August 11, 2021 – Thunder Bay, Ont.
Lakehead University and Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute scientists are receiving a total of more than $244,000 in research grants through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Dr. Qiang Wei, Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering, is receiving $127,079 to design the next generation of wind energy conversion systems featuring small size and low weight, low cost and high conversion efficiency.
“Existing wind systems are very bulky, costly, and inefficient,” Dr. Wei said.
“The research program is focused on developing next-generation power converters: topologies, modulations, and controls for wind energy systems.”
This funding will allow Dr. Wei and his team to develop cutting-edge wind technologies for Canada's next generation wind energy industry, which will help generate more low-cost clean electricity to meet increased electricity demand and further lowering emissions and carbon taxes.
Dr. Wei’s research will also create a high tech wind industry with much-needed and competitive employment opportunities.
Dr. Alla Reznik, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Physics of Radiation Medical Imaging at Lakehead University and a Scientist at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, is receiving $68,407 to manufacture large-area detector prototypes for medical use, which will use a new photoconductor material called amorphous lead oxide.
This new photoconductor material will allow for the implementation of the direct conversion of X-rays, which is the most efficient way of detecting them.
“This research will develop detectors for fluoroscopic applications used in cardiac intervention, to improve the radiation safety and effectiveness of minimally-invasive cardiac interventions,” said Dr. Reznik, a Professor in Physics.
It will also allow for three-dimensional tomosynthesis, a novel approach to detecting breast cancer that has emerged to overcome the frequent ambiguity of conventional two-dimensional mammography.
“The development of amorphous lead oxide detector technology is an important scientific and engineering accomplishment in the continuing development of digital X-ray imaging systems,” Dr. Reznik said.
“The high sensitivity of these detectors will lower the barrier towards harm-free X-ray imaging to the benefit of health-care patients in Canada and worldwide," Dr. Reznik added.
“This generous funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation strengthens our patient-centred research program and supports our researchers like Dr. Reznik to find solutions to regional health care challenges – solutions that often have global applications,” said Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and CEO of the Health Research Institute.
“This research and technology can potentially provide our patients with more personalized care and better outcomes,” she added.
Dr. Lindsay Galway, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Social-Ecological Health and Associate Professor in Health Sciences, is receiving $49,033 to establish the Confluence Collaboratory at Lakehead University, which will enhance and support research, training and the collaborations necessary to spark innovation, implement discoveries and share knowledge.
“The Collaboratory will be a unique gathering place for students, researchers, community partners and knowledge-users to advance the field of planetary health and inform much-needed public policy and action on health and well-being in Canada and beyond.” Dr. Galway said.
The Collaboratory is connected with Dr. Galway’s Canada Research Chair. She studies and addresses the interconnected social and ecological dimensions of health and well-being. Her creative and interdisciplinary approach to community-engaged, place-based, and applied socio-ecological research is timely and relevant in a rapidly changing and inequitable world.
“We are very pleased to have the support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for this essential research infrastructure,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead University’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.
“For over 20 years, CFI has supported Canadian researchers with valuable research equipment. At Lakehead University, this equipment has allowed our researchers to embark on cutting edge projects and to offer hands-on training to our students. Congratulations to Drs. Reznik, Wei and Galway on their successful applications,” he said.
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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2020 World Universities Rankings for the second consecutive year, and in the top 100 of 1,115 universities from around the world in THE's 2021 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.