This internship will undertake an investigation of novel 3D shape descriptors relevant to three musculoskeletal disorders. The first is an investigation of the relationship between the shape of the bicipital groove of the proximal humerus (a groove in the head of the upper arm bone) and the incidence of injury to the long biceps tendon which is retained in the bicipital groove. The second is to characterize the shape of the spinal canal with the objective of correlating this characterization to a clinically-established measurement for spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spinal canal.
Everyday, three Canadians are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), which affects the brain and spinal cord, causing lesions and atrophy. MS produces deformation in the central nervous system, causing disability and in extreme cases, death. In the human brain, one of the many structures affected by MS is the corpus collosum. The corpus collosum contains millions of nerve bundles which connect the two brain hemispheres by acting as a bridge for the inter-hemispheric communication. Deformation of the corpus collosum, therefore, causes disruption of nerve impulses along the nerve fibres.
Aurel Systems Inc. offers a commercial dynamic process simulation program called CADSIM Plus™ (www.aurelsystems.com). At several places in the program sets of nonlinear equations must be solved or nonlinear functions must be minimized (for example, solving pressure flow networks, solving for independent variables given sets of user defined dependent variables, solving for both temperatures on a heat exchanger with condensation or flash).
The Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking (www.postcoml.org) project is part of the Census of Marine Life study. Radio-transmitters are surgically implanted into fish (e.g. salmon smolt) and are tracked during their migration by a series of listening lines along the ocean shelf. This project will estimate survival rates as a function of time since release and distance traveled for fish as they migrate past these listening lines.
Axonwave Software Inc. of Burnaby, BC, is a leader in the field of unstructured data analysis and processing. The company provides solutions that enhance business intelligence and improve the efficiency of business processes through the ability to analyze and extract information from text-based information sources. In collaboration with Axonwave, the project involves unifying a number of algorithms unified for structure prediction into a single formal framework that will be the basis of a software toolkit.
Highly efficient and environmentally clean energy conversion in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells is driven by electrochemical reactions that convert hydrogen and oxygen molecules into water. Water, the product of the overall reaction, is involved in all essential processes in the cell. Water management is, thus, a critical issue for fuel cell operation. It entails controlling water fluxes and maintaining appropriate levels of liquid water saturation in the different cell components.
Systematic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) is an inflammatory response to a variety of severe clinical conditions such as infection, shock or trauma. An example of SIRS is sepsis, a systematic inflammatory response to infection. Sepsis is the most common diagnosis and cause of death among critically ill patients from intensive care units, occurring in about 1% of all hospitalized patients. SIRS is a complex genetic disorder involving a number of genes that act in conjunction with lifestyle and environmental factors to increase an individual's risk of developing the illness.
Teck Cominco Ltd. is a diversified mining, smelting and refining group, a world leader in the production of metallurgical coal and zinc and a major producer of copper and gold. The company was interested in investigating the dispersion of particulate matter from its Trail facility into the surrounding area under the influence of diffusion, advection by the wind and settling effects. In particular, the company was interested in estimates of yearly release rates from particular release points which are very difficult and costly to measure directly.