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  • Writer's pictureLenora Thomas

35 Years of Innovation: 1992 ASTech Winners

This post is in partnership with Technology Alberta and the ASTech Awards, celebrating the impact of 35 years of innovation in Alberta, tying our past to our present.

As the Technology Revolution was just beginning to hit, 1992 introduced Microsoft Windows 3.1, the first Personal Digital Assistant Newton MessagePad was introduced and Blackberry was founded.

ASTech expanded in 1992 to ten awards, with awards in leadership, for wireless technology, product creation, and involvement in biochemistry and agriculture. 

  • Dr. Roger Butler, received the Innovation In Oil Sands Research Sponsored By Syncrude Canada Ltd. Dr. Roger Butler was instrumental in making in situ bitumen recovery possible. Roger Butler played a key role in developing in situ bitumen recovery, designing both the Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) at Imperial Oil and Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) with Imperial and AOSTRA, enhancing Alberta's oil sands as a crucial petroleum energy source.

  • Dr. Leonard T. Bruton won for Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Science in 1992, for developing technology to advance voice and data transmission. Dr. Bruton was an Electrical Engineering Professor at the University of Calgary who invented the Frequency Dependent Negative Resistance (FDNR) class of microelectronic filters, and the Lossless Discrete integrator (LOI) filter structure that is the basis for switched capacitor LDI ladder filters. These filters are used world-wide to limit the bandwidth of transmitted and received voice signals to an internationally agreed frequency.

  • In 1992, Dr. Lawrence Wang won his award for Outstanding leadership in Science for creating an energy bar that fights the effects of Hypothermia. The ‘Canadian Cold Buster’ bar was initially designed as a fast and efficient way for Canadian soldiers to fight off hypothermia. Dr. Wang developed the natural-ingredient, sports and recreation energy bar to help keep the body warm in cold temperatures or help sustain exertion both in and out of doors - eating one bar could improve cold tolerance by more than 50 percent, delaying or preventing the onset of hypothermia. Outside of the Canadian Army, one of the first companies to carry the bar was Edmonton’s Running Room, which helped him build the energy bar market. Dr. Wang sold the bar to Maleleuca in 1992, and it was re-named to Access Exercise bars which are still on the market today. 

  • Dr. Robert Church, won the ASTech award for Outstanding Contribution To The Alberta Science And Technology Community, starting as the founding head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry at the University of Calgary, Church was also a member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Medical Research council of Canada, and the Premier’s council on Science & Technology. Dr. Church was an early leader in embryo transfer technology in cattle, noted for having helped modernize agriculture in Canada by transferring molecular biology and genetics techniques to the agricultural and biotechnology industries. He helped establish eleven companies, including Alta Genetics. 

  • Biomira inc. won the 1992 award Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (Sales less than 25 million) or specializing in distinct cancer research. In 1987, Biomira became one of the first biotechnology companies to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company later raised $54.4 million in 1991 through a cross-border, public share offering. The Edmonton-based company was sold to Seattle Company Cascadian Therapeutics Inc. which was then sold to Seattle Genetics, which in turn was acquired by

Additional 1992 Winners: 

  • SMART Technologies Inc. for Industrial Research for developing interactive solutions like the SMART interactive whiteboard.

  • Lowey, Mr. Mark for Journalism: Specialized Publications, for contributing significantly to science journalism.

  • Sherritt Gordon Limited for Outstanding Leadership In Alberta Science, a Fort Saskatchewan world leader in mining and refining nickel and cobalt, for the creation of the metals used in the Loonie. 

  • Taylor, Dr. Richard E. for being an Alberta Pioneer in Science and Technology. This native of Medicine Hat was the first Canadian to win a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1990. 

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