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A dozen University of Western Ontario research projects, including ensuring innovative research on Ontario's archaeological heritage and advancing wind research, have received $19-million from the Ontario Research Fund.
In helping attract and retain top researchers who will strengthen the province's competitiveness in the global innovation-driven economy, more than 250 world-class researchers at Western will be supported with this latest funding.
"We are extremely proud of our researchers, and grateful to the Province of Ontario for its continued support of advanced research through the ORF," says Western President Amit Chakma. "Innovative discoveries made by researchers across the disciplines are resulting in new knowledge that improve health, social and economic welfare throughout the province."
Funding world-class research is part of Ontario's plan to build an innovation economy that turns new knowledge into new jobs, better healthcare, a cleaner environment and endless possibilities for Ontario families, says London West MPP Chris Bentley.
"We are recognizing the work that our researchers do and the wealth and jobs they create in London," says Bentley. "Today's investment will support the work of more than 250 London researchers. New discoveries will continue to be made and we want those people, those ideas and those jobs right here in our community."
This investment at Western is part of a broader $268-million province-wide investment that will support 214 projects and more than 3,300 researchers in 14 cities - creating and preserving more than 1,300 construction jobs over the next four years across the province.
Projects receiving funding at Western include (but not limited to):
Nanobeam Materials Analyser for Probing Planetary Evolution and Resources (NanoMAPPER)
Learning more about the evolution of the planet
Lead Researcher: Desmond Moser
Provincial Funding: $310,051
Researchers Affected: 17
In early 2008, an international research team led by University of Western Ontario earth science professor Desmond Moser made a startling discovery when they unearthed three-billion-year-old microcrystals in northern Ontario. The researchers found that the crystals are not only resistant to change; they grew incrementally over 200 million years, preserving records of their movements through and around the planet during the formation of early North America.
They are providing new information about planetary evolution and the processes that formed Earth's continents, and resources such as gold and diamonds. With a new electron microscope and analyzer, Moser will conduct more advanced micro- and nanomineral research that will improve our knowledge of planetary evolution. It will also have important applications for industry, including mining and advanced manufacturing.
Using Advanced Light Sources to Better Understand Nanostructures
Lead Researcher: T.K. Sham
Provincial Funding: $1,052,286
Researchers Affected: 30
Nanotechnology holds the promise of transforming virtually every high-tech industry, from advanced manufacturing to life sciences to information technology. Nano-size semiconductors will lead to small, faster, less expensive computers. Nanomagnetic materials will increase data storage capabilities. Materials with nanofibres will be lighter and stronger. But realizing the potential of nanotechnology requires an understanding of the scientific properties of the materials, having a means of preparing them and the tools to assemble them. At The University of Western Ontario, Tsun-Kong Sham is using advanced light sources to examine the chemistry of nanostructures - research that will lead to the creation of innovative new devices.
About University of Western Ontario
Western is committed to its mission of providing the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities. A vibrant centre of learning, Western is home to approximately 3,500 full-time faculty and staff members and approximately 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Through its 12 Faculties, and three affiliated Colleges, the University offers more than 400 different majors, minors and specializations. Research is an integral part of the University's mission and external support for research projects exceeds $200 million per year. Western is located on 155 hectares of land along the banks of the Thames River in London, Ontario - a thriving city of 432,451 people, 200 kilometres west of Toronto.
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