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2024 Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow Awards Announced

May 3, 2024 — 

2024 marks the inaugural offering of the Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow Awards by the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba. This initiative aims to celebrate and support the exceptional work of early-career researchers across the university. By recognizing postdoctoral fellows with innovative research programs and outstanding contributions to knowledge creation and mentorship, the awards represent the university’s commitment to fostering academic excellence and advancing research in health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and social sciences and humanities. The Faculty of Graduate studies recently hosted a reception to present the recipients with their award and celebrate their success.


This year’s award recipients are:

Dr. Kelley Main and Dr. Alireza Shamkalchian

Dr. Alireza Shamkhalchian. Dr. Shamkhalchian completed his PhD at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, where his thesis focused on developing high-performance numerical models for large-scale flood inundation problems. He also holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Hydraulic Engineering from the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran. Dr. Shamkhalchian’s research in computational hydraulics models addresses challenges related to flood inundation problems, which are particularly important to the province of Manitoba. His work directly addresses the pressing challenges posed by the escalating frequency and intensity of flooding events, making a significant impact on the field and contributing to the safety and resilience of communities in the region, and worldwide.
“I am driven by a passion for unraveling the mysteries of the universe, one hypothesis at a time. This distinguished postdoctoral award not only acknowledges past accomplishments but serves as a guiding light toward new frontiers of discovery and innovation. I am deeply grateful for the unwavering support and mentorship provided by Prof. Mantilla, my supervisor, whose guidance has been instrumental in shaping my academic journey. Furthermore, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the University of Manitoba, particularly the Department of Civil Engineering, for fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity and academic excellence, providing the fertile ground and resources essential for scholarly growth.” said Dr. Shamkhalchian.



Dr. Kelley Main and Dr. Amani Hamad

Dr. Amani Hamad.  Dr. Hamad has been conducting postdoctoral research at the university since 2020 in the Data Science platform of the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, Department of Community Health Sciences at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. Her work focuses on constructing family health histories for the entire Manitoba population and characterizing the intergenerational transfer of mental illnesses using administrative data housed at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. Dr. Hamad is incorporating machine learning methods to conduct international multi-generational studies about mental illnesses and other chronic conditions. Dr. Hamad earned her PhD from the University of Manitoba’s College of Pharmacy and holds a master’s degree from theFaculty of Pharmacy at the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan.Dr. Hamad shared: “I feel extremely privileged to be conducting my postdoctoral research in Manitoba, where there is an exceptional collection of administrative data that is unmatched in its comprehensiveness. This repository is one of the very few in the world, and the only one in North America, that allows for the linkage of both health and non-health data for the entire population and across generations. This provides a unique and invaluable resource to gain population-level insights about health and social policy. I am very thankful for the guidance and support of my numerous mentors, particularly my supervisor Dr. Lisa Lix. My accomplishments are a testament to her strong research program, exceptional mentorship, and extensive network of collaborators””.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies extends its congratulations to the 2024 Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow Award recipients and looks forward to their continued success.

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