News, Events and Impact
CTRI is very excited to announce plans for its on-line Research Day.
Research Days will take place on the afternoons of Wedensday, August 25 and Thursday, August 26. More information can be found here.
Two CTRI Members named as Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Chairs
July 12, 2021
Congratulations are in order for Mita Dasog and Kevin Plucknett, who are among the four newest Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Chairs at Dalhousie University.
New NSERC CREATE in Leadership in Energy Sustainability
The Clean Technology Research Institute is excited to announce its Leaders in Energy Sustainability (LES) training program funded through the NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program.
The LES program will produce highly qualified energy and sustainability professionals ready to ensure Canada's role as a global leader in the emerging energy revolution. Program participants will gain a unique set of credentials that combine technical expertise, industry insight, research, and communication skills, as well as professional and business skills that will enable them to navigate the societal, business, and regulatory environments linked to renewable energy development and its successful deployment. The combination of these skills, knowledge, and experience will prepare them to move into high-level decision-making and management roles in a range of industrial, government, and academic sectors.
The LES research areas will include:
- Next-generation perovskite and organic-based photovoltaic devices
- Membranes for solar fuel generation
- Advanced core-shell battery materials and battery-grid integration
- Socio-environmental impacts of design
- Comprehensive “systems” thinking for sustainable energy integration
- Techno-economics and jurisdictional engagement (circular economy) in sustainable energy implementation
The faculty leading the LES program are: Michael Freund (Chemistry & CTRI Director), Michelle Adams (School for Resource and Environmental Studies), Jeff Dahn (Physics and Atmospheric Science), Karen Foster (Sociology and Social Anthropology), Ian Hill (Physics and Atmospheric Science), Erin Johnson (Chemistry), Ghada Koleilat (Process Engineering and Applied Science), Michael Metzger (Physics and Atmospheric Science) and Lukas Swan (Mechanical Engineering).
In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out the program’s website and announcing more details about the program!
New NSERC Alliance Grants
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Dalhousie University recently announced two new NSERC Alliance Grants, and both are expected to have big impacts on energy storage research at Dalhousie.
Through the Alliance Grants Program, Mark Obrovac has received support from NSERC and Novonix, a leading battery materials and technology company spun out of Jeff Dahn's lab. Mark Oborovac's research is focused on making higher performing batteries that cost less and have a lower envionmental impact than current technologies. The total value of the award is $3.3 million. You can read more about this award here.
A second Alliance Grant has been awarded to Jeff Dahn, Chongyin Yang and Michael Metzger, with funding from NSERC and from Tesla. The research goals are to lower battery costs, increase battery lifetimes, increase the energy density of batteries, improve battery safety and increase the content of sustainable materials in batteries. The total value of the award is $6 million, the largest Alliance Grant that Dalhousie has received. More details about the award can be found here.
CFI Funding Announcements
CTRI is very happy to share the news that two proposals in the clean tech space have been funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Infrastructure Fund. Congratulations to all the team members!
Next Generation Manufacturing of Advanced Ceramics
Advanced ceramics are utilised across a broad range of industries, including transportation, biomedical, architecture, petrochemicals, mining, pulp and paper – all markets that are vital to the Canadian economy. However, manufacturing of advanced ceramics for these applications is expensive, with many component geometries (i.e. multiple internal channels for fluid or gas flow) extremely challenging or even impossible to produce conventionally.
Led by Kevin Plucknett and Vincent Sieben, this research is focused on eliminating the barriers to the manufacture of advanced ceramics, through the investigation and development of state-of-the-art approaches for ceramic manufacturing. Working with a broad variety of industrial partners, from international organizations to small-to-medium enterprises, the research team will ultimately develop a selection of higher technology readiness level demonstrator components. These will focus on bio-implants for health care, highly robust sensors for ocean and down well monitoring, “smart” architectural building components, solar energy, and highly wear-resistant coatings. The other Dalhousie team members are Brian Lilley (Architecture), Zoheir Farhat and Stephen Corbin (Mechanical Engineering), and Ghada Koleilat (Electrical and Computer Engineering).
Advanced Sustainable Energy Technology (ASET) Research Program
Solar energy is the most abundant renewable energy source on the planet and the best option for transitioning Canada to a low-carbon economy. Given the intermittent nature of renewable energy (wind and solar), storage of energy in batteries and in the form of fuel is essential to increasing its use in an ever-growing energy market.
Led by Erin Johnson and Michael Freund, the Advanced Sustainable Energy Technology (ASET) program research program will produce breakthroughs in solar energy conversion and storage, positioning Canada as a scientific leader in renewable solar energy technology. This will be the most comprehensive program of its kind in Canada and the only one presenting a convergence of expertise in fundamental materials research, battery knowledge, and integration, leading to viable sustainable energy solutions. The other Dalhousie team members are Jeff Dahn (Physics and Atmospheric Science) , Mita Dasog (Chemistry), Ian Hill (Physics and Atmospheric Science), Ghada Koleilat (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Mark Obrovac Chemistry), Lukas Swan (Mechanical Engineering) and Josef Zwanziger (Chemistry.
There is more information about the other successful CFI proposals from Dalhousie at Dal News.
Honours for Dalhousie Chemists
The Chemical Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society for Chemistry have announced their 2021 awards, and the big congratulations are in order for Alison Thompson, Laura Turculet and Mark Stradiotto.
Alison Thompson is the 2021 winner of the Montréal Medal/Médaille de Montréal; it is presented to honour a resident of Canada who has shown significant leadership in or has made an outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada.
Laura Turculet is the winner of the Strem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry, which is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has made an outstanding contribution to inorganic chemistry, demonstrating exceptional promise, while working in Canada.
The Rio Tinto Award recognizes a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution to the fields of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry while working in Canada. Mark Stradiotto is the recipient of the 2021 award
NSERC/Novonix Industrial Research Chair in Metal Ion Batteries
Novonix Battery Technology Solutions (Novonix BTS) has announced that it will extend its sponsorship of Mark Obrovac’s lab through a new NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Metal Ion Batteries. The Obrovac group had been sponsored by Novonix for the past two years; the new five-year program will be used to support new students and researchers, purchase equipment and necessary research materials. You can find details of the announcement here.
Professor Josef Zwanziger, Department of Chemistry and CTRI Member has been awarded the Otto Schott Research Award of 2020. First nominated in 2016, Professor Zwanziger was one of the first scientists to develop NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) techniques to study the atomic structure of glass. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of glasses containing boron, and more recently, to the development of lead-free compositions with zero stress-optic coefficient. Editor of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, Professor Zwanziger has an impressive body of published work and is a keenly sought after speaker on the international stage.