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Acoustic imaging research centre receives $5M funding


Windsor, ON – A new centre devoted to acoustical imaging, called the Institute for Diagnostic Imaging Research, is to be established at the University of Windsor. The institute received $5 million in funding from Ontario’s government today.

The institute will work collaboratively with leading private-sector partners to develop new acoustical imaging technologies for use in the automotive, health care and public safety sectors. Industry estimates peg the global market for such applications at $21 billion.

The institute will operate as a distributed research consortium, meaning that researchers from across Ontario will participate through their own faculties, but also come together at the institute to take advantage of its specialized facilities.

The $5 million funding will support the purchase of equipment and training of new graduate students and researchers. Researchers will partner with industry to ensure technologies developed have significant commercial potential.

The institute’s founding director will be one of Ontario’s most renowned researchers, Dr Roman Maev. During his five-year term, Dr Maev will establish the institute and make it operational. He is a leader in the field of acoustic microscopy and has successfully developed a better way for Chrysler to check the quality control of the more than 4,000 spot welds typically used in a modern car.

He has already spun-off a company, called Tessonics, to commercialize this technology. Ontario recognized this company with a Premier’s Catalyst Award in 2007 for the Start-Up Company with the Best Innovation. See www.tessonics.com.

“We’re pleased that the Ontario government is supporting this important initiative,” said Frank Ewasyshyn, executive vice president of manufacturing with Chrysler. “Innovations in industrial imaging will help Ontario manufacturers like Chrysler improve quality control and remain competitive in the global economy. It will also help ensure Ontario continues to benefit from building the best cars and trucks in the world.”

“The beauty of Dr Maev’s work is his ability to apply what he has learned in the lab to the very practical problems facing our society today,” said Dr Ross Paul, University of Windsor’s president. “This work has the potential for a number of industrial applications and speaks to the need for innovative economic diversification, right here in Windsor and beyond.”

Potential applications of acoustical imaging include non-destructive testing systems for quality assurance in sectors such as automotive, aircraft, energy and agriculture (global market: more than $1 billion), non-intrusive imaging systems for use in hospitals and clinics (global market: more than $10 billion), and more effective non-intrusive biometric identification systems (global market: more than $10 billion).