Science researchers receive New Frontiers in Research funding

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Two researchers in the Faculty of Science have received funding from the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF): Holger Kleinke from the Department of Chemistry and Will Percival from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The projects were part of two competitions: the 2021 Exploration competition and the NFRF special call on Innovative Approaches to Research in the Pandemic Context.

Holger KleinkeKleinke, who's research focuses on finding and optimizing new materials capable of converting heat into electrical energy and vice versa, received $250,000 from the Exploration competition for his proposal "Hybrid-powered Portable Solid-State Lighting". The goal is to use small thermoelectric generators (TEGs) to convert the waste heat generated by the LEDs into electricity, which will be fed back into the LEDs by recharging the portable battery, thereby extending their running times and enhancing their brightness.

"We intend to employ these TEG-driven LEDs to generate UV light for water purification systems, of special interest for Canada's remote, less developed regions."

Will PercivalPercival is the Director of the Waterloo Centre of Astrophysics and focuses his research on the properties of the Universe on the largest scales. He was recognized in the special call for innovative approaches to research in the pandemic context and received $250,000 for the proposal "Being confident in the discovery of new physics from cosmological observations" in collaboration with Professor Glen McGee from the Faculty of Math. The project goals are to apply techniques developed for biostatistics to the problem of understanding the Universe as a whole. 

"Some recent astrophysical observations are in tension with the standard cosmological model, possibly pointing to unknown physical processes at work in the Universe. A small interdisciplinary team at Waterloo will look at the statistical strength of these claims."

The NFRF awarded more than $45 million in support for research projects for 751 researchers, including 245 early career researchers. Research teams of two or more are receiving grants of up to $250,000 each over two years.

There were six recipients in total from the University of Waterloo.

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