Lakehead University Research Receives Over $1 Million in NSERC Grants

Lakehead University

THUNDER BAY – RESEARCH – Professors at Lakehead University are receiving more than $1 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for exceptional, ground-breaking research that will make a difference.

Dr. Taryn Klarner is receiving a five-year Discovery Grant for $177,500 to explore the specific way the human body’s nervous system coordinates the arms and legs during rhythmic movement tasks such as walking and examine the dynamics of coordination at the behavioural level.

An Assistant Professor in Kinesiology, Dr. Klarner’s research is divided into three related yet distinct objectives. All objectives are designed to be carried out by trainees in the lab at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The first objective is to examine changes in coordination dynamics that arise from task modifications. The second objective is to examine synchronization of coordination with external stimuli. The third objective is to examine intersocial coordination in walking.

Findings from this research program will be applicable to many fields of science, from physics to biology.

The knowledge gained from this research could lead to more effective ways of understanding coordination in general and to more effective methods of improving motor coordination following brain or spinal cord injury.

Dr. Kang Kang is a Research Assistant Professor in Lakehead University’s Biorefining Research Institute who is receiving a five-year Discovery Grant along with a Discovery Launch Supplement – for a total of $172,500.

The long-term objectives of Dr. Kang’s research are to enhance Canada’s waste management and sustainable development strategies by promoting community energy access while contributing to a healthy environment.

Dr. Kang will develop an innovative thermochemical process to produce various lignin and other biomass-based nanoscale carbon dots and their composites.

These novel materials will be used as catalysts for hydrogen production from the catalytic conversion of renewable resources and the photocatalytic decontamination of polluted water. The technology will substitute fossil-based hydrogen with hydrogen produced from renewable resources.

Dr. Abdelhamid Tayebi, a Professor in Electrical Engineering, is receiving a one-year Research Tools and Instruments Grant for $121,708 to establish a state-of-the-art research facility for the design and performance evaluation of advanced autonomous navigation systems.

This facility will be a great asset to Lakehead’s robotics and aerospace research community.

Dr. Tayebi’s research will contribute to increase the state of knowledge in control, robotics and aerospace engineering, open new avenues in autonomous navigation applications, and provide opportunities for excellent training of highly qualified personnel.

“Congratulations to each researcher on their success and thank you to NSERC for continued funding,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

“NSERC Discovery grants are the basis for helping our scientists and engineers to develop fundamental science ideas. This funding will enable Lakehead University to continue to be a leading research-intensive, comprehensive university.”

In 2021/22, Lakehead University received nearly $2 million in assistance from the Research Support Fund to support the indirect costs of research, which includes costs for supporting the management of intellectual property, research and administration, ethics and regulatory compliance, research resources, and research facilities.

New NSERC DG/RTI Funding 2023

Total funding:  $1,094,411

Discovery Grants (five-year grants)

  • Dr. Kang Kang, Biorefining Research Institute, Development of Lignin-based Carbon Dots and Their Composites for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production, $172,500 (includes Discovery Launch Supplement).
  • Dr. Kefu Liu, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Further Studies on Broadband Vibration Suppression and Energy Harvesting Using Nonlinear Techniques, $190,000.
  • Dr. Mohammad Uddin, Department of Electrical Engineering, Lakehead-Georgian Partnership, Power Conversion, Fault Protection, and Power Management Schemes for Wind Energy Conversion Systems, $210,000.
  • Dr. Taryn Klarner, School of Kinesiology, HKB to CPG: Application of the Haken Kelso Bunz Model on Bimanual Motor Coordination to Central Pattern Generators for Walking Coordination, $177,500 (includes Discovery Launch Supplement).

Discovery Development Grants (two-year grants)

  • Dr. Gautam Das, Department of Physics, Symmetries in Interferometry, $40,000.
  • Dr. Hubert de Guise, Department of Physics, Investigation into Photonic Devices and Applications, $40,000.

Research Tools and Instruments Grants (one-year grants)

  • Dr. Mitchell Albert, Department of Chemistry, Investigation of the Novel Photoinduced Magnetoelectric Effect in Magnetic Material, $142,703.

  • Dr. Abdelhamid Tayebi, Department of Electrical Engineering, Advanced Autonomous Vehicles Research Laboratory, $121,708.
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