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Four Polytechnique Montréal faculty members awarded research funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Government of Québec

August 29, 2023 - Source : NEWS

Professors Sampada Bodkhe, Marco Bonizzato, Elmira Hassamzadeh and Pooneh Maghoul have been awarded funding for their respective research projects from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund and the Government of Québec.

Top row: Sampada Bodkhe and Marco Bonizzato. Bottom row: Elmira Hassanzadeh and Pooneh Maghoul.

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced more than $113 million in funding for 396 research infrastructure projects. Polytechnique Montréal is one of 56 universities to receive financial support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund for projects submitted under this program.

This contribution will help universities more competitively recruit and retain outstanding researchers by helping acquire the state-of-the-art labs, equipment and facilities they need to make discoveries that will have an impact on Canadians.

"Congratulations to these talented recipients from all across the country who are doing the ground-breaking work that will contribute not only to Canada’s health and well-being but to the world’s. Through this funding, the Government of Canada is investing in the next generation of researchers and inspiring them to continue to think outside the box and tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow," said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

“Every day, researchers dedicate their knowledge and skills to addressing issues that are important to Canadians, including improving the environment, healthcare and access to education. They contribute to a better future for all Canadians. At the Canada Foundation for Innovation, we are proud to support their efforts with well-designed labs and necessary equipment placed in the communities and environments where they will be the most effectively employed," said Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Here are the four projects awarded funded through the JELF and the Government of Québec:

Project: Advanced Manufacturing of Adaptive Aerospace Structures
Grant holder: Sampada Bodkhe, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

The air transport sector has evolved in recent years, giving rise to a need for lighter and more energy-efficient reconfigurable aircraft made using more intelligent technologies. Multi-material additive manufacturing makes it easy to add intelligent materials to structural components. These materials, which change shape in response to changes in their environment, can be used to replace bulky hydraulic and mechanical actuators on aircraft.

However, additive manufacturing has yet to meet aerospace standards because of issues related to interlaminar adhesion, higher porosity, low productivity rates and the lack of high-performance printable materials. In addition, automated fiber placement (AFP) can be used to create standards-compliant composite structures more reliably than through manual fabrication processes. However, AFP can only be used to make structural composites, not complex shapes and sandwich panels. These components are widely used in lightweight aerospace structures.

Through this research project, Professor Bodkhe is proposing a new manufacturing approach that involves setting up a facility where new AFP equipment used to make high-performance composites is combined with existing additive manufacturing equipment, with a view to adding functional features such as sensors, actuators and control systems, and to creating molds and sandwich structures.

The compact manufacturing platform is flexible, scalable and inexpensive compared to the costly infrastructure solutions used by major industrial manufacturers. As a result, it stands to benefit smaller air taxi manufacturers, drone manufacturers, other small businesses and CEGEPs across Québec and Canada.

Professor Bodkhe was awarded $250,000 from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund and $250,000 from the Government of Québec for this research project. The total value of the project is $687,204.

Project: Neuroprosthetic Technology Development Platform
Grant holder: Marco Bonizzato, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering

Neurotrauma, such as spinal cord injury, disrupts the connections in the nervous system that allow us to perform essential tasks like moving, sensing and communicating. Impaired function in any of these areas can seriously affect quality of life. A spinal chord injury can result in partial or complete paralysis, a condition that affects some 15,000 to 20,000 Québecers.

Neuroprostheses are new strategies that aim to restore sensorimotor interactions in patients who experience paralysis. These strategies include neuromodulation, which involves electrical microstimulation of neural tissue. Professor Bonizzato aims to develop neuroprosthetic therapies for restoring sensorimotor experience after a traumatic event, based on a discovery made in rodents, supported by the proposed infrastructure.

The research project will explicitly address the need for introducing new neurorehabilitation techniques in the health care system and for training highly qualified personnel in this area. What is more, the project will help position Québec as a leader in the field of neuromodulation.

Professor Bonizzato was awarded $147,554 from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund and $147,554 from the Government of Québec for this research project. The total value of the project is $368,940.

Project: i-WASP: Integrated Water System Analyses to Support Sustainable Management Plans
Grant holder: Elmira Hassanzadeh, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering

Across Québec, many lakes and wetlands are experiencing declines in both water quality and quantity. Water systems are under increasing pressure to global warming and socio-economic development factors.

Ensuring water security is crucial for human and environmental needs, and to make communities more resilient. To overcome the associated challenges, Integrated Water System Analyses to Support Sustainable Management Plans (i-WASP) are needed. Professor Hassanzadeh’s research project aims to develop tools that enable an integrated representation of water systems, taking into account feedback mechanisms within and between water quantity and quality. The research also aims to produce an integrated assessment of future water system vulnerabilities affected by changing natural and anthropogenic conditions. Finally, the research aims to propose integrated water management solutions that take into account stakeholder input and the diverse viewpoints of different of water users.

This research program, supported by the required infrastructure, will provide a new generation of tools for designing and operating water-related infrastructure. It aligns with Québec’s vision for sustainable resource management and commitments to fight climate change.

Professor Hassanzadeh was awarded $166,279 from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund and $166,279 from the Government of Québec for this research project. With additional contributions, the total project value is $425,038.

Project: Infrastructure for adaptive management of geo-infrastructures in the context of climate non-stationarity
Grant holder: Pooneh Maghoul, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering

Future climate conditions must be taken into account when designing, maintaining and operating infrastructure. Inadequate inclusion of this information is a major obstacle to improving the climatic resilience of infrastructure, particularly at the temporal and spatial scales relevant to the engineering problems specific to Canada.

Professor Maghoul’s research aims to develop cutting-edge technologies leading to the creation of an intelligent adaptive management tool for civil and mining geo-infrastructures, particularly in Canada’s North and colder regions. Based on the real-time geomechanical behaviour of soils, the digital platform will predict the resilience of geo-infrastructures, while accounting for climatic non-stationarity, using artificial intelligence.

These technological advances will facilitate a better understanding of geo-infrastructure behaviour in changing climactic conditions, particularly in northern regions where permafrost degradation is increasingly widespread. They will also pave the way for the transition to Industry 5.0 in asset management by promoting the use of AI-supported interactive systems to monitor deformations in linear infrastructure. Finally, an AI-powered predictive simulator that combines relevant in-situ monitoring data will be a valuable tool for assessing the effects of climate change on geo-infrastructures. It will also help inform the creation of resilient and sustainable communities, a goal that aligns the Government of Canada’s priorities.

Professor Maghoul was awarded $169,737 from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund and $169,737 from the Government of Québec for this research project. The total value of the project is $426,337.

As part of this announcement, the government also confirmed that it would be supporting Polytechnique Montréal professors by creating and renewing Canada Research Chairs and by awarding prestigious Vanier, Banting and PhD scholarships to members of our student community.

Congratulations to Professors Bodkhe, Hassanzadeh, Maghoul and Bonizzato!

Lean more

Professor Sampada Bodkhe’s profile
Professor Marco Bonizzato’s profile
Professor Elmira Hassanzadeh’s profile
Professor Pooneh Maghoul’s profile
Department of Electrical Engineering website
Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering website
Department of Mechanical Engineering website

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