Lakehead University researchers receive Canada Foundation for Innovation funding

Photo of Dr. Leila Pakzad and Dr. Amir Azimi.

Dr. Leila Pakzad and Dr. Amir Azimi.

August 16, 2017 – Thunder Bay, ON

Two Lakehead University professors are each receiving around $100,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund to pursue important research using new equipment.

The CFI is providing $107,638 to Dr. Leila Pakzad, an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering, who will use a device known as an online ultrasonic spectroscopy system to monitor the distribution and size of particles, and the concentration of solids contained in the mixing process. Her research will assist in making soap, paint, food, cosmetics, and other products.

“This study’s findings could lead to cost savings, improved equipment design, enhanced quality of products, and more efficient use of power in mixing operations,” Dr. Pakzad said.

The CFI is providing $99,476 to Dr. Amir Azimi, an associate professor in Civil Engineering, to measure water flow using a Particle Image Velocimetry system. 

He will study how water mixes with sediments, ice and bubbles; how that water flows in pipes and channels; and how water and a mixture of ice and water flows over hydraulic structures.

“The outcome of my research will enable engineers to properly design complex structures such as aeration tanks and mixing reactors in wastewater treatment plants, and understand natural processes such as erosion, sedimentation, ice jam, and natural purification of water in rivers,” Dr. Azimi said.

Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation, thanked the CFI for recognizing the important research happening at the University.

“And thank you to Dr. Pakzad and Dr. Azimi for exploring improved methods in Chemical and Civil Engineering.”    



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Lakehead University has about 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. In 2016, for the second consecutive year, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead first among Canada’s undergraduate universities. Visit