Cutting-edge research at the University of Ottawa receives $1.6M boost

Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014

As campuses across Canada welcome students back from their holidays, cutting-edge research at the University of Ottawa will see a significant financial boost from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The CFI has awarded a total of $872,658 from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund, which enables institutions to acquire the necessary infrastructure for research carried out by their best and brightest, to two uOttawa researchers.

Professor Robert Boyd – Faculty of Science and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics
Professor Boyd's research aims to exploit recent advances in nonlinear optics and quantum optics. The field of quantum nonlinear optics (QNLO) lies at the intersection of fundamental physics, applied physics, and engineering. Nonlinear optics deals with situations in which a light beam can modify its own propagation by changing the optical properties of a material through which it passes. It is usually associated with intense light fields, but quantum nonlinear optics takes these effects to a new level by using nonlinear interactions to control very weak light containing only a few photons, or even a single photon.

Assistant Professor Julie Morand-Ferron – Faculty of Science – Department of Biology
Professor Morand-Ferron's research will help better understand how cognition (learning, memory and decision-making) is shaped by selective environments. Her research focuses on avian foraging and social behaviour, and is primarily based on experiments in the field, as well as captive studies and comparative methods. She uses an integrated approach that draws upon behavioural ecology, cognitive ecology and evolutionary ecology.

Two more researchers will share $825,250 awarded by the NSERC as part of the Strategic Project Grants, which supports researchers who team up with the private or public sectors to carry out projects that benefit the country's economy, social fabric and environment.

Professor Azzedine A Boukerche - School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
DISTRACT: cooperative distributed target in multi-tier heterogeneous wireless sensor networks (WSN)
Thanks to advances in sensor device technology, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can now process sensed data locally to extract relevant information, collaborate with other sensors on an application-specific task, and thus provide information about the monitored events. These networks can be used in all sorts of applications, ranging from battlefield monitoring and environmental surveillance to health care. However, unstable tracking performance is still an issue. Professor Boukerche uses a novel approach to optimize performance and significantly reduce target tracking errors.

Professor Shervin Shirmohammadi – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Hi-Fit: High fidelity telepresence over best effort networks
High Definition Telepresence (HDTP) involves capturing a scene, typically one involving users at an actual physical location, such as an office, classroom or meeting room. Despite advances in HDTP systems, they are still inaccessible to mainstream markets because their hardware and software requirements are quite demanding. Professor Shirmohammadi's research aims to design and implement a platform that can be used to transmit HDTP over best-effort networks. He is tackling a number of challenges related to processing, integrating and streaming HD video, 3D video, and multiview video in order to achieve HD 3D/multiview telepresence.

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. The University is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development, with a total regional economic impact estimated at $4 billion annually.


Kina Leclair
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2529
Cell: 613-762-2908

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