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Federal government invests in UNB MRI and unmanned aircraft research

Author: Communications

Posted on Jan 21, 2015

Category: Events , myUNB , UNB Fredericton , UNB Homepage , In the Media

This week, Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced more than $35 million in research infrastructure funding for 156 university research projects across the country. These federal funds, made through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), will support UNB research infrastructure needs of scientists pushing the boundaries of knowledge in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and unmanned aircraft research.

Bruce Balcom, a physics professor and director of UNB’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging Centre, received $253,422 for new MRI equipment that will enhance his team’s petroleum research. Dr. Balcom and his team have invented a family of new MRI methods, which permit ready visualization of a broad range of materials. New imaging techniques currently under development permit unrivalled and unprecedented visualization and quantification of a very large range of materials including fluids in reservoir rocks of interest to the petroleum industry.

Howard Li, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UNB, received $98,271 for his research in the area of unmanned aircrafts. Forestry stakeholders are seeking new technologies to measure, monitor, and manage Canada's forest resources. Unmanned aircrafts can provide critical information that is currently being provided by piloted aircraft related to forest fire management, insect control, vegetation control, and other services. They also cost less, take less time and are able to navigate in environments that would be too dangerous for human operators.  Dr. Li’s research team has developed technologies that will create more high paying jobs while improving efficiency in forest management.

“In our government’s updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, we are making record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” said Ed Holder, Canada’s Minister of State (Science and Technology). “Canada has become a destination of choice for highly talented scientific researchers thanks in part to our support for world class university and college infrastructure which helps train the next generation of Canadian research talent.” 

The announcement was made yesterday at the University of Saskatchewan. A full list of the funded projects is available online at Innovation.ca.

About the University of New Brunswick

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is one of Canada’s oldest English-language universities and one of the first public universities established in North America. Founded in 1785, the multi-campus institution is home to over 60 research centres and institutes, groups and ongoing projects. The university offers over 75 undergraduate and graduate programs in 100 disciplines. UNB has over 10,500 students from more than 100 countries, and several thousand more take UNB courses online and at partner institutions around the world.

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. For more information, visit Innovation.ca or follow them on Twitter @InnovationCA.

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