Lakehead University receiving more than $515 thousand toward new equipment for analyzing the chemical structure of materials

Photo of Dr. Pedram Fatehi

Dr. Pedram Fatehi is the principle investigator
for this project.

March 14, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University is receiving $515,535 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) toward the cost of a $1.54 million device that will allow researchers, including highly qualified personnel, to analyze the chemical structure of materials.

Researchers from various departments will use the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer in the University’s William Tamblyn Centennial building in Thunder Bay.

“This CFI award represents the largest single allocation to Lakehead University,” said Dr. Andrew Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

This new device will replace a roughly 20-year-old NMR spectrometer that has reached the end of its operational life, Dr. Dean said.

“We will use these funds towards the purchase and installation of a new state-of-the-art Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer on campus. This equipment will allow our researchers to continue with great work in the areas of chemistry and chemical engineering. We are extremely pleased with the contribution from CFI,” he added.

NMR spectroscopy is a highly versatile, non-destructive technique for characterizing the structure and dynamics of molecules.  Lakehead’s powerful new NMR spectrometer includes cutting-edge technology for investigating highly dilute chemical systems, particularly those containing silicon. 

Dr. Pedram Fatehi and his team in Chemical Engineering, for example, will use it to develop value-added products from forest biomass such as lignin.

“This equipment will be highly beneficial for many researchers at Lakehead University, including students and faculty,” Dr. Fatehi said. “Forestry and the value-added economy are an important part of Northwestern Ontario, and the NMR spectrometer will help advance this research.”

Dr. Stephen Kinrade in the Department of Chemistry utilizes NMR to study silicon chemistry and its myriad applications in materials science and medicine. 

“This equipment will also enable hands-on research training in NMR spectroscopy to all Chemistry students as well as to students in other programs, such asBiology, Geology and Chemical Engineering,” said Dr. Kinrade.

Lakehead is receiving this grant through CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund.


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Lakehead University has approximately 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. Maclean’s 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit