Queen's University

Grant funds unique groundwater research


Recent Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding helps in developing strategies for addressing the flow of all types of fluids into soil and groundwater.

Queen’s civil engineering assistant professor Kevin Mumford was recently awarded a Leader’s Opportunity Fund grant for $116,000 to continue his research.

With a government focus currently on brownfield development, which is often a costly endeavour, the funding will allow the development of new strategies and optimize existing strategies. Brownfield development is the redevelopment of old, unused industrial properties.

“There is a focus right now on sustainable development. Cleaning up a site is a major barrier to getting these projects off the ground. Our research will help with that,” says Dr. Mumford.

The funding will be used to build large tanks, similar to aquariums, which will be filled with a variety of soils. Liquid will be added to these tanks allowing researchers to study how different liquids move through different soil types.

The experiments allow researchers to re-create subsurface conditions (clay, sand, gravel) before moving to computer simulations.

“There are others working on this problem but work at this scale is not that common,” says Dr. Mumford.

The Leaders Opportunity Fund is designed to help universities attract and retain researchers. The funding provides an opportunity to acquire infrastructure and create research support.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. CFI’s Leaders Opportunity Fund program, begun in 2006, was designed to give Canadian universities the flexibility to both attract and retain the very best researchers, at a time of intense international competition for leading faculty.

A complete list of LOF projects, by university, can be found on the CFI website.

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Last updated at 9:07 am EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
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