Investigation of the practicality and benefits of integrating photovoltaic (PV) arrays with greenroofs

Throughout Canada manufacturers and distributers of green roof and photovoltaic (PV) panels compete for installation projects on top of industrial, commercial and high-density residential rooftops. These technologies are often viewed as direct competitors as both systems reduce the environmental impact of buildings, albeit through different mechanisms, and consequently, rooftop designs rarely, if ever, apply both technologies.

The Petawawa Biofibre Harvest Trial

This project will assess the potential for using unmerchantable wood as feedstock for the production of biofuels and bioenergy. Large tracts of forests within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest (GLSL) consist of low quality pine- mixed woods that could supply feedstock if the unmerchantable wood were recovered in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. We will conduct biomass harvesting trials at the Petawawa Research Forest to assess the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of whole-tree harvest operations in pine-mixed forests characteristic of the region.

Head-mount Portable Multimodal Optical Brain Imaging Device for Un-Anesthetized Rats

The proposed project is aimed at developing a portable optical device to image blood flow velocity and oxygenation in a rat brain. The motivation behind this project is the development of minimally invasive method for long-term neurological studies in un-anesthetized animals, which should provide a better understanding of progression and treatment efficacy of various neurological disorders.

Improved inhibitors of HIV infection

ViroCarb has identified a new class of HIV inhibitors against a new therapeutic target on the HIV envelope protein gp120, present in all HIV, including drug resistant strains. The objective of this internship is to conduct screening studies of libraries, designed based on this new chemical class for optimal efficacy and drug-like properties, using methods previously developed and optimized by the intern.

Optimization of Graphical User Interface for the Digital Pathology Workstation

The workflow of pathologists will soon be revolutionized with the introduction of digital pathology allowing pathologists to view tissue samples as a digital image on a computer workstation. Such a conversion from traditional microscopy will bring many benefits to the pathologist’s workflow aiming to boost significant efficiency as well as ergonomic benefits. However, much work needs to be done to bring such a technology to the clinical setting in the hospital. One significant problem is gaining the acceptance of pathologists to adopting new technology.

Development of Innovative Tools for Conducting Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment

All new infrastructure and natural resource projects being developed in Canada are required to undergo an Environmental Assessment. A key aspect of this regulatory process is the need to demonstrate that the activity will not adversely affect human or ecosystem health. It is through the science of human health and ecological risk assessment (HHERA) that these predictions are made. The science and toxicology of making these risk predictions more accurate continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

Accelerating Cycling Uptake Through Community based Social Marketing

Through the use of a community-based social marketing strategy that focuses on perceived benefits and barriers to urban cycling for transportation, the research project will serve to expand the services and usage of BikeChain: the University of Toronto’s not for profit bicycle repair shop. The work will increase the reach of BikeChain’s services within the campus population and provide a social platform to engage and support the uptake of cycling behavior.

Viscoelastic Coupling Dampers for Enhanced Dynamic Performance of a High-Rise in Toronto

The biggest challenge faced by structural engineers in the design of high-rise structures is to control the dynamic responses of these structures due to wind and earthquake vibrations. While the traditional techniques of stiffening and adding vibration absorbers can mitigate the vibrational response to a degree, they also increase the construction cost and result in a loss of leasable space in the building structure.

Evaluating green roof performance and design in the Toronto area

Green roofs minimize stormwater runoff, building cooling costs, and provide other social, economic, and environmental benefits. Green roofs are also highly-proprietary, with the industry having many components to suite different applications, all influencing green roof survival and performance. With a green roof by-law and construction standard in Toronto, green roof coverage is consistently among the top cities in North America annually, however there exists no published data on green roof performance for the region, nor on the health and status of the City’s existing green roofs.

The Voice of e-Democracy Panel in the City of Markham

The proposed project will help develop an online forum that can be used as a public consultation tool for governments as they make important public policy decisions. This forum will be developed and tested in the City of Markham as a case study. The model will then be refined so that it can be applied to other jurisdictions. The result will be a framework and online panel that can be used by various actors to communicate with and learn firsthand from citizens through digital technology.

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