According to Yonghao Ni, director of the Limerick Pulp and Paper Research and Education Centre at the University of New Brunswick, the Canadian pulp and paper industry needs research and innovation to stay competitive in the world market.
“Pulp and paper is Canada’s largest manufacturing industry and has been a world leader in technological advances,” said Dr. Ni. “However, its dominance is being challenged by emerging countries like Brazil and Indonesia where trees are growing much faster and labour costs are much lower than in Canada.
“To increase the competitiveness of the Canadian pulp and paper industry, new processes and technologies need to be developed.”
This has been the focus of Dr. Ni’s work. He holds the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Pulp and Paper Science and Engineering. Today an announcement was held to recognize the Government of Canada’s commitment of $1.4 million to Dr. Ni for a second, seven-year term CRC renewal, effective Dec. 1, 2009.
A professor of chemistry and chemical engineering, Dr. Ni is highly respected worldwide for his innovations in environmentally-friendly bleaching pulps for paper production. His current research involves the development and refinement of chemical processes to improve the efficiency of pulp and paper production.
As Canada Research Chair, he has been able to further his work in decreasing production costs, improving production efficiencies and reducing the environmental impact of the pulp and paper industry. He has also advanced fundamental knowledge in pulp and paper science and engineering and has transferred new technologies and novel process concepts to mills, across Canada including here in New Brunswick.
“The calibre and importance of Yonghao Ni’s outstanding work in the pulp and paper domain provides yet another example of how UNB is a national and world leader in many research areas,” said Greg Kealey, UNB provost and vice-president (research). “Sixteen researchers at UNB are current Canada Research Chairs and we are very grateful for this program’s ongoing support in our people.”
This renewed Canada Research Chair is part of a total of $165.5 million in funding for 187 Canada Research Chairs newly awarded or renewed at 44 Canadian universities announced on March 26, 2010 by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). The funding announced includes $8.8 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for research infrastructure.
“Our government is investing in research and development to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” said Minister Ashfield. “The Canada Research Chairs program is helping our universities develop and attract and retain talented people, strengthening our capacity for leading-edge research, while building economic opportunities and the jobs of the future for Canadians.”
Established in 1785, UNB is one of the oldest public universities in North America. With more than 12,500 students from more than 100 countries, UNB has the best student-to-faculty ratio of Canada’s comprehensive universities, according to Maclean’s magazine. As the largest research institution in New Brunswick, UNB conducts over 75 per cent of the province’s university research. The university has more than 3,500 faculty and staff, and an annual operating budget of more than $160 million. UNB’s two main campuses are located in Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick.
St. Pierre, Communication Officer (506) 458-7969