Four nab Strategic Partnership Grants

Four Western research projects recently shared in nearly $2 million in Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Strategic Partnership Grants, the funding body announced last week.

The goal of the grants is to increase research and training in targeted areas that could strongly enhance Canada’s economy, society and/or environment within the next 10 years. Research and training under these grants must be conducted through a partnership between academic researchers and industry or government organizations.

Western’s funded projects included:

  • Chemistry professor Elizabeth Gillies, End-Capped polyglyoxylates: Stimuli-Responsive coating for agricultural products, $400,580/three years. This project involves a new class of biodegradable polymers that un-zip by an end-to-end mechanism selectively in response to stimuli;
  • Biology professor Brian Branfireun, Northern peatland ecosystem responses to climate change, $516,281/three years. This project assembles a genes-to-ecosystems team of researchers to address key objectives that cut across supporting, provisioning, cultural and regulating ecosystem services, all underpinned by a fundamental understanding of peatland biodiversity;
  • Mechanical and Materials Engineering professor Xueliang Sun, Atomically controlled Pt-based electrocatalysts with high stability and ultra-low loading for PEM fuel cells, $536,800/three years. This project will apply nanotechnology to address the key challenges in development of next-generation electrocatalysts with low cost and high durability for proton exchange membrane fuel cells; and
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Xianbin Wang, Advanced Signal Processing and Networking Techniques for Cost-Effective Ultra-Dense 5G Networks, $462,000/three years. This project will develop communication and networking technologies for the next generation of wireless networks that will meet all requirements on capacity and highly efficient use of radio resources in 5G.