University of Winnipeg alumna Alannah Hallas has been selected as one of 13 scholars in the prestigious Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Azrieli Global Scholars program.
The program recognizes 13 early-career researchers, from institutions in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, who have demonstrated exceptional leadership potential. Hallas is the second researcher with a UWinnipeg connection to become an Azrieli Global Scholar. Global College’s Dr. Kristi Kenyon received this honour in 2017.
“Early-career researchers are fearless and they have the brilliant ideas that will change the world. The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program is designed to nurture the world’s next generation of outstanding scientists and science leaders,” said CIFAR President & CEO Dr. Alan Bernstein in a CIFAR news release.
“These thirteen scholars join a preeminent community of researchers from around the world, interested not just in advancing knowledge, but in seeing the impact that knowledge can have across disciplines and on the world,” he said.
Hallas was chosen from 184 eligible applications from 31 countries. Over a two year period, she will receive mentorship, a global network, professional skills development, and $100,000 in unrestricted research support.
“The heart of my research is an interdisciplinary approach to the design and discovery of new quantum materials,” she said. “My research program has a unique emphasis on synthesis under high pressure, which vastly expands the materials discovery landscape.”
Hallas’s research career began in Dr. Chris Wiebe’s Quantum Materials Laboratory. She graduated from The University of Winnipeg in 2011 and continues to collaborate with Wiebe in his Quantum Materials Group. In 2019 this group was in the news for its discovery of an exotic new metal.
“Alannah is one of the finest students that I have ever worked with,” said Wiebe. “She is a wonderful example of how students can become involved with undergraduate research at The University of Winnipeg that can forever change the trajectory of their lives.”
Hallas earned her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Chemistry and Mathematics at The University of Winnipeg. She went on to receive an Master of Science in Chemistry at the University of Manitoba, and a PhD in Physics at McMaster University. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, including the NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship and the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and she served as the esteemed Smalley-Curl Fellow at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She currently heads the Quantum Materials Design Lab at UBC.