McGill researchers to receive more than $3 million in NSERC grants


Seven McGill research teams will develop and enhance tools, models and mechanisms in fields of engineering and the environment thanks to grants from the Natural Science and Research Council of Canada totaling more than $3 million over the next three years. Their work will be done in collaboration with industry and other governmental partners.

The Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and NSERC president Suzanne Fortier today announced the awarding of $55 million to more than 120 research teams across Canada as part of NSERC’s Strategic Project Grants program. The program brings together some of “the world’s top researchers to work with industry on promising new projects that will help strengthen our economy, create jobs and bring other benefits for communities,” Goodyear said.

“As ever, we are proud that McGill researchers can make such broad and important contributions to the development of knowledge in Canada as well as the economic development that flows from moving this knowledge from the laboratory to industry and to society at large,” said Rose Goldstein, McGill’s Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations).

Among the McGill projects being funded are the development of seismic risk-assessment methods that can identify whether critical buildings like schools and hospitals will be able to function following an earthquake. Also on the research menu are the development of tools based on the interactions between land use, biodiversity and ecosystem services to help communities make decisions about environmental management in the face of local, regional, and global change, and the engineering and development of world-class, cost-effective solar energy conversion and storage systems (for either transportation or renewable energy-grid integration).

“We have received a high number of quality submissions,” Fortier said, “and the peer review committees evaluating them are impressed with the excellence of the research teams, the importance and potential impact of the proposed research, and the strong support from partners.”

Below is a list of the principal McGill researchers and a brief of their projects. To learn more about each professor and their area of expertise, please click on their name.

Professor Lawrence Chen McGill Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
 Project description: All-fibre infrared lasers and components for chemical detection applications

Professor Elena Bennett, McGill Department of Natural Resource Sciences and McGill School of Environment 
Project description: Ecosystem services, biodiversity, and landscape connectivity

Professor Zeljko Zilic, McGill Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Project description: Quality-driven integrated system design

Professor Roderick Guthrie, McGill Department of Mining & Materials Engineering (recipient of the NSERC Leo Derikx Award and 2006 Killam Prize Recipient)
Project description: Horizontal single-belt casting for the competitive manufacturing of ferrous and light metal alloy sheet material

Professor George Demopoulos, McGill Department of Mining & Materials Engineering (Gerald Hatch Faculty Fellow)
Project description: Engineering nanostructured titania thin film electrodes for highly efficient solar energy conversion and storage systems

Professor Ghyslaine McClure, McGill Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics
 Project description: Post-earthquake functionality of schools and hospitals in Eastern Canada

Professor Nathalie Tufenkji, McGill Department of Chemical Engineering (Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Biocolloids and Surfaces and Associate Director, Brace Center for Water Resources Management) 
Project description: Toxicity, transformations and transport of engineered nanoparticles in soils: New approaches to detect and characterize environmental risks.

Online: NSERC SPG Program

About McGill:

Founded in Montreal, Que., in 1821, is Canada’s leading post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 10 professional schools, 300 programs of study and more than 36,000 students. McGill attracts students from more than 150 countries around the world. Almost half of McGill students claim a first language other than English – including 6,200 francophones – with more than 6,800 international students making up almost 20 per cent of the student body.

About NSERC:

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects.



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