Two research networks led by Waterloo Engineering experts were front and centre as more than $78 million in federal funding was announced today for collaborations between academia and businesses across the country.
Ehsan Toyserkani, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, will receive $5.5 million over five years for the Network for Holistic Innovations in Additive Manufacturing (HI-AM).
Monica Emelko, a civil and environmental engineering professor, was awarded $5.5 million over five years for the Network for Forested Drinking Water Source Protection Technologies (forWater).
Their innovative initiatives are among six networks and 80 projects country-wide to receive financial backing to address challenges in areas including the environment and agriculture, information and communications technologies, natural resources and energy, and advanced manufacturing.
Both networks led by Waterloo Engineering researchers bring together dozens of partners from academia, Canadian-based companies, government institutions and international entities, while also providing training opportunities for students.
Provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through its Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks and Projects programs, the funding was announced by Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan at Promation, an Oakville company involved in the additive manufacturing (AM) network.
“I commend today’s recipients for the important work they are doing to contribute to Canada’s competitiveness,” Duncan said in a media release. “We are investing in you today because we know that when we invest in science and research we are investing in Canada.”
Eight projects at the University of Waterloo, including five led by Waterloo Engineering researchers, also received funding, bringing the total commitment to the University to more than $15.6 million. The backing for engineering networks and projects makes up more than $13.6 million of that total.
Led by Toyserkani, research director of the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) lab, the AM network is dedicated to helping industry adopt 3D printing technology to ensure Canada is a leader in the field.
The water network headed by Emelko will focus on new technologies to protect forested watersheds, the source of drinking water for most urban and rural communities in Canada and the United States, in the face of threats such as wildfires created by climate change.
The Waterloo Engineering researchers receiving funding for three-year projects are:
- Jeffrey Gostick (chemical engineering): Grid-scale energy storage using zinc-air fuel cells with nanostructure electrode ($581,500).
- Siva Sivoththaman (electrical and computer engineering): Quantum dot-enabled micro LEDs displays for future virtual-reality and flexible devices ($471,000).
- Michael Tam (chemical engineering): Development of magnetic nanoparticles for enhanced detection and removal of contaminants in waste and drinking water systems ($456,000); and Sustainable conductive inks for printable electronic applications ($564,400).
- Soo Jeon (mechanical and mechatronics engineering): MOST – Task-relevant perception and control for human-oriented operation of mobile manipulators in semi-structured environments ($564,400).