posted on Feb. 4: McMaster researchers awarded more than $8M for innovative projects


Seven McMaster researchers have been awarded $7.6 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to help build labs and facilities necessary for their research.

The money will go towards projects such as a brain imaging facility in psychology, a micro-machining lab in mechanical engineering, a lead monitoring in children initiative in medical physics & applied radiation sciences and an arts/humanities text analysis computing portal initiative.

Three new researchers were also awarded about $660,000 from the New Opportunities Fund for their projects in mathematics, medical physics & applied radiation sciences and mechanical engineering.

Researchers that received more than $1 million for their projects include:

  • Engineering dean Mo Elbestawi, Department of Mechanical Engineering, awarded about $1.4 million for a micro-machining laboratory
  • Gordon Irons, professor, Department of Material Sciences & Engineering, awarded about $1 million for an advanced steel production lab
  • Ron Racine, professor, Department of Psychology, awarded about $2.2 million for the optimizing human development: experiential influences on brain/behaviour maturation project
  • Geoffrey Rockwell, professor, Faculty of Humanities, awarded $2.6 million in a multi-institutional project called TAPoR or text analysis portal for research

Three researchers received infrastructure funding of less than a $1 million for their projects.

They are:

  • Aubrey Cannon, associate professor, Department of Anthropology, awarded $70,479 for a fisheries archeology research centre
  • David Chettle, professor, Department of Medical Physics & Applied Radiation Sciences, awarded $155,767 for the lead monitoring in children and sensitive populations: determining long-term levels within the human body project
  • Anthony Petric, associate professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, awarded $71,273 for a fuel cell test centre

The three new assistant professors who received funding from the New Opportunities Fund for their projects are Doug Boreham, Department of Medical Physics & Applied Radiation Sciences, Philip Koshy, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Dmitry Pelinovsky, Department of Mathematics & Statistics.

The awards were part of a national announcement made last week by Industry Minister Alan Rock that involved $779 million going to support projects at 69 universities, colleges, hospitals and not-for-profit research institutions.

“This CFI investment confirms the talent of our researchers and the research expertise that resides at McMaster in all of our disciplines,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, vice-president research & international affairs. “Consistently, we have seen investment in areas for which we are known as leaders (engineering, science and health sciences), but this round of funding highlights new and emerging areas of excellence. I was particularly glad to see anthropology get a boost with Dr. Cannon's fisheries archeology research centre and the huge investment in psychology, through Dr. Racine's human development project and in humanities computing under Dr. Rockwell's leadership.”

Since its inception in 1997, the CFI has invested more than $43 million in McMaster's research enterprise.

The CFI contribution represents 40 per cent of the total project value. The CFI awards have enabled the University to access about $60 million in other research funding.

The awards were based on the recommendations of multidisciplinary assessment committees made up of world-class experts from a wide range of fields and disciplines. To receive funding, applicants had to show the excellence and innovative nature of their projects and how they will benefit Canada.