Pursuing transformational research can be a long road. To make an impact on addressing major social issues or work towards ground-breaking discoveries, researchers need sustained support to fully realize their projects.

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages recently announced $11.8M in funding for Queen’s from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Discovery and Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) programs. The NSERC announcement is part of a larger $960M suite of funding announced by the federal government.

Intended to support ongoing research with long-term goals, the Discovery programs provides multi-year grants that support operating funds and facilitate access to funding from other programs.

The RTI grants program supports the purchase of critical research equipment necessary to pursue breakthrough research.

"Our government is funding the top-tier researchers and scientists whose work makes Canada a world leader in research and innovation," says the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages. "These projects – from reimagining teacher education with Indigenous wisdom traditions to creating equity in mental health care to researching the impacts of space radiation and weather on Earth’s climate – will help transform today’s ideas into tomorrow’s solutions. This is why Canada is an innovation leader." 

In total, 43 Queen’s researchers are recipients of Discovery and RTI program grants as part of the announcement. Additionally, in recognition of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented to advancing research, Minister Boissonnault announced a 1-year extension of existing NSERC funds. At Queen’s, 57 researchers will receive an additional $2.5M to support their active projects. For a full list of recipients from across Queen’s, see the original article in the Queen’s Gazette.

Grant recipients relevant to Queen’s Engineering include:

Subatomic Physics Discovery Grant

Mark Chen (Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy): SNO+ Scintillator Phase and Tellurium Operations (2023-2025) – $2,960,000


Discovery Grant

Chemical Engineering

Kevin De France (Chemical Engineering): Functional Materials from Cellulose and Protein – $172,500
Paul Hungler (Chemical Engineering): Development of Adaptive Mixed Reality Simulation for Training and Education Using Multimodal Machine Learning – $192,500

Civil Engineering

Leon Boegman (Civil Engineering): Physical-Biogeochemical Flux Paths in Lakes and Coastal Oceans – $105,000
Amir Fam (Civil Engineering): Fundamentals of Laboratory-Based Rolling Versus Pulsating Loading Fatigue of Bridges Built with High Performance Materials – $295,000
Jason Olsthoorn (Civil Engineering): Quantifying the Impact of Climate Change on Mixing in Lakes – $162,500
Xiaying Xin (Civil Engineering): Development of Nanobubble-Enhanced Visible-Light-Driven Photocatalytic Water Disinfection Systems – $185,000

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Melissa Greeff (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Toward Resilient Multi-Robot Collaboration in Emergencies – $167,500
Ning Lu (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Constrained Online Learning for Wireless Computing Networks – $250,000
Joshua Marshall (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Mobile-Robot Navigation, Control, And Mapping in Spatiotemporal Worlds – $210,000

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Daniel Layton-Matthews (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering): Application of Non-Traditional Isotopes at Higher Spatial Resolution to Element Cycling in Mineral Deposits – $175,000
David McLagan (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering): Seeing the Forest from The Trees: Understanding Pollutant Biogeochemical Cycling Between Vegetation and Air, Fire, Soil, and Water – $187,500

Mathematics and Statistics

Maria Teresa Chiri (Mathematics and Statistics): Evolution Problems for Moving Sets – $162,500
Felicia Magpantay (Mathematics and Statistics): Transient Dynamics in Deterministic and Stochastic Systems from Eco-Epidemiology – $195,000
James A. Mingo (Mathematics and Statistics): Random Matrices and Higher Order Freeness – $185,000

Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Jackson Crane (Mechanical and Materials Engineering): Detonation Chemistry and Propagation Dynamics: Experiments and Models for Next-Generation Engines – $197,500
Claire Davies (Mechanical and Materials Engineering): Participation Requires Communication:  Developing Accessible Communication Devices – $250,000
Yong Jun Lai (Mechanical and Materials Engineering): Development of Ultrasensitive Biosensors for Rapid Pathogen Detection – $210,000
David Rival (Mechanical and Materials Engineering): In Situ Lagrangian Measurements – $250,000

Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining

Julian Ortiz (Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining): Towards Geometallurgical Digital Twins: Stochastic Models for Risk Management of Mining Systems – $210,000


Research Tools and Instruments Grant

Aris Docoslis (Chemical Engineering): A Raman Spectroscopy System for (Bio)Chemical Analyses and Materials Characterization – $149,500

Nir Rotenberg (Physics, Engineering Psychics, and Astronomy): Tunable Pulse-Shapers for the Exploration of Dynamic Photon-Photon Interactions – $149,936


To learn more about this round of Discovery Grants, visit the NSERC website. You can also read about Queen’s success in recent SSHRC Partnership and Insight and CFI JELF grants competitions in the Queen's Gazette.