March 10, 2010 issue

Greater Toronto

Guyanese born Dr Deen does it again

From left: Mr. Colin Lindsell, TD Bank Financial Group (TD is the sponsor of the Science and Technology Award), Prof. Jamal Deen Science and Technology award winner and Dr. Mohamed Karmali, Director-General at Public Health Agency of Canada.

Dr. Mohamed Jamal Deen, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University and Senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology, continues to make waves in the academic and scientific circles. On Thursday 25th February, 2010 at the 18th Annual New Pioneers Award (NPA) Gala and Awards Ceremonies at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto he was presented with the prestigious New Pioneers Science and Technology Award for 2010, becoming the first person of Guyanese origin to win this award.
The New Pioneers Award is given annually in six categories including Arts, Science and Technology, Entrepreneurship and Community Service in recognition of the world-class accomplishments of immigrants to Canada. The awards are a testament of the indomitable spirit of immigrants in overcoming challenges to rise to the top of their profession. Dr. Deen is a perfect example of such a person.
The announcement, at the NPA website, (, states that “Dr. Deen has become one of the world’s highest-ranked engineering scientists. Awarded seven patents in biomedical systems and innovative electronic devices and circuits, he has published more than 400 peer-reviewed scholarly articles. His inventions, publications, engineering models and innovative experimental techniques have been used by companies and research laboratories worldwide. Dr. Deen’s ongoing collaborations in micro- and nano-systems for environmental and health applications are producing world-class results.”
The award announcement continues to state that “Dr. Deen’s peers have elected him Fellow in eight national academies and learned societies, including the Royal Society of Canada – the highest honour for scientists, artists and scholars in Canada. He has received seven best paper awards, and, in the last decade, obtained more than forty million dollars in peer-reviewed research funding from private and public agencies Other honours include being elected Honorary Member of the World Innovation Foundation and winning the Callinan Award from the Electrochemical Society, the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany and the Eadie Medal from The Royal Society of Canada.”
This award not only recognizes his exceptional achievements and honors in science and technology, but also highlights his contributions to Canadian Society as a volunteer. The announcement provides some examples, including his development and teaching a ten-week Science/Engineering enrichment program at an elementary school; his service, for several years, as a Judge in the British Columbia Science Fair when he lived in Vancouver; his contributions as an elementary school representation on the Carleton Council on Education when he lived in Ottawa; and his coaching in a children’s soccer league in West Hamilton. It also highlights his service to the Caribbean, serving as an External Examiner at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, and for doctoral students from the Americas, Asia and Europe. The award citation also underscores his mentoring of students from developing countries and his continued support to them in their careers.
As previously noted in this newspaper, Dr. Deen is a stellar example of an immigrant from very humble beginnings who has risen to the top of his profession. Dr. Deen credits his success to the continuous support he has received from his family, his exceptional academic groundings in Guyana and the numerous outstanding students, researchers, colleagues and collaborators with whom he has had the good fortune to work. His outstanding accomplishments undoubtedly bring tremendous pride to Guyanese in the Diaspora.
Born in Georgetown Guyana, Dr. Deen attended Queen’s College where he was a regular prize winner. He then attended University of Guyana, majoring in Mathematics/Physics, winning the Irving Adler Prize as the top graduating mathematics student and the Chancellor’s Medal as the second best student graduating student in the University. During his undergraduate studies, he was also a full-time mathematics, physics and science teacher at Indian Education Trust College, later renamed Richard Ishmael Secondary School. For his graduate studies, he won the highly prestigious Fulbright-LASPAU Scholarship and was an American Vacuum Society Scholar. Dr. Deen currently lives in Dundas, Ontario and he is married to Meena Deen. They have three sons – Arif, Imran and Tariq.
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