Research into forest renewal, quantum computer nanotechnology, solar power, high-tech manufacturing, forestry products and the Subarctic ocean climate got a boost today, with the announcement of $3.5 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
The funding comes from NSERC’s Strategic Partnership Grants, which support scientific partnerships to strengthen the Canadian economy, society and environment.
Among the six UBC projects tapped for the grants is forestry professor Suzanne Simard’s research into forest renewal practices. Simard received $929,000 in funding to focus on reassessing current practices in the context of climate change.
“This new Strategic Project Grant will investigate novel combinations of logging and planting practices across British Columbia that will protect the legacies and wisdom of the original old-growth forests,” she explains. “In so doing, we will develop strategies for helping our forests remain healthy, vigorous and adaptive as climate changes into the future.”
Simard will partner with the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Brinkman Group.
“NSERC’s support of these exciting projects not only furthers scientific research, but also helps strengthen science and technology across Canada,” said John Hepburn, vice president, research and international at UBC. “The Strategic Partnership Grants enable our researchers to build important, constructive partnerships with industry and government.”
UBC recipients of NSERC’s Strategic Project Grants:
- Suzanne Simard, Professor, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences
Designing successful forest renewal practices for our changing climate – $929,000
This project will investigate novel forest renewal methods, and establish recommendations for best harvesting and regeneration practices under changing climate conditions.
- Konrad Walus, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
A framework for embedding, simulation and design of computational nanotechnology using a quantum annealing processor – $394,500
This project will work with Quantum Silicon Inc. to conduct experiments that provide better insight into the potential of quantum computing, and will develop design rules for future designers of the technology.
- Alireza Nojeh, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Thermionic solar energy converter – $510,500
In close collaboration with four Canadian industrial partners, this project will establish a novel approach to solar electricity generation using recent discoveries in nanostructured materials.
- Chadwick Sinclair, Professor, Faculty of Applied Science – Materials Engineering
Through-process modeling for optimized electron beam additive manufacturing – $484,400
Working in collaboration with Canadian electron-beam processor PAVAC Industries Inc., this project will develop a through-process model for additive manufacturing that will link machine control to material microstructure and properties.
- Philippe Tortell, Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Quantifying climate-dependent and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem services in the Subarctic Pacific Ocean; State-of-the-art observational tools to inform policy and management – $707,100
University scientists and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will use field-based observations to generate satellite-based models of ecosystem productivity to examine fish yields and environmental variability.
- Harry Brumer, Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC
Biorefining of novel cellulosics from forest fibre resources – $532,812
Working with a Canadian forest products company, this project will use genomic and biochemical methods to develop new technology for wood-fibre modification.