NSERC's mandate is to make investments in people, discovery and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians. Since its inception in 1978, it has supported the research projects of some 9,600 university professors every year, as well as more than 17,700 university students and post-doctoral researchers. It also encourages more than 500 Canadian companies to invest in research annually. In 2003-04, NSERC will invest $760 million in university-based research and training.
For more information, visit www.nserc.ca.
The following researchers held NSERC grants in the 1970s and are current NSERC recipients. What follows is just a brief outline of their research interests and activities. For more detailed information, please call Marla Tomlinson, Communications Officer, at 343-8177.
Dr. Borradaile's research focuses mainly in three areas: tectonic corrections to paleomagnetic data; how magnetic fabrics reveal movement histories within rocks; and long-term archeological experiments in magnetization.
Tectonic Corrections to Paleomagnetic Data: The paleomagnetic direction locked in the rock during its formation is used to determine changes in position and orientation of ancient terrenes. Since many rocks have been tilted or deformed, their magnetic directions must be corrected. Laboratory experimental-deformation under simulated geological conditions (using a computer-controlled triaxial rig) shows paleomagnetic vectors are sensitive to ephemeral peak stresses - not just due to visible deformation. Field studies test restoration in Northwestern Ontario Proterozoic rocks and originally adjacent Lower Paleozoic rocks in
Magnetic Fabrics Reveal Movement Histories Within Rocks: Magnetic sensing methods reveal the orientations of minerals within rocks, due to deformation. These magnetic fabrics reveal different parts of the movement and strain history within a rock. Dr. Borradaile has shown the terrane-boundaries of
Long-term Experiments in Magnetization: It is not understood how some slow geological magnetizations are acquired. Dr. Borradaile's approach uses "experiments" that have run for up to 8,000 years, in the form of archaeological monuments. Since the monuments' ages are known, (in some cases historically documented), we know how long the masonry has been in its new orientation, since extraction from the bedrock by ancient builders. Thus, he is able to calculate the rate of magnetization. Conversely, he has used the method to date enigmatic archeological structures, for example at Armageddon in
Statistical Applications in Earth Sciences: As part of a long term "NSERC" hobby Dr Borradaile has taken a long-term interest in the problems of training graduate students in the appropriate manipulation and presentation of quantitative data, as well as their characterization. After many years he just published a book which provides thesis-writers with an overview of the main problems and pitfalls in managing data [Borradaile, G.J., 2003. Statistics of Earth Science Data: Distributions in time, space and orientation, Springer Verlag, 351 pp.].
Dr. Garred's overall objective over 27 years of NSERC-sponsored research has been the application of basic chemical engineering concepts to optimize the life-sustaining dialysis treatments received by kidney failure patients. Much of this work has revolved around computer modelling studies of the transfer of the various accumulated waste products from the patient's blood into the dialysate solution. A particular theme has been to develop simple approaches and equations for quantifying and prescribing dialysis dose administered in the dialysis treatment. Development of new dialysate-based methods and theory for urea kinetic modelling has been a particularly useful contribution.
Dr. Garred's current work focuses on clinical and laboratory studies plus computer modelling to develop a better understanding of the removal of the excess salt and fluid that the patient accumulates between dialysis treatments. In the clinical studies, more than 30 variables (e.g. the flow rate and hemoglobin concentration of the patient's blood pumped to the dialyzer) are recorded on a laptop computer up to once per second for the entire 3-4 hour treatment. These data are then used in the simulation studies. An ultimate goal of this work is the automation of the dialysis treatment so that all the excess salt and water is removed in as short a time as possible but in such a manner that any discomfort to the patient is minimized. Dr. Garred is also performing laboratory and computer simulation studies designed to better understand how small chemicals and fluids cross the dialyzer membrane. These studies will help in the dialysis simulations described above as well as offer insight into better dialyzer design.
Dr. Gilbert was a PhD student of Howard Rapson, internationally renowned for innovations in pulp bleaching and for the effluent-free pulp mill concept. Great Lakes Forest Products Ltd in
His research began with bleaching, but with the end of the effluent-free mill experiment, it changed to control and automation. Using the mill as his laboratory, he researched and tested new uses for sensors in the control of pulp mill processes. He took a one-year leave of absence to write control code for the Dryden fine paper machine. The research in control was strengthened by the establishment of the first Faculty of Engineering M.Sc.
Dr. Margaret Hawton works on the interaction of light with semiconductors and biological physics.Her biological physics work has included phase transitions in model biological membranes, charge transport in partially hydrated membranes and in wood, and interaction of bacteria with surfaces.
Recent semiconductor work includes calculations on the effect of ultrashort optical pulses on semiconductor nanostructures. She also does fundamental research on the nature of the photon as a quantum mechanical particle and its interaction with matter.
Dr. Keeler uses optical spectroscopy and imaging methods to investigate the physical properties of a variety of materials. For a while, he and his students were studying semiconductor layered systems fabricated at NRC in
More recently, Dr. Keeler has centered his research on the optical imaging of live cancer cells cultured at Northern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre. He has also been developing an ultrafast laser imaging system for the nonlinear investigation of live cells and for laser micro-machining of small 3D structures.
?Dr. Lankester's NSERC-funded research has allowed him and his students to pursue important research on wild animal health.While at
With his graduate students, over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers on important parasitic diseases of salmonid fishes of northern lakes, "moose sickness," ticks, and Lyme disease have been produced. Also, he has headed up investigations of caribou parasites. These parasites were first discovered on the local
Roger H. Mitchell
Dr. Mitchell's research program over the past 30 years has focused primarily on the unusual rock types that host diamonds and strategic metals such as niobium and zirconium. The objective of his work is the discovery of controls on the formation of economic deposits of these important commodities and to understand the geological processes leading to the formation of the magmas from which these rocks crystallize.
Over the years, the character of the investigations has changed, especially in response to changes in analytical instrumentation. Early work concentrated on field studies and analytical geochemistry, as only limited compositional and structural information could be obtained on complex and/or small crystals. It is now possible to conduct very detailed mineralogical and petrological studies using analytical electron beam techniques that were previously impossible, to accumulate vast amounts of data.
During the 1970s, Dr. Paranjape's research dealt mainly with pure crystals. He studied how the energy of an electron is affected by the dynamical properties of pure crystals. This had applications to transport optical properties of semiconductors, which were used in the fabrication of transistors.
During the past 10 years, Dr. Paranjape's research focus has shifted to man-made systems such as superlattices, atomic-clusters, and condensates. These systems have their origin in laboratories and cannot be found anywhere in nature, and are interesting to study since their properties can be engineered to an extent by the researcher. These systems have tremendous potential for technological application.
Dr. Parker's NSERC-funded research has always been directed towards revealing patterns of recent evolution within Canadian forest tree species. In the 1970s, his research had a taxonomic focus - trying to evaluate the importance of, and possible need for, taxonomic adjustments, resulting from adaptation to local environments and gene exchange among closely related species via natural hybridization in interglacial periods.
Currently, Dr. Parker's research has taken a much more practical focus in making sure that the trees planted by the forest industry today will be well adapted to their current and future climates to maximize forest productivity on a shrinking land base.
During the 1970s, Dr. Sedov devoted much effort and time to the study of waves propagating in liquids, solids, and gases in the presence of dissipative and dispersive mechanisms and that of nonlinearity and their effects on the structure of the propagating wave front. To study these effects, he utilized the asymptotic expansion method of analysis, a method conventionally applied to the study of water waves up to that time. His work generalized the results of earlier studies to any media.
During the past twenty years, Dr. Sedov's research interests have been in the area of ultrasonics and its application to quantitative nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of materials. This method of inspection uses high-frequency sound waves to detect any defects or flaws in materials. Such inspections are of great interest in the energy and aerospace sectors. Dr. Sedov has worked on a variety of problems dealing with flaw scattering, classification, and modeling; flaw-boundary interactions; and transducer and beam modeling.
Currently, he and his collaborators are developing a beam model to predict the wave field of a transducer in a curved geometry component made of an anisotropic material. When coupled with the flaw scattering models developed earlier, this beam model will allow an engineer to simulate inspections of industrial parts of very complex geometry such as those found in welds or composites. The results of this work will provide new and improved modeling capabilities that can be used by industries to model and solve a much wider class of inspection problems than was previously possible.