Grant to CREATE new opportunities for students

Led by Engineering professor Jeffrey Wood, an advanced polymer composite materials and technologies team will CREATE more opportunities for the next generation of engineers thanks to $1.65-million grant from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).


The Western project one of 18 splitting $29.7 million from the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program to further discovery and innovation in areas such as environmental protection, green energy and advanced manufacturing.

Western will use its funds to create training opportunities for students both at home and abroad.

Western Engineering students will work with the International Composites Research Centre at Western, a virtual research cluster that currently comprises 15 faculty members from six different Canadian institutions, as well as through exchanges with Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a German research foundation.

“The combination of technical and professional training – with hands-on industrial and international experience, all guided by industry leaders – places graduates of the program in a unique position to make significant and immediate impact when they move to industry,” Wood said.

“It’s a great opportunity to gain international experience and access complimentary research capabilities for students on both sides of the Atlantic.”

With the latest Fraunhofer Centre for Composites Research coming online in Ulsan, Korea, Wood expects a truly worldwide research and training collaboration that will give researchers and students access to the European, North American and Asian composites industries.

“When young Canadians choose science, programs like CREATE empower them to pursue their ambitions and gain the hands-on experiences they need to launch their careers,” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, who announced the funding. “Thanks to the worldwide interdisciplinary connections they will build through this program, these talented young researchers will further Canada’s reputation as a leader in research and innovation.”