Clean energy, chem labs to grow
Simon Fraser University researcher Erik Kjeang is another step closer to developing a state-of-the-art fuel cell and battery research facility for performing world-class clean energy research at SFU’s Surrey campus.
Funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced today will help acquire equipment to strategically support Kjeang’s internationally recognized research programs in electrochemical energy engineering, science, and technology.
An assistant professor in the School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE), Kjeang’s research involves emerging commercial applications in the fuel cell and battery sector for sustainable transportation, energy storage, and power generation.
“Experimentation is critically important for technological innovation in this growing sector,” says Kjeang, who last fall obtained powerful scanners that will give SFU researchers and Ballard Power Systems Inc. a direct line of sight into hydrogen fuel cells. “The new facility will be unique in Canada, and the CFI’s investment demonstrates Canada’s commitment to remaining a world leader in this field.”
Kjeang says the research aims to significantly reduce the cost and “enhance the durability, quality and value proposition of made-in-Canada fuel cell and battery products and systems.” It could help cost-competitive zero-emission fuel cell vehicles become a reality in the next decade.
It will also create new opportunities for commercialization, job creation, economic growth and international trade, he adds.
Partnering companies include Ballard Power Systems Inc., Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cells and Prudent Energy. “Overall, increased market penetration of clean-energy fuel cell and battery products will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution in urban areas in Canada and beyond,” Kjeang notes.
CFI funding will also help SFU chemistry professor Bingyun Sun to acquire equipment for studying cell surface proteins using high throughput liquid chromatography and mass spectrometery. The proteins, critically important for almost all major cellular processes and functions, are therefore major drug targets and the source of biomarkers for disease diagnosis and prognosis.
Sun says to characterize these cells well requires sensitive and accurate measurements. He will use the CFI award to obtain the most sensitive measuring system on the market, which will give students optimal training in the proteomics field.
The SFU labs are among 149 facilities at universities across the country to benefit from new federal investments through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund.
In total, more than $30.4 million in funding was awarded for research infrastructure at 32 universities across the country. The fund helps the academic institutions attract and retain some of the world’s most talented researchers in a variety of disciplines.
Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.
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