Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand, professors at the University of Alberta, along with their daughters Daria and Dorina were among the 63 Canadians killed when a Ukrainian passenger jet crashed early on Wednesday morning. All 167 passengers and nine crew members were killed when the plane, which was destined for Kyiv, crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. More than a third of them were Canadian, many of whom were travelling home after winter holidays.

Daneshmand and Mousavi were award-winning professors who worked in wireless communication technology. The pair were travelling home with their two daughters Daria, 14 and Dorina, nine. Daneshmand was an electrical engineering professor and Canada Research Chair holder and won a prestigious international award for her exceptional research and for establishing herself as a role model in engineering from the IEEE in 2016. She held the Canada Research Chair in Radio Frequency Microsystems for Communication and Sensing and won the IEEE Lot Shafai Mid-Career Distinguished Achievement Award. The honor recognizes her pioneering contribution to microwave and millimeter wave technologies and being a role model for women in engineering. Daneshmand and her colleagues in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering were first to establish modern microwave characterization labs at the University of Alberta.