CFI providing Lakehead professors with more than $100k each for exciting research

 March 4, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont. 

Two Lakehead University researchers are receiving more than $100,000 each from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Dr. Wilson Wang, a professor in Mechanical Engineering, is receiving $102,671 to develop new techniques and tools for intelligent diagnostics and prognostics of electric vehicles (EVs) that are revolutionizing the automotive industry.

Photo of Dr. Wilson Wang

 Dr. Wang and his team will create a gearbox prognostics simulator and a motor test workstation, which focus on the EV powertrain, including mechanical transmission systems, electric motors and batteries.

 “This research program will also provide a unique opportunity to train excellent highly qualified personnel at different levels, who will acquire outstanding knowledge and skills,” Dr. Wang said.

 “These individuals will be invaluable and are critically needed, not only in the related academic fields, but also in a wide array of Canadian industries to improve production quality, productivity and safety,” he said.

This research aims to replace the traditional preventive maintenance strategies, to optimize EV operation in a safer and more reliable manner, and to reduce repair and maintenance costs by preventing periodic machine shutdowns when manual inspections are normally conducted.

Dr. Maryam Ebrahimi, an assistant professor in physical chemistry and nanoscience and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Low-dimensional nanomaterials, and co-applicant, Dr. Mark Gallagher, a professor in condensed matter physics, are receiving $100,080 from CFI-JELF.

Photo of Dr. Maryam Ebrahimi

Their project focuses on the on-surface construction of single-layer molecular-based quantum materials with engineered electronic properties. 

Dr. Ebrahimi has carried out her research around the world, including at the University of Toronto with Nobel Laureate Professor John Polanyi. Her research lies at the border of chemistry and physics, focusing on the fundamentals of low-dimensional nanomaterials whose properties are determined by their size, structure, and growth dimensions.

With this funding Dr. Ebrahimi, Dr. Gallagher, and their team will study the rational design of molecular-based low-dimensional quantum materials, to form novel one- and two-dimensional (1D, 2D) molecular-based structures and spin-based materials. 

Owing to their unique electronic properties, these materials can be integrated into a new generation of carbon-based nanoelectronics, and for other technological applications such as energy storage, sensors, memory devices, and quantum computers.

“The scientific outcome of this research offers specific value to the advancement of nanoelectronic and spintronic industries, with the resulting economic and social benefits to Canada,” Dr. Ebrahimi said.

“Congratulations to Drs. Wang and Ebrahimi for their successful CFI awards,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

“For several years, equipment provided by the CFI program along with the Ontario Research Fund program has facilitated quality research at Lakehead University with the purchase of state of the art scientific equipment. We thank the CFI program for their continued support.”



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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 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third 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