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Recipients of the Fedoruk Centre's 2012 Project Grants

Read the news release here

Using medical isotopes to better assess kidney function, developing new sensors for applications ranging from medical instruments to cargo scanners and taking the pulse of Saskatchewan people’s attitude towards nuclear issues are the subjects of some of the first research projects to receive funding from the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation.

Five research projects, four from the University of Saskatchewan and one from the University of Regina, will receive $485,000 from the Fedoruk Centre over the next two years. This funding leveraged an additional $773,000 in cash and in-kind contributions from the research teams and partner organizations, bringing the total value of the research projects to over $1.2 million. The Fedoruk Centre's four impact areas are all represented.

The projects were selected from a call for proposals that was issued last June. To be eligible, projects had to be led by a researcher from a Saskatchewan-based, publicly-funded research institution, have a fixed term of up to two years and measurable outcomes that support the advancement of nuclear research, development and training in Saskatchewan. Projects were ranked by an advisory committee of experts from outside of the province, according to four criteria:  (1) alignment with the purpose of the Fedoruk Centre; (2) partner contributions; (3) feasibility; and (4) pathway to social and economic impact.  Leaders of each research team will be expected to publicly report on the progress and impacts of their work during the Fedoruk Centre’s annual nuclearFACTS forum, the first of which will be held this August.

Nuclear Medicine

Improving the Measurement of Renal Function with Radionuclide Techniques

Leader: Dr. Paul Babyn, Department of Medical Imaging, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan; Head of Nuclear Medicine, Saskatoon Health Region

Co-applicant: Dr. Carl Wesolowski, Department of Medical Imaging, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Partner: Saskatoon Health Region

The project is aimed at developing a new method to assess kidney function with applications for earlier detection and better treatment of kidney disease as well as determining appropriate dosing of chemotherapy agents and other drugs.

Investigation of Silicon Photo-Multiplier Arrays for Nuclear Medicine and Industrial Instrumentation

Leader: Dr. Zisis Papandreou, Department of Physics, University of Regina

Co-applicants: Prof. George Lolos, Dr. Andrei Semenov, Prof. Garth Huber, Department of Physics, University of Regina

Partner: Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, USA

Silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) are novel photo detectors that have shown great potential for many applications in a broad range of fields: nuclear and particle physics, nuclear medicine, medical sensors, space (remote sensors, imaging), night vision, atmospheric or automotive distance control lidar, radioactivity detection and monitoring, cargo scanning, and other industrial applications. This project will assess the operating characteristics of SiPMs under a variety of conditions, with the aim of improving the technology for industrial use.

Nuclear Techniques for Materials Research

Neutron Reflectometry Studies of Electrified Interfaces

Leader: Dr. Ian Burgess, Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan

Partners:  National Research Council – Canadian Neutron Beam Centre, Chalk River Ontario; Electrochemical Technology Centre, University of Guelph

The aim of this project is to create a world-class team of researchers in neutron reflectometry (NR), a technique commonly employed at nuclear research reactors to study nano-films and surfaces. This group will target the application of NR to study processes occurring at electrified interfaces such as biological membranes and energy storage devices including supercapacitors and batteries.

Nuclear Energy, Safety and Engineering 

Studies on Innovative Fueling and Instability Suppression in the STOR-M Tokamak

Leader: Prof. Chijin Xiao, Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, University of Saskatchewan

Co-applicant: Prof. Akira Hirose, Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, U of S

Partner: Plasmionique Inc.

The project focuses on the development of a novel fuel delivery technology and the confinement of plasmas inside a tokamak fusion reactor at temperatures around 100 million degrees C, in order to improve future fusion reactor designs.

Environment: Social and Environmental Aspects of Nuclear Technology

Nuclear Industry Policy Research Unit (NIPRU): Individual and Corporate Opinions of Nuclear Industry

Leader:  Dr. Scott Bell, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan

Co-applicant:  Dr. Loleen Berdahl, Department of Political Studies, U of S

Partner: Carson Centre for Nuclear and Uranium Training, Saskatoon

NIPRU will examine public and business opinions and attitudes on nuclear-related issues, including nuclear medicine, nuclear energy, and nuclear technology. The mandate will also include the capacity to integrate decision makers and stake holders in the development to initial and ongoing survey instruments. The intention of the research unit is to provide baseline and ongoing information about public and business sentiment in order to help shape policy and decision making in the broad nuclear domain.