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Three U of M researchers will improve our power grids, boosting the system's reliability and security. / Image: Tau Zero, flickr

New funding lets researchers improve our systems

Will help them solve complex plant, energy, soil and fluid mechanics problems

January 20, 2015 — 

The Government of Canada announced today it has awarded $1,025,839 to four University of Manitoba research projects from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John E. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).

The projects are from a range of disciplines that will take canola/rapeseed to the next level, assess high voltage insulation systems, address soil erosion and sedimentation, and water turbulence and ice engineering research.

“When the country’s researchers have access to state-of-the-art tools and facilities, they can ask bold questions, find remarkable answers and apply them in new and, often, unexpected ways,” said Dr. Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. “Their discoveries and innovations further Canada’s reputation as a nation known for its research excellence.”

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), previously named the Leaders Opportunity Fund, was launched in 2005 to help universities attract and retain top researchers.

“These researchers are advancing their respective fields of enquiry, finding new possibilities to solve complex plant science, renewable energy, soil physics and fluid mechanics problems,” says Digvir S. Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor. “I congratulate them on their success in obtaining these competitive funds.”


The recipients and their projects


Plant science

Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan receives $155,777 to develop high oil and high meal protein content canola/rapeseed cultivars.

Currently, canola/rapeseed has an average oil content of 42-45 per cent when commercially produced in Canada and current commercial canola hybrids have meal protein contents of 46-47 per cent.

This research project will endeavour to increase these percentages to more than 50 per cent in both cases, thereby increasing the value of the canola/rapeseed crop in Canada.


Electrical and computer engineering


Behzad Kordi

Behzad Kordi

Behzad Kordi, Derek Oliver, and Sherif Sherif receive $179,293 for the development of new and improved techniques for both online and offline condition monitoring of high voltage power systems.

Demand for electric power in North America has been rising while investment in new facilities has declined, creating increased stress on existing electric power infrastructure.

This project will enable early detection and replacement of aging insulation, which will reduce the rate of equipment failure and result in greater reliability and energy security.


Soil science

David Lobb

David Lobb

U of M’s David Lobb, and Philip Owen from the University of Northern British Columbia, receive $310,361 to expand and enhance an innovative research and development program in soil erosion and sedimentation.

The goal of this program is to ensure the sustainable management of land and water resources.

Lobb and Owens will: develop techniques and approaches to assess soil erosion and sedimentation; develop land and water management practices to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation; and develop tools to better inform decision-making and improve policies, programs and practices.



Mechanical, and Civil Engineering

Mark Tachie

Mark Tachie

Mark Tachie (mechanical engineering) and Shawn Clark (civil engineering) receive $380,408 for a time-resolved tomographic particle image velocimetry (TRTPIV) and water tunnel for turbulence and ice engineering research.

This research program will use an extremely sophisticated piece of equipment to accurately measure the three dimensional turbulence level in flowing water and airflows.

Experiments will investigate the effects of various types of channel roughness and ice covers (smooth ice and ice jams) on turbulent flow, and will investigate the flow characteristics of turbulent air and water jets.



About the Canada Foundation for Innovation:

The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. 



For further information, please contact Janine [dot] Harasymchuk [at] umanitoba [dot] ca, marketing communications office, or call 204-474-7300.


Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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