EDITOR’S NOTE: On Jan. 10, the Canadian government updated the number of Canadians killed in the Jan. 8 Ukraine International Airlines crash in Iran from 63 to 57.
Early Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government has intelligence that “indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.” He added it “may well have been unintentional.”
All 176 passengers and crew on board were killed, including 63 Canadians. Among the victims were 10 people with connections to the University of Alberta.
“These individuals were integral to the intellectual and social fabric of our university and the broader community,” university president David Turpin said in a blog post Thursday.
“We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends and roommates.”
Danshmand was a professor of electrical engineering and Canada research chair (Tier II) in radio frequency microsystems for communication and sensing, in the department of electrical and computer engineering within the Faculty of Engineering, according to the university.
Daneshmand was on the plane with his wife, Pedram Mousavi, who was a professor of mechanical engineering at the U of A. Their daughters — Daria, born in 2005, and Dorina, born in 2010 — were also killed in the crash.
Mousavi was a professor of mechanical engineering and NSERC industrial research chair in intelligent integrated sensors and antennas, in the department of mechanical engineering within the Faculty of Engineering.
Gorji was a student, obtaining her Masters of Science in computing science within the Faculty of Science. Gorji and her husband, fellow U of A student Arash Pourzarabi, were married in Iran on Jan. 1 and were returning to Edmonton to continue their studies.
Pourzarabi was also a student, obtaining his Masters of Science in computing science within the Faculty of Science.
Nabiyi was a doctor of philosophy student within the department of accounting, operations and information systems within the Alberta School of Business.
Rahmnifar was obtaining a Master of Science in mechanical engineering within the university’s Faculty of Engineering.
“She was so excited to go back,” friend Sina Esfandiarpour said on Wednesday. “She was texting me: ‘My finals are over.’ She planned to surprise her mom. She didn’t tell her she was coming back.”
Amir Hossein Saeedinia
Saeedinia was a new PhD student at the Centre for Design of Advanced Materials. An advisor confirmed to Global News that Saeedinia was set to arrive in Edmonton to begin his studies this week.
Assistant professor James Hogan said Thursday that he was Saeedinia’s PhD supervisor and first received an email from him last spring, inquiring about the program.
“I get these emails all the time from students, his email was different,” Hogan said. “It was to the point, it was short, his personality came through. Since then, him and I have been talking every other week since spring to get him ready to start his PhD.”
Hogan said Saeedinia had a wonderful personality and “worked his butt off” to get where he was.
“Every time I talked to him, the black screen of Skype would go away and there’d be him with his big smile asking me how cold it was in Edmonton and I would tell him it was very cold,” he said with a smile.
Saba Saadat was a bachelor of science student in the department of biological sciences within the Faculty of Science. She was in the process of applying to medical school.
She was on the plane with her sister, Sara Saadat, who was also a student at the university. The girls’ mother, Dr. Shekoufeh Choupannejad, was also killed in the plane crash. Choupannejad was an obstetrician and gynecologist at Northgate Medical Clinic.
Sara Saadat graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. Friends said she was recently accepted into a clinical psychology program at Alliant University in San Diego, California.
Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi
Elyasi graduated from the U of A with a Masters of Science in 2017.
“In the coming days, we will be sharing and celebrating each person’s unique contributions to their academic fields and to the many communities they touched,” Turpin said.
“We will feel their loss — and the aftermath of this tragedy — for many years to come.”
A public memorial service to honour the victim’s of Wednesday’s crash is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Saville Community Sports Centre. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the service is expected to last about two hours.