Engineering researchers awarded almost $1.5 million

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Six professors at Waterloo Engineering were awarded almost $1.5 million in federal funding today through a program created to encourage high-risk, high-reward, collaborative research.

The funding is part of $200 million in support announced for projects across the country through the New Frontiers in Research Fund. Campus-wide at the University of Waterloo, 10 projects are to receive a total of almost $3 million.

“Science and research are essential to solving the greatest challenges facing humanity today and in the future,” François-Philippe Champagne, the minister of innovation, science and industry, said in a media release.

The researchers at Waterloo Engineering who are principal investigators for their projects are:

Mohamad Araji

Mohamad Araji, an architecture professor at Waterloo Engineering, is principal investigator of a project involving the use of drones.

Dr. Mohamad Araji (architecture - $217,500) for a project called Monitoring Energy Flow of Urban Buildings Using Aerial Multi-Modality Imaging Audits, which will involve the use of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), equipped with visible, thermal and hyperspectral imaging systems to estimate the energy flow of buildings in different weather conditions.

Arash Arami

Arash Arami is a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering who conducts research into recovering after spinal cord injuries.

Dr. Arash Arami (mechanical and mechatronics engineering - $250,000) for a project called Optimizing the recovery after spinal cord injury: a personalized assistive neuro-robotic paradigm, which will involve development of a method to identify mathematical models of impaired neural control of movements after spinal cord injury and personalized neuro-robotic rehabilitation technology.

Nima Maftoon

Nima Maftoon, a professor of systems design engineering, is working to improve treatment for children with a common ear problem.

Dr. Nima Maftoon (systems design engineering - $250,000) for a project called Eliminating tympanostomy, the most common surgery performed on children, which will involve development of a device for low-risk treatment of otitis media, an infection or accumulation of liquid in the middle ear. The device is a patch that includes hollow microneedles to minimize long-term damage.

John Wen

John Wen is a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering whose research work involves transforming moon dust.

Dr. John Wen (mechanical and mechatronics engineering - $250,000) for a project called Lunar regolith as a source of metal fuel, an exploratory research program to develop and evaluate a process to transform moon dust into metal and subsequently a solid fuel for powering in-space energy production and propulsion to help support long-term space exploration.

XiaoYu Wu

XiaoYu, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, is working on a no-carbon process to turn amonia into power.

Dr. XiaoYu Wu (mechanical and mechatronics engineering - $250,000) for a project called Ammonia as an energy “currency” to connect the food, energy and trade sectors, which will help improve understanding of low-carbon amonia’s role as a connecting currency and develop a scalable electrochemical power-to-ammonia  process with no carbon emissions.

Jangho Yang

Jangho Yang, a amangement sciences professor, is working to understand the impact of work-from-home policies during COVID-19.

Dr. Jangho Yang (management sciences - $241,500) for a project called Does covid deteriorate gender inequality in technological innovation? which will explore issues including the effect that tending children while working from home had on gender equality in technologic innovation and whether it rolled back gains that had been made in this area prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.