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Video project spotlights Memorial-led, oil-spill response related research

Research

By Jeff Green

A new video series highlights research teams studying techniques and technologies to aid in oil spill response in this country.

The Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) produced five videos in partnership with research teams.

The Memorial-led projects received funding under Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Multi-Partner Research Initiative (MPRI).

The program aims to ensure Canadians have access to the best scientific information and methods available to respond to oil spills by supporting collaborative research among oil spill experts both in Canada and worldwide.

Watch the featured researchers in the videos below.

Dr. Baiyu (Helen) Zhang

Dr. Baiyu (Helen) Zhang, Canada Research Chair in Coastal Environmental Engineering, and professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, led two projects: Analysis of technical effectiveness of using dispersants to treat oil spills in Canadian waters; and Natural attenuation and trajectory forecasting of dilbit spills.

Dr. Uta Passow

Dr. Uta Passow, Canada Research Chair in Biological Oceanographic Processes, and professor, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, led the project, Understanding interactions between oil, dispersants, exopolymers and particles for improvement of marine oil spill response.

Dr. Bing Chen

Dr. Bing Chen, UArctic Research Chair, Marine and Coastal Environmental Engineering, professor, Department of Civil Engineering and director, Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control Lab, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, led the project, Improved decanting and oily waste management strategies for marine oil spill response.

Dr. Neil Bose

Dr. Neil Bose, interim provost and vice-president (academic), and professor, Department of Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, led the project, Oil Spill Reconnaissance and Delineation Through Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Technology.

Dr. Tahir Husain

The late Dr. Tahir Husain, a former professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, who passed away earlier this year and was leading the project, Development of improved adsorption technologies for oil spill response.

Several post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and employees, who are co-leading and contributing to the projects, are included in the videos, which also feature Memorial’s leading-edge research infrastructure and facilities.

Healthy oceans

“Fisheries, aquaculture, tourism are important reasons to keep our ocean healthy,” Dr. Passow says in her video.

“Canada also produces oil and there is a lot of shipping of oil going near Canadian coasts or in Canadian waters. So, preparing to prevent harm as much as possible to the ocean from an oil spill is in the interest of all Canadians, but it is definitely an important part to the whole economy and ecology for Canada.”

Solving a problem

Dr. Joy Zhu, a post-doctoral fellow who works with Dr. Zhang’s team in the Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control Lab, says being a part of the MPRI-funded project provided her with personal and professional development opportunities.

“I was able to be involved in a dynamic team, led by those world-class experts and professionals,” she said. “I was able to engage with a variety of experts and stakeholders coming from diverse industries.”

Through the support of the MPRI program, research teams are expanding ocean-related research, developing new technologies and enhancing this Canada’s preparedness and capacity to respond to marine oil pollution.

“We are using Canadian technology and Canadian research to solve a problem that is important to the world,” said Gina Millar, research laboratory co-ordinator with the Core Research Equipment and Instrument Training Network’s Autonomous Ocean Systems Centre, which is part of the vice-president (research) portfolio. She works with Dr. Bose and his team.

The video series also includes a tribute to Dr. Husain.

Dr. Chen says his colleague influenced a whole generation of scientists through his “passion, his dedication, his work, his generosity.”

Memorial’s projects funded by MPRI aim to ensure Canadians have access to the best scientific information and methods available to respond to oil spills by supporting collaborative research among oil spill experts both in Canada and worldwide.


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