Carleton’s University’s leading research programs in building sustainability and human computer interaction received $3.3 million in prestigious grants as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced its Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program (CREATE) awards today.
“It is critical that future leaders in research and innovation receive cutting-edge training experiences,” said Kim Matheson, vice-president (Research and International). “Carleton researchers are providing exceptional training experiences that will ensure students have the skills they need to succeed.”
“Our research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Design is very proud of its researchers,’’ said Dean Rafik Goubran. “These awards will ensure that our students receive world-class training and are better integrated in our research activities. We are confident that the research will lead to novel solutions that will make our world a better place.’’
Mario Santana Quintero, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Design (FED), will receive $1.65 million over six years to lead a team project called Engineering Students Supporting Heritage and Sustainability. The project will address the conservation, rehabilitation and sustainability of existing structures and designated historic buildings. This is a crucially important issue in Canada and worldwide, but heritage buildings are not the only area of concern. In time, even the most energy-efficient buildings will need rehabilitation in order to reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate the acceleration of climate change.
In order to develop and deploy advanced technologies, materials and methods for the assessment and rehabilitation of existing structures, there is a pressing need for interdisciplinary training among engineers and architects. Quintero’s project responds to deficiencies existing in the current training environment that must be corrected to produce a workforce capable of addressing these issues.
Anthony Whitehead, director of FED’s School of Information Technology, will receive $1.65 million over six years to conduct a team project called Collaborative Learning of Usability Experiences (CLUE). Within typical human-computer interaction activities, usability and usability testing focuses on determining how well people can use a system’s functionality. There is an increased demand for skills in this field, but there is a lack of training in current graduate programs across Canada.
CLUE will alleviate the gap by providing opportunities for students to experience the usability evaluation process on real projects. The goal is to produce a new hybrid of trainees who can more effectively apply usability skills and research current systems as a result of real world experience.
Also receiving funds is a University of Calgary-led coalition that will include Carleton’s James Meadowcroft, a professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of Public Policy and Administration. The coalition will receive $1.65 million over six years to train students as they develop carbon capture technologies for eventual industrial use.
The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs that:
- Encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities; and
- Facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.
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