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Building on a solid foundation
U N I V E R S I T Y
O N T A R I O
I N S T I T U T E
T E C H N O L O G Y
TABLE OF CONTENTS
:: BUILDING ON A SOLID FOUNDATION :: LEADING INNOVATION AT UOIT :: INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH CHAIRS :: RIGOROUS RESEARCH WITH IMPACT :: RESEARCH FAST FACTS :: COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL WELLNESS :: SUSTAINABLE ENERGY :: APPLIED BIOSCIENCE :: AUTOMOTIVE, MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURING :: INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION :: BUILDING STRONG PARTNERSHIPS FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE :: BRINGING INNOVATIVE RESEARCH TO LIFE :: ESTABLISHING WORLD-CLASS RESEARCH CENTRES AT UOIT
PUBLISHED IN 2010
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BUILDING ON A SOLID FOUNDATION
In just six short years, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) has moved from a start-up university to one of the most research-intensive universities in Canada. This remarkable success was achieved by focusing on a select number of research areas where UOIT has carved a niche. Most notably, UOIT has attracted six Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and another five industrial research chairs. This is an outstanding achievement and an excellent reflection of the quality of our faculty and researchers. In 2008 and 2009, UOIT was the youngest university named to a prominent list of Canada’s Top 50 research universities, a tremendous accomplishment for a university so few years into its history. The coveted accolade is a reflection of UOIT’s founding commitment to pursue research of national and international standards, to focus its research on areas of highest impact on society and to align its research objectives so as to contribute to provincial and national priorities. We’re building a culture of innovation by engaging our researchers in activities aimed at increasing their knowledge and understanding of innovation as a core academic activity. Our undergraduate and graduate students are fully engaged in research under the supervision of our professors who are experts in their fields from around the world. By establishing strong partnerships with business and industry leaders, we’re able to provide researchers with real-world experience. At UOIT, we are focused on transforming ideas into real solutions that will benefit society. As you read through these pages, I hope that you feel energized by the research momentum that we have established and that you will, like all of us at UOIT, be inspired by the future that lies ahead.
Michael Owen, PhD Associate provost, Research
LEADING INNOVATION AT UOIT
In just six years, UOIT has been awarded six prestigious Canada Research Chairs (CRCs): Dr. Douglas Holdway Tier 1 CRC in Aquatic Toxicology Tier 1 CRC in Advanced Energy Systems Tier 2 CRC in Health Informatics Tier 2 CRC in Decomposition Chemistry Tier 2 CRC in Robotics and Automation Tier 1 CRC in Digital Technologies for Collaborative Knowledge Discovery Dr. Greg Naterer
Dr. Carolyn McGregor Dr. Shari Forbes Dr. Dan Zhang
To be determined
Clean water is vital to society’s health and well-being, now and in the future. In Canada, and globally, water quality crises have necessitated the critical need for effective sensors to detect the presence of and understand the impact of contaminants in the world’s water. A professor of Ecotoxicology in UOIT’s Faculty of Science, Dr. Douglas Holdway’s research into biomarkers and the long-term impact of short-term exposure to contaminants is critical in providing the tools and monitoring techniques to better protect freshwater streams, rivers and lakes from long-term and irreversible damage. Such contaminants presently being studied include pulp mill effluents, plastic water bottle leachates (and the chemicals known to leach from such plastics including various phthalates and bisphenol A), landfill leachates, and regionally important pesticides. His research will also help regulate and discontinue the use of chemicals that threaten the viability of aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, in collaboration with Environment Canada, Dr. Holdway and his team are developing a range of biomarkers in fish to assess the possible toxicity of pulp mill effluents from mills around the world. Dr. Greg Naterer, a professor and associate dean, Research and Graduate Studies, in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and his research team are developing new ways of improving energy efficiency and utilization, particularly focusing on sustainable hydrogen production and battery thermal management. These can significantly contribute to greenhouse gas reduction and economic growth via new technologies such as nuclear- or solar-based hydrogen production, electric vehicles and other clean-energy sectors. Leading a consortium of researchers from UOIT, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, and other university and industry partners in Ontario and abroad, Dr. Naterer’s team is developing and building the world’s first lab-scale facility for hydrogen production with a copper-chlorine (Cu-Cl) thermochemical cycle. The cycle could eventually be linked with nuclear reactors or other heat sources to achieve much higher efficiencies, while lowering both the environmental impact and costs of hydrogen production beyond any other conventional technology.
With growing global interest in her research, Dr. Carolyn McGregor, a cross-appointed associate professor in UOIT’s faculties of Business and Information Technology, and Health Sciences, is changing how information is used to monitor the health of hospital patients. Passionate about her purpose, Dr. McGregor knows her research has the opportunity to touch many lives. Her initial research focuses on using advanced technology to monitor infants born prematurely, since certain life-threatening conditions such as infection can be detected up to 24 hours in advance by observing changes in physiological data streams. Led by Dr. McGregor, a group of internationally recognized researchers including neonatologists from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, as well as hospitals in the United States and Australia, are improving advanced stream computing software developed by IBM Research to work toward greatly enhancing the decision-making capabilities of doctors. Being able to predict potential changes in an infant’s condition with greater accuracy will allow doctors to intervene more quickly, greatly impacting neonatal care through reduced mortality and morbidity rates and overall health-care costs. Improving the rate at which crimes are solved using forensic evidence is the focus of Dr. Shari Forbes’ research at UOIT. An assistant professor in Chemistry/Forensic Science in the Faculty of Science and an expert in decomposition chemistry, Dr. Forbes’ research is based on the relatively new field of forensic taphonomy. She is working to identify novel information about the chemical reactions that occur during soft tissue degradation. By establishing a unique method for estimating time of death, her research will significantly enhance the speed and accuracy of how crimes are solved in Canada and around the world. Dr. Forbes is the only Canadian member of the Geoforensics and Information Management for Crime Investigation, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 international scientists and forensic advisors. The team aims to find ways in which new technologies can aid in the forensic investigations of crime scenes, such as locating the graves of murder victims, uncovering buried items of evidence and helping to narrow down search areas for police.
Using advanced parallel robotic designs to significantly enhance manufacturing capabilities in the automotive and aerospace sectors is the purpose of Dr. Dan Zhang’s research at UOIT. As director of Automotive, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering programs and an associate professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at UOIT, Dr. Zhang is working to further advance the flexibility, resiliency, reliability and precision of parallel robot systems. Thus far, he has invented a prototype parallel robot that has the ability to reach five different sides of an object, works efficiently with contours and allows for precision surface polishing and finishing. With two different dimensions, the prototype offers a macro model used for manufacturing and a micro model that can be used for biomedical and semiconductor applications. His research aims to develop a general design methodology for optimizing the performance of parallel robotic systems, leading to improved manufacturing capabilities, and resulting in higher efficiencies through improved reliability and accuracy, and greater cost savings and sustainability for manufacturing industries.
While Dr. Carolyn McGregor’s initial research focuses on infants, ultimately, the goal is to apply her research to all ICU patients, as well as cancer patients and other areas of medicine. The earlier physicians can detect that a person is starting to exhibit indicators as an onset to a certain condition, the less it has impacted their bodies and the quicker they can recover. Quicker recovery will mean reduced cost for care. This groundbreaking research may change the future of health care for all Canadians and those around the world.
INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH CHAIRS
Dr. Remon Pop-Iliev NSERC – General Motors of Canada (GMC) Chair in Innovative Design Engineering Cameco Research Chair in Nuclear Fuel Cameco Research Associate Chair in Nuclear Fuel UNENE/NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Health Physics and Environmental Safety UNENE/NSERC Industrial Research Associate Chair Dr. Brian Ikeda
Dr. Scott Nokleby
Dr. Anthony Waker
Dr. Ed Waller
Design engineering plays a critical role in the development of products that are used every day across a variety of industries and sectors. Dr. Remon Pop-Iliev is focused on significantly improving Canada’s capacity in design engineering through the establishment of a Centre for Innovative Design Engineering and Research. An associate professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, he is working on a novel approach for innovative design engineering training by developing advanced technologies for hands-on construction and the testing of real-world prototypes in manufacturing engineering at UOIT. He rigorously promotes student design portfolios and oversees engineering student competition submissions that have won national awards. In his current capacity as a research chair, he is also exploring alternative and sustainable mobility concepts such as extended-range, hydrogen-powered hybrid electric vehicles, as well as developing the next generation of lightweight long-reach composite robotic arms. Renewed interest in the benefits of nuclear power as a sustainable and clean energy source has sparked the research of Dr. Brian Ikeda, who is focused on improving the lifetime performance of metallic components used in the nuclear power industry. An associate professor with the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, Dr. Ikeda is part of a multi-disciplinary research team at UOIT and is working with researchers in areas including nuclear-electric/hydrogen generation, corrosion and health and safety. His research in nuclear fuel production involves understanding the performance of materials used for converting hydrofluoric acid into fluorine, and the corrosion of materials used in molten salt environments. His diverse research interests include the study of localized corrosion processes related to nuclear fuel waste containers, and developing models to predict the amount of corrosion damage that might occur.
Dr. Scott Nokleby, associate professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is investigating ways to improve human safety and enhance the production of nuclear fuel through the use of advanced automation and mechatronics. His research is divided into three thrusts: uranium ore mining, nuclear fuel manufacturing and nuclear material handling. Using advanced robotics and automation processes in the mining and production of fuel will significantly decrease human exposure to radiation from uranium, as well as other toxic substances. As demand for nuclear energy continues to increase, it is critically important to develop technologies that will better protect those who work directly in the field, improve manufacturing productivity and maintain low nuclear fuel costs. Dr. Anthony Waker, a professor in UOIT’s Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, is finding new ways to improve the health and safety of those who work with nuclear power. Through his research, he is developing advanced methods of radiation detection for mixed radiation fields that can provide immediate information on the radiological conditions within a nuclear power plant. By combining real-time measurement of radiation fields with developments in 3D-computer modelling already being investigated by his colleague and fellow chair, Dr. Ed Waller, Dr. Waker plans to develop an innovative, online health physics and environmental protection information system for use in nuclear power plants. An associate professor in the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, Dr. Ed Waller’s research involves radiation field and environmental modelling, and dose visualization related to nuclear power plant operations and safety. Working with his colleague and fellow chair, Dr. Anthony Waker, Dr. Waller is developing an advanced operational health physics tool through the integration of the research methods and results into an online health physics and environmental protection information management system.
RIGOROUS RESEARCH WITH IMPACT
UOIT is deeply committed to engaging faculty and students in research that has the greatest potential to impact society locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Building on a solid foundation of research successes, UOIT has developed its Strategic Research Plan to further advance the research and innovation momentum created during its first six years of operation. Contributing to provincial and national innovation agendas is a high priority. The plan focuses on five key research themes: 1) Community and Social Wellness. 2) Sustainable Energy. 3) Applied Bioscience. 4) Automotive, Materials and Manufacturing. 5) Information and Communication. All five themes are supported by funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the CRCs program and other federal and provincial granting agencies and foundations. UOIT has attracted more than $26 million in research funding since the fiscal year 2003-2004. In 2008-2009, UOIT received more than $8 million in research funding, a 32-fold increase in funding since 2003-2004. UOIT is continuously seeking collaborations with business, industry and community partners, as well as academic institutions in Ontario, Canada and abroad. Establishing community and industry partnerships at the local, national and international levels is essential in ensuring that UOIT stays relevant and true to its mission.
Total UOIT awarded funding since inception (2003-2004 to 2008-2009)
RESEARCH FAST FACTS
:: In less than six short years, UOIT received the distinction of being named one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities by Research Infosource Inc. (November 2008 and 2009); :: UOIT will soon open the doors to the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE), a world-class research, design and training centre focused on the next-generation automobile industry. When construction is complete, the centre will feature a climatic wind tunnel large enough to accommodate research and testing of cars, buses, trucks, trains and airplane wings; :: UOIT has one of the highest rates of professors with PhDs among Canadian universities; :: UOIT offers unique programs in areas of strategic importance to Ontario and Canada, including a Master of Information Technology Security, both a Bachelor and a Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering, a Master of Science and PhD in Applied Bioscience and a Master of Science in Modelling and Computational Science; :: UOIT has received research funding in excess of $26 million since its inception in 2003; :: UOIT has been awarded six prestigious CRCs; :: UOIT students, including undergraduates, collaborate with their professors on significant research projects and gain valuable hands-on experience. This is a key differentiator between UOIT and traditional higher-learning institutions; :: Since 2006, UOIT has had more than 60 invention disclosures, applied for more than 30 patents and entered into three licensing agreements; and :: UOIT has successfully launched two spinoff companies, Hoper Inc., in 2007 and Beaconwall in 2009.
$9,000,000 $8,102,450 $8,000,000 $7,000,000 $6,000,000 $5,000,000 $4,000,000 $3,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,146,858 $1,000,000 $250,549 $0
2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 Funding breakdown for 2003-2006 is unavailable *This is a one time grant for clean energy
14.4% 4.9% 17.8% Provincial government Other
$2,859,356 5.1% 13.7% 49.7% 94.9% 32.8% 62.9%
Total UOIT awarded funding FY 2008-2009
Federal government Provincial government Industry
$399,581 5% $1,438,549 18%
Awarded funding by faculty $358,112 2008-2009 4%
Business and Information Technology Criminology, Justice and Policy Studies Education
Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Engineering and Applied Science Health Sciences
$847,702 11% $1,034,665 13% $557,967 7%
$106,984 1% $21,870 0.2%
A BUSTLING RESEARCH COMMUNITY, UOIT STUDENTS AND FACULTY ARE FULLY ENGAGED IN RESEARCH THAT IMPACTS SOCIETY.
COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL WELLNESS
Promoting a safer, healthier environment for Canadians is a key research priority for UOIT. Leading innovation on emerging research issues such as hate crime, counter-terrorism, cybercrime, youth crime, immigration and wrongful conviction, restorative justice, human rights, psychology of law, ecological justice, and international and comparative crime and justice, UOIT has assembled some of the world’s leading experts to tackle these major challenges and develop advanced technologies. UOIT is making significant strides in the advancement of health-care delivery through the development of advanced technologies that assist practitioners in enhancing patient outcomes and improving the quality of life for Canadians. To facilitate leading-edge research in this area, UOIT has established its first major research unit – the Health Education Technology Research Unit (HETRU). A Tier 2 CRC in Health Informatics has been awarded to further strengthen UOIT’s efforts in this area. UOIT has also created the Centre for Evaluation and Survey Research (CESR) and the University-Community Link Unit (CLU). CESR offers highquality survey research services, while CLU is a partnership between the community and the university to narrow the gap between research and practice to inform social and economic policy. Research sub-themes: :: :: :: :: Applied Integrative Health Technologies Research; Criminology, Crime Detection and Prevention; Health, Environment and Society; and Human Health.
Graduate programs: :: Criminology, MA; :: Health Sciences, MHSc; and :: Information Technology Security, MITS.
UOIT researchers are engaged in finding ways to achieve secure and sustainable energy systems by leading change in energy production, conversion and efficiency. By conducting aggressive research in this area, Canada will continue to be a global leader in energy innovation, ensuring that environmentally responsible energy and transportation technologies are developed and in place for the future. UOIT faculty members are highly involved in research on nuclear energy and safety through their participation on national committees such as the Natural Resources Canada external advisory panel on Generation IV designs, on fuel and waste management R and D committees, and via externally supported work in collaboration with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, and Ontario Power Generation (OPG). UOIT holds several research chairs who are actively involved in these areas, including the UNENE/NSERC Chair in Health Physics and Environmental Safety, senior and associate research chair in Nuclear Fuel supported by Cameco Corporation, and Tier 1 CRC in Advanced Energy Systems. The diversity of energy research at UOIT spans many faculties with a focus on improving efficiency and lowering costs through hydrogen, fuel cells, wind turbines and solar energy as alternatives to existing sources. UOIT researchers have developed a method for using solar panels as sound barriers to generate clean power while reducing noise pollution on Ontario’s highways. UOIT’s Thermal Energy Storage System is Canada’s leading geothermal energy installation and is one component of the university’s research into renewable energy. This highly efficient and environmentally friendly system is used to heat and cool its buildings. Research sub-themes: :: :: :: :: Alternative Energy Systems; Energy Efficiency and End Use; Nuclear Energy Production; and Nuclear Risk Management.
Graduate programs: :: Materials Science, MSc, PhD*; :: Mechanical Engineering, MASc, MEng; :: Modelling and Computational Science MSc, PhD*; and :: Nuclear Engineering, MASc, MEng. *Pending approval by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS).
“Fuel cells may be a viable answer to our global energy concerns. My research focuses on developing a membrane based on polysiloxane derivatives as a more environmentally friendly alternative to the membrane used in fuel cells today.” Amanda Northcott, fourth-year Concurrent Education student, major in Chemistry, minor in Mathematics
Taking an interdisciplinary approach to life science research, UOIT is quickly demonstrating its research successes and generating further opportunities in areas of applied biosciences from the cellular to the ecosystem levels. Understanding at the molecular level has also become increasingly important to produce advances in knowledge, resulting in benefits for society. Led by a Tier 1 CRC in Aquatic Toxicology, UOIT’s environmental science research focuses on the ecosystem level and the interactions of aquatic systems and microbial communities with their environments. Researchers in molecular bioscience and chemistry are investigating the interrelated fields of cellular mechanisms of action of drugs and receptors, bioinformatics, and host-microbe interactions. Chemistry and biology researchers at UOIT are studying nutritional immunology through the use of prebiotics and probiotics. Forensic Science, led by a Tier 2 CRC in Decomposition Chemistry, involves the use of biological and chemical tools to study the decomposition of human remains in grave sites and chemically related aspects of food spoilage, in addition to research in forensic law. Research sub-themes: :: Environmental Science; :: Forensic Science; and :: Molecular Biology and Chemistry. Graduate programs: :: Applied Bioscience, MSc, PhD
AUTOMOTIVE, MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURING
Research in this area is driven by the need to develop sustainable and eco-friendly materials for use across a variety of industries including manufacturing and transportation. Researchers are engaged in the discovery of new materials to reduce the cost and improve the long-term performance of fuel cells as a viable alternative to existing power supplies. UOIT researchers are also working to develop emerging nano-crystalline materials, including carbon nanotubes, which have applications in fields of renewable energy and biomedical devices. In the automotive industry, future transportation systems will require rigorous research efforts in areas such as advanced materials, intelligent systems, batteries and storage and fuel-cell technology, to name just a few. This research is supported by an NSERC-General Motors of Canada design chair and a Cameco Corporation junior chair in robotics. A Tier 2 CRC has been awarded to strengthen UOIT’s efforts in the area of Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing. The General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) will be open for business in 2010. The facility will be a world-class research, design and training centre focused on the next-generation automobile industry. ACE includes a climatic wind tunnel capable of testing full-size vehicles under normal and simulated adverse weather conditions (e.g., snow, sleet, sub-zero or humid conditions). Research sub-themes: :: Advanced Materials; :: Manufacturing Technology; and :: Sustainable Transportation Systems. Graduate programs: :: Automotive Engineering, MASc, MEng; :: Materials Science, MSc, PhD*; and :: Mechanical Engineering, MASc, MEng, PhD. *Pending approval by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS).
“Greenhouse gases and the scarcity of oil will force society to change the way transportation is used. Electricity is an obvious choice. In the near future we will need a lot of automotive engineers who really understand electrical drivetrains. I intend to be ready by being an expert in that field.” Pierre Hinse, second-year MASc, Automotive Engineering student
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
Understanding how technology can be fully integrated into everyday life is the focus of UOIT’s research in this area. The Canadian economy is driven by information flow, yet society is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of high-tech devices designed not only to communicate, but to provide the latest news and information. With a predominance of highly sophisticated information users, a much clearer understanding of the impact of message streaming through organizations and society is imperative. The impact of technology related to information and communication mechanisms has begun to permeate society. Decisions to work and study simultaneously are heavily influenced by the availability of education programs over the web; similarly lifelong learning relies upon the availability of such programs. Implications for education policy and future developments in technology-assisted learning must be seriously explored. Organizational and societal dependence on information streams will continue to stimulate the need for research, growth and development of all aspects of information systems. UOIT has established state-of-the-art laboratories such as the Advanced User Interface and Virtual Reality lab, and Advanced Wireless Communications and Networking Research lab that innovates research in the areas of gaming, virtual reality and communications networks, as well as the Multi-Informatics Laboratory, which examines human-computer-human interactions and online collaborations. Research sub-themes: :: :: :: :: Communication Systems; E-learning and Educational Informatics; Information Systems; and Markets and Innovation.
Graduate programs: :: :: :: :: :: :: Computer Science, MSc, PhD; Education, MA, MEd; Electrical and Computer Engineering, MASc, MEng, PhD; Information Technology Security, MITS; MBA; and Modelling and Computational Science, MSc, PhD*.
*Pending approval by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS).
BUILDING STRONG PARTNERSHIPS FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Research at UOIT is thriving thanks to its strong academic, community and industry partnerships, and provincial and federal funding agencies. Such linkages ensure faculty members are well integrated into the ‘real world’ and that they are able to receive financial support to transform their ideas into innovative solutions to meet the demands of today’s knowledge-driven economy. Cameco Corporation has invested $1.5-million towards the establishment of a research chair at UOIT. The goal of the partnership is to improve both the efficiency and worker safety during the production of elemental fluorine for fuel enrichment and of CANDU fuel bundles. “The research that UOIT is conducting dovetails with our research and takes what we’re doing to the next level,” says Michael Murchie, director, Research Centre, Innovation and Technology Development at Cameco Corporation. “It allows us to take advantage of the expertise being established at UOIT in Nuclear Engineering. Additionally, we’re making a connection with grad students involved in the research who could potentially be future employees of Cameco.” Using the latest technology to improve health outcomes is the focus of a partnership between IBM and UOIT. IBM’s First of a Kind (FOAK) research program will help doctors detect subtle changes in the condition of critically ill premature babies. “Partnering with UOIT gives us an enhanced level of credibility and access to specialized expertise and highly sophisticated wet labs that allow for real-world collaboration,” says Don Aldridge, industry executive, Research & Life Sciences at IBM Canada Limited. IBM awarded UOIT access to the prototype software patented by researchers at its T.J. Watson research facility in New York under the FOAK program, which is designed to accelerate the delivery of innovative technologies to the market and link IBM’s research work to real-world problems. “Canada is the place to do medical research,” says Aldridge. “Together with UOIT, we will be the first to market a solution that is compelling and one that every neonatal intensive care unit globally will want to take advantage of.” OPG and UOIT share a common goal of seeing a strong, sustainable and cleaner energy sector that will provide for future generations. Through ongoing support, their partnership is creating opportunities for UOIT researchers to develop new technologies to advance clean energy solutions. In 2008, OPG provided $65,000 to fund the redesign of two electric buses in an effort to raise awareness of the role of electricity as an alternative fuel source. “We need people poised to take on new challenges and develop new solutions for the ever-evolving electricity generation business,” says Jacquie Hoornweg, director, Nuclear Public Affairs at OPG. “The engineering programs and research programs at UOIT have been developed to meet that need.”
SABIC Innovative Plastics produces engineered thermoplastic pellets for the moulding industry and hopes its newly formed partnership with UOIT will lead to improvements in its custom colour compounding operation in Cobourg, Ontario. SABIC’s plastics are used in the automotive, electronic, consumer goods, and medical sectors, among others. “Having a partnership with UOIT gives us ties to the academic world, allows us to identify young talent, and provides a branch plant in a small Ontario town with the ability to attack more difficult and higher-level problems,” says Dan Ross, innovation leader and QC process engineer at SABIC Innovative Plastics. “Additionally, UOIT’s research allows us to improve our own internal quality and make our customers successful by providing them with better service.” Establishing strong ties within the community is every bit as vital to UOIT’s research vision as partnerships formed with leading businesses and industries. As part of HETRU, Dr. Wendy Stanyon, an assistant professor with the Faculty of Health Sciences, has secured training partnerships with the Durham Regional Police Service and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and has created simulations that will further enhance police officer training in responding to situations involving individuals with mental illness. The project has received more than $110,000 in funding from Inukshuk Wireless, a Canada-wide wireless broadband network equally owned by Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, and the Canadian Council on Learning.
“UOIT creates interest from all over Canada and the U.S., positioning Durham Region as the place to be for new and emerging technology when it comes to the energy and nuclear sectors, UOIT plays an important role in the economic development of Durham Region, attracting large international companies who recognize that the university provides a good source of potential employees. With the resources and expertise that business and industry are looking for, it creates synergy, which leads to new jobs in the region. With a strong relationship, the future looks very bright for the region and the university.” Roger Anderson, chair and chief executive officer of the Regional Municipality of Durham.
BRINGING INNOVATIVE RESEARCH TO LIFE
With a major emphasis on providing solutions to real-world problems, UOIT is aggressively pursuing applications to get its groundbreaking scientific discoveries to market. UOIT has made significant progress in commercializing the innovative ideas of its researchers thanks to its Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization (OTTC), which assists faculty in moving a scientific discovery to the private sector by sourcing funding and establishing partnerships with experts in the field to mass produce and market the researcher’s product or service. Among the patents that have already been filed – in areas including manufacturing technology, automotive, education, Internet software and consumer products – more than half have received external funding.
RADIATION MASK HELPS EMS WORKERS DETECT CONTAMINANTS IN PATIENTS
After two years of research, Dr. Ed Waller, associate professor in the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, has created a Radiological Triage Mask (RTM) aimed at helping emergency medical service (EMS) responders quickly identify radiation contaminants in patients, including individuals who may be the victims of radiological dispersal devices, also known as dirty bombs. The RTM has received almost $250,000 in grants, including the university’s first ever Idea to Innovation grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. UOIT’s OTTC has also filed for worldwide patent protection for the mask.
GREEN HYDROGEN ENERGY FROM WATER AND WASTE HEAT
Dr. Greg Naterer, a Tier 1 CRC and professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and his research team have recently patented new equipment for spray drying and molten salt reactors. Their patented pending designs can significantly reduce the costs of producing hydrogen by using waste heat in a new thermochemical water-splitting process. The UOIT-led team of researchers, universities and other partners is building the world’s first lab-scale demonstration of a copper-chlorine (Cu-Cl) cycle for thermochemical hydrogen production using nuclear or solar energy.
CHANGING THE WAY STUDENTS VIEW STATISTICS
After watching her students struggle to understand the mathematics behind statistics, Dr. Hannah Scott, an associate professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Justice and Policy Studies, developed a comprehensive set of multimedia interactive tutorial films for teaching statistics. The films are based on using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), the most commonly used statistics software package among students. More than 600 undergraduate students at UOIT are using the widely popular videos to enhance their understanding of highly complex material. The films are now licensed through UOIT’s OTTC to a major education publisher.
A SUCCESSFUL SPINOFF
UOIT successfully launched its first spinoff company, Hoper Inc., in Durham Region. Dr. Miguel Vargas Martin, an associate professor and director of Graduate Studies with the Faculty of Business and Information Technology, formed the company to further develop navdriver, an innovative software tool used to streamline website navigation through online searches. It increases efficiency by modelling the structure of a website, analyzing visitors’ traffic patterns and creating a summary of the most important page relationships for each page on a site. This patent-pending technology is one of the first to enhance navigation based on how people surf a website.
OPENING DOORS TO DISCOVERY
Fourth-year Engineering students at UOIT earned international recognition for their innovative design of an automatic door opening mechanism that stores energy in the form of compressed air each time the door is manually opened, using the stored energy for assisted automatic openings. The door remains functional during emergency situations or power loss, which is extremely beneficial for people who rely on automatic doors as part of an accessible community. The mechanism is also energy efficient since it does not rely on electricity for operation. The prototype won first place at the UOIT Capstone Design competition in 2007 and two patent submissions for the design were completed in Canada and the United States.
“I had the opportunity to work with an excellent team and collaborate with world-class professors. It’s a rewarding experience to develop an idea that could greatly impact communities – and it’s good for the environment too.” Mike MacLeod, MASc graduate, door mechanism inventor.
ESTABLISHING WORLDCLASS RESEARCH CENTRES AT UOIT
GENERAL MOTORS OF CANADA AUTOMOTIVE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE (ACE)
ACE will be the first commercial automotive research, development and innovation centre of its kind in the world. The 16,300-square-metre facility is a place where industry, researchers and students will collaborate to test and validate vehicles and products of the future. The centre’s unique testing facilities include: :: One of the largest and most sophisticated climatic wind tunnels in the world. It will have extreme weather capabilities (-40 C to 60 C), a solar array to replicate the effects of the sun and a rotating chassis dynamometer to test road load conditions; :: Two environmental chambers that allow for tests under controlled conditions of temperature and humidity (five to 95 per cent humidity); :: A four-post shaker; :: A multi-axial simulation table (MAST); :: Three vehicle hoist bays that can accommodate cars, trucks and buses, including alternate fuel, hybrid and electric energy vehicles; and :: Machine shop facilities. While situated on UOIT’s north Oshawa campus, ACE will be operated as an independent test facility available for rent to manufacturers, start-up companies and researchers across Canada and around the world. It will enable cutting-edge research and development in: :: :: :: :: :: Accommodation of future automotive fuels such as hydrogen; Effects of extreme weather; Noise and vibration; Structural durability testing; and Vehicle dynamics.
ACE will be used for more than automotive testing. It has been designed to accommodate aircraft components; alternative energy technology such as wind turbines; buses; locomotives and trucks. Furthermore, ACE has the potential to be used to train military personnel, rescue crews or competitive athletes; to carry out performance testing of outdoor survival gear; to assist the movie industry; or test products that are subject to severe wind, humidity, snow, icing or desert heat. ACE will also serve as a hub of the Automotive Innovation Network (AIN). In addition to UOIT, AIN partners include: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: Auto21; École Polytechnique Montréal; McGill University; McMaster University; University of British Columbia; Université du Québec institut national de récherche scientifique; Universitié de Sherbrooke; and University of Waterloo.
ACE is developed in partnership with UOIT, General Motors of Canada Ltd., the Partners for Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) and the governments of Ontario and Canada. The facility is scheduled to open for business in 2010.
Renderings provided by Diamond and Schmitt Architects.
ENERGY RESEARCH CENTRE
The Energy Research Centre (ERC) will be a 9,290-square-metre facility where scientists, engineers and industry leaders collaborate to conduct leading-edge research into the latest green and clean technologies and train the students of today for the energy-related jobs of tomorrow. The ERC will house UOIT's unique-in-Canada nuclear and energy systems engineering programs, including courses in wind, solar, hydrogen, hydraulic, geothermal and nuclear energy. It will promote Canada’s entrepreneurial advantage through commercialization partnerships, helping to re-establish Canada as a leader in designing, building and operating innovative energy systems. Research to be conducted within the ERC includes: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: Biological effects of tritium and low-energy X-rays; Electric power systems and smart metering; Electrochemical and corrosion effects; Emerging energy systems; Environmental effects of radiation; Geothermal systems integration; Health and medical physics; Hydrogen power systems and use in energy storage; Mini- and micro-hydro generators; Nuclear power plant design and simulation; Nuclear reactor design and safety analysis; Radiation biophysics and dosimetry; Radioactive waste management; Reliability engineering, human machine interface and uncertainty analysis; :: Safety-critical digital instrumentation and control systems; :: Solar energy technologies; and :: Wind energy systems and turbine design. The ERC has received a total of $45.4 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments and is scheduled to open in March 2011.
USING EVIDENCE-BASED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE LEARNING OUTCOMES
In response to the overwhelming need for research related to the evidence-based use of advanced technologies, particularly within health sciences education, UOIT has established the Health Education Technology Research Unit (HETRU). With its state-of-the-art simulation lab, HETRU is a natural evolution for health sciences students and faculty at UOIT. HETRU is focused on enhancing the theory-to-practice transition for students and improving competencies at the professional level. Rigorous research into evidence-based teaching, learning, and assessment of learning outcomes is focused in six core areas, distinguishing HETRU as a unique research body and UOIT as a national and international leader in this field. Core research areas include: :: :: :: :: :: :: Advanced Technologies; Competencies and Work-Readiness; Disposition and Self-Efficacy; Interdisciplinary Collaboration; Patient-Centred Care; and Simulations.
MAKING SENSE OF SURVEY RESEARCH DATA
Surveys are a fundamental part of social science research. They also serve as essential tools for program evaluation, assessing the effectiveness of new initiatives, measuring the salience of a product or idea and more. Research is also becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. In many cases it is difficult to understand the implications of research and how it affects our daily lives. Reports generated from collected data must remain unbiased, providing the reader with a clear idea of the issues under study. Effective survey design, development, and administration can lead to more effective knowledge transfer, policy development, and decision making. UOIT is meeting these new challenges with the establishment of the Centre for Evaluation and Survey Research (CESR). Offering a variety of services to university faculty and the larger community, CESR is an interdisciplinary academic, market-driven, hybrid centre that primarily serves systematic research and analysis functions both within and outside the university. It currently offers a variety of services, including research, survey design and evaluation methods consultation; small focus group facilitation; survey instrument design; web, e-mail and mail out surveys; data entering; data cleaning and preparation; descriptive and more advanced data analysis; summary report generation; large final report generation; generation of data templates; and training in a variety of related services. As the centre expands, it hopes to provide more intensive services including, but not limited to, telephone interviewing, in-person interviewing, and large group facilitation projects.
HETRU is establishing research partnerships with post-secondary institutions, hospitals and industry to create research teams that will work towards solving complex problems in health-care education.
HETRU members, including Dr. Carolyn Byrne of the Faculty of Health Sciences in partnership with Lakeridge Health, McMaster University, the University of Toronto, Durham College and Georgian College, have developed simulations and a core competency framework for interprofessional care. Both are for use in educational training and assessment of students and practising health-care professionals. This project was funded through a HealthForceOntario grant.
BRINGING RESEARCHERS AND THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO TACKLE SOCIAL PROBLEMS
In order to design programs to combat societal problems such as poverty, unemployment, drug addiction, child abuse and violence, valid and accurate information is needed. UOIT’s Community Link Unit (CLU) will work with public agencies and groups on community-based research to narrow the gap between research and practice to inform social and economic policy. In traditional social science research, ideas originate at a university and are then brought to the community. The best social science research, however, is conducted in partnership with people living and working in communities and demonstrating an interest in using the results to make decisions about improving their lives. In this collaborative process, jointly researched common topics ensure ideas and expectations are recognized and understood from the project's inception and facilitate the acceptance and implementation of results. Partners can include community-based organizations and associations; non-profit social service providers; neighbourhood or labour networks; advocacy, ethnic and national groups; museums and cultural centres; the media; industry; advocacy coalitions; hospitals; schools; and all levels of government agencies. CLU is currently working with a number of organizations on issues of immigration, diversity, poverty and mental health.
CHALLENGE INNOVATE CONNECT
OFFICE OF THE ASSOCIATE PROVOST RESEARCH 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4 T 905.721.8668 ext.2357 E firstname.lastname@example.org W research.uoit.ca
PRINTED IN CANADA 2010
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