Four new University Research Chairs appointed to tackle emerging issues

Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The University of Ottawa has an enduring culture of research excellence, one that is worth nurturing and supporting. With this in mind, the University has appointed four new University Research Chairs (URC), recognizing outstanding accomplishments by its professors, who also maintain a solid teaching record at uOttawa.

The four new research chairs:

Anne Broadbent — Faculty of Science
University Research Chair in Quantum Information Processing

Quantum information revolutionizes the way we communicate and compute. Thanks to quantum phenomena such as entanglement, superposition and interference, ultrafast computations and secure communications become possible. This research aims at ensuring that our information infrastructure remains both functional and secure in the presence of quantum information technologies. On one hand, we deal with the threats that stem from ultrafast quantum computations; on the other hand, we exploit the properties of quantum information in order to provide secure solutions.

Luke Copland — Faculty of Arts
University Research Chair in Ice Dynamics and Cryospheric Changes in Northern Canada

The central aim of this research program is to improve understanding of ice dynamics and the impact of climate change on ice masses in northern Canada. Glaciers and ice caps have lost substantial thickness in recent years, but little is currently known about how these ice masses move, and how this motion may vary over time. This study will therefore produce the first complete velocity map for all of the glaciers in this region, which will ultimately improve our understanding of the future evolution of ice masses in Canada and improve predictions of future sea level rise.

Jeremy Kerr — Faculty of Science
University Research Chair in Macroecology and Conservation Biology

Biodiversity is the product of complex interactions between evolutionary processes and our physical environment, and has yielded a host of stunningly beautiful and incredibly varied species. However, human activity is changing global environments in ways that may erode this evolutionary heritage. This research program seeks to explore ways in which physical barriers such as mountain ranges limit contact between groups of species. Isolation may promote the formation of new species, which can then be detected in the subtle branching of their evolutionary trees. However, there is concern that human-caused climate and habitat changes may reverse the effects of evolution and erode biodiversity.

Muralee Murugesu — Faculty of Science
University Research Chair in Nanotechnology

As global mobility increases, our expectations with regard to processing time and data volume increase exponentially in lockstep with our growing energy demands. The goal is not to do less, but to do more with less, and to do so for less energy, hence the need for innovation in the field of molecular electronics. One such innovation is the development of nanoscale magnets whose small size and inherent properties offer the promise of hard drives and quantum computers that are smaller, faster, higher density and more energy efficient. The proposed research will apply innovative synthetic methods to produce nanomagnets that could eventually lead to the commercialization of molecular electronics.

View the complete list of University of Ottawa Research Chairs

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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