New institute will train highly specialized scientists


Providing quality research and highly trained professionals are among the goals of McMaster's new Institute for Applied Radiation Sciences, approved last month. The new institute aims to build on the University's existing network within the nuclear and health care industries.

David Chettle, director of academic operations at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, says the institute will “continue to capitalize on the intellectual legacy left behind by (the late) President Harry Thode, who took the University from a liberal arts-based university to a research-based institution.”

The institute “will continue to widen and cement existing and developing research links between the University with the nuclear and health care industries,” says Chettle. By bringing both researchers and practitioners together, he hopes the institute will develop new technologies.

But research will not be the institution's only purpose. The high demand for trained professionals, such as radiochemists and medical physicists, has spurred specialized training in the use of equipment like ultrasounds and neutron-radiographs. Chettle believes that the institute can help meet these demands for highly trained scientists. “It won't happen overnight, but we have to look at this as an investment in the future.”

Funding for the institute is being provided through the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund (ORDCF) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.