Towards a Theory of Blockchain as a Socio-Informational-Technical System

Blockchains operate as perhaps the most promising system of trust for any type of digital transaction of value -- everything from cryptocurrencies to patient medical records. But a number of barriers -- involving social institutions, data and identity management and technological processes -- stand in the way of broader adoption. These challenges also ultimately speak to fundamental issues of trust and perceived legitimacy on the part of both service providers and their end users.

Modeling of Pressurized Chemical Looping Combustion in a Novel Toroidal Fluidized Bed

This study aims to produce a feasibility report on establishing a district energy system in Toronto, Ontario. The district energy system will be powered by wood chips sourced by a local, privately held forest and transported by rail to the proposed combined heat and power facility. Areas that will be examined in this study include transportation costs and logistics as well as carbon emissions throughout the supply chain. We hope that the outcome of this study will help create a path to revitalize Ontario's forest industry.

Anion Exchange Membranes for use in Industrial Electrolysis Systems for Salt-Splitting

Salt splitting is a technology in which an electrochemical cell containing 2 membranes to transport positive and negative ions, is used to produce sulfuric acid and caustic soda from sodium sulfate, a compound found commonly from industrial brine streams. Salt splitting electrolysis is a sustainable solution for the expanding markets of acid and caustic recovery and treatment of neutralization waste products, which would otherwise be disposed.

Development of a commercial protocol to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into skeletal muscle progenitor cells (hPSC-SMPCs) with transplantation potential

Recent scientific breakthroughs have led to the development of methods to differentiate human PSCs (hPSCs) into skeletal muscle cells. This has allowed, for the first time, the development of cellular models to study muscle diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the possibility to utilize these cells for cell therapy applications. However, the reliability, efficiency and prober characterization of cells produced from these differentiation protocols remains a roadblock for their routine utilization by the research community.

Wireless Network Testbed for Network Slicing and Data-driven System Parameter Optimization

The goal of this project is to design and develop a wireless network testbed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) for Rogers Communications Canada Inc. to support different use cases for the fifth generation (5G) wireless networks. We will study the concept of self-organizing network (SON) and design a deep learning-based algorithm for our testbed to determine the optimal network parameters based on network traffic data and key performance indicator (KPI) statistics. We will also design a network traffic forecasting algorithm by capturing the mobility patterns of users.

A Framework to Assess the Seismic Resilience of Hospital Infrastructure in Metro Vancouver

Healthcare infrastructure plays a key role in the recovery of communities in a post-disaster scenario. In seismically active regions, such as western Canada, an understanding of the seismic performance of hospitals is essential to inform emergency management and effectively mitigate earthquake risk. This research project aims to develop new methodological approaches to integrate seismic risk assessments into the decision-making process of healthcare facilities management.

Providing Resident Support: Incorporating lived experiences into the development process

Due to the lack of investment from the Federal and Provincial governments for affordable housing and the low number of housing cooperatives formed in the last 30 years the co-op housing model is outdated. In response to a need for affordable housing in Vancouver, BC the Community Land Trust (CLT) has recently opened two newly built housing cooperatives as well as affordable housing option with non-profit partners. This research project aims to identify an engagement framework for the development/redevelopment process of CLT projects.

Evaluation of Durable Hydrocarbon-Based Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell Applications

This MITACS project aims to investigate the durability of IONOMR’s PEMIONTM membranes in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM)-based fuel cells for automotive applications and explore their usage as the PEM in PEM-based fuel cells. Specific test conditions and protocols for use at IONOMR based on industry standards will be developed and the materials will be benchmarked against current state-of the art materials in order to prioritize development efforts and aid in customer adoption efforts.

The potential of utilizing existing oil refineries to produce low carbon fuels via co-processing

Mitigating climate change will need to decrease the demand on fossil fuels and developing low carbon fuels. Co-processing biogenic feedstocks in existing oil refineries could provide significant amount of low carbon fuels as well as displacing the demand on fossil fuels. The proposed research work with an oil refinery who is commercialising co-processing oleochemical feedstocks in their facility.

Closed-loop flow control for microfluidic 3D bioprinting

Aspect Biosystems is developing a novel microfluidic 3D bioprinting technology that has the potential to fundamentally change the way many diseases are treated through the creation of functional human tissue. The technology manages highly complex fluid handling operations and requires sophisticated control systems to deliver reliable and repeatable results. This project is focused on developing such a control system specifically for fluid flow control through the microfluidic printhead.

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