June 6, 2017 – Christopher Sun (IndE PhD candidate) is among four U of T Engineering students who will each receive $150,000 from the 2017 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. The funding will support research into everything from faster download speeds to technologies to repair damaged hearts.
The Vanier Scholarship recognizes doctoral students at Canadian universities who demonstrate excellence academics, research impact and leadership.
After graduating from U of T’s Engineering Science program, Sun (EngSci 1T3+PEY) joined the lab of Professor Timothy Chan (MIE). His research focuses on optimizing the distribution of life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public places across the city.
In 2015 he showed that many AEDs are located in buildings that are locked overnight. If a heart attack happens nearby but after business hours, it’s almost as though the AED isn’t there at all.
More recently Chan and Sun created a “Top 10” list of prime spots to place AEDs. Their ideal locations included coffee retailers like Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Second Cup as well as ATMs operated by large banks. All of these businesses are open late and have many locations across the city.
“It’s such an honor to have our research recognized by the experts in the field,” says Sun. “It’s also great to be able to help raise awareness of issues around AEDs, which plays a huge role in bystander response. The majority of people don’t know much about AEDs or how their work. Even just knowing where the closest AED is can make the life-saving difference during a cardiac arrest.”