Since many existing buildings in Canada were built prior to the advent of national and provincial energy policies, quantifying building envelope thermal performance is an important step in identifying retrofit opportunities in the existing building stock. Quantitative thermography is considered as a reliable method to measure the thermal transmittance, U-values, of opaque building envelope assemblies. Previously developed external infrared thermography (IRT) methodologies mainly focused on comparison of measured U-values with nominal U-values of wall assemblies in European construction.
Rising material costs, lack of quality control, labour shortages, challenging climates and significant on-site waste continue to be the challenges encountered by the Canadian construction industry. The collaboration between the research team and NEXII will develop the technical know-how for the new generation building panel products to address these challenges. The new NEXII panel is a three-layer composite “sandwich” structure consisting of an expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS) core between two layers of Nexiite, an innovative material produced by NEXII.
Mine tailings pose significant environmental risks due to their poor mechanical and chemical stability. This project aims to implement a novel nature-based procedure to improve stability of mine tailings using indigenous microorganisms with biocementation properties. Microorganisms capable of surviving in the tailings environment will be discovered that precipitate calcium carbonate. These organisms will be used to create a matrix that binds sand and clay particles together to form a barrier to water infiltration and to prevent wind erosion.
The impoundment of a reservoir can cause erosion that poses risks to public safety and land use around its shoreline. Methods that are currently available to predict shoreline erosion rates and help manage these risks rely on inputs that are challenging to constrain without historical observations, resulting in uncertain predictions that may significantly underestimate or overestimate the risks.
The generation of a huge amount of plastic waste creates serious social and environmental concerns. As such, there has been a movement to develop fully biodegradable compostable biocomposites in recent years. To join this initiative, Nanomaterials and Polymer Nanocomposites Laboratory (NPNL) at UBCO, in collaboration with Advanced BioCarbon 3D (ABC3D) seeks to develop fully biodegradable polymer biocomposites filaments with appropriate physical properties for 3D printing.
Global population growth, urbanization and changing climate patterns have increased the demand for potable water, wastewater reuse and value recovery from wastewater, treatment of industrial process water, and food and beverage. Consequently, there is increased demand for improved technologies that can provide sustainable treatment of water and wastewaters, and development of new fluid treatment methods.
Prefabricated construction, as an alternative to the traditional stick-built construction, has its advantages in shortening the schedules and reduce onsite construction exposure. The prefabricated construction components are often produced in offsite controlled environment and shipped to site for installation. Due to its similarity to manufacturing, prefabricated construction provides opportunities for continuous productivity improvements. Through such improvements, production data is required and critical to construct analytical models for measuring progresses.
Effective wastewater treatment is essential to the health of the environment and municipal wastewater treatment plants in Canada are required to achieve specific effluent water quality goals to minimize the impact of human generated wastewater on the surrounding environment. Most wastewater treatment plants include a combination of physical, chemical, and biological unit processes and therefore have several energy inputs to drive mixing, maintain ideal temperatures, and move water from one unit process to the next.
The intern will undertake research to develop and provide a testing and optimization platform that will accelerate the availability of smart systems for home healthcare for seniors’ and for people with disabilities. The research will contribute to more successful outcomes and useful products from early-stage innovation activities that lead to social, public and private good benefits. The partner organization will benefit through access to novel application programming interfaces and homecare devices that will be developed by leading Canadian scientists, fellows and highly qualified students.
The oil and gas industry is in the top five largest sectors in the world in terms of dollar value, generating an estimated $3.32 trillion in revenue annually. It is estimated that 40-60% of workforce in the oil and gas industry will retire in the next five years, so preserving the knowledge stored in documents is an important objective. The industry partner (WESI -- Waterford Energy Services Inc.) has been developing a document management system to support this objective.