Mobile lab takes to the streets


The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced today that it has awarded McGill University $1,562,260 to provide infrastructure grants for 11 projects in such varied fields as pedestrian safety, sleep research, 3-D visualization and spinal surgery, among others.


Mobile Safety Laboratory for Non-Motorized Transportation (Dr. Luis Miranda-Moreno – Civil Engineering)

In 2006, an estimated 200,000 road users were injured in Canada, and close to 3,000 of them died as a result of motor vehicle crashes. Pedestrians and cyclists made up more than 15 per cent of these deaths. In 2005, for example, 1,830 pedestrians were injured on the island of Montreal, representing almost half of all accidents in Quebec even though only one-quarter of the province’s population actually lives on the Island. While there is increasing concern and money from all levels of government directed at reducing these numbers, there has yet to be any lengthy or full-scale study that focuses directly on non-motorized transportation. The CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund award will allow Dr. Miranda-Moreno to create a mobile safety laboratory that will be able to collect data on pedestrian and cyclists as well as motor vehicles in all seasons, over a period of months and even years. The lab will use such technology as infrared pedestrian sensors, bicycle pneumatic tube and inductive loop sensors, traffic sensors and radars, and a GPS traffic-tracking system. Data collected through the lab should result in important changes to the way researchers and planners work on road and safety design.

"The CFI award will allow me to go forward with research that should eventually reduce the numbers of fatalities and injuries involving cyclists and pedestrians,” said Dr. Miranda-Moreno."I'm really looking forward to getting the mobile safety lab up and running. I’ve already got a rich inventory of the road facilities in Montreal where we are going to be working.”

Other award-winning  projects are led by Drs. Galen Halverson (Earth and Planetary Sciences), Marta Cerruti (Mining and Materials Engineering), Kevin Petrecca (Montreal Neurological Institute), Mai Vu (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Kristian Waters (Minind and Materials Engineering), Margaret Kalacska (Geography), Antoine Adamanditis (Douglas Institute), Sarah Hall (Earth and Planetary Sciences), Jorg Fritz (Microbiology and Immunology), and Jake Barralet (Biomedical Sciences).

Dr. Rose Goldstein, McGill’s new Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) underlined the importance of these awards.

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation awards play an essential role in supporting the advancement of research projects at McGill. We are very pleased  to highlight the important role that the CFI plays in supporting the innovative work that we do here,” she said.

"The Leaders Opportunity Fund is designed to help Canada's universities continue to attract and retain the world's best researchers at a time of intense international competition for leading faculty," said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. "This funding will enable institutions to strategically set priorities and acquire new infrastructure to support these exceptional researchers and improve labs and facilities".

For more information:


Contact Information

Yves Melanson
Coordinator, Media Relations, Canada Foundation for Innovation
Yves.Melanson [at]
Office Phone: 
613 996-3160