Newalta gift keys environmental research

Western’s sustainability research efforts got a $1.125 million boost last week from Newalta Corp., North America’s leading provider of resource recovery solutions.

“We are fortunate that Western has this strong relationship with Newalta Corp., an industry committed to investing in our future. With Newalta’s support, our researchers will be able to work to develop environmentally sustainable solutions that reduce disposal, enhance recycling and help recover valuable resources,” said Janice Deakin, provost and vice-president (academic) and acting vice-president (research) at the announcement last Thursday.

“This will benefit industrial sectors including mining, oil, natural gas and manufacturing and will bring innovating technologies quickly to address these important environmental issues.”

Over the next five years, Newalta will provide $1 million to support Western research projects focused on environmental engineering research, including developing clean technologies. The first such project will focus on developing cost-effective solutions for recycling as well as recovering valuable products from industrial residues and waste streams in Alberta tarsands.

The remaining $125,000 will bolster the already-established Newalta Corp. Ontario Graduate Scholarships for MEng and PhD students in the Faculty of Engineering who are working on environmental engineering research in waste treatment, recovery or recycling. Western will match every $5,000 from Newalta on a 2-to-1 basis through the Ontario Graduate Scholarship program and give five $15,000 scholarships each year over the next five years.

Harry Wells, Newalta vice-president of technology development, said partnering with Western will not just benefit both parties involved, it will yield significant results.

“This partnership is an excellent opportunity for Newalta to support the leaders of tomorrow. The leading-edge research here will help increase technologies we can evaluate and offer customers in future,” he said.

This announcement builds on what Deakin called an “impressive history and partnership,” including the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory of the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel; Newalta’s sponsorship of Go ENG Girl; and a leadership program at the Richard Ivey School of Business which, to date, has seen 90 Newalta leaders participating in the weeklong Foundations of Leadership program, with another 30 members slated to participate in 2012.