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From Simon Fraser University to the World

Wed, 22 Feb 2017

Alexis Chan

“Research is creating new knowledge” – Neil Armstrong

From combatting the global water shortage to fighting infectious disease, here are two SFU researchers whose work is making a difference in the world.

With the world’s water in short supply, researchers at SFU’s School of Mechatronics Engineering have successfully developed a machine to draw water from air. Conceived by Professor Majid Bahrami and PhD student, Farshid Bagheri, the Hybrid Atmospheric Water Generator (HAWgen) uses sorption, refrigeration and water filtration to generate clean and drinkable water.  This new technology will be used in the City of Surrey’s Biopod initiative, which focuses on improving local food systems with agricultural technology.  With the ability to provide a sustainable source of water in all types of climates and environments across the globe, HAWgen can be used in a variety of industries such as mining, oil and gas, and disaster relief.

There have also been advances made by SFU researchers in the study of infectious diseases. Dr. Fiona Brinkman, a professor in the department of molecular biology and biochemistry, co-leads the Genomic Epidemiology Application Ontology (GenEpiO) project with former SFU student Dr. Will Hsiao at UBC, Andrew McArthur at McMaster University and with funding from Genome BC. The GenEpiO project studies the impact of infectious disease outbreaks on human health, agriculture and economy, while developing a database that allows public health agencies across to world to share data with each other more efficiently. Over 70 researchers and public health workers from 15 countries are participating. In a related project, PathOGIST, researchers Cedric Chauve and Leonid Chindelevitch at SFU are working on quickly being able to classify pathogens and using this data to reduce the impact of disease outbreaks on health and the economy.

As one of Canada’s top universities for research impact, SFU’s researchers are continuously discovering new ideas and innovations that can potentially change the world. These ideas can be explored on March 8, 2017 at the SFU Public Square Community Summit’s Researching the Globe event. This event will showcase and highlight the research that SFU faculty, students and alumni have done across various topics. It will be a great opportunity to interact with these researchers and learn more about the impact of their work in Canada and across the globe.

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