$1.7M for University of Ottawa research projects to make a better, brighter Canada of tomorrow

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012

Five University of Ottawa scientists have been awarded a total of $1.7 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in support of research projects that could greatly impact the country's economic, social and environmental landscape over the next ten years.

The announcement was made as part of a national initiative under NSERC's Strategic Project Grants program, which supports high impact research that generates benefits to the country's economy, social fabric and environment.

“These projects enable us to develop key expertise at home as well as the competitive edge we need on the international stage,” declared Mona Nemer, vice-president, research. “They are prime examples of how better health, cleaner air and stronger economy for Canadians are of paramount importance for the University of Ottawa.”

The five researchers being supported are:

Jules Blais – Department of Biology
The Arctic in flux: How has recent climate change affected contaminants in aquatic arctic systems?

Led by Professor Jules Blais, this project will advance environmental science and technologies by developing tools to examine the interactions between different climate change conditions and pollutant cycling in aquatic Arctic systems. The research will combine established, state-of-the-art technologies in reconstructing climate from preserved sedimentary proxies, and concurrent records of contaminant deposition histories.

Karin Hinzer – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
4CPV: Materials and processes for quad-junction concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar cells with conversion efficiencies in the 45%-50% range, grown by chemical beam epitaxy

Professor Karin Hinzer, who is the Canada Research Chair in Photonic Nanostructures and Integrated Devices, will explore renewable energy sources, and build on existing Canadian capability to develop the world's most efficient photovoltaic cells for solar energy systems. The project has the potential to eliminate up to 60 tons of CO2 emissions per year per average building, and will enable economical power solutions for on-grid and off-grid consumers around the world.

Stan Matwin – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Co-applicant: Marina Sokolova, Faculty of Medicine

Novel techniques for data Privacy protection

Data privacy is an important and far-reaching concept of modern information technology. Professor Matwin will lead research set to strengthen and enhance Canada's leadership position in data privacy, by presenting novel research solutions and training a number of students in data protection techniques. The proposed research will use machine learning techniques and will be anchored in the areas of importance to Canada's health care sector. The solutions will be adopted by Canadian industry to supply better privacy solutions in Canada and globally.

Jianping Yao – School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Optical broadband infrastructures for wired and wireless area networks

Professor Yao, who is the University Research Chair in Microwave Photonics, and his team will focus on the design and development of fiber-fed 60-GHz and ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless access techniques that are integrated into the wired digital coherent fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks. The new knowledge generated from this project and the training of highly qualified personnel associated to the different stages of this work will certainly contribute to enhancing Canada's global competitiveness, especially in high-technology sectors.

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. It is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development.

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