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  • Writer's pictureLenora Thomas

35 Years of Innovation: 1993 ASTech Winners

Updated: Apr 11

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.

Technology continued to move forward at breakneck speed in 1993, with Windows NT 3.1 released, the first webcam connecting to the internet, DOOM being released, and Wired Magazine being founded. During this, Alberta's research and technology arms were keeping pace with the world, with breakthroughs in infectious disease research, parallel computation, and remote field technology.

Here are just a sampling of the winners from 1993’s Award Ceremonies:

Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell was recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Science for what in 1993 was promising work in Infectious Disease Research. Dr. Tyrrell found clues while teaching a graduate course at the University of Alberta that led to the discovery of an antiviral therapy  Heptovir (Canada) and Zeffix (worldwide), for chronic hepatitis B, a virus that affects over 300 million people worldwide. Dr.Tyrrell has trained many research students and postdoctoral fellows; served on more than 200 committees, task forces, and research teams; and is widely published in books and medical and science journals around the world. Dr. Tyrrell has since been inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

The Time Warp or Optimistic Synchronization technology was a major breakthrough in parallel computation and the impetus for Jade, a computer simulation company launched by Dr. Brian Unger, for which he won the 1993 Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Technology award. Dr. Unger, a Professor Emeritus for the University of Calgary, continued to play an important role in Alberta’s research community, working on recruiting ICT Researchers as well as continuing to teach. In addition,  Dr. Unger was the founding president of the Netera Alliance, now called Cybera Inc. a key entity that builds and supports cyberinfrastructure to support research and organizations across Alberta. Cybera has been recognized by the ASTech Awards in 2023. 

Dr. Harry Emmet Gunning received an award in 1993 for Outstanding Contribution To The Alberta Science And Technology Community. Dr. Gunning’s distinguished career spanning Harvard University, and the National Research Council of Canada - joining the University of Alberta in 1957, playing a pivotal role in advancing the Department of Chemistry, and in 1974 became the President. As a researcher and professor, he published over 175 papers on chemical research. He spearheaded the Edmonton Research Development Park Authority in the 1960s and was recognized with honors such as the Order of Canada and the Province of Alberta Achievement.

CS Resources Limited was awarded the Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (>25M) in 1993. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, CS Resources Limited emerged as a leading player in resource exploration, particularly in western Canada's sedimentary basin. Leveraging horizontal production techniques and innovative technologies, the company achieved impressive oil production rates surpassing 8,000 barrels per day, a feat unattainable through conventional methods at that time. CS Resources was acquired for $521 Million in 1997 by Pan Canadian Petroleum (now Cenovus). 

Russell Technologies Inc. won the Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology awards for their Industrial Research, specifically for Filling the Market Void for Pipeline Inspection Tools. The Russell team specializes in Remote Field Technology (RFT), for assessing tubes, pipelines and plate. Since 1993, this Edmonton-based company has continued to expand and develop, and now offer inspections for pipes, tanks, pressure vessels and towers, and own more than 8 patents for technology that it has developed. Now known as Russell NDE Systems Inc., they work with global partners - and have been recognized by the ASTech awards again in 2001 and beyond.

  • Haaland, Ms. Rae, for Journalism: Specialized Publications

  • Jones, Ms. Michelle Renne for Journalism: General Public

  • Lemieux, Dr. Raymond U. for Alberta Pioneer in Science and Technology

  • Malibu Engineering Ltd. for Industrial Research

  • Masliyah, Dr. Jacob for Innovation In Oil Sands Research Sponsored By Syncrude Canada Ltd.

  • Nigg, Dr. Benno for Outstanding Leadership In Alberta Science

  • Valmet Automation (Canada) Ltd. for Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (Sales less than 25 million)

  • Z.I. Probes Inc. for Industrial Research

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