CM Labs and partner, Dr. Jozsef Kövecses, recognized by NSERC for innovation in simulation
McGill University associate professor Dr Jozsef Kövecses has been awarded the 2018 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Synergy Award for Innovation for work enabling hyper-realistic simulation of the physical world performed in collaboration with CM Labs.
Established in 1995, the NSERC Synergy awards program recognizes and rewards academic/industry partnerships that lead to groundbreaking Canadian innovations.
Prof Kövecses' McGill University based team is dedicated to creating advanced physics-based mathematical models for use in virtual environments. CM Labs integrates these cutting-edge algorithms into their Vortex Studio simulation software, helping to make their simulations act and feel more lifelike.
Over this multiyear partnership, CM Labs has developed simulators being used around the world for applications such as training crane and earthmoving vehicle operators, optimizing port terminal operations, and custom simulation of other land- and sea-based vehicles. With over 1,000 simulators operating on six continents, CM Labs' products are hailed by drivers and equipment engineers for their accuracy and immersiveness.
Dr Arnold Free, CCO, CM Labs, sees the work being done with Prof Kövecses' McGill lab as crucial to the future of simulation. "Our clients are looking to simulate more and more complex machines in very realistic environments. Our continued work with Jozsef's team allows us to accelerate the process in a way that's beneficial to everyone involved."
"Characterizing and describing [what we can see in everyday life] in a more exact way with mathematical models presents many challenges," noted Prof Kövecses. "We study the behaviour of moving physical objects, [and] we can use some very fundamental concepts to directly address practical applications."
On May 1, 2018, the Governor General of Canada (Julie Payette), along with the Minister of Science (Kirsty Duncan), and NSERC President (Mario Pinto) presented the award in a ceremony held at Rideau Hall. As part of the prize, Prof Kövecses also receives a $200,000 NSERC grant towards his research program.
"[Prof Kövecses has] demonstrated critical thinking and creativity to produce breakthrough findings," said NSERC's Mario Pinto.