Accelerate Research projects

  • Assembling a system for continuous production of carbon nanopearls

    Dr. Truong Vo-Van
    Babacar Diop
    Physics and astronomy
    Concordia University

    Carbon nanopearls are an exciting novel class of materials that present unique characteristics, and they turn out to be an excellent alternative to carbon nanotubes for different applications. Presently, they are experimented with success as material for cold cathodes for electron?beam based instrumentation applications and they can be used for the development of polymer nanocomposites with specific properties. We plan to develop a new chemical vapor deposition reactor with a mechanism for allowing a prolongation of the nanocatalyst lifetime that can favour the material growth process. A new fabrication process based on optimization of factors such as temperature, gas fluxes and substrate rotation speed will be determined in order to obtain the highest throughput for a continuous production.

  • Effet de l’intégration du temps depuis le dernier feu sur les courbes de productivité et le calcul de la possibilité forestière de l’unité d’aménagement 85-51

    Alain Leduc
    Nicolas Fauvart
    Pulp and paper
    Université du Québec à Montréal

    La possibilité forestière vise à déterminer la quantité de bois exploitable tout en assurant la pérennité des écosystèmes forestiers et de l’industrie forestière. Néanmoins, la méthode actuellement utilisée pour déterminer l’âge des peuplements sous-estime l’âge réel dans l’établissement des courbes d’évolution du volume à l’échelle des peuplements. Cette erreur augmente en fonction de l’âge et se répercute sur les courbes d’évolution du volume et sur le calcul de la possibilité forestière. Ce projet vise, pour une unité d’aménagement situé en Abitibi, à substituer l’âge moyen par le temps depuis le dernier feu afin de créer de nouvelles courbes de croissances et à déterminer cet effet sur le calcul de la possibilité forestière. Du fait du contexte local, il est difficile de déterminer à l’avance l’impact de l’utilisation du temps depuis le dernier feu sur l’ensemble d’un calcul de possibilité forestière. Néanmoins, cette étude permettra un affinement des courbes d’évolutions du volume et améliorera le calcul de la possibilité forestière.

  • Using CityEngine for Parameterized 3D Modeling of Regional Growth Scenarios

    Dr. Claus Rinner
    Michael Markieta
    Esri Canada
    Geography, geology and Earth science
    Information and communications technologies
    Ryerson University

    In 2006, the Government of Ontario introduced “Places to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe” to control urban sprawl, protect farmland and green spaces, create complete communities and revitalize downtowns and urban centres. Key specifications include minimum intensification targets, such as requiring 40% of new residential development to occur in existing built-up areas. A recently published report by Allen and Campsie (2013) found that many municipalities across the Toronto region are not planning to adhere to the mandated intensifications targets. This internship will examine the impact of various growth scenarios on urban form for a case study municipality by developing 3D models in Esri’s CityEngine software. The intern will investigate the use of procedurally generated streets, blocks, and neighbourhoods for efficient visualization of development options. These visualizations will contribute to stakeholder and citizen engagement in regional planning through a Web-based application. It enables novel scenario modeling for effective advocacy and policy making to support economically and environmentally sustainable growth.

  • Carbon thin-films for cosmetic jewellery applications

    Dr. Stephen O'Leary
    Jonathan Laumer & TBD
    Arnell Workshop Inc.
    Consumer goods
    University of British Columbia - Okanagan

    Thin-films of carbon are finding use in a wide variety of military, industrial, and commercial applications. Arnell Workshop Inc., a West Kelowna, British Columbia-based cosmetic jewellery manufacturer, is using thin-films of carbon in order to coat titanium rings. As of the present moment, they are using an American firm in order to perform these depositions. They are, however, discouraged by the quality of the resultant films (they appear to be flaking and are non-uniform in thickness) and in the length of time that it takes for their product to be shipped back and forth to and from this American company (over a week). This has convinced the management at Arnell Workshop Inc. to consider performing in-house depositions. We aim to customize and optimize the deposition conditions required for these thin-film depositions using the sputtering system available at Arnell Workshop Inc. Quality assessment and accelerated aging protocols will also be developed in this project. It is hoped that the results of this project will equip our industrial partner, Arnell Workshop Inc., with a strategic advantage over its competitors.

  • HVDC “Superline” for improved angular stabilityof AC-DC system

    Dr. Ani Gole
    Prashant Agnihotri
    Manitoba Hydro
    Engineering, computer and electrical
    University of Manitoba

    High Voltage DC Transmission (HVDC) is used for bulk power transfer over long distances. Manitoba Hydro system involves collection of AC power in the north where it is converted to DC and then transferred to southern Manitoba (approx 900km) where it is converted back to AC to feed consumers. Recently the problems of inter area oscillations have been reported in the system. Manitoba Hydro uses feedback signals such as frequency from the converter stations as control input to modulate power through HVDC links to damp these oscillations. However, sometimes these feedback signals may lack the observability of critical modes which may result in sustained oscillations and eventually in system collapse. In this research, we will investigate the local and remote signals rich in modal information to design the control system. Furthermore, we will develop a control strategy which is robust towards the loss or delay in these remote signals.

  • Choices and consequences: a multiple method research to supporting better decision making and implementation

    Dr. Michael Meitner
    Julian Gonzalez, Lorien Nesbit & TBD
    EcoPlan International Inc.
    Resources and environmental management
    Environmental industry
    University of British Columbia

    The proposed research seeks to investigate four ways to support sound decision making and sustainable development by: 1. developing an integrated approach to planning using a combination of scenario creation and structured decision making (SDM); 2. testing methodological improvements to SDM by increasing our understanding of how to measure values and preferences; 3. examining how to effectively communicate and use high-quality data to inform decision making, and monitoring & evaluation; and 4. training current and future planning practitioners to develop the necessary skill sets to be sustainability leaders. This research will help inform EcoPlan International’s approach to planning and decision making and will promote the delivery of high quality results to its clients.

  • Dynamic modeling and real-time adaptivecontrol of a dual-ducted UAV with tilting rotors

    Dr. Mehran Mehrandezh
    Kiarash Samsami
    4Front Robotics
    Aerospace and defense
    University of Regina

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are gaining significant amount of attention with research institutes and industry. They are entering into the domain of civil applications such as searchand-rescue, and urban policing. Making robust UAVs that can take off the ground, fly, and safely land on rough terrains autonomously remains a challenge. The focus of this research is on: (1) doing a comprehensive dynamic analysis of a dualducted tilting rotor VTOL UAV developed by 4Front Robotics, (2) implementing and evaluating the robust adaptive controller developed by 4Front Robotics for pith-hover and safe take-off and landing on rough and slanted terrains, and (3) tuning the controller via simulation and in-field experimentations. 4Front Robotics, an all-Canadian company located in Calgary, Alberta, is a complete solution provider for unmanned vehicles ( They build highly maneuverable Unmanned Aerial/Ground Vehicles (UA/GVs). Their dual-ducted tilt-rotor VTOL UAV in particular provides a platform suitable for being operational in helicopter impenetrable environments.

  • Valorization of Byproducts from Bio-diesel and Pulp/Paper Plants into Green Chemicals and Fuels

    Dr. Charles Xu
    Malaya Nanda, Cheng Guo & Matthew Tymchyshyn
    CENNATEK Bioanalytical Services Inc., County of Lambton Community Development Corp.
    Engineering, chemical and biological
    Alternative energy
    Western University

    Glycerol is generated in a large quantity as a byproduct in bio-diesel plants, and hence utilization of crude glycerol for value-added chemicals (such as 1,2-propanediol - an important commodity material used in the production of polyester resins and pharmaceuticals) will yield both economic and environmental benefits to bio-diesel plants. On the other hand, the declined market need of conventional pulp/paper products and the rapid growth of demand of green chemicals, fuels and biomaterials have created a new opportunity to the forestry industry where there are abundant bio-renewable resources: forest biomass and residues. Lignin- currently generated at a large amount (~50 million tons per year globally) as a byproduct in pulp/paper mills, is mainly utilized as a low-value heat source. However, lignin is the largest natural source of aromatic compounds, and it can be de-polymerized/liquefied into aromatic/phenolic oils. The lignin-derived aromatic/phenolic oils can be used as green chemicals for substituting phenol or polyols in the production of phenolic or polyurethane resins, respectively. The oils can also be upgraded into to advanced bio-fuels via hydro-treatment.

  • Calibration, Characterization and Optimization of Microwave Imaging System for Grain Monitoring

    Dr. Joe LoVetri
    Amer Zakaria
    Engineering, computer and electrical
    Information and communications technologies
    University of Manitoba

    Microwave Imaging (MWI) is an emerging modality where the goal is to estimate the electrical properties of an object-of-interest. This is done by transmitting a microwave signal into the OI and collecting measurements outside the OI. The measurements are inputs to an optimization algorithm that solves for the unknown electrical properties. It has been proven using computational techniques that the proposed modality can be successfully adapted for monitoring moisture content inside grain bins. Based on the aforementioned study, prototype hardware and instruments, used in the actual grain-bin MWI system, have been designed and built. In this work, calibration techniques for actual datasets collected from a grain-bin MWI system are investigated and applied. The calibrated data are then inverted using state-of-the-art inversion algorithms. Further, novel techniques for reducing the modelling error via hardware optimization are studied and tested using scaled prototype metallic chambers. The research is conducted at the Electromagnetic Imaging Laboratory at the University of Manitoba.

  • A Study on the Durability and Service Life of Concrete Gravity Base Structures (Phase 1, 2)

    Dr. Assem Hassan
    Hossam Alalaily & Ahmed Abouhussien
    Stantec Consulting Ltd.
    Construction and Infrastructure
    Memorial University of Newfoundland

    The project focuses on the development of some HPC mixtures using concrete materials available in Newfoundland. The developed HPC mixtures can be successfully used by concrete suppliers in Newfoundland area especially for the construction of marine and offshore structures. The project also aims to provide data-based analysis on the service life of some local concrete mixtures to be used in gravity base structures. The data-based analysis will give the designers/engineers a vision about the expected service life time of some common concrete mixtures and can assist decision makers to address uncertainty regarding the decommissioning of offshore structures especially if the reuse decision was favored.

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Latest accelerate News

Study of Mitacs program outcomes reveals significant skills development, job creation, and retention of highly qualified personnel in Canada
23 April 2014
Vancouver, BC – Results from a longitudinal survey released this week by Mitacs Inc. demonstrate that Mitacs Accelerate benefits Canadian research and development as well as individual...

 Mitacs-Accelerate has been invaluable in establishing that link and in the process maybe dispelling some of the myths around academic work as well.  Because of Accelerate, I am able to bring what I think is cutting edge academic research knowledge to industry in a format that benefits both me and the partner companies.  Thank you for the opportunity.

Nathalie Prevost, Mitacs-Accelerate intern at Simon Fraser University with partner Vivity Labs Inc.

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