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Left to right: Elizabeth Boston of NSERC, U of T Professor Miriam Diamond (cross-appointed to ChemE), Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, U of T Vice-President of Research and Innovation Vivek Goel, and U of T President Meric Gertler. (Photo: Tyler Irving)

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland visited the University of Toronto yesterday to announce $52.6 million in support to U of T researchers from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The announcement included more than $12.8 million to support the work of 100 graduate students and faculty members at U of T Engineering.

“By giving scientists the opportunity to pursue the answers to some of their most profound questions, our government is investing in a wealth of new knowledge and innovation that will help us build a bolder, brighter future for all people,” said Freeland at the event. “I want to commend all of today’s recipients, particularly those at the University of Toronto, who can use these funds to expand their research horizons.”

The U of T funds are part of a larger $515-million announcement for fundamental research made earlier today in Victoria, B.C. by the federal government. They are being distributed through several NSERC programs, including Discovery GrantsDiscovery Accelerator SupplementsResearch Tools and Instruments GrantsAlexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate ScholarshipsPostgraduate Scholarships, and Postdoctoral Fellowships.

“This investment will further our ability to address pressing challenges for people around the world,” said Professor Ramin Farnood (ChemE), U of T Engineering’s vice-dean, research (interim). “It will accelerate our leading research that is producing innovative solutions in sustainability, robotics, data science, human health, water and many other fields.”

Of the 65 U of T Engineering professors included in the investment, three received prestigious Discovery Accelerator Supplements. These awards are designed to maximize the impact of those researchers with programs that are highly original and innovative.

The winners and their associated projects were:

  • Professor Brent Sleep (CivE) — Thermally Enhanced Remediation of Groundwater Contamination
  • Professor Roman Genov (ECE) — Transport-Aware Image Sensors
  • Professor Masayuki Yano (UTIAS) — Adaptive high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics

In addition to the professors, 32 engineering graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will share nearly $1 million in support.

“At the core of every research project, every laboratory and every discovery, there are people,” said NSERC president B. Mario Pinto. “NSERC empowers these people to build an innovative, prosperous and inclusive society. NSERC Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships provide thousands of top researchers, students and fellows with the foundation they need to concretize their research ambitions and explore the unknown.”

Learn more about research at U of T Engineering

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