Connecting Canada’s brightest researchers

Connecting Canada’s brightest researchers

Funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is helping Queen’s researchers create partnerships to tackle global problems.

May 13, 2019


New funding for research partnerships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is helping Queen’s University researchers preserve the Arctic landscape, make our online communications safer, and improve human health.

Announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sports, the funding from the Strategic Partnerships Grant program is earmarked for 75 projects across the country that will connect Canada’s brightest researchers with industry, government, and other partners to transform fundamental science into tangible benefits for Canadians. Areas of focus include the environment, agriculture, communications technologies, natural resources, and energy.

By partnering with Canadian companies, researchers will also receive the training and experience they need to be labour market-ready.

“Partnerships with government, communities, and industry help to fuel the translation of research and knowledge into applied practice and products with benefits to Canadian and global citizens,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research).

Three Queen’s researchers have received a total of almost $2 million in funding from the Strategic Partnerships Grant program:

Hossam Hassanein

Hossam Hassanein ($593,000) (Computing) is working on resource management in 5G networks, the next generation mobile network that is anticipated to provide ultra-reliable, high-speed communications infrastructure to connect more than 30 billion devices. Partnering with Ericsson, the carrier of 40 per cent of the world’s mobile traffic, Dr. Hassanein’s interdisciplinary research team will feature three PhD students, four MSc students and two postdoctoral fellows. They will receive training in machine intelligence and analytics for network management, which will prepare them for today’s job market.


Kerry Rowe

Kerry Rowe, Richard Brachman and Fady Abdelaal, ($587,351) (Civil Engineering) are studying the use of geosynthetic liners in the harsh environment of the Arctic. The extraction of mineral resources in the Arctic contributed $56 billion to Canada’s economy in 2015 but little research has been done in regards to protecting surface and groundwater supplies and the Arctic ecosystem from contaminated water emanating from mining operations. Drs. Rowe, Brachman and Abdelaal have formed a partnership between university researchers, engineering consultants, and geosynthetic manufacturers to design geosynthetic liners better suited for the Arctic environment.


Richard Oleschuk

Richard Oleschuk’s ($734,600) (Chemistry) laboratory features new cutting-edge technology that will help researchers better analyze a large array of samples including saliva, urine, and blood. Partnering with SCIEX, who provided the mass spectrometer to the university, Dr. Oleschuk says the new technology allows one to feed samples into the machine by simply touching the probe to the sample. Thousands of droplets will be analyzed within seconds and researchers can determine what’s on the paper. Dr. Oleschuk says the technology could be used to analyze suspicious packages passing through the mail or during surgery to analyze tissue samples.

For more information, visit the NSERC website.

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