Design Engineering

NRC health-care device scientist named to Order of Canada

By Design Engineering staff   

General Medical awards design

The director general of the National Research Council (NRC) Institute for Biodiagnostics in Winnipeg, Ian Smith, was recently inducted into the Order of Canada for his groundbreaking work in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its global contributions to health care.

As a leader in the field of biodiagnostics, he was instrumental in the advancement of a movable MRI system that allowed surgeons to do non-invasive scans before, during and after surgery. He has been a driving force in the development of technologies that reduce the invasiveness of surgical procedures, which improves the effectiveness of treatments and therapies while limiting possible complications from surgery.


“It is a privilege to share in the success of the NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics and the Winnipeg biomedical cluster,” Smith said. “I feel a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that I have contributed to improving the health of Canadians and helped to build a stronger medical devices industry that brings greater wealth and prestige to Canada and NRC.”

NRC and Smith’s work are key contributors to the Government of Canada’s strategy to create a competitive advantage for our country through science and technology while providing social and economic benefits to all Canadians.

He has built the NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics into a leading research centre for magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, optical diagnostic methods and computer-based techniques resulting in the development and application of new tools for medical diagnosis. As part of the Winnipeg life sciences cluster, it is also a driving force for the local innovation system. The Institute’s economic impact for Canada is significant, extending from Winnipeg to satellite labs in Calgary and Halifax, including the development of seven technology spin-off companies.

Smith began his career at NRC in 1967, and he holds a M.Sc. from the University of Manitoba and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Stockholm and the University of Winnipeg, and an honorary diploma from Red River Community College.


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