Improving Cellulose NanocrystalPerformance through Understanding of Thermal and Colloidal Stability

Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are natural bio-based nanoparticles that can be used to modify the viscosity and improve the performance of various fluids. For this reason, they are of interest to the oil and gas industry, where they can replace other expensive and non-biodegradable polymers that are commonly used. CNCs must first be modified so that they do not degrade or settle at high temperatures and pressures. To accomplish this, CNCs will be extracted from cotton using a variety of methods or by post-modifying the nanoparticle surface to have new chemical groups and new functionality.

Financing China’s Industrial Adjustment

The research project examines how social and political groups make critical policy choices in a challenging economic context. Focusing on the sub-provincial cases in China, the project aims to examine the process of financial reform during a period of declining economic growth. Examining the government-business relations, the research addresses the challenges that the Chinese political elites face to address the critical needs of diversifying its financial system in order to facilitate economic growth without losing control and oversight over its institutions.

Filling in the gaps of the IMD immune pathway of the kissing bug Rhodnius prolixus

Rhodnius prolixus is a hemathophagous insect that has served for decades as a model to study insect physiology. Rhodnius prolixus is also a major vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease that kills 45,000 people annually and affects over 8 million people worldwide. The genome of R. prolixus contains ~15,500 predicted protein-coding genes. Many pathways such as the Toll and JAK-STAT pathways were present.

The impact of hypernasality on the perception of prosody

Hypernasality is a speech disorders that results from excessive sound coming through the nose during speech. A speaker afflicted with hypernasality may be perceived as sounding flat and monotonous because the nasal murmur masks the inflections of the fundamental frequency (Kummer, 2008). However, the masking of prosody by the nasal murmur has not been investigated systematically. The first goal of the proposed study is to investigate how the presence of hypernasality affects the listener’s perception of prosodic pitch inflections.

Cooking Technology and Regional Identity during the Shang Dynasty

This project explores regional differences during the Shang dynasty (1600-1045BCE) in China by investigating cooking practices and cooking technology. Since cuisine is intimately connected to local culture, researching different approaches to cooking in the archaeological record can help us understand how different regions developed their own culinary traditions and identities even under the same political rulership. I explore this using three sites during the Shang dynasty – two from Northern China, Zhengzhou and Yinxu, and one in the south, Panlongcheng.

An analysis of non-structural flood-management measures in Shanghai, China

This research project will involve analyzing non-structural flood management measures in Shanghai, China - one of the world's most flood vulnerable cities. The Chinese government has invested heavily into structural barriers to flooding, such as the Three Gorges Dam, but there is no fail-safe in times of extreme flood levels. Despite extensive research, there is no information in English literature on the use of public-education and outreach by the government to better prepare Shanghai's most vulnerable residents.

Shear Behaviour of Concrete affected by Alkali-Aggregate Reaction

The first part of this thesis project consist in a study of the structural behavior, mainly focusing on shear resistance, of concrete elements affected by alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR), an internal swelling reaction. Especially in the presence of moisture, this reaction causes the concrete to expand and form internal cracks. This expansion and formation of cracks is generally associated with a decrease in the mechanical properties of the concrete material. Shear issues of affected concrete is one critical thing to investigate, as they can lead to brittle failures.

The health effects of separation on transnational families: A multi-country study of temporary farm workers in Canada and their families in Mexico

With increasing rates of economic and forced migration globally, there is a great need to deepen our understanding of the relationship between health and family separation due to migration. Under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, farm workers from Mexico are hired to work in Canada for up to eight months a year. From a social determinants of health perspective, the precarious work and migratory conditions paired with the cyclical and long-term separation of families, increases the risk of workers and their families for mental, physical and emotional health problems.

Postcard from China: Making a global impact on clean energy research

The International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017), an assessment created by the US Energy Information Administration, predicts that global energy consumption will increase by 28% between 2015 and 2040.

This predicted increase has prompted countries to counterbalance their consumption by expanding their energy=generating capacity. However, for countries like China — which relies heavily on burning coal to generate energy —this task may not seem so straightforward.

Cross-cultural leadership from Canada to France to China and back: My Mitacs journey as a global citizen

In Summer 2016, I took a three-month paid position as a mentor for Mitacs, where I led a team of five Chinese interns who were pursuing research at the University of Waterloo. Little did I know that, a year later, I would travel around the world to see them again in their native China. My mentor experience at Mitacs not only shaped me into a leader, emotional supporter, and global citizen, but it also transformed us as we moved from mentor-mentees into peers.

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