Researcher shifts work, finds “silver bullet” for COVID-19 protection

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked an urgent need for innovation in all aspects of our lives – and researchers rose to the challenge. From COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments to changes in how we work and receive healthcare, the pandemic has fast-tracked innovation across sectors. 

High-potential researchers and businesses around the world did a pandemic pivot, shifting their work and resources to respond to the world’s pressing need for solutions. In Canada, Seyyedarash (Arash) Haddadi’s story is a standout example of innovation partnerships helping to counter the COVID-19 threat. 

Li4Ti5O12/Hard Carbon Anode for Fast-Charging Batteries for Grid Applications

Fast-charging Li-ion batteries have great potential for electricity storage from renewables, frequency regulation, and peak shaving in large-scale grid applications. The Li-ion batteries must have a fast response, high rate performance, high power capability, and low cost to meet this increasing demand for grid applications. This project between Dr. Jian Liu’s group at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Tycor UPS will develop a hybrid Li4Ti5O12/hard carbon anode to enable Li-ion batteries fast-charging capability and low cost.

Wireless Readout Integrated Microwave Sensor for Detecting Ice/Snow in Harsh Environments

Several de-icing systems have been developed to reduce economic losses and safety hazards due to ice and snow accretion on home pathways. These de-icing systems need to be energy-efficient, and therefore, must be accompanied by high-performance sensors capable of accurately detecting ice and snow to control the de-icing system. In addition to this application, recent industrial developments have shifted the paradigm of ice sensors towards extreme environment applications requiring sensors be operated in harsh conditions.

The Effect of Exercise-Induced Fatigue on Inter-Limb Asymmetries in Elite Youth Hockey Athletes

The aim of this research project is to observe the difference in function between the dominant and non-dominant lower limb in elite youth hockey athletes. Further, to observe how this difference is altered when the athlete is fatigued. Reducing or eliminating limb imbalances is thought to have a positive outcome on reducing injury risk, ensuring optimal development, and allowing for the greatest functional capabilities.

Understanding the experiences of patients with chronic pain on waitlists to develop an interactive clinical platform

Chronic pain (CP) is a prevalent, disabling, and costly disorder. The gold standard treatment for chronic pain is care from an interdisciplinary pain clinic (IPC) - a rare resource in Canada that is often associated with long wait times (up to five years). These long wait times increase the risk of physical and mental deterioration for the patient and so there need to develop tools to assist CP patients who are on an IPC waitlist. Research suggests that the use of web-based clinical platforms are helpful in health domains (e.g., migraine management).

Fabrication of 3D Printed Lignin/Polymer Nanocomposites with Enhanced Mechanical Properties

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.

Digital Twin for Proactive Maintenance of Data Centre

The data centre management is paramount to ensure the uptime operation. This research aims to develop a digital twin platform using the industrial Internet of Things, edge and cloud computing, and artificial intelligence for predictive maintenance of data centre. The facilitate maintenance scheduling and data centre energy consumption could be further optimized through the digital twin platform, which enables the prediction with a virtual representation of the physical asset or a process. The interns will have the chance to work with industry partner in a multi-disciplinary team.

Quantifying diaphragm perfusion in humans: A novel application of contrast-enhanced ultrasound

As oxygen demand increases (e.g., exercise), the availability of oxygen decreases (e.g., high altitude) or cardiopulmonary function is impaired (e.g., respiratory disease), our cardiopulmonary system works at a greater percentage of its maximal capacity to supply oxygenated blood to tissues. Currently, there is no reliable way of determining the blood flow to the respiratory muscles. The current technique (near-infrared spectroscopy with injectable dyes) has conflicting data and limitations which hinders our understanding of respiratory muscle blood flow.

In vitro evaluation and understanding of fabrics interaction with skin cells and dominant skin microbiome: a concurrent material degradation and health implication

Textile industry has been revolutionized over the years with inventions and creative innovations on fabrics to improve performance, comfort and durability. Developing such high performance and durable textiles without compromising human safety is a major challenge. This project will investigate the interactions between fabric systems with human skin and major skin colonizing bacteria. In addition, durability of these fabrics when exposed to skin bacteria under moist conditions be investigated through this project. Three interns will look into these aspects in collaboration with lululemon inc.

Techno-economic assessment of operating grid-scale super-capacitor energy storage for a wind power producer

Battery and energy storage units are one of the main sources of backup power in modern power systems to support the renewable power generation deficiencies in meeting the load demand. In recent years, the advancements in the charge/discharge efficiency, low cost, and long life of super-capacitor energy storage (SCES) technology have challenged conventional battery technologies. Besides, due to their high-power delivery capability, the SCES units are a strong candidate for supporting uncertain wind power production in a wind power generation complex. Atlas power generation Inc.