Funding helps Engineering professor CREATE opportunities

MONTREAL, Quebec — Western Engineering professor Xianbin Wang, a Canada Research Chair in Wireless Communications, has been named among 15 initiatives receiving a portion of $24 million in funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) initiative.

CREATE looks to help science and engineering graduates add job skills to their academic achievements. Funded networks will be led by teams of Canadian university researchers who will help students develop leadership, entrepreneurship, communication and project management skills.

Wang’s project, NSERC CREATE Program in Communications Security, Privacy and Cyberethics, will receive $1.65 million over six years. Other funded projects explore genomics, climate change in the Arctic and clean combustion engines.

“Our government will continue to support research that brings together academic and industrial partners because we recognize that long-lasting returns can be realized when academic research is integrated with private sector know-how,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), at McGill University Monday. “We remain committed to investing in the next generation of innovators, whose work promises to keep Canada competitive on the global stage and bolster our economy through partnerships with the private sector.”

CREATE promotes student mobility between universities and other sectors nationally and internationally. In 2011, an agreement was established with Germany to support a bilateral training program. Two of the CREATE recipients will work with the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the German Research Foundation.

In its first three years, CREATE has involved 58 teams of researchers and has supported more than 2,400 students and postdoctoral fellows through funding and training. In addition to Wang, Western has received five CREATE awards:

“This team-based training is providing a valuable experience for students and postdoctoral fellows to learn practical skills and to engage in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary and, in some cases, international research,” said Isabelle Blain, NSERC vice-president of research grants and scholarships. “Exposing our trainees to an innovative, collaborative training environment will enable them to succeed in careers that contribute to the world’s top research.”