New researchers awarded $1.8 million for research equipment, labs

By Shelly Easton and Lori Dillon, July 8, 2002

Ten new McMaster researchers are celebrating after receiving a total of $1.8 million to build labs and acquire machinery to help them do their research.

The research awards are from the New Opportunities Fund distributed by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The New Opportunities program is designed to help launch the careers of new and talented faculty members. The faculty members have to be at the University less than 18 months to be eligible for the funding.

Mamdouh Shoukri, vice-president research & international affairs, welcomed the investment for cutting-edge infrastructure support.

"Recruiting excellent faculty is a high priority for McMaster and this program has allowed us to do just that," said Shoukri. "This investment will help our new faculty to expand their research programs and build their research capacity."

For assistant professor Alison Sills in the physics & astronomy department, her $174,422 award means she can get a rare hybrid teraflop supercomputer - one of a handful in the world - for her research into the dynamics and evolution of globular clusters (dense groups of 100,000 stars).

"This will help me study the oldest objects in our galaxy, which constrain the age of the universe and trace how our galaxy was formed," said Sills. "This is amazing really. It will put me in the forefront of computational stellar astrophysics."

The other McMaster recipients are:

A complete list of New Opportunities projects is available at

"Once again, McMaster has had a phenomenal success rate in a major round of national grant applications," said Stan Keyes, MP for Hamilton West. "I am thrilled that the innovative, ground-breaking efforts of the McMaster research community continue to bring home to Hamilton the funding and the recognition our university so richly deserves."

The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997 with a budget of $3.15 billion to strengthen the capacity for innovation in Canadian universities and research institutions.