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Diverse strengths

More than $1.3-million provincial investment enhances Memorial’s dynamic research capacity

By Jeff Green

Five leading-edge research projects are benefitting from more than a $1.3-million investment from the provincial government.

Andrew Parsons, minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, announced the funding on Oct. 4.

The projects are leveraging more than $4.3 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and other sources.

Serve as catalysts

“These R&D projects demonstrate the diversity of our province’s researchers,” Minister Parsons said.

“By creating linkages to industry relevance, skills development and industry collaboration, these innovative projects are helping to expand the capacity and capability of our knowledge base. These collaborations help train highly qualified personnel and increase the development of advanced products, serving as a catalyst to potentially bring these products to market.”

Dr. Uta Passow

Dr. Uta Passow, Canada Research Chair Biological Oceanographic Processes, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, is receiving $400,000 to lead a Memorial and Dalhousie University project to strengthen Canada’s capacity in ocean technology, observation, and prediction.

Dr. Uta Passow wears a white shirt, necklace and dark rimmed glasses.
Dr. Uta Passow
Photo: Submitted

This research project will examine the effects of the warming waters and oxygen loss in the North Atlantic by collecting sustained and cost-effective measurements of essential properties.

The integration of these observations will allow researchers to address questions about ocean productivity and carbon export in the North Atlantic Ocean. The total cost for this project is $8,855,072.

Dr. Karl Jobst

Dr. Karl Jobst, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, is receiving $343,761 to undertake a project to establish a chemical separations laboratory for clinical, environmental, and exposomics research.

Dr. Karl Jobst wears a blue collared shirt and stands in front the periodic table of elements.
Dr. Karl Jobst
Photo: Submitted

Exposomics, the study of internal and external exposure assessment methods, is vital to identify the causes of most chronic diseases and an individual’s susceptibility to infectious diseases.

This project will develop instrumentation to help identify chemical species in complex biological, environmental, and marine samples.

It will also increase interdisciplinary collaboration, while making otherwise cost-prohibitive research accessible in-house, increasing the complexity of environmental and health research at Memorial. The total cost of this project is $979,700.

Dr. Mohammad Al Janaideh

Dr. Mohammed Al Janaideh, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is receiving $325,055 to lead a team to develop infrastructure to better characterize material vibration response for advancing microstructures, microsystems, and micro-electro-mechanical systems.

Dr. Mohammad Al Janaideh wears a blue collared shirt and glasses.
Dr. Mohammad Al Janaideh
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

This newly developed infrastructure will allow for proof-of-concept research that facilitates new technologies into a variety of industries, including oil and gas, where sensors can be used to detect the flow oil in pipelines and assist with the rapid detection and location determination of pipeline leakage.

This equipment will benefit several different research programs, in both engineering and science, and will bring technology not yet available anywhere in Canada to Memorial’s research community. The total cost of this project is $763,496.

Dr. Kelly Hawboldt

Dr. Kelly Hawboldt, professor, Department of Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is receiving $127,359 to lead a team that will develop innovative bioproducts from fish and forest biomass residues.

Dr. Kelly Hawboldt wears an orange-coloured shirt.
Dr. Kelly Hawboldt
Photo: Chris Hammond

Through the use of a supercritical fluid extractor, the researchers will extract bio-fuels from various bio-mass residues to maximize the value of these natural resources.

This innovative infrastructure can turn “waste” into value, thereby decreasing the overall environmental burden for oceans and landfills, reducing costs associated with handling and managing waste and creating additional products for processors.

These byproducts can be used in medicinals, nutritional supplements and agriculture, in addition to alternatives for petroleum based plastics. The total cost for this project is $254,718.

Dr. Kathryn Hargan

Dr. Kathryn Hargan, assistant professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, is receiving $125,153 to lead a research team that will track historical environmental changes in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dr. Kathryn Hargan wears a blue-coloured short sleeved shirt and backpack. The ocean, green trees and rugged coastline are in the background.
Dr. Kathryn Hargan
Photo: Submitted

This support will allow researchers to develop and apply molecular biomarkers and biological subfossils to help identify the drivers of ecological changes and their associated impacts on aquatic ecosystems.

This research will strengthen new findings that identify habitat use, population trends and responses to environmental change for species important to the province.

By reconstructing the history of the province’s ecosystems, the project aims to predict how species will respond to changes in the future. This comprehensive set of sedimentary analyses, across a broad range of disciplines, is not offered at any other university in the country.

The total cost for this project is $317,626.

Strengthening capacity

“As Newfoundland and Labrador’s university, Memorial is proud to play an integral role in driving innovation and fostering new research ideas,” said Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research).

“The dynamic work of our research teams, right across our university and on all campuses, has both global reach and local relevance. This latest investment will strengthen our research capacity in strategic areas and ensure Memorial’s researchers can address challenges facing our world.”

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