The $50,000 Killam Prizes are awarded annually by the Canada Council for the Arts in recognition of outstanding achievements by Canadians in any one of the disciplines in the natural sciences, health sciences and engineering.
"In her fields of engineering research and academe, Martha Salcudean's achievements stand as a brilliant model of university/industry collaboration and of practical engineering and research excellence," the Canada Council said in a prepared statement.
Salcudean, who will receive the Killam Prize for Engineering, holds UBC's Weyerhaeuser Industrial Research Chair in Computational Fluid Dynamics in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
"Martha Salcudean has an impressive ability to add consistently to the body of scientific knowledge in her field while tackling complex industrial problems," said Bernie Bressler, UBC's vice-president, Research. "She is clearly a leader in applied research and the scientific community in Canada."
Salcudean's area of research, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), is the process of setting up equations, making assumptions, repeating iterations on a computer and interpreting the results to describe how fluid, suspended particles and thermal energy will move in a process, a piece of equipment, or other setting.
Salcudean's recent research, carried out in collaboration with Mechanical Engineering Prof. Ian Gartshore and Zia Abdullah, who leads the transfer of technology to industry, has been focused on recovery boilers used in the pulp and paper process.
The results have already been put to use in several mills in Canada and the United States. She is carrying out her research in collaboration with the Pulp and Paper Centre, where she is a faculty associate.
"We calculate the process completely and then visualize it through computer graphics so that the operator can actually see everything happening," Salcudean said.
Salcudean has also been involved in industrial collaborations with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. on two-phase heat transfer in nuclear reactors, with Cominco and Johnson Mattheys on the modeling of crystal growth processes, and with Pratt and Whitney Canada on film cooling of turbine blades.
Since coming to UBC in 1985, she has served as head of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, associate vice-president, Research, and acting vice-president, Research.
In addition, she has served extensively in the Canadian scientific community and organizations including the the National Research Council, the B.C. Advanced Systems Institute, the Science Council of B.C., and the National Advisory Panel on Advanced Industrial Materials and the Defense Science Advisory Board.
In 1991, she was awarded the Science Council of B.C.'s Gold Medal in the Applied Science and Engineering category.
She will receive her award during a ceremony in Vancouver April 22.