Two new Canada Research Chairs will help revolutionize engineering

By Julie Carl
with files from Lin Moody

Smart houses and robots in space are research areas that got a significant boost with the announcement of Carleton University’s two latest Canada Research Chairs.

On September 10, 2007, Carleton’s Vice-President (Research and International) Kim Matheson welcomed Professor Ian Beausoleil-Morrison as the new Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Modelling and Simulation of Innovative Energy Systems for Residential Buildings, and Professor Alex Ellery as the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Space Robotics and Space Technology. Also announced was the renewal of Wayne Wang’s appointment as Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Emerging Organic Materials.

“These two new Canada Research Chairs will continue to place Carleton at the leading edge of engineering research both at the Canadian and International level,” says Matheson. “We look forward to their research results as they will definitely make a difference in how we live.”

The Tier 1 appointment is worth $1.4 million while both Tier II appointments bring $500,000 to Carleton. In addition, Ellery will receive an additional $177,427 grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to be used for infrastructure. Both Chairs have officially taken up their new positions.

Beausoleil-Morrison will examine innovative and emerging energy concepts for houses and apartments which, in Canada, account for 17 per cent of our energy consumption. He will focus on approaches that minimize our dependency on electricity during peak hours as well as ways of exploiting solar energy to heat and cool residential housing.

Professor Ellery has an enviable record working with organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA) on the problems of space-based robotics. Using laboratory equipment to simulate space environments, Ellery will develop techniques to ensure that robots can function effectively in harsh conditions at zero or low gravity environments, out of reach of human operators, and too far away to remotely control via radio links such as conditions that exist on the surface of Mars.

Carleton University now has a total of 23 Canada Research Chairs.

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