Aarabi, Cobbold named UofT Inventors of the Year

  • From left: Peter Lewis, Meric Gertler, Parham Aarabi, Vivek Goel and Jennifer Fraser.

May 11, 2015

Professors Parham Aarabi and Richard Cobbold have been named Inventors of the Year, recognized for commercializing technology that stands to effect real change in society. The five winning inventions were announced at the University of Toronto Celebrates Innovation event on May 7, 2015.

Aarabi, a professor in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, is the inventor of X-Touch: the only commercially available technology that can instantly transform any surface to become tap-sensitive without any hardware add-ons. The system uses unique acoustic signatures generated by taps at specific locations to turn any table, wall, or lab bench into an interface for the mobile device placed on it.

Professor Emeritus Cobbold, of ECE and IBBME, and his student Dr. Amir Manbachi are the inventors and founders of PedicProbe™, a medical device that uses ultrasound technology to give surgeons a clearer picture during operations where screws are inserted into the spine. The technology could prevent navigational errors and significantly reduce the rate of revision surgeries, in addition to being more portable and affordable than what’s available today.

“Since 2010, no university has created more spin-offs and start-ups than University of Toronto and its partner hospitals, and for that we can credit the distinguished individuals who are in this room right now,” said Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto. “Canada’s prosperity rests increasingly on the kind of innovations that we are celebrating this afternoon.”

The other three Inventors of the Year are:

  • Professor Hugh Liu, University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies — System for Generic Synchronized Motion Control
  • Professor Karan Singh & Dr. James McRae, Department of Computer Science — flatfab and True2Form
  • Professor Igor Stagljar & Dr. Julia Petschnigg, Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research — Membrane Protein Interactions Detection – MaMTH

The Celebration Innovation event also recognized the 2014-2015 recipients of Connaught Innovation Awards. These awards are designed to accelerate the development of promising technologies and promote commercialization and/or knowledge transfer of innovations arising at the University of Toronto. Professors Mo Mojahedi, Ted Sargent and Ofer Levi each received a Connaught Innovation Award, for a quarter-million dollars in support between the three projects.

More information:
Marit Mitchell
Senior Communications Officer
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
416-978-7997; marit.mitchell@utoronto.ca