Understanding the facilitators and barriers to effective water and sanitation interventions for characterizing spatial trends of Shigella infections in Jiangsu, China

Home to the world’s largest population, China faces scarce water resources and water contamination problems are causing a significant portion of China’s rural population to live without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Exposure to water contaminated with human feces can cause severe diarrheal diseases, especially among children under the age of 5. In the Eastern province of Jiangsu, a significant number of diarrhea incidences are caused by shigellosis, or watery diarrhea.

Postcard from India: University of Waterloo student’s nanocomposite both detects and scavenges mercury in contaminated water

Under the guidance of Professor Michael K.C. Tam in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Chemical Engineering, I have been developing novel nanocomposites based on sustainable nanomaterials that can remove wastewater contaminants. Prof. Tam’s laboratory specializes in the design and development of novel functional materials based on eco-friendly nanomaterials and polymers.

Grad students and postdocs to foster research partnerships Down Under

Vancouver, BC — Mitacs, a Canadian not-for-profit research and training organization, and the Australian Government Department of Education and Training signed an agreement today creating opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from both countries to participate in research internships.

Postcard from Brazil: water resource management in Porto Seguro

Reposted with permission from What WE Have to Say, Western University Engineering’s blog

Development of a Quantitative Lab and Field-Based Microbial Tool to Determine Arsenic Speciation in Seawater

Arsenic (As) is a contaminant found in ecosystems and drinking water throughout the world; it is a potent human carcinogen. Arsenic levels and speciation are controlled by a series of abiotic and microbial processes. Arsenic toxicity depends on its speciation and proper risk management is linked to predicting As speciation in various environmental matrices. Laboratory speciation of arsenic is expensive and requires tedious collection methods to preserve in-situ conditions. Marine ecosystems are affected by As contamination but few tools are adapted to its detection.

Biomimetic Molecularly Imprinted Polymers: A New Quorum Sensing Capturing Agent to Prevent Bacterial Biofilm Formation

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative pathogen that is frequently related to nosocomial infections. The bacterial biofilm controlled by quorum sensing system allows P. aeruginosa to adhere to any surface and protect it from antibacterial treatments, such as antibiotics and heat treatment. The novel invention strategy developed in this project is to inhibit P. aeruginosa biofilm formation by developing molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) to capture quorum sensing signal molecules (i.e, N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-Homoserine lactone (C12-AHL)).

Broadband Internet Policy and Farmers’ Collective Agency in Vietnam

Vietnam approved the national rural information and communication plan in 2011 that includes the building of a 420 million CAD broadband network infrastructure intended to link all smallest administrative units by 2015. However, the country has not achieved this goal yet. Vietnam has experienced countless failures in rolling out Information Communication Technology systems mainly because of a top-down diffusion approach which sees users as passive recipients.

Bridging the Gap Between CPUs and GPU with Out-of-Order SIMT

Most of today's computers, from cell phones to supercomputers, are heterogeneous: they integrate processors that are optimized to quickly execute a few tasks (CPU
cores), and processors that can perform many independent tasks in parallel (GPU cores). GPU cores and CPU cores have different instruction sets: they understand
different languages. A task written for CPUs cannot run on GPUs, and vice versa. As a result, programming current heterogeneous architectures is challenging and few
applications can take advantage of the processing power offered by GPU cores.

Educational Reward Plug-In for Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) Platform

Reward is a common way to increase students’ learning motivation in traditional classroom learning. The traditional rewards, such as stamps and stickers, are usually symbolic and valueless to students and may not get students motivated. This project proposes an educational reward plug-in for massively open online course (MOOC) platform like Moodle and edX where students can receive in-game rewards while studying online.

Mechanism Studies on Soil Erosion around Defective Sewer Pipes

Sinkhole and ground surface collapse frequently occur in urban areas such as highway, roads or around buildings. Usually the failure process in rather sudden without much evidence or obvious signs. This catches people by surprise and results in accidents, injuries or even death in some cases. From current studies and case analysis, most of the sinkholes in urban area are attributed to leaking of water supply lines or sewer pipes. The mechanism is summarized as the soil loss around defective sewer pipes, and this erosion void further evolved to the ground collapse or sinkhole.