Carleton University researchers Mohammad Reza Kholghy, Roslyn Dakin and the teams of Banu Örmeci, Ravi Prakash and Jesse Vermaire, as well as Kumiko Murasugi, Erik Anonby and David Mould, have received approximately $1 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) for their work on manufacturing nanoparticles, understanding how animals fly, monitoring water pollution and strengthening endangered languages.

“Carleton is leading the way in innovative and important fields that will directly improve the lives of Canadians,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “These projects reflect the support of early-career researchers recruited to Carleton, as well as the equipping of multidisciplinary research groups brought together through Carleton’s Multidisciplinary Research Catalyst Fund (MRCF) last year.”

MRCF provides resources and support to research teams so they can achieve a demonstrable increase in impact that goes beyond individual researchers.

Mohammad Reza Kholghy, Canada Research Chair in Particle Technology and Combustion Engineering, is focused on nanoparticle engineering with applications in energy storage, creating advanced materials, sensing and measuring the impact of emissions on the environment.  Particles are omnipresent. For example, people inhale millions of particles in the air they breathe.  Dental fillings and medications are created combining several particles together. Car tires rely on carbon nanoparticles for their strength and functionality. New types of particles are increasingly finding applications in every aspect of people’s lives.

Kholghy is developing combustion engineering technology that enables large-scale production of nanoparticles with the desired properties, while limiting emission of polluting nanoparticles such as soot. Nanoparticle synthesis with flames offers a scalable alternative to conventional manufacturing methods, which often do not go beyond lab scale demonstrations. Understanding nanoparticle formation in flames also helps engineers design combustion systems with minimal, if not zero, soot emissions.

Banu Örmeci, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ravi Prakash, professor in the Department of Electronics, and Jesse Vermaire, professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, are leveraging CFI funding to better understand the fate of pollutants in the environment, their impact on ecosystems and human health, and create new micro-and nano-sensors to detect pollutants. To gather important information, the team will also develop next-generation sensors to assist in this monitoring.

Flight is a remarkable adaptation that has allowed birds, bats and insects to diversify and spread throughout the globe. Many flying animals can achieve maneuverability that far surpasses what can be achieved with current technology.  Roslyn Dakin, professor in the Department of Biology, will use these CFI funds to establish the Interactive Animal Flight and Dynamic Behaviour Laboratory, which will  discover how animals, in particular hummingbirds, achieve remarkable agility and flexibility in performance and perhaps aid in the development of technology that can mimic these attributes.

Language endangerment is a global issue affecting almost every nation in the world. Scholars estimate that by the end of this century, more than 40 per cent of the world’s 7,000 languages will have vanished. Most Indigenous languages in Canada face significant challenges. Kumiko Murasugi and Erik Anonby, professors in the School of Linguistics and Language Studies, and David Mould, professor in the School of Computer Science, lead the interdisciplinary Endangered Language Knowledge and Technology (ELK-Tech) research team at Carleton. The team will be using CFI funds to set up the ELK Centre, a space that brings together language communities, researchers and technologists working to adapt and develop relevant, accessible and collaborative digital tools that help strengthen and renew endangered languages.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020 in
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