SFU researchers share $1M in CFI funds

January 08, 2014

Six SFU research projects—from portable brain-scanning technology for assessing and treating brain injuries to simulating wind turbines for energy—will benefit from more than $1 million in new funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The funds are part of $48.4 million the CFI is providing to 37 universities across Canada through its John R. Evans Leaders Fund (formerly the Leaders Opportunity Fund), to help them attract top research talent. Another $14.6 million will provide operating support through the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund.

Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), made the announcement Jan. 8 at SFU’s Burnaby campus.

The funds will be used to acquire infrastructure to enable research and provide enriched research training. The researchers are recognized leaders in their field or emerging future leaders.

“This funding enables researchers to take their programs to the next level and train students on the latest tools and techniques, ensuring that Canada maintains its world-class reputation for research and innovation,” says Mario Pinto, SFU’s vice-president, research.

SFU researchers sharing the new CFI funds include:

·      Ryan D’Arcy, an engineering and computing science professor and neuroscientist whose portable brain scanner could soon be used remotely from hockey rinks or elsewhere to detect brain injuries such as concussions. D’Arcy, who holds a research chair at Surrey Memorial Hospital, will use the CFI funding to help establish his medical imaging lab at the hospital, where it will serve as a cornerstone to Surrey’s new health sciences initiative Innovation Boulevard. His research emphasizes the translation from critical care instruments to point-of-care technologies for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

·      Krishna Vijayaraghavan, an assistant professor in the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at the Surrey campus, who will establish the Advanced Nonlinear Control Laboratory for Clean Energy Technology (ANCLCET). Vijayaraghavan’s focus on wind energy will bring new research capacity to SFU, with infrastructure to simulate wind turbines and smart grids, or wind-turbine drivetrains.

·      Uwe Glasser, a computing science professor, who will create a secure high performance computing laboratory (sHPC lab) at SFU. Glasser and SFU criminologists Patricia Brantingham and Martin Andresen will use it to store and analyze large volumes of crime data entrusted to them by agencies such as the RCMP and Vancouver Police Department. Their research will examine organized crime, cybercrime, border security, and drug and human smuggling, and help in developing policy on mitigating risks from crime and terrorism.

·      Janet Marontate, an associate professor in the School of Communication, who will create a facility for digital cultural heritage research. Together with assistant professor Kate Henessey in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology researchers will address the need for strategies that document, preserve and control access to cultural heritage resources in art worlds and Indigenous communities, including developing protocols and content management systems.

·      Damon Poburko, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (BPK), who will acquire infrastructure to further his cardiovascular physiology research program. Poburko’s research aims to identify early molecular changes in blood vessels, which promote high blood pressure/hypertension.

·      Matthew White, an associate professor in BPK, who will establish a climatic chamber in the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Physiology. He’ll use the chamber to study human cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory responses at tightly controlled temperatures. The lab will have the capacity to study human function in a wide range of simulated extreme environments. The lab’s research will contribute to developing health care and safety management policies for those working in extreme climates, such as search and rescue operations.

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