Improvisational Training in the Workplace and Beyond

Corporate improv training is becoming a popular and effective method for enhancing a host of workplace skills such as leadership, communication, problem solving, collaboration, and adaptation. However, there is a lack of empirical research looking at the cognitive impacts of improv training in the workplace. As such, I am proposing to conduct a twelve-week improv training program with a targeted group of Vancity employees, with two specific objectives in mind.

Enhancing Corrosion Resistance of Superheater Alloys

The efficiencies of biomass-fueled power plants are much lower than those of natural gas and coal-fueled plants because exit steam temperatures are restricted to inhibit corrosion of superheater tubes. Nexterra needs to raise steam conditions from 403?C to 460?C in future systems in order to satisfy customer demands. The raise in the probability of corrosion issues due to contaminants in the fuel. In order to achieve the more aggressive steam conditions it is necessary to modify boiler design to include selection of the boiler tube materials that are resistant to corrosion.

Design for Situation Awareness in Future Power Grid Operations

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) coordinates electricity generation and transmission to ensure a reliable and stable electricity supply for the province of Ontario. Human operators monitor the power grid with the help of automated energy management systems. Increasing amounts of data, electricity demand, and renewable generation mean these operators need new tools to help them monitor and manage grid reliability. These tools include displays that consolidate data, support operator decision-making, and reduce the likelihood of human error.

Comparative assessment of NH3 production and utilization in transportation systems for Ontario

Alternative fuels and energy resources play a key role in both the short and long term sustainable development of transportation. Ammonia (NH3) is the only carbon-free chemical energy carrier (other than hydrogen) suitable for use as a transportation fuel. NH3 can be produced using either fossil fuels, or any renewable energy source, using heat and/or electricity. Comparative analysis related to ammonia production and ammonia based applications such as transportation options will be undertaken.

Nonlinear Frequency Response Analysis for Fuel Cell Diagnostics

In order to enhance the capabilities of fuel cell test stations, a new tool for fuel cell diagnostics based on nonlinear frequency response analysis (NFRA) will be developed. NFRA applies a perturbation of the operating current and measures the voltage response of the cell. By varying the frequency of the perturbation, processes with different dynamics (i.e. fast or slow processes) are excited and can be probed individually. From this frequency response, the state of the cell can be determined.

Experimental and Numerical Investigations of a Rice Husk Pyrolysis Reactor

A rice husk pyrolysis reactor producing syngas and char was developed by GreenGenTech Energy Inc. (Ottawa, ON) and is currently being built and commercialized in China by a partner company called Ruizhantai. The reactor is fully functional and some sites have been running continuously for two years, although requiring skillful operation during start-up or when agglomeration of husk occurs. Aiming at optimized and more automatically controlled operations, GreenGenTech Energy Inc.

Incorporation of biosolids from municipal wastewater processing facilities into Lipid-to-Hydrocarbon (L TH) methodologies for production of biofuels

Biosolids, the materials produced during treatment of sewage sludge, are produced in extremely large amounts each day in every town and city across the globe. This material contains significant amounts of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can be detrimental to human heath and must be carefully disposed. Added to this, there are currently few uses for biosolids even after sterilization. Municipalities around the world, including our partners with The City of Edmonton, are eagerly looking for novel and innovative technologies that will consume biosolids.

Monitoring System for Predictive Energy Management and Maintenance of PV Systems

Existing techniques rely on conventional techniques, which are insufficient and do not ensure increased and optimal utilization of freely available PV energy. We propose predictive energy management and preventive maintenance through monitoring system for PV systems, taking futuristic PV potential and weather forecasts into account in association with the operational parameters of the PV system. This system will optimize operations of off, on, and mix grid operations with higher proportions of PV energy.

Enzyme-aided Hydrogen Peroxide Bleaching of Mechanical Pulp

Irving Paper Ltd. is one of the leading manufacturers in the world in making value-added specialty paper (SC) from mechanical pulp which is conventionally used for newsprint. SC paper requires not only more refining (energy) in fibre preparation but also higher brightness of the produced pulp, which adds more to the pulp production costs. Dr. U's group at the University of New Brunswick has been collaborating with Irving on improving refining energy efficiency through applying biotechnologies (enzymes) in the mechanical refining process.

Development of Efficient Electrodes for an Electrosynthesis Process

The proposed project focuses on the research & development of efficient electrode materials for use in an electrochemical process that produces high-value chemicals for use in a variety of industrial applications. As an electrochemical process, significant portions of the production costs are attributable to electrical power consumption; therefore, improvements in energetic efficiency would result in appreciable reductions in production costs.

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