Researchers Score $5.3 Million to Advance Science and Tech in Canada

Eleven University of Waterloo researchers are receiving a combined $5.3 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to partner with industry on strategic research.

One project will be vital for Canada in developing innovations for environmentally friendly water treatment technologies. William Wong, associate professor in electrical and computer engineering, is working with MW Canada to create electronic fabric, where UV lights are integrated directly into fabric, to be used in water filtration systems. Drawing on the unique strength of MW Canada to develop custom fabrics, Wong is enhancing two unique technologies by combining electronic devices with textiles for new applications in order to use Canada’s resources more efficiently and keep water safe.

“Strategic project grants are an opportunity for industry and university researchers to work together and contribute their unique strengths to research,” says D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research. “These partnerships will generate new technologies and support the industry partners in their growth and development further enhancing the Canadian economy.”

The other researchers chosen by NSERC for a Strategic Project Grant are:

  • Professor Dayan Ban (Electrical and Computer Engineering) with TeTechS, Norcada, and COM DEV International: Developing novel THz devices for high-speed optical wireless communication systems.
  • Professor Emeritus Niels Bols (Biology) with British Columbia Blueberry Council and Skretting Canada Inc.: Screening chemicals and biological agents for their ability to promote gut health in fish.
  • Associate Professor Slim Boumaiza (Electrical and Computer Engineering) with Keysight Technologies and Focus Microwaves: Creating efficient bridges between flexible 5G radio frequency devices and circuit levels, as well as circuit and system levels.
  • Associate Professor Zhongwei Chen (Chemical Engineering) with Ballard Power Systems Inc. and Grafoid: Aiding the effort to make proton exchange membrane fuel cells a commercially viable technology.
  • Professor Krzysztof Czarnecki (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Creating a safety extensible automotive systems and software architecture (SEASAR) to enable post-manufacturing vehicle upgrades through smart apps and devices.
  • Associate Professor Ian Goldberg (Cheriton School of Computer Science) with Sandvine Inc.: Constructing scalable and dependable privacy-enhancing technologies.
  • Professor Guang Gong (Electrical and Computer Engineering) with DBJay Ltd., IBM Canada, and IBM United States: Increasing the security and efficiency of mobile cloud computing with new mechanisms for securely combining compression and encryption.
  • Professor Amir Khandani (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Improving the transmission rate, networking, and security of communications networks for IoT, interference alignment, and physical security layers.
  • Assistant Professor Bruce MacVicar (Civil and Environmental Engineering) with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Parish Geomorphic Ltd., and City of Toronto: Assessing the response of channel bed sediment and benthic invertebrates to floods in urban creeks under different management scenarios.
  • Professor Mark Servos (Biology) with Region of Waterloo, Grand River Conservation Authority, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, City of Guelph Wastewater Service, and Environment Canada: Examining the impact of major process upgrades at wastewater treatment plants on a sentinel fish species and comparing responses in fish across multiple levels of biological organization.