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U of Waterloo researchers awarded $3M for strategic research partnerships


Five researchers from the University of Waterloo who are collaborating with industry and other organizations on strategic research projects received more than $3 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced the Strategic Partnership Grants would help bring together expertise from academia, Canadian-based companies and government organizations, and international institutes to collaborate on innovative research with commercialization potential.

“Through Strategic Partnership Grants, NSERC recognizes the value and impact of research-industry partnerships, as well as Waterloo’s long history and reputation for successful industry collaborations,” said D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research at Waterloo. “This funding will support innovative early-stage projects that will have real impact on Canada’s economy, society and environment.”

The researchers are from Waterloo’s Faculties of Science and Engineering. They will receive funding over three years through the Strategic Partnership Grants for Projects program. They are:

* Professor Philippe Van Cappellen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ecohydrology (Earth and Environmental Sciences) in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Grand River Conservation Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and Upper Thames River Conservation Authority: Reactive interfaces in agroecosystems: quantifying coupled biogeochemical dynamics across scales using a comprehensive lab-field-modeling approach ($695,329).

* Professor Zhongwei Chen, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy (Chemical Engineering) with support from Canadian Solar, General Motors Canada, and Grafoid Inc.: Smart graphene-based composites for high-energy and self-healing lithium-ion batteries ($487,200).

* Professor Dana Kuli, (Electrical and Computer Engineering) in collaboration with Cardon Rehabilitation & Medical Equipment Ltd.: Shared decision making and progressive automation for manufacturing assembly ($618,500).

* Professor Sherry Schiff (Earth and Environmental Sciences) in collaboration with International Institute for Sustainable Development, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and Norwegian Institute for Water Research: Natural Stable Isotopes of Iron: A new tool to trace Fe cycling for management of risk from harmful cyanobacterial blooms in lakes and reservoirs ($665,794).

* Professor Norman Zhou (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering) in collaboration with Grand River Conservation Authority, Region of