Mathematician fights water waste with robotic sprinklers

Enter InteliRain. The Alberta start-up has its sights set on solving inefficient outdoor sprinklers that waste water due to poor design. The company’s intelligent sprinkler systems only water the lawn or fields, while avoiding sidewalks.

However, when InteliRain CEO Cam Cote realised that wind was thwarting the efficiency of his sprinklers, he turned to University of Alberta mathematician Yile Zhang to develop an innovative solution through a Mitacs internship.

Photoredox Fluorination: Selectively Synthesize 2-fluoro-2-methyl-2-deoxyarabinolactone Derivatives via a Radical Pathway

Nature’s ability to convert solar energy to chemical energy in photosynthesis has inspired the development of a host of photoredox systems in efforts to mimic this process. The capacity of fluorine atoms to engender a variety of useful properties in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and performance materials has driven significant research efforts toward the invention of novel fluorination reactions. We
proposed to construct C-F bonds by photoreodox catalysis via a radical pathway. Our project will bring potential benefit to academia and industry.

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.

High efficiency CO2 electrochemical reduction to syngas and hydro-carbon fuels at elevated temperature

The present dependence of human society on fossil fuels indicates the inevitable increase of energy de-mands and emissions of greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide (CO2). These problems need to be resolved with sustainable energy solutions, including the idea of capturing CO2 to synthesize renewa-ble or sustainable hydrocarbon, and carbonaceous fuels. Our proposed research project focuses on the de-velopment of a novel solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) process for electrochemical reduction of CO2 to produce value-added products.

Faculty Attitudes towards the Internationalized Classroom in Chinese Universities

An “internationalized classroom” is a space wherein many of the tensions, possibilities and change factors inherent in the internationalization process are expressed in relationships between and among host students, international students, and instructors. The proposed research is part of a Canada/China comparative study on faculty attitudes towards the internationalized classroom. During Li Mao’s research trip in China, she will study the Chinese faculty in Beijing Normal University (BNU).

Lab-on-a-chip device for blood filtration and separation

Blood is composed primarily of cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc.) and plasma (the fluid in which the cells are suspended). Health care providers commonly require the components of blood to be separated before performing tests; currently, this requires blood samples be taken to a medical laboratory for processing.

Functional and topological insights into plant triacylglycerol synthesis enzymes

Laure Aymé is a PhD student focusing her research on a plant protein family involved in lipid biosynthesis and important for oil accumulation and biotechnological purposes. Laure recently published an article describing the function and localization of a protein inserted in two distinct cellular compartment membranes, a rather unique situation with few available data. During her stay in Canada, Laure will build a model of the protein insertion into membrane using an experimental set-up designed in Prof. Weselake’s laboratory.

Investigation of Pore-scale Mechanisms of Applying CO2 Huff-and-Puff to Enhance Shale Gas Recovery with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Considering the unique properties of CO2 under supercritical condition, CO2 is proposed to be used in huff-and-puff treatments to enhance shale gas recovery from shale gas formations. This research project will look at the fundamental pore-scale mechanisms when CO2 huff-and-puff is used for enhancing methane recovery from shale formations. In order to obtain pore-scale mechanisms of applying CO2 huffand-puff to enhance shale gas recovery, a series of CO2 huff-and-puff experiments will be conducted in conjunction with the NMR measurements.

Gaining Insight from Crash Reports and Bug Reports

This project seeks to address the flood of bugreports and crashreports that software companies must address when they build consumerfacing software. Organizations can easily face 50,000 crash reports per day. Developers cannot manually sift through them all. The goal of this work is to exploit modern search engine technology and crash report representation to enable the fast and efficient querying, clustering, and reporting of crash reports so that developers do not have to group crash report manually.

A New Method of Measuring Soot Compositions in Aerosols

Particulate matter emitted from combustion engines is a problem due to negative health effects, effect on climate, and reduction of visibility. Soot is a type of particulate matter that is of particular concern to climate scientists and automobile manufacturers. Previously, it was difficult to measure the amount of material that is not black carbon on soot particles. This project will utilize advances in aerosol science to quickly and accurately measure the percent of material that is not black carbon on soot particles.