The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has honoured two UBC researchers with 2010 Innovation Challenge Awards. These awards recognize graduate students for their spirit of entrepreneurship by identifying potential products or services that could be developed from their thesis research.
Alfred Lam, Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, received a $5,000 runner-up prize for his work on a direct methanol fuel cell power system with improved run time and recharging capabilities. This will aid in the development of next-generation portable electronic devices.
Joel Pel, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, received honourable mention for his research. Pel developed Synchronous Coefficient of Drag Alteration (SCODA), a novel molecular manipulation and separation technique for DNA concentration and purification. This technique has applications in clinical diagnostics, where the technology can be used to extract small DNA samples that would indicate the early stages of a disease.