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‘Critical support’

Students receive awards to explore N.L.’s ocean industries

Research |

By Jeff Green

Nineteen students were presented with Ocean Industries Student Research Awards (OISRA) at a ceremony on the St. John’s campus March 7.

The awards program, delivered through the Research & Development Corporation (RDC), supports the development of highly qualified researchers exploring areas relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries, including offshore petroleum engineering, ocean technology, marine transportation and fisheries and aquaculture.

“Today’s investment provides critical support to Memorial University undergraduate and graduate students, as well as their supervisors, conducting important industry-relevant research,” said President Kachanoski. “Through the ongoing support of RDC and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial remains at the forefront of ocean-related research required to sustain and grow this vital sector in our province. I look forward to the research outcomes of our newest award recipients.”

In total, 19 Memorial students received Ocean Industries Student Research Awards during a ceremony on March 7.
In total, 19 Memorial students received Ocean Industries Student Research Awards during a ceremony on March 7.
Photo: Chris Hammond

The program is funding 15 doctoral and master’s candidates and four undergraduate students. Awards range from $7,500 for bachelor degree-level programs, up to $20,000 per year for master’s candidates and up to $30,000 per year for doctoral candidates.

“Our government is committed to advancing ocean technology to drive economic growth in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Christopher Mitchelmore, minister, Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, and minister responsible for RDC. “Through investments in programs such as the Ocean Industries Student Research Awards, we are creating opportunities for researchers to build knowledge and capacity, and as a result enhancing our position as a global leader in ocean resources.”

Awards recipients are selected through a competitive process based on relevance of the research to Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries, strong academic achievement, technical merits of proposed research plans, industry collaboration and other considerations.

Jennifer Murphy, a PhD student in chemistry and a former OISRA recipient, speaks about the value of the awards program.
Jennifer Murphy, a PhD student in chemistry and a former OISRA recipient, speaks about the value of the awards program.
Photo: Chris Hammond

“The OISRAs are designed to nurture the development of highly skilled students with expertise and interest in oceans industries-related research in Newfoundland and Labrador and continue growth in these industries,” said Mark Ploughman, acting chief executive officer, RDC. “RDC is proud to support these young innovators and invest in the researchers of our future. I congratulate each of you and wish you every success with your research.”

Guidelines, competition details and applications can be found online. For more information about this year’s award recipients, please see below.

The following is a list of recipients, their research area, and project titles. Recipients are identified as bachelor, master or doctoral candidates in their areas of study.

Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Bruno Gianasi PhD (Ocean Sciences)
    Exploring the potential of the commercial sea cucumber
  • Cheng Zhaohai PhD (Environmental Science/Interdisciplinary)
    Trawl technology for the Newfoundland shrimp industry
  • Cole Walsh B.Sc. (Mathematics and Statistics/Physics and Physical Oceanography)
    Examining pathological otoliths in Atlantic Cod near Newfoundland
  • Jonathan Bergshoeff M.Sc. (Ocean Sciences)
    Developing an optimal removal program for the invasive European green crab in Newfoundland
  • Melissa Cook M.Sc. (Environmental Science)
    Biological effects of contamination on aquatic species with a focus on oil and gas contaminants
  • Nicola Zargarpour M.Sc. (Ocean Sciences)
    Using underwater video to investigate the impact of invasive European green crab (Carcinus Maenas) on lobster catch, and inform mitigation strategies
  • Phillip Meintzer M.Sc. (Ocean Sciences)
    Improving the efficiency of cod pots for fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador

Marine Transportation

  • Doug Smith PhD (Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering)
    Probabilistic accident modeling for arctic shipping

Ocean Technology

  • Michaela Ryan B.Sc. (Chemistry/Biochemistry)
    The use of porous metal-organic frameworks for the sensing and sequestration of the environmental pollutant HONO (AKA Nitrous Acid)
  • Mohamed Ismail PhD (Civil Engineering)
    Use of rubberized concrete in offshore structures

Offshore Petroleum

  • Alex Brubacher B.Sc. (Earth Sciences)
    Structural analysis of the Flat Rock Thrust Zone: Tectonic implications for onshore and offshore regions of Eastern Newfoundland
  • Alireza Dehghani Sanij PhD (Mechanical Engineering)
    Theoretical and numerical modeling of heat loss and ice accretion on marine vessels and offshore structure
  • Daniel Jose Sivira Ortega M.Sc. (Earth Sciences)
    Alteration of the wetting character of the composite rock through enhanced oil recovery methods for the Ben Nevis formation, Hebron Field, Jeanne d’Arc Basin, offshore Newfoundland, Canada
  • Fan Jiang PhD (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    Joint data detection and channel estimation in underwater acoustic communications
  • Ladan Khaksar PhD (Mechanical Engineering)
    A prediction model for internal corrosion due to hydrogen sulfide in Terra Nova oilfield pipelines
  • Mashrura Musharraf PhD (Oil and Gas Engineering)
    Offshore emergency response team training with artificial team members
  • Qinhong Cai PhD (Civil Engineering)
    Hyperproduction of bio-dispersants by genetically engineered species and their applications for offshore and deep sea oil spill response in harsh environments
  • Sean Murphy B.Sc. (Earth Sciences)
    Three dimensional ichnology of the trace fossil parahaentzschelinia and its relationship to fracturing in unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs
  • Tristan Strong M.Sc. (Oil and Gas Engineering)
    Offshore huff ‘n’ puff for injector well improved oil recovery


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