Researchers receive first NSERC grant
Published: November 12, 2010 Info: Views (334)
Dr. Jonathan Withey and Dr. Samuel Mugo, instructors in the university's Bachelor of Science degree program, have received a $200,000 research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). This is the first NSERC research grant involving MacEwan faculty as the principal researchers.
The multi-faceted project reflects a growing public concern for the presence of antibiotics and hormones in the environment, The project's goal? To develop a practical approach for the detection, tracing and destruction of antibiotics and hormones in biowaste.
The researchers' work is part of a larger collaboration with Highmark Renewables Research and members of the Biowaste to Energy for Canada Integration Initiative, a not-for-profit clean energy corporation that brings together institutions and organizations with an interest in the bio-energy sector.
The project will heavily involve undergraduate science students. "This is an excellent opportunity to combine teaching and research in a meaningful way," said Withey. "Students will gain direct, hands-on research skills working on a project of real significance to agriculture and the environment." MacEwan's new laboratory and research facilities, added as part of the implementation of the Science degree, were a contributing factor in the decision to grant the funds to MacEwan.
The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry stated, "Our government supports innovation because it creates jobs, improves the quality of life of Canadians and strengthens the economy. These new partnerships will provide skills training for the communities in which they are based, position Canadian institutions as a destination for top research talent and give local businesses access to the knowledge and resources they need to innovate and commercialize."
Dr. Withey received his MA and DPhil in organic chemistry from the University of Oxford. Dr. Mugo received his undergraduate degree from Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya and his PhD from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
NSERC is a federal agency whose vision is "to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians." The agency supports more than 28,000 students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. The Council promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.
Drs Withey and Mugo received AACTI funding through both the Faculty Mentored Student Innovation fund and the Faculty and Staff Enabled Project fund which allowed them to do the pilot work that lead to this funding. These two faculty members are early adopters of client focussed applied research.
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