Globalink Research Projects

  • Optimal Bidding Strategy for Wind Power Generation in Day-ahead Market

    Dr. Michael Chen
    Savil Gupta
    York University

    Wind Power Generation is one of the major sources for clean energy around the world in the industrialized countries or regions.  It is well known that the WPG has the following characteristics: the input is uncertain; the volatility is high with jumps and lags; the correlation between its output and demand is most likely zero; WPG usually locates at a remote node in the transmission network. The proposed research will help to answer how profitable a WPG could be in a day-ahead market when its bidding strategy is optimal. The answer will also be a key reference in making supportive regulation for this new industry.

    The problem will be considered both with strategy and without strategy. When the problem is considered with strategy, we explicitly model other competitor’s behavior. When the problem is considered without strategy, we model the clearing price as a random variable following its historic pattern. For both approaches, we will explicitly model demand constraints and other physical constraints for the segmented 24-hour market. Scenario generation will be an important part of the project, where a set of scenarios representing the future wind pattern will be created and used in the optimization model. 

    The student shall actively involve in modeling of the problem, discuss the critical component of the model, tradeoffs between different factors in the model. The student will also help on collecting data for the model. Though it might be challenging, the student is expected to make contribution in the optimal algorithm design phase as well. The student will receive mini-lectures on stochastic programming and real option theory, which is expected to be the major tools in solving the optimization model.

  • Evaluation of a Biofilter Designed to Improve the Indoor Air Quality Inside a Livestock Barn

    Dr. Daniel Mann
    Deepesh Aggarwal
    Engineering, chemical and biological
    University of Manitoba

    For the past decade, I have been researching new types of biofilters for treatment of livestock odours.  Although I anticipate the fabrication of a prototype biofilter by April 2011, I do not expect the design team to have time to evaluate the functioning of the biofilter.  It is my intention to recruit a student during the summer of 2011 to experimentally evaluate the design to ensure that the design flaw has been rectified.  I already have the necessary instrumentation to experimentally evaluate the functioning of the biofilter.  Furthermore, the design team has been instructed to consider the experimental evaluation in their design (i.e., they have been instructed to consider the placement of moisture sensors in the biofilter). 

    The purpose of this project, therefore, is to conduct an experiment to evaluate the functioning of the biofilter.  Following collection of the data, the student will be expected to analyze the results and, time permitting, prepare a publication for submission to a refereed journal describing the biofilter and its evaluation.  The CSBE/SCGAB Annual Conference is being hosted in Winnipeg in July 2011.  The student would have opportunity to attend this Conference and present the results of this research and development project. The experimental evaluation will consist of data collection, data analysis, and preparation of a manuscript for presentation at the 2011 CSBE/SCGAB Annual Conference in Winnipeg (and ultimately for publication in a peer-reviewed journal such as Canadian Biosystems Engineering).

  • Beating a Dead Horse Creek: Enhanced removal of nutrients, organic pollutants, and toxicity from sewage lagoons and receiving waters by manipulative constructed wetland microcosms at Dead Horse Creek, Manitoba

    Dr. Charles Wong
    Sheetal Lokesh
    Environmental Sciences
    Environmental industry

    Our overall project objective is to determine factors to optimize removal of nutrients and organic micropollutants (e.g., pesticides, and pharmaceuticals and personal care products aka “drugs”) in rural municipal sewage lagoons, through manipulative experiments with bench-scale and field-scale constructed wetlands.  This work will provide sound science on how best to remove such contaminants from wastewaters prior to release to receiving waters, and would enhance the quality and sustainability of water for the people of Manitoba.

                Our specific geographic focus is the communities of Morden and Winkler (combined population ca. 18,000), in southern Manitoba. The Dead Horse Creek system can be considered representative not only of wastewater treatment technologies of small communities in Manitoba and the Canadian Prairies, but also of nutrient and pollutant contributions to Lake Winnipeg from rural areas.  Thus, an understanding of the inter-play of factors potentially affecting function of the proposed wetlands is crucial to their optimal operations, and will provide insights into applying such environmental technologies to other systems to enhance water quality.

                The Globalink student will have the opportunity to work with a large (17 people in 2010) and unique multi-investigator, multi-institution, multi-organization, multi-disciplinary team tackling the issue of nutrient and micropollutant remediation by innovative water treatment technologies.  The student will play a crucial role in constructing a chemical mass balance in the manipulative field-scale microcosms.  Extensive field sampling at the site (1.5 hours southwest of Winnipeg) will be done to characterize the existing chemical compostion in the sewage lagoons of Morden and Winkler, which represent baseline conditions (i.e., the treatment available given currently-existing infrastructure and technology).

  • Disposal of industrial and domestic effluents in shallow water bodies

    Dr. Ramaswami Balachandar
    Vibhor Gupta
    Engineering, civil
    Environmental industry
    University of Windsor

    It has been a common practice to discharge water, wastewater and industrial effluents into open channels such as rivers and streams.   Such discharges, in the form of jets, often enter shallow bodies of water typically found in rivers and coastal bays.  In contrast to the existing body of knowledge on unconfined turbulent jets in which the influence of the bounding surface is either absent or minimal, shallowness has a dramatic effect on the flow field of shallow jets.  To better understand and control the a flows/processes, knowledge of the velocity field is an essential ingredient. Research in several of the above-mentioned areas is in progress at the University of Windsor using a state-of-the-art Particle Image Velocimeter. Specifically, this study will focus on the effects of vertical confinement on the characteristics of large-vortical structures.   The jet exit velocity will range from 2.5 m/s to 5 .0 m/s.  Experiments will be performed at water layer depths corresponding to 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 times the jet exit diameter and will conform to commonly occurring practical applications.  The large-scale structures will exposed by using a mathematical technique called proper orthogonal decomposition (POD). 

    The student will learn to use the state-of-the-art instrumentation available in the laboratory, learn the details of the mathematical tools used as part of the research, learn to analyse data using several state-of-the-art tools and write a report and also participate in completion of a journal article.

  • Energy-efficient design strategies for backbone optical networks

    Dr. Arunita Jaekel
    Akash Pahariya
    Engineering, computer and electrical
    Information and communications technologies
    University of Windsor

    The exponential growth in high-bandwidth applications and devices used in backbone networks has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in power consumption, and there is a growing recognition of the need to be more energy efficient [1].
    The proposed research project will investigate a number of techniques for energy-efficient optical network design. These include: Applying traffic grooming techniques for data aggregations that allow the full bandwidth of each WDM channel on an optical fiber to be utilized efficiently. Reconfiguring the logical topology of a WDM network, so that it can respond adaptively to changing traffic patterns. Distributing the total traffic load as uniformly as possible over the network nodes, so that peak “energy-density” at high traffic nodes can be reduced. Exploiting knowledge of expected traffic demand holding times to schedule demands in a way that minimizes the number of active route ports and/or line cards. Successful completion of the project will lead to new and innovative techniques to address the critical energy consumption issue in today’s high-speed networks.

    The selected student will have an opportunity to engage with other students as well as with the supervisor and participate fully in the optical network research group at University of Windsor. Some of the tasks the student may be involved with are background reading, an opportunity to contribute to the development of new algorithms and techniques for energy aware optical network design and resource allocation strategies, and carrying out simulations to study the performance of different networks under for a wide range of inputs and network conditions.

  • Sustainable water resources management on a watershed scale considering the impacts of climate change

    Dr. Tirupati Bolisetti
    Neeraj Kumar
    Engineering, civil
    University of Windsor

    Water resources worldwide have recently appeared as vulnerable to climate change that may both reduce water supply and increase water demand, leading to frequent and/or severe water shortages. Water resources in Canada are also at risk posed by climate change. Sustainable water resources management plays a vital role in reducing the vulnerability of the water resources to these challenges.

    The objectives of the proposed research are to downscale the future climate change outputs generated from different RCMs and adapt them to the watershed in consideration (Big Creek Watershed in this case), to assess the impacts of future climate change on hydrologic regime and to evaluate the uncertainties in water resources availability for future climate change scenarios.

    Outcome of this research, although proposed to be developed for agricultural section, it is expected to contribute to Canada’s water resources sectors, such as agriculture, navigation/transport, hydropower, municipalities/communities, ecosystems/environment to develop a sustainable management system under future climate change condition.

  • Brain to Machine Interface Based on EEG Signals

    Dr. Robert Sobot
    Sandeep Samal
    Engineering, computer and electrical
    Life sciences
    Western University

    Brain to machine interface (BMI) is a research topic aiming to develop more direct interface between a human brain and a machine. The research is primarily motivated by desire to help humans who are in need of assistance or repair of their
    cognitive, sensory, or motor functions. In general, BMI is designed to be either invasive (i.e. implanted into the body) or non-invasive (i.e. without need for surgery). A BMI based on EEG signals is an example of non-invasive technique. Other applications of this technique are industrial, military and entertainment. (See for example: )

    The main goal of this project is to develop a working BMI prototype capable of realtime signal processing and control. Source of the signals are EEG waves collected by non-invasive brain probes. Based on the current signal input, the BMI unit performs the signal processing and generates the decision signal to be used for controlling a machine (i.e. a computer or a robot). The student will be responsible for implementation of the BMI unit.

  • Risk Sharing Contracts Between Healthcare Payer and Pharmaceutical Drug Manufacturers

    Dr. Frederik Odegaard
    Irene Baby
    Western University

    In this project we analyze how a government healthcare provider should negotiate a risk-sharing contract with pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. The objective of the study is to examine how a government healthcare payer should set the terms of pay-for-performance contracts with multiple drug or pharmaceutical manufacturers. The study builds on existing work by Mahjoub, Odegaard, and Zaric (2010), that considers the simplest case when there is only one manufacturer. The main parameters of the contract we seek to model are the evaluation period and percentage of sales that the manufacturer would have to reimburse to the healthcare payer. Due to deriving meaningful tractable results with analytical models, the study will focus on computational game theory and simulation. In other words the study will center on testing different contract policies using computer simulation to evaluate what types of contract, from the health care payer’s perspective, are optimal and robust to adverse outcomes.

    The main role for the student involves model building and analysis. Model building involves specifying, for instance, the dynamics between the manufacturers and the healthcare payer, the drugs’ performance and evaluation, disease(s) progression in the population, the metrics to track, etc. Model analysis includes model validation, interpretation of the results, summarizing results, preparing graphs, etc. The student will be responsible for implementing (coding) the model in a computer programming/simulation environment. Additional tasks include literature review and research previous work that has been done. The student is also expected to summarize the model and results and actively participate in drafting a formal research paper and PowerPoint presentation.

  • Instrumentation and Debugging of Real-time Systems

    Dr. Sebastian Fischmeister
    Supriya Rao
    Engineering, computer and electrical
    Information and communications technologies
    University of Waterloo

    Software testing and debugging take up between 30 and 50% of the development cost in embedded systems. Despite this large percentage and the associated enormous costs, only little attention has been devoted to debugging of embedded real-time systems. Apart from in-circuit emulators for standalone systems, ad-hoc methods such as blinking lights to indicate errors and morsing error codes via beepers are still widespread debugging methods.

    One way to debug systems is by creating application traces at run time by instrumenting the software. The instrumented mechanism, however, must preserve the logical correctness and respect the timing and resource bounds of the application. In our research, we investigate mechanisms for instrumenting and debugging real-time embedded software that satisfies a specified set of constraints.

    Two possible student roles are available:

    Theory role: We will investigate new instrumentation techniques at the level of control-flow graphs and timing diagrams and evaluate the resulting algorithms (complexity, correctness, soundness). We will further compare the new algorithms with the existing algorithms (language inclusion, counter-examples).

    Practical role: We will investigate already established instrumentation techniques and evaluate their influence on logical correctness as well as temporal and resource bounds. We will use a real-time operating system and measure the effect of different algorithms on a standardized benchmark for real-time embedded systems.

  • Analysis of cost of international public health interventions

    Dr. Sue Horton
    Vishnu Prasad
    Epidemiology, public health and policy
    Life sciences
    University of Waterloo

    There are two sets of literature estimating the cost of health interventions in different countries.However, actual program cost data are not available for all programs (whereas it is easier to generate estimates using the “ingredients approach”).  In this project, we will undertake a literature review to match actual program costs to those predicted by the ingredients approach, for a range of public health interventions.  We will then utilize this to try to generate some systematic patterns and observations as to the relationship between the two methods.  The aim would be to write a publishable article on the findings, also with the objective of utilizing this in international policy-setting.  An example of the use of such data is from Horton et al 2009, where the cost data (published by the World Bank) are being used as an input to slides developed for the Millennium Development Goals summit in October 2010.

    The student will help develop a database to link the “ingredients approach” costs with the published data on actual program costs from the field.  The student and supervisor will undertake analysis of the relationship between the two sets of costs using statistical software.  The goal is to develop a publishable article on the topic, and to present preliminary findings to interested parties in international organizations (WHO and World Bank) as well as those involved in related international research projects (e.g. funded by Gates Organization).

    The student will also have the opportunity to attend the Canadian Public Health Association 2011 conference in June in Montreal.  The student will also have the opportunity to participate first-hand in data collection in an ongoing project on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of walk-in counseling, underway in the local region.

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Provides a foundation of cutting-edge research, business, entrepreneurship and scientific management skills to newly-minted PhDs while giving companies access to a highly qualified uniquely trained pool of talent.

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Mitacs Globalink builds a living bridge between Canada and international partners by establishing and reinforcing global links through student mobility.


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Canada’s only comprehensive program providing business-ready skills to up-and-coming researchers. Step trains graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in essential interpersonal, project management and entrepreneurial skills required for them to succeed in their future career.

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Making science and mathematics compelling for future researchers – our children – through initiatives such as the nationally-recognized theatrical production, Math Out Loud, and online quiz game, MathAmaze.