The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Canada’s Minister of State for Science and Technology, has announced the latest round of funded projects through the CFI’s Leaders Opportunity Fund. The list includes $250,000 towards a new collaborative research laboratory within UPEI’s Department of Chemistry. Existing space at the K.C. Irving Chemistry Centre will be refurbished to house a collaborative laboratory for UPEI’s growing expertise in macromolecular chemistry.
The project is led by Dr. Rabin Bissessur, Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Bissessur’s research examines nanomaterials which could be used as inexpensive, lightweight replacements for current electrolyte elements within lithium rechargeable batteries.
“Our research space is currently housed in multiple areas of the building,” said Dr. Bissessur. “To achieve the bold and ambitious goals of our research programs, it is imperative that we bring together the collective expertise available within our academic unit and create a much-needed collaborative research and training space that will accommodate our expanding department but, more importantly, serve as a vehicle for accelerating discovery.”
The new synthetic and characterization laboratory will add significant research and trainee capacity and will allow UPEI to accommodate its growing macromolecular sciences research cluster, which includes the research program of Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, Professor of Chemistry and a materials scientist.
“My graduate students are excited about the opportunities that this new lab will offer,” said Dr. Abd-El-Aziz, “It is a privilege to be a part of the energy and excitement that flows out of discovery and exploration. This Leaders Opportunity Fund project helps make that happen.”
This funding will also assist in the purchase of an electron microscope and an elemental analyzer. This equipment is unique in the Atlantic region, and will allow UPEI to be a leader and hub for macromolecular science research.
The collaborative research space will be available to other members of the Department of Chemistry, including students in UPEI’s new PhD program in Molecular and Macromolecular Science.
“Given the right infrastructure, this talented group of innovators will create solutions that benefit Canadians and Canadian communities,” said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI.
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