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Research programs valued at $2.7M being launched in Alberta


Edmonton, AB – Two new iCORE industrial research chairs have been awarded at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. The research chairs will focus on technology that can be used in a variety of areas, including designing engineering prototypes, testing medical procedures and conducting scientific research

Ten years ago, the much-hyped idea of virtual reality was limited to rare prototypes. The new iCORE/TRLabs industrial research chair in virtual collaborative environments will move these ideas toward reality. Dr Pierre Boulanger, a professor at the University of Alberta, will lead the $1.7 million research program supported by iCORE, TRLabs and other industry and university partners.

Dr Boulanger graduated from Laval University in engineering physics. He also received his masters in physics from the same university and his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Montreal. He worked for 18 years at the National Research Council of Canada as a senior research officer where his primary research interest were in 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and virtualized reality systems. Since July 1st 2001, he is working as a professor at the department of computing science at the University of Alberta doing research and teaching on virtualized reality systems. He is also an adjunct scientist and principal investigator for new media at TRLabs and at the Banff Centre. In 2004, Dr Boulanger was awarded an iCORE industrial chair in collaborative virtual environment

“Dr Boulanger’s research literally enhances the way we see the world, offering the potential to transform the way we live and work,” said Roger Pederson, TRLabs president and CEO. “The iCORE/TRLabs industrial chair is a key element of expansion of our digital media research program in response to increased industry member interest in content and applications that leverage network connectivity

In the area of medicine, new tools to virtually create and work in the human body will be developed by Dr Christoph Sensen at the University of Calgary. He has been awarded an iCORE/Sun Microsystems industrial research chair to lead a $1-million research program in applied bioinformatics.

Dr Sensen is a tenured full professor at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, department of biochemistry and molecular biology, and an adjunct professor at the department of computer science. He heads the Sun Center of Excellence for Visual Genomics, one of the largest bioinformatics laboratories in Canada, and is the principal investigator of Genome Canada’s bioinformatics platform, which is coordinated by Genome Prairie.

“This investment is another milestone in the long-standing relationship between Sun and iCORE,” says Lynne Zucker, director of education and research markets with Sun Microsystems of Canada. “Sun’s work with iCORE aligns well with our commitment to innovation, and once again raises Alberta’s profile on the information and communications technology world stage.”