water Resources Association and the Inuit Studies Conference. Véronqie was also invited to take part in a workshop at the World Biodiversity Forum in Switzerland for her collaborative work with Inuit communities. Her results have led to four articles published in international peer-reviewed journals.



Patrick Kilcullen
PhD in Energy and Materials Science, 2023
Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications
Supervisor: Jinyang Liang

Since joining the INRS EMT Center in 2018, Patrick has been committed to bringing innovation to the field of single-pixel imaging. In December 2022, the main results of his PhD research were published in Nature Communications, highlighting a cost-effective single-pixel imaging method for very high-speed, real-time imaging: capabilities previously unknown. As a result of this breakthrough, Patrick is now committed to applying his technique in a wide variety of new fields, most notably in the three-dimensional and terahertz imaging that forms the basis of his thesis.



Clarence Hatton-Proulx
PhD in Urban Studies, 2024
Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Supervisor : Sophie L. Van Neste

In front of an international, multidisciplinary jury, Clarence Hatton-Proulx was awarded the distinction of Excellent for her thesis at the crossroads of energy history and urban studies, in cotutelle with Sorbonne University.

Innovative in analytical, methodological and empirical terms, her work makes an indisputable contribution to our knowledge of energy transitions. The recipient of numerous awards and scholarships for excellence, his results are the subject of several publications. Following his thesis defense, he was invited to present his work in three different academic circles, and has been invited to send his thesis to McGill-Queen's University Press for publication.



Congratulations to our winners!
Thank you, dear donors, for your generosity in recognizing their success. Our warmest thanks to the Graduate Studies and Student Success team and to the members of the selection committee.



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