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Research in review

Big thinkers, big ideas at the core of another successful research year


By Jeff Green

It’s been a year of discoveries, advancements, celebrations and creations.

This year, our researchers were named best in the world; we welcomed millions of dollars in research funding from provincial, federal and industry partners; and our experts continue to lead important international collaborations in areas ranging from Indigenous studies to marine research.

‘Global profile’

“On each of our campuses, talented teams of multidisciplinary researchers are doing groundbreaking and seminal work that’s helping grow our global profile,” said Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research), who started in his role in November.

“Through our Strategic Research Intensity Plan, Memorial is building capacity in key areas while enhancing research activities across the disciplines. All of this work is strengthening Canada’s research-based economy. I applaud the tremendous work of the innovative minds here at Memorial and their contributions this year.”

The Gazette salutes five of the many research stories from the past year.

High honour from United Nations

Research led by Dr. Trevor Bell was recognized by the United Nations this year.
Photo: Submitted

SmartICE, the world’s first climate change adaptation tool to integrate traditional knowledge of sea ice with advanced data acquisition and remote monitoring technology, was the only Canadian recipient of the United Nations (UN) Momentum for Change Climate Solutions Award.

The research is led by Dr. Trevor Bell, University Research Professor in the Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and a Memorial alumnus.

‘Man flu’: Fact or fiction? Faculty of Medicine researcher says ‘fact’

Dr. Kyle Sue in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
Photo: Submitted

Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in the Discipline of Family Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, made international headlines with his research focused on “man flu.”

Dr. Sue has examined research that indicates the ailment may in fact exist.

His research was published in the Christmas 2017 edition of the British Medical Journal.

$4.9 million in federal-provincial funding to accelerate new technologies

Federal-provincial officials announced more than $4.9 million in funding in May.
Photo: Chris Hammond

A team of Memorial researchers and a Genesis Centre client received combined federal-provincial support of more than $4.9 million in May.

The funding was for two separate projects: the development of new technologies to test water for contaminants; and creating holographic displays.

“Memorial plays a significant role in cultivating and mobilizing the talent needed to enhance innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said President Kachanoski.

A fisherman’s trash is this scientist’s treasure

Dr. Kelly Hawboldt
Photo: Chris Hammond

Dr. Kelly Hawboldt, a researcher with the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) — which turned one this year — and a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, doesn’t like waste.

Rather, she doesn’t like to see it wasted.

Dr. Hawboldt believes that by using science, we can extract value from the byproducts of fish residue, creating products that consumers will not only demand, but will pay a premium for.

This in turn would generate new jobs and boost the economy.

Millions for research infrastructure

Memorial PhD student Marjan Taghi Boroojerdi
Photo: Submitted

In October, Memorial welcomed a combined investment of $11.5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for two separate projects: more than $6.7 million for the creation of a Harsh Environment Research Facility (HERF), one of the most advanced icing wind tunnel and wave tank integrated laboratories in the world; and more than $4.8 million for the development of autonomous marine observation systems (DAMOS).

Read other research-related stories currently posted to the Gazette, or here.

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