People: Meet the team

Dr. Michael J. Murphy

Principal Investigator

Dr. Michael J. Murphy is a full professor in the RTA School of Media and is also the principal investigator of the AccessFabrik Lab. He is the former Director of the Rogers Communication Centre. His is also a professor in the York-Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. He teaches courses at the graduate and undergraduate level in Advanced Communication Technology, Radio and Audio Production, Advanced Audio Theory, and Broadcasting History. He also supervises graduate student research in the field of Communication, Culture and Media.

Dr. Murphy’s expertise is in digital technology applications in media and broadcasting. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was employed by Northern Telecom’s Digital Switching Division and was involved in the development and deployment of some of the first products to use digital techniques to convert analog audio for telephone applications, including cellular telephony and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Networks). He is also a musician (voice, oboe, piano and organ) and he studied electronic music composition at Queen’s and McGill Universities.

As a Researcher, his work over the last twenty years has been in developing new digital applications for media production and delivery. In 1997, his research team developed the world’s first multi-terabyte Web server for media applications integrating nearline technologies, and he was selected in 2002 by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) as one of Canada’s “thirty-three unique individuals whose research has impacted the quality of life of Canadians and continues to shape our future.” In 2001–2002, he was a Visiting Research Scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, and in 2008 – 2009 he was a Visiting Professor at the Hochschule der Medien (Stuttgart Media University). He regularly lectures on digital media applications in academic environments and has delivered keynote talks at institutions in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Dr. Murphy holds undergraduate degrees in Music and Electrical and Computer Engineering from Queen’s University, as well as an M.B.A. (York) and a Ph.D. in Information Systems from McMaster University. He is a past president and Fellow of the International Information Management Association, and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Audio Engineering Society.

Ron Rankine

Manager, Projects and Research Support

Ron Rankine is the Manager of Projects and Research Support for the Rogers Communications Centre. Ron has three main focuses: Teambuilding, Research Support and Project Management. Ron builds and coordinates teams that work on cutting-edge projects such as the Quick Time VR-virtual Rogers tour, the Gesture-Based Interface Project and Access Grid development. His teams support internal and external organizations to advance the state of new media.

Ron’s active involvement with the Ryerson University community continues today as it has for the last 36 years – continuing to assist researchers with new project concepts.

Many Ayromlou

Lead IT Specialist, Research Support

Many Ayromlou is the Lead IT Specialist for the Research Support Technology Group at the Rogers Communication Centre. Many’s day-to-day work involves supporting Research Faculty and Chairs in Faculty of Communications Arts and Design. He’s also responsible for the operation of the Centre’s three Research Networks and supports a number of large server installations on behalf of the Centre. Many is currently involved in architecting the next generation 10 Gigabit Optical and Storage Area Network to facilitate the ongoing research in Digital Cinema Applications and Workflows. This project has established Ryerson as a founding member of CineGrid and a front-runner in the field of Digital Cinema in Canada.

Previously, Many has worked on the CDTV broadcast trials with the CDTV master control and Triveni Digital by configuring an infrastructure to facilitate the transfer of data information over a Digital television signal. He has also — more recently — worked with CANARIE on the ANAST project by building, maintaining and researching different aspects of the Access Grid. Many is a Ryerson Alumni — CompSci class of ’94 — and has been working at the Rogers Communications Centre since 1995. Many is a guest lecturer for the School of Radio and Television Arts and he enjoys solving Network security issues, researching, and learning about the latest encryption algorithms.

Michael Dick

Research Associate

Michael Dick is a Doctoral Student in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, and holds MA and Honours BA degrees from Ryerson and York Universities in the field of communications. His research focuses on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and related policy issues, and has been published in several scholarly journals.

Michael has honed his professional practice through positions in municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government, as well as the campus and community media sector, while his academic pursuits have taken him to conferences throughout North America and Europe. Additionally, he is the recipient of SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarships at both the Master’s and Doctoral levels, numerous Ontario Graduate Scholarship awards, the Ryerson Gold Medal, and a national award from the former Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

As a Research Associate with the AccessFabrik Lab, Michael works closely with the Principal Investigator to conduct research on emerging ICTs, and to synthesize team results and achievements to both internal and external publics by co-authoring abstracts, posters, and journal articles. He also mentors the Lab’s undergraduate Research Assistants, helps seek out new partnerships and funding opportunities, and assists with grant writing and other administrative tasks.

Konstantino Kapetaneas

Research Assistant

Konstantino Kapetaneas is a New Media undergraduate student in the school of Image Arts at Ryerson University. His interests are scattered throughout the reaches of creative production, designing experiences through a variety of mediums including software and hardware programming, electronic art, film, graphic design and web design. Konstantino plays an active role in the Image Arts community, serving as a member of the organizational team for the Image Arts annual New York Trip, and currently sits on the Image Arts Course Union executive team as President.

At the AccessFabrik Lab, Konstantino primarily serves as the General Media and Web Assistant, of which his accomplishments include a complete redesign of the AccessFabrik Lab website in 2010. Since then, he has actively maintained and supplied content for the site as well as other related promotional media.

Shabnam Shahin

Research Assistant

Shabnam Shahin is an undergraduate student at Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts. She has a growing body of work in various disciplines within the arts, including film, audio/music, visual arts, literary arts as well as the performing arts. Currently, she is working at Corus Entertainment as an Interactive Intern with Most recently, she was a Features Intern with the Canadian Film Centre’s Features department. Within the past, she has also worked as a Documentary Researcher on the three-part documentary called “Church of Elvis” with Summerhill Entertainment which aired on VisionTV. In addition, she was a production assistant for the show Downright Domestic which continues to air on Citytv.

Some of her accomplishments include the Best Merit Award at the LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood, TARA awards nomination under best first year digital media production (Pandora’s Box) in the spring of 2009, best intermediate EFP Production (In Emerson’s Case) in the spring of 2010, best cinematography and best dramatic script in 2011. Her other awards include a Creative Arts Award, acceptance into the L.I.F.E. leadership conference and a published poem in the Young Writer’s Annual Anthology of Verse.

Previous Members

Maayan Cohen

Maayan Cohen is a new media producer who has been working in the media industry for the past six years. An artist and an entrepreneur at heart, she continually seeks to break boundaries and forge connections between stories, creative expression and innovative technology.

With a devoted passion to push the boundaries of interactive content in Canada, Maayan founded Spring Water Media in 2008 – a transmedia production company designing rich and interactive experiences across television, film, internet and mobile platforms. Maayan has since completed projects for Corus Entertainment, Paperny Films, BravoFact, Studio B productions, SoMedia, marble media, Xenophile Media and Amythos Media. She was named one of Canada’s “10 to Watch” by Bell Globemedia in 2007.

Her work has been showcased in Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, The New York Television Festival and the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Her latest project, ‘Love Letters to the Future’, won two Webby Awards and was nominated for the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and a Gemini Award.

Michael Lawrie

Michael Lawrie is a graduate of New Media in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. Michael served as the primary software developer at the Lab and has been responsible for the creation of new tools for shared visualization and collaborative design over the Internet.

Prior to joining the AccessFabrik Lab, Michael studied Computer Science at the University of Toronto and has been involved in a variety of projects including a collaborative initiative between Ryerson’s Communication and Design and Computer Science faculties. Michael is particularly interested in generative art, data visualization and emergent systems. More can be found about Michael at his website.

Rob King

Rob King is a New Media artist, visualist, programmer and researcher based in Toronto, Ontario. He has a MA from the Communications and Culture joint graduate program at Ryerson and York Universities, and a BFA in Image Arts: New Media from Ryerson University. His work explores the social dynamics of networked spaces, the potentials of mobile and ubiquitous computing, dynamic and generative processes, intellectual property issues, and system theory. He is interested in ludology, visualization, generative systems, play, and designing tools for creativity. Recently Rob was the COMEDIA artist in residence at the Sonic Arts Research Center at Queen’s University in Belfast, and developed a set of live visuals for networked music performance. More information about Rob can be found at

Elaine Wong

Elaine is a graduate of the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson University, specializing in writing and Electronic Field Production. Previously, Elaine studied Mathematics and Film at the University of Waterloo and the University of California, Berkeley.

Elaine was a previous Research Assistant and web administrator at the AccessFabrik Lab, as well as the Web Administrator for Ryerson Review of Journalism and helped to launch Ryerson’s first television station, RuTV.


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