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Rithu Muthalathu gained a lot more than insight into the subject at hand when he recently took part in his first academic research study exploring ammonia as a green energy carrier.

A fourth-year chemical engineering student, Muthalathu also learned that research is a journey with a way of taking you in unexpected directions.

"It was a unique experience as an undergraduate student," he said.

A company that was co-founded by an alumnus of Waterloo Engineering has secured $4 million in backing from the federal government to help commercialize new green energy technology.

Clear Blue Technologies, which is headed by CEO and co-founder Miriam Tuerk (BASc ’85, electrical engineering), was launched in 2011 to bring smart, clean, renewable, efficient and cost-effective power to billions of people who still lack access to reliable power.

Two students at Waterloo Engineering took the top prize in a national contest for social entrepreneurs.

Peter Cornelisse and Lucas Godkin, both fourth-year mechanical engineering students, received $25,000 as the winners of the NU National Student Award for Outstanding Social Entrepreneurship.

Cornelisse and Godkin are developing an off-grid, renewable energy generation and storage system as an affordable alternative to fossil fuel generators.

Manh-Kien Tran will receive $50,000 annually for the next three years from the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to further develop his research focused on building a smart cloud-based battery management system.

The new chemical engineering doctoral student believes advancements in energy storage systems will result in a safer, cleaner, and more energy-efficient society.

Two researchers at Waterloo Engineering are co-leaders of projects announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week as the recipients of more than $5.6 million in infrastructure funding from the federal government.

Monica Emelko, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor, head up two of 102 research projects nationwide awarded more than $518 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

A cross-appointed professor of chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo has been named a fellow of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest independent scientific academy.

Linda Nazar was recognized for her research on electrochemical energy storage with topics that span Li-ion batteries and ‘beyond Li-ion,’ and solid state ionics.

A professor at Waterloo Engineering is a member of a team that is advancing technology to turn organic waste into green fuels and fertilizer.

Research by Janusz Kozinski and several collaborators at the University of Saskatchewan includes a project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to convert waste and wastewater into energy for possible use on the International Space Station and during long-term space missions.

Researchers at Waterloo Engineering have developed new technology to convert wasted food into a clean substitute for fossil fuels.

The system engineers natural fermentation to yield a chemical called carboxylate, which can be used to produce fuel and chemicals for products including drugs and plastic packaging instead of those derived from petroleum.

Advancements in zero-emission fuel cells could make the technology cheap enough to replace traditional gasoline engines in vehicles, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo.

The researchers have developed a new fuel cell that lasts at least 10 times longer than current technology, an improvement that would make them economically practical, if mass-produced, to power vehicles with electricity.

Funding was formally announced this week for a four-year, $1.9-million project to develop low-cost, durable hydrogen fuel cells to power buses and cars.

The project – a collaboration involving academia, industry and government – is led by Waterloo Engineering professor Xianguo Li, a world-class researcher in the field for two decades.