University of Saskatchewan

September 16, 2014   

New U of S Canada Research Chairs to Explore Advanced Materials, Synchrotron Medical Research, Nanotechnology, Water Safety and Security

November 24, 2010

A $5.7 million federal investment through the Canada Research Chairs program will fund six researchers exploring advanced materials for green energy production, high-resolution imaging of bone, toxic metals, nanotechnology, and the safety and security of our water supplies.

“These renewals recognize the proven accomplishments and contributions of some of our university’s top minds in nanotechnology, synchrotron science, and environmental protection, particularly our crucial water resources,” said U of S Vice President Research Karen Chad.

“Our two new Chair holders will add to this growing capacity with their groundbreaking programs in advanced materials science and medical imaging.”

Funds from Canada Research Chairs are used for the researchers’ salaries and for operating their research programs. Two new Chairs will be funded and four are being renewed.

Jerzy Szpunar at the College of Engineering will receive $200,000 per year for seven years from his new Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy. Szpunar’s research into advanced materials includes novel materials that better resist radiation damage and handle the high temperatures, corrosion and stress found in nuclear power reactors. He is also looking at membranes and coatings to extract, purify, and safely store hydrogen, as well as high-performance steel for use in oil and gas pipelines in the far north.

David Cooper at the College of Medicine will receive $100,000 per year for five years from his new Canada Research Chair in Synchrotron Bone Imaging to further his work in high-resolution imaging that reveals the fine structure inside bone. His work offers medical researchers an unparalleled window into bone aging and renewal, offering insights into the development of diseases such as osteoporosis. Cooper is using the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy beamline at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron on the U of S campus, the only such facility in Canada.

Four U of S Canada Research Chairs were renewed, including:

Monique Dubé, Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Ecosystem Health Diagnosis, will receive $100,000 per year for five years. Dubé is developing THREATS (The Healthy River Ecosystem AssessmenT System), a decision-support software tool to assess the integrated health of watersheds and to identify areas of concern. (More)

Graham George, Canada Research Chair in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy, will receive $200,000 per year for seven years. George, a researcher in the College of Arts and Science, uses advanced synchrotron imaging and spectroscopy techniques together with sophisticated computing tools to examine the roles of metals in living systems such as the human body. (More)

John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change, will receive $200,000 per year for seven years. Pomeroy, a researcher in the College of Arts and Science, is one of Canada’s foremost authorities on water resources and related climate issues, working to better understand and predict the behavior of prairie water systems. (More)

Qiaoqin Yang, Canada Research Chair in Nanoengineering Coating Technologies, will receive $100,000 per year for the next five years. Yang, a researcher in the College of Engineering, has discovered how to control nanostructures to have specific properties, with far-reaching potential applications in mechanical, electronic, chemical, and biomedical engineering. (More)

The U of S currently has 26 Canada Research Chairs (CRC). The program aims to attract and retain leading researchers from around the world. In the 10 years since the inception of the program, the U of S has received a total of more than $44.4 million in CRC funding. This investment has leveraged another $4.9 million in associated CFI funding and $13.3 million in provincial matching and operational funding. Canada Research Chair holders typically attract and secure several times these initial amounts in additional grants during their terms. They also provide graduate and doctorate-level training for dozens of highly qualified professionals who go on to contribute their expertise to industry, government, and further research.

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For more information, contact:

Michael Robin
University Research Communications
(306) 966-1425

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