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$7M funding for researchers in BC


Vancouver, B – Over $6.9 million in research funding is being awarded to 24 researchers in BC through the province’s Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment.

The recipients are as follows:

Farid Golnaraghi, SFU
Title: Smart Sensors for intelligent tires.
Project Summary: Developing highly advanced and self energized “smart” sensors for vehicle tires, including wireless transmission modules and micro sensors. The primary focus of application will be on embedded, wireless, self-energized sensors in tires for measuring road applied forces, tire pressure, temperature, etc.
Award Amount: $300,000

William Davidson, SFU
Title: Sex-determination in Atlantic salmon.
Project Summary: Determining the molecular basis for sex-determination in Atlantic salmon by identifying the genes involved in the sex-determining pathway.
Award Amount: $298,760

Septimiu Edmund Salcudean, UBC
Title: Development of improved ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging techniques for the prostate.
Project Summary: Improved ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging techniques have the potential to improve prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and disease progress monitoring, reducing patient suffering and healthcare expenditures.
Award Amount: $291,330

Gregory Mori, SFU
Title: Improving pedestrian safety via automated data collection and safety analysis.
Project Summary: Real data is critical for the development of safe and effective transportation infrastructure. The development of novel computer vision algorithms will enable the automatic tracking of road users and improved analytical tools and measures for assessing road safety.
Award Amount: $298,398

Maycira Costa, UVic
Title: Fish food from space: use of satellites to aid fisheries management.
Project Summary: Dr. Costa is developing an operational method for using satellite imagery to derive a spatial temporal time series of phytoplankton blooms and associate it with fish stock data. These satellite images may become a tool to help define fish stocks in the Salish Sea, B.C.
Award Amount: $279,410

Shuo Tang, UBC
Title: Development of an optical biopsy device for skin cancer detection and evaluation.
Project Summary: The optical biopsy device will enable non-invasive, sub-surface structural imaging and biochemical composition identification similar to histology, providing real-time imaging that can potentially be used in the early cancer detection.
Award Amount: $300,000

Xiaotao Bi, UBC
Title: Wood pellets: A choice feedstock to produce second generation liquid biofuels.
Project Summary: British Columbia has become a world leader in converting waste residues from sawmills to wood pellets. UBC researchers are developing a new generation of wood pellets by steam explosion pre-treatment to make these pellets suitable for hydrolysis and conversion to ethanol, as to increase the pellet durability.
Award Amount: $300,000

Nicholas Coops, UBC
Title: Development of provincewide biodiversity indicators using Earth observation data.
Project Summary: This project will develop a framework for monitoring biodiversity change by identifying regions of unique biodiversity and ensuring these areas are well represented in the current network of parks and protected areas. Beyond developed biodiversity, these metrics will be used to predict bird species distributions and provide information for B.C. bird conservation plans.
Award Amount: $286,400

Mohamed Hefeeda, SFU
Title: Enabling high-quality mobile multimedia services.
Project Summary: The project presents novel algorithms and systems to minimize the energy consumption of mobile devices, improve user-perceived quality and maximize the use of the wireless spectrum.
Award Amount: $296,400

Donald S Mavinic, UBC
Title: Excess nitrogen removal from wastewater using an innovative annamox process.
Project Summary: The project proposes a cost-effective, sustainable and more ecologically friendly technology for the removal of nitrogen in B.C. wastewater treatment plants with the potential to significantly reduce capital and operating costs, effluent toxicity and carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
Award Amount: $249,600

Xiaodai Dong, UVic
Title: Ultra-wideband systems for wireless sensor networks with applications to natural resources and health care sectors.
Project Summary: The proposed wireless sensor network based on ultra-wideband (UWB) technology will be used for environment monitoring and control, hospital equipment logistics, patient tracking and localization, asset tagging and management, fleet management, animal tracking, family communications and supervision of children, search and rescue and more.
Award Amount: $300,000

Mark Johnson, UBC
Title: Evaluation of the use of biochar (charcoal derived from non-timber forest biomass) as a means to increase forest productivity.
Project Summary: Nitrogen fertilizer, commonly used in forest management in coastal B.C., leads to greenhouse gas emissions including nitrous oxide and nitrate leaching into groundwater and surface water. This project will determine the potential for biochar to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nitrate leaching, which are important considerations for improving the sustainability of forestry operations.
Award Amount: $231,400

Doug Stead, SFU
Title: Improving mine safety, economics and sustainability through implementation of geotechnical innovation in British Columbia surface mines.
Project Summary: This project will aim to improve mine safety, economics and sustainability through implementation of geotechnical innovation in British Columbia surface mines. To achieve this, B.C. surface mines will receive state-of-the-art rock slope characterization, monitoring and numerical modeling techniques.
Award Amount: $240,000

Anoush Poursartip, UBC
Title: Development of design tools to help fibreglass and composites companies reduce manufacturing risk.
Project Summary: Originally created for the aerospace composites sector, science-based manufacturing design tools are being optimized for usage in the industrial fibreglass and composites sectors, helping them to compete globally.
Award Amount: $293,700

Reuven Gordon, UVic
Title: Plasmon-enhanced quantum information processing nanotechnology.
Project Summary: This projects aims to integrate two nanotechnologies to establish a novel platform for quantum information processing, offering quick solutions for computer problems.
Award Amount: $300,000

Alexandra Fedorova, SFU
Title: Building better and faster video games with the help of parallelization.
Project Summary: Video games are a performance-hungry domain: better performance means better, more interactive and realistic video games. This project will develop tools and techniques for parallelizing video games, which will enable programmers to use familiar programming style, but let the underlying system efficiently parallelize the code across tens or hundreds of processors or GPU cores.
Award Amount: $291,544

Jian Pei, SFU
Title: Interactive searching and mining of large evolving graphs.
Project Summary: The next generation of search engines will transform data from online social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn into business opportunities. By building search engines for large-scale evolving social networks and complex graphs, this project tackles storing large evolving social networks, time-sensitive community search and multidimensional community analysis.
Award Amount: $300,000

Ali
reza Nojeh, UBC

Title: Development of novel, high-performance electron sources using carbon
Project Summary: Electron sources are critical components in a wide variety of industrial and scientific equipment in clean air technologies, manufacturing, medical imaging, displays and electronics. The electron sources to be developed will increase equipment productivity and longevity, thereby reducing operating costs.
Award Amount: $274,000

Kevin James Smith, UBC
Title: Novel catalysts for low-temperature methane oxidation.
Project Summary: This project will synthesize three new classes of nanomaterials to control the emissions from the exhausts of hybrid diesel/natural gas/hydrogen engines being developed by Westport Innovations in Vancouver. The most promising of these new materials will be incorporated into a prototype catalytic converter and tested in the facilities of Westport Innovations.
Award Amount: $300,000

Vincent Wai-Shuen Wong, UBC
Title: Co-operative design and resource allocation for wireless mesh networks.
Project Summary: The throughput and reliability of wireless mesh networks can be improved by developing novel co-operative relaying, orthogonal frequency division multiple access and network coding schemes. The outcome of this project will help researchers and practitioners better understand the interactions and dynamics of different components and positively impact the theory and practice of wireless mesh network design and optimization.
Award Amount: $299,100

Bozena Kaminska, SFU
Title: Multifunctional active composite materials for embedded microsystems devices.
Project Summary: A new generation of energy storage devices based on soft film polymer material will enable low-cost, environmentally friendly powering of electronic devices. The approach combines commercially feasible nano-structures used to increase energy efficiency and new advanced manufacturing processes for high volume fabrication.
Award Amount: $300,000

Boris Stoeber, UBC
Title: Mobile chemical sensor networks for effluent source location.
Project Summary: The research supported by this project focuses on the development of high-performance chemical sensing technology. The sensors will be able to detect very small amounts of chemicals in the air along with any changes in their concentration. The capabilities of this new sensing technology will benefit surveillance of industrial processes, where chemical concentrations vary over time and spatially throughout the production site.
Award Amount: $286,000

Zuomin Dong, UVic
Title: Development of design tools and key technology for next generation commercial hybrid vehicles.
Project Summary: This collaborative research will focus on the development of new design tools, key technology and control methods for advanced commercial hybrid vehicle powertrains to address the technical challenges of developing commercial hybrid vehicles with widely varying loads and drive cycles.
Award Amount: $295,800

Albert M Leung, SFU
Title: Wireless sensor networks for video surveillance
Project Summary: This research addresses the design issues of battery-operated wireless video surveillance systems from a complete system perspective, taking into account the generation, transmissions, storage, retrieval and consumption of video information.
Award Amount: $300,000

The province’s premier, Gordon Campbell, has also announced a further $7 million for a Year of Science legacy that will go towards graduate fellowships in the coming months through the province’s Leading Edge Endowment Fund.