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Concordia receives $1.24 million for research infrastructure

The Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Government of Quebec throw their support behind 5 projects at the university
August 15, 2017
By Renée Dunk

Professor Ali Nazemi's research seeks to understand the role of reservoirs on land-atmospheric water and energy exchange. This is key to managing sustainable water resources and predicting water futures under changing climate conditions. | Photo by Jason Mrachina (Flickr CC) Professor Ali Nazemi researches the environmental impact of reservoirs. Pictured here: the Cleveland Dam area, North Vancouver. | Photo by Jason Mrachina (Flickr CC)

Whether they’re delving into the development of advanced medical technologies or recording previously undocumented refugee stories, researchers need state-of-the-art labs and equipment to make important discoveries.

Five Concordia research projects — led by faculty members Philip Abrami, Alex De Visscher, Claudine Gauthier, Ali Nazemi and Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro — have received financial support from the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec to help them continue their groundbreaking work.

The total combined project funding is over $1.6 million dollars, with $623,595 coming from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) and matching funds from Quebec’s Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation (MESI), as well as support from the university and industry partners.

CFI and MESI investment plays an important research support role for Canadian universities, helping them to attract and retain top talent — particularly early-career researchers — by providing them with what they need to excel in their field.

“Ensuring that our scientists are well-prepared with the absolute paramount in tools and equipment for research and discovery is what we’re here for,” says the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

“These journeys can lead to achievements such as an improved economy and a better job market, and can also fuel an active research community here in Canada and internationally.”

Christophe Guy, vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies at Concordia, says leading-edge equipment and facilities play a key role in ensuring that Concordia’s researchers can make breakthrough discoveries.

“Investigations into new ways to replace fossil fuels, improve weather forecasting capability and support literacy — to name just a few — are propelling the university’s growing reputation as a leading knowledge-creation institution,” he adds.

“We thank the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Quebec Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation for their investment in our next-generation research.”

An overview of the 5 projects funded by the JELF


Photo by David Ward Photo by David Ward

Philip Abrami

Using educational technology to develop essential educational competencies in Sub-Saharan Africa

The award will go toward improving teaching and learning outcomes through educational technology in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project, based at Concordia’s Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, will include two research streams: an examination of the impact of existing education tools and an experimental study to better understand educational technology for use in developing countries.

Photo by David Ward Photo by David Ward

Alex De Visscher
Chemical and Materials Engineering     

Chemical process engineering in a renewable energy world          

The grant will provide sophisticated chemical analysis equipment needed to investigate how diesel, jet fuel and other compounds can be made with carbon dioxide emitted by the cement industry and the hydrogen produced from electrolysis of water using renewable energy.

The project will also investigate novel ways to convert these compounds using renewable electricity into chemicals essential to our standard of living.

Photo by David Ward Photo by David Ward

Claudine Gauthier

Quantitative high-resolution imaging of population cerebrovascular health              

Supported by the JELF, Gauthier will continue her explorations into how MRI technology can be replaced by exploiting information gained from radio frequency data. She is conducting the work at Concordia’s PERFORM Centre in collaboration with Hassan Rivaz, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Gauthier and her team aim to develop a low-cost, high-resolution ultrasound imaging framework that will make cerebrovascular imaging of small vessels accessible for clinical applications.

Photo by David Ward Photo by David Ward

Ali Nazemi
Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering

A multi-sensor platform for hyper-resolution understanding of the land-atmospheric impacts of man-made reservoirs 

The funding will help Nazemi take a pioneering step toward understanding the role of reservoirs on land-atmospheric water and energy exchange.

By proposing a multi-sensor measurement platform, he will create maps of heat and water fluxes over a representative set of reservoirs in Canada, contributing to the development of improved hydrological modelling and weather forecasting capability.

This is key to managing sustainable water resources and predicting water futures under changing climate conditions. 

Photo by David Ward Photo by David Ward

Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro

The listening performance lab and repository   

In his work as Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Oral History Performance, Sotelo Castro studies how performance arts can give voice to the unheard, such as internally displaced people, Indigenous communities and the elderly. He also explores how participatory theatre might facilitate listening.

He will use the JELF investment to establish a listening performance lab and repositor at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling to support the production, standardized collection, storage, classification and analysis of data on listening in the context of oral histories pertaining to refugees in Montreal and youth at risk in post-conflict contexts across the Americas.

Find out more about Research at Concordia.



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