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Researchers awarded $1.7 million in federal funding

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Three researchers at Waterloo Engineering are receiving a total of almost $1.7 million in federal funding for strategic projects in collaboration with industry partners and other organizations.

Zhongwei Chen, Dana Kulić and Norman Zhou are among five University of Waterloo researchers in line for more than $3 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Announced today, the Strategic Partnership Grants are intended to bring together experts from academia, international institutes, and companies and government organizations based in Canada.

“This funding will support innovative early-stage projects that will have real impact on Canada’s economy, society and environment,” said D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research, at Waterloo.

Across the country, more than $50 million is earmarked for 94 projects in the areas of environment and agriculture, information and communications technologies, natural resources and energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Zhongwei ChenZhongwei Chen - Chemical Engineering

Chen, a chemical engineering professor and Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy, has been awarded $487,200 for research work involving lithium-ion batteries. Supporting the project are Canadian Solar, General Motors Canada and Grafoid Inc.

Chen's research is focused on developing advanced nanomaterials for fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors and sensors. Included are silicon anode materials that make batteries smaller, lighter and longer-lasting.

Dana KulicDana Kulić - Electrical and Computer Engineering

​Kulić, who is receiving $618,500 from NSERC, is a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Her project will entail collaboration with Cardon Rehabilitation & Medical Equipment Ltd. on work involving shared decision-making and progressive automation for manufacturing assembly.

Head of the Adaptive Systems Laboratory, Kulić's research interests include robotics, humanoid robots, human-robot interaction, machine learning, mechatronics and human motion analysis.

Norman ZhouNorman Zhou - Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

A mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor, and Canada Research Chair in Microjoining, Zhou will use $580,900 from NSERC for work on water contaminants with the Grand River Conservation AuthorityRegion of WaterlooSimon Lake Community Stewardship Group and Structur3d Printing.

A member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Zhou has expertise in advanced welding and joining, nanomaterials fabrication for water treatment and laser processing of shape memory alloys.

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