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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Ontario Tech University researchers on the leading edge of emerging technologies research

Summer 2019 federal research investments underscore university’s commitment to technology research for ethical purposes

Thinking about technology with a conscience: Gathering input from seniors on legal and ethical issues related to use of social robots for in-home support is just one of more than two dozen Ontario Tech University research projects receiving new federal funding support.
Thinking about technology with a conscience: Gathering input from seniors on legal and ethical issues related to use of social robots for in-home support is just one of more than two dozen Ontario Tech University research projects receiving new federal funding support.

From communications to financial transactions to virtual reality, we live in a world immersed in technology. As society continues to weather concerns about issues like cybersecurity and privacy, research experts at Ontario Tech University focus on the development and impact of new technological applications to make our world a better and safer place.

More than 30 researchers at Ontario Tech will share more than $1.82 million in new funding for various projects aimed at helping us understand some of the biggest challenges Canadians face. The investments announced in July by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will promote collaboration and partnerships among researchers, businesses and community partners to advance knowledge.

Ontario Tech research spotlight: Legal and ethical issues related to use of social robots for in-home support

Among 25 funded projects at Ontario Tech University is a SSHRC Insight Development Grant awarded to Faculty of Social Science and Humanities researcher Andrea Slane, PhD. Dr. Slane will lead an interdisciplinary investigation into legal and ethical issues related to the use of social robots as in-home support for seniors.

“Developers hope to convince us that social robots will provide a useful means to support seniors who wish to continue living independently as they age,” says Dr. Slane. “We are on the cusp of a sustained period of consumer and elder-care market penetration for technologies providing social support, which typically involve a humanoid robot enhancing the kinds of things that we are already doing via our smartphones and digital assistants. But seniors are rarely engaged in determining how this emerging phenomenon will affect them, help them, or even potentially hurt them.”

The research will collect opinions among seniors about robots as assistants and companions, and analyze seniors’ receptiveness, concerns, and thoughts about ways to protect their interests.

“We will be asking participants how they feel about consumer protection regulations and how much they know about the data handling practices of these technologies,” says Dr. Slane. “We will assess opinions on what would allow them to feel their sensitive information is secure when interacting with a social robot. The study will inform both regulators and developers about potential best business practices for these technologies, while giving seniors a forum to convey their perspectives.”

Dr. Slane is also conducting a related study collecting seniors’ views on privacy protections when using social support technologies more generally, funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.


“Ontario Tech University researchers have been immensely successful in the competition for Tri-Council research funding in 2019. All of the projects funded by SSHRC and NSERC speak to the university’s deep capacity for impactful, multidisciplinary research of the highest quality. We are proud of the broad spectrum of scholarship our university champions and the fact that many of these projects overlap the expertise of different faculties while also engaging industry partners and researchers at other universities across Canada. Ontario Tech University is emerging as a leader in Canada’s research community on disruptive technologies and the importance of thinking about tech with a conscience.”
-Les Jacobs, PhD, FRSC, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ontario Tech University

Summer 2019 SSHRC/NSERC grant summary

SSHRC Insight Grants (7)

Faculty of Business and Information Technology (FBIT)

Faculty of Education (FEd)

  • Lorayne Robertson, PhD: Understanding the experiences of basic income recipients (two external co-applicants)

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (FSSH)

  • Scott Aquanno, PhD: Restructuring work: Labour and the organization of global capitalism (Ontario Tech co-applicants: Toba Bryant, PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences (FHSc); Hilde Zitzelsberger, PhD, FHSc)
  • Sasha Baglay, PhD: Examination of protection and assistance measures for foreign nationals trafficked to Canada (three co-applicants, including James Brown, Adjunct Professor, Ontario Tech University)
  • Joseph Eastwood, PhD: Using science-based interviewing techniques to generate accurate and believable alibis from innocent suspects (one external co-applicant)
  • Timothy MacNeill, PhD: The multidimensional development impacts of Canadian-supported investments and policy initiatives abroad: The case of tourism and charter cities in Honduras
  • Lindsay Malloy, PhD: Understanding and enhancing the narratives of immigrant youth (two external co-applicants)

SSHRC Insight Development Grants (5) 


  • Igor Kotylar, PhD: Exploring methods for evaluating interpersonal (teamwork) skills



  • Sharon Lauricella, PhD: Constructing the mental health crisis: Narrative sources and media consumption by emerging adults and post-secondary institutions (two external co-applicants)
  • Matthew Shane, PhD: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate the existence of virtuous and non-virtuous motives to empathize
  • Andrea Slane, PhD: Gathering input from seniors on legal and ethical issues related to use of social robots for in-home support (two Ontario Tech co-applicants: Patrick Hung, PhD, FBIT; Isabel Pedersen, PhD, FSSH; plus one external co-applicant and three external collaborators)

NSERC Discovery Grants (13)

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

  • Jana Abou Ziki, PhD: Rapid prototyping methods for precision glass components
  • Ahmad Barari, PhD: Integrated inspection system for digital manufacturing
  • Min Dong, PhD: Integrated transmission and resource optimization for massive content distribution in future wireless networks
  • Khalid Elgazzar, PhD: Towards privacy preserving Internet of Things
  • Yuping He, PhD: Semi-autonomous driving control of multi-trailer articulated heavy vehicles for increasing highway traffic safety
  • Ramiro Liscano, PhD: Intent-based network management of software defined wireless sensor networks
  • Marc Rosen, PhD: Enhancing polygeneration energy systems and their applications


Faculty of Science

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Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
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