By Tamarah Feder
Thanks to grants totalling more than $3 million over the next three years from the Natural Science and Research Council of Canada (NSERC), seven McGill research teams will develop and enhance tools, models and mechanisms in fields of engineering and the environment. Their work will be done in collaboration with industry and other governmental partners.
“As ever, we are proud that McGill researchers can make such broad and important contributions to the development of knowledge in Canada as well as the economic development that flows from moving this knowledge from the laboratory to industry and to society at large,” said Rosie Goldstein, McGill’s Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations).
Among the McGill projects being funded are the development of seismic risk-assessment methods that can identify whether critical buildings like schools and hospitals will be able to function following an earthquake. Also on the research menu are the development of tools based on the interactions between land use, biodiversity and ecosystem services to help communities make decisions about environmental management in the face of local, regional and global change, and the engineering and development of world-class, cost-effective solar energy conversion and storage systems (for either transportation or renewable energy-grid integration).
Below is a list of the principal McGill researchers and a description of their projects:
Lawrence Chen, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: All-fibre infrared lasers and components for chemical detection applications.
Elena Bennett, Department of Natural Resource Sciences and McGill School of Environment: Ecosystem services, biodiversity and landscape connectivity.
Zeljko Zilic, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: Quality-driven integrated system design.
Roderick Guthrie, Department of Mining & Materials Engineering (recipient of the NSERC Leo Derikx Award and 2006 Killam Prize Recipient): Horizontal single-belt casting for the competitive manufacturing of ferrous and light metal alloy sheet material.
George Demopoulos, Department of Mining & Materials Engineering (Gerald Hatch Faculty Fellow): Engineering nanostructured titania thin film electrodes for highly efficient solar energy conversion and storage systems.
Ghyslaine McClure, Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics: Post-earthquake functionality of schools and hospitals in Eastern Canada.
Nathalie Tufenkji, Department of Chemical Engineering (Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Biocolloids and Surfaces and Associate Director, Brace Center for Water Resources Management): Toxicity, transformations and transport of engineered nanoparticles in soils: New approaches to detect and characterize environmental risks.