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UW receives provincial funding for 33 research projects

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November 1, 2005

Source: University of Waterloo:

UW receives provincial funding for 33 research projects

WATERLOO, Ont. -- Designing computer algorithms as well as improving highway pavements and discovering new genes are just three of many University of Waterloo projects that will benefit from more than $6.2 million in Ontario government funding announced locally last week.

UW is receiving $6,067,565 to support 33 projects, while Wilfrid Laurier University is receiving $159,819 to support two projects. The money comes from the newly created Ontario Research Fund (ORF) and matches previously announced Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding for the same projects.

"This investment will help ensure innovative new discoveries are made right here in Waterloo Region -- discoveries that will benefit us all," said John Milloy, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre, in announcing the funding for both UW and Wilfrid Laurier University.

The funding is part of last Friday's announcement by Premier Dalton McGuinty of $48 million to support 312 innovative projects at 20 Ontario research institutions through the ORF.

"We need to ensure that Ontario can compete in the marketplace of ideas," said McGuinty, who is also Minister of Research and Innovation. "By building a world-class research infrastructure in Ontario, we can attract and retain the best and brightest people and provide jobs and prosperity for Ontarians well into the future."

The goal of the ORF is to keep Ontario's researchers at the leading-edge in priority economic sectors by supporting the capital costs of research through its infrastructure program. The ORF is a key component of the province's Research and Commercialization Strategy.

With $300 million in funding spread over four years, ORF will support the modernization, development and acquisition of new research infrastructure at provincial universities, colleges and hospitals.

"These crucial investments in infrastructure support will help our researchers to make significant and outstanding contributions to the development of science and innovation in Canada," said Paul Guild, UW's Vice-President, University Research. "As well, they will help train the next generation of outstanding Canadian researchers, ensuring that Canada's prosperity continues."

The ORF program provides matching funds for the following 33 projects at Waterloo, which have already received a grant from the CFI:

  • Prof. Amir Khandani, Electrical & Computer Engineering. "Laboratory Facilities for Analysis, Design and Implementation of Communication Algorithms." $130,659.

    The infrastructure funding will spark investigation into several new research directions to increase the spectral efficiency of wireless networks, together with methods for fast and power efficient implementation of the underlying communication algorithms.

  • Prof. Andre Unger, Earth Sciences. "Impact of Geological Uncertainty on Achieving Regulatory Compliance Objectives Used to Control Subsurface Waste Disposal or Remediation Projects." $141,075.

    New computer equipment will allow the combination of sophisticated hydrologic process and remediation design models into a computational framework, providing the means to optimize cleanup, closure and redevelopment of contaminated industrial sites.

  • Prof. Arokia Nathan, Electrical & Computer Engineering. "Facility for Fabrication, Test, and Characterization of Nano-crystalline Silicon Thin Film Transistors and Circuits." $140,000.

    The infrastructure funding will enable research that addresses the development of nano-crystalline silicon technology for realization of mechanically flexible large area electronics on plastic substrates.

  • Profs. Bruno Tremblay, Philosophy, St. Jerome's University, and David Porecca, Classical Studies, UW. "Development of a Research Database in Medieval Studies: a WEB-based, searchable, electronic corpus of Albertus Magnus complete works." $18,110.

    The award will allow the establishment of a searchable, web-based electronic corpus of the numerous and voluminous works of one of the most important thinkers of the Middle Ages, Albertus Magnus.

  • Prof. Perry Chou, Chemical Engineering. "Molecular Biotechnology Infrastructure for Study of High-Level Recombinant Protein Production and Protein Folding." $130,895.

    The infrastructure funds will enable research in high-level recombinant protein production and the creation of an institutional research base specializing in all relevant areas for recombinant protein production, including genetic/metabolic manipulation, biological strains, cellular materials and biological pathways.

  • Profs. Carl Haas and Susan Tighe, Civil Engineering. "Sensor and Surveillance Technologies for Pavement and Construction Research." $250,000.

    The infrastructure award will allow investigation into Pavement Surveillance and Construction Site Modelling. Pavement Surveillance includes image capturing of section surfaces and noise measurements at the tire-pavement surface interface. Construction Site Modelling involves data acquisition from construction sites, including roads and pavements.

  • Profs. Cecile Devaud and Carolyn Ren, Mechanical Engineering. "A Facility to Develop Novel Micro Devices and Analysis Tools for Biomedical, Environmental and Safety Applications." $193,434.

    The funding will support infrastructure essential to launch an innovative research program in the design and optimization of stand-alone Lab-on-a-Chip devices. The infrastructure will include a High-Performance Computing system and a Fluorescent Visualization system.

  • Prof. Debbie Leung, Combinatorics & Optimization and Institute for Quantum Computing. "Infrastructure For Quantum Communications Research." $185,591.

    The infrastructure grant will create the "Quantum Communications Research Hub." The infrastructure will enable Leung's research group to continue crucial scientific collaborations with researchers locally and worldwide.

  • Profs. Ehsan Toyserkani, Shahrzad Esmaeili, William Melek, Hamid Jahed and Michael Mayer, Mechanical Engineering. "Centre for Rapid Prototyping of Advanced Multi-Scale Systems." $320,701.

    As a result of the infrastructure support, the centre will provide a multi-disciplinary research environment to address the synergy between novel materials, systems and processes for rapid prototyping of macro- and micro-scale systems.

  • Prof. Gregor Weihs, Physics and Institute for Quantum Computing. "Laboratory for the characterization and applications of new sources of entanglement." $125,000.

    The infrastructure funding will enable research aimed at creating novel sources of entangled photon pairs in semiconductor nanostructures. These entangled photon pairs provide for quantum communication and quantum communication applications, such as quantum teleportation and quantum cryptography.

  • Profs. Jeff Orchard and Marten Karsten, School of Computer Science; Chek Beng Chua, Etienne de Klerk, Jochen Konemann, Romy Shioda, and Jacques Verstraete, Combinatorics & Optimization; Nathalie Lanson, Applied Mathematics; Michael Rubinstein, Pure Mathematics; Weidong Tian and Grace Yi, Statistics & Actuarial Science. "Providing Research Infrastructure for Mathematical Excellence." $630,429.

    The infrastructure award will enable diverse research, from statistical models of financial markets, to the development of biomedical prototypes to aid in cancer treatment. The goal is to offer advances in technology and critical discoveries in mathematical theories contributing to business efficiency, healthcare, engineering and cryptography.

  • Profs. Scott Jeffrey, Management Sciences; Daniel Heller, Psychology; Natalia Kotchetova, School of Accountancy. "Mobile Experimental Behavioral Laboratory." $58,347.

    With the infrastructure funding, the mobile laboratory will address the limitations of using solely undergraduate students in behavioral experiments since it will permit employees to be studied in their workplaces under proper lab conditions.

  • Prof. Jennifer Durkin, Kinesiology. "Investigation of Knee Joint Loading Patterns Following Injury and Their Influence on Articular Cartilage Remodelling." $124,900.

    The infrastructure award will enable research examining the biomechanical relationship between joint injury and the development of osteoarthritis (a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints).

  • Profs. Kankar Bhattacharya, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Miguel Anjos, Management Sciences. "Electricity Market Simulation and Optimization Laboratory." $145,000.

    The infrastructure support will establish Canada's first Electricity Market Simulation and Optimization Laboratory, which will carry out forefront research in electricity market modelling and simulation.

  • Prof. Ken Seng Tan, Statistics & Actuarial Science. "Research Infrastructure for Quantitative Risk Management at University of Waterloo." $149,286.

    The infrastructure award will spark the development of sophisticated mathematical tools for many complex applications in the fields of computational finance, risk management and insurance. The tools will be used to better assess risks and make informed decisions based on those assessments.

  • Profs. Kevin Hare and Nicolaas Spronk, Pure Mathematics; Ashraf Aboulnaga, Shai Ben-David, Ihab Ilyas, Kate Larson and Pascal Poupart, School of Computer Science; Andris Ambainis, Combinatorics & Optimization; Hans de Sterck, Francis Poulin and Marek Stastna, Applied Mathematics; Guangzhe Fan, Yulia Gel and Paul Marriott, Statistics & Actuarial Science. "Resources for Computational Research Innovation." $348,469.

    The infrastructure funding will lead to advances in the fields of data mining, quantum computing, e-commerce, oceanic and atmospheric modelling, weather prediction, biomedical research, artificial intelligence, cryptography, software engineering, numerical linear algebra, grid computing, next-generation databases and ubiquitous computing systems.

  • Prof. Linda Nazar, Chemistry. "Solid state electrochemical and materials characterization facility." $153,138.

    The infrastructure funding will support developments in new materials for energy storage, conversion and delivery, including batteries, fuel cells and electrodes based on novel conducting porous materials.

  • Prof. Lori Curtis, Economics. "The Waterloo Health Economics Data Laboratory at the University of Waterloo." $34,891.

    The infrastructure grant will set up a health economics statistical data laboratory to collate, manage and analyze regional, national and international health and social related data. The analyses will be vital in directing future health policy in Canada and providing data on groups that have traditionally been under-represented in health economics, such as women, children and immigrants.

  • Prof. Marcel Nooijen, Chemistry. "Creation of a High-Performance Computational Facility for Quantum Chemistry." $269,424.

    The infrastructure support will allow for the development and application of new computational methods in quantum chemistry, which can help clarify long-standing questions concerning the intricate chemistry of transition metal compounds.

  • Prof. Mark Servos, Biology. "Analytical tools for assessing the risk of emerging threats to water quality." $279,000.

    The infrastructure funding will enable the development of innovative new tools and approaches to protect, remediate and improve water quality. These new technologies to address emerging threats to water quality will be crucial in ensuring the continued prosperity and health of our communities.

  • Prof. Michael Worswick, Mechanical Engineering. "Digital Servo-Control System, Automated Pycnometer and Integrated Optical Microscopy-Image Analysis for State-of-the-Art Tube Bending and Hydroforming." $127,025.

    The infrastructure award will provide new microscopy and densitometry equipment needed to characterize the damage in materials after forming and impact. As well, advanced digital control systems will complement testing infrastructure for hydroforming, stamping and impact.

  • Prof. Mohab Anis, Electrical & Computer Engineering. "Facility for the Design of Nanometer Integrated Circuits and Design Automation." $70,000.

    The infrastructure funding will lead to new understanding and evolutions in nanometer devices, integrated circuits and design automation methodologies. The goal is to significantly contribute to the development of the microsystems industry in Canada.

  • Profs. Mungo Marsden and Christian Jacobson, Biology. "Integrated Facility for Gene Discovery and Molecular Imaging." $210,964.

    As a result of the infrastructure grant, the facility will combine high-throughput genetic screening with sophisticated real-time imaging. The aim is to integrate these technologically advanced approaches to provide new opportunities for gene discovery and the functional analysis of novel molecules.

  • Profs. Mustafa Yavuz, Kaan Erkorkmaz and Mir Behrad Khamesee, Mechanical Engineering; and Tze-Wei (John) Yeow, Systems Design Engineering. "Micro-Systems Research Centre." $340,488.

    The infrastructure support will result in the development, fabrication, assembly and control of micro and nano-scale devices. The research ranges from developing new biomedical imaging techniques, designing micro-surgical robots, to developing precision control strategies for atomic force microscopes.

  • Prof. Pu Chen, Chemical Engineering. "Facility for Research in Nano-Biomaterials." $153,702.

    The infrastructure money will allow for various projects in biomedical engineering and nano-biotechnology, especially drug and gene delivery.

  • Prof. Qing-Bin Lu, Physics. "Buildup of a Femtosecond Laser Spectroscopy for Environmental and Biological Studies." $172,489.

    The infrastructure award will create a time-resolved (pump-probe) femtosecond laser spectroscopy, which will obtain real-time observations and controls of reactions in molecular systems of environmental, biological and medical importance.

  • Profs. Qinmin Pan and Ali Elkamel, Chemical Engineering. "Development of Green Nano-Technology for Nano-Structured Polymers." $128,458.

    The infrastructure funding will permit an innovative research program on "Green" nano-technology for polymer materials. It will also create opportunities to strengthen the training of highly qualified personnel in this frontier area of science and technology.

  • Prof. Richard Cook, Statistics & Actuarial Science. "Infrastructure for Canada Research Chair in Statistical Methods for Health Research at the University of Waterloo." $142,792.

    The infrastructure award will enable the research group to tackle important computationally demanding problems arising in the analysis of incomplete data on the progression of chronic disease processes.

  • Prof. Richard Staines, Kinesiology. "Sensorimotor Control Laboratory: An Integrative Neuroimaging Approach to Basic Mechanisms and Implications for Stroke Recovery." $130,130.

    The infrastructure funding will provide laboratory equipment and software to conduct neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies. The goal is to improve motor function after brain injury by building a foundation, based on the fundamental understanding of the neural control of movement.

  • Prof. Russell Tupling, Kinesiology. "Research Facility to study the Genetic/Physiological Determinants of Metabolic Rate and Obesity." $191,457.

    The infrastructure funding will be used to establish an innovative facility and research program that will investigate the effects of altered cellular transport efficiency in muscle on metabolic rate and susceptibility to obesity.

  • Prof. Srinivasan Keshav, School of Computer Science. "Infrastructure for Tetherless Computing." $199,335.

    The infrastructure grant will set up an advanced laboratory and spark cross-disciplinary research projects using low-cost tetherless information technology to propel health care, environmental monitoring and rural development. (Tetherless computing involves applications running on small, inexpensive mobile devices, such as Personal Digital Assistants and cell phones.)

  • Prof. Stephen Birkett, Systems Design Engineering. "Facility for Research in Piano Design, Technology and Manufacturing." $111,998.

    The infrastructure award will support the development of a new laboratory, including sophisticated test equipment to study the mechanical behaviour of materials and components used to manufacture pianos.

  • Prof. Xiangdong Fang, Chemistry. "Organometallic/Polymer Chemistry Research Laboratory." $260,378.

    As a result of the infrastructure support, research work will develop new transition metal catalysts leading to polymer materials with novel microstructures and properties along with the discovery of more efficient and atom-economical organic transformations.

    John Morris, UW Media Relations, (519) 888-4435;
    Release no. 243 -- November 1, 2005

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