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NSERC invests $9.7 million in research, scholarships

Friday, September 8, 2017

More than 63 researchers at Waterloo Engineering are receiving funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to help them continue making discoveries that improve the quality of life of Canadians.

Over $8.6 million for Waterloo Engineering research was announced by NSERC today at the University of Victoria.

 NSERC’s Discovery Grants, which support ongoing research programs with long-term goals, were awarded to 43 engineering researchers from chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, management sciences, mechanical and mechatronics engineering and systems design engineering.

Sriram Narasinhan in his lab at Waterloo Engineering.

Sriram Narasimhan, centre, is one of nine Waterloo Engineering researchers to receive Discovery Accelerator Supplements funding. 

Additionally, 11 engineering researchers received NSERC grants to support research tools and instrumentation.

Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) were awarded to nine engineering faculty members. The DAS program provides funding to researchers who show strong potential to become international leaders in their fields and have research programs that are highly rated in terms of originality and innovation.

The nine Waterloo Engineering researchers who will receive $120,000 each in addition to funding through the Discovery Grants Program are:

  • Giovanni Cascante (Civil and Environmental Engineering): Reliable nondestructive evaluation of damage in infrastructure and soil dynamic characterization using novel laser technology.
     
  • David Clausi (Systems Design Engineering): Advanced intelligent computer vision for remote sensing scene interpretation.
     
  • Krzysztof Czarnecki (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Model-based synthesis and safety assurance of intelligent controllers of autonomous vehicles.
     
  • Catherine Gebotys (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Side channel monitoring of embedded secure and safety critical devices in IoT.
     
  • Arie Gurfinkel (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Automated software verification: foundations and applications
     
  • Kevin Musselman (Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics): Functional nanomaterials for ubiquitous electronic devices.
     
  • Sriram Narasimhan (Civil and Environmental Engineering): Autonomous monitoring and decision-making system for bridge infrastructure.
     
  • Rodolfo Pellizzoni (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Many-core platforms for time-critical systems.
     
  • Aiping Yu (Chemical Engineering): Next generation conventional and micro supercapacitors based on functionalized graphene quantum dotsto.

Funding will help team overcome challenges

Narasimhan, who is receiving funding for his autonomous monitoring and decision-making system for bridge infrastructure, said current methods of determining the condition of structures from sensory measurements are ad hoc and not conducive to automation.

“As a result, scores of bridges, dams and other critical infrastructures world-wide have been instrumented with sensors, while the key task of interpreting useful information from data remains inadequately addressed,” said Narasimhan, the Canada Research Chair in Smart Infrastructure.   “This funding will help me and my team address and overcome important theoretical and practical challenges in automating the process of knowledge discovery from sensory data.”

In total at the University of Waterloo, more than 150 researchers are in line for $26 million in funding. Included are 12 DAS recipients.

Also announced today were the NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships, which provide financial support to high-calibre scholars engaged in doctoral programs in the natural sciences or engineering. Fifteen Waterloo Engineering graduate students will share more than $1.1 million in federal research funding.   

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