by Barbara Black
Researchers have done well
this year in the annual bid for grants from the Natural Science and Engineering
Overall at Concordia, the total number of new NSERC awards increased from
56 to 61, with a total value of more than $6.2M compared to about $4.5M
last year, extending over four years, an increase in value of about 39
The Faculty of Arts and Science experienced a 35-per-cent rise in the
number of NSERC grants this year, 23 compared to 17 last year, due in
part to new faculty members applying for the first time. There was an
87-per-cent increase in the value of the awards ($1.35M to $2.5M) thanks
in large part to a $518,120 major installation grant to professor of chemistry
Ann English and nine colleagues.
The money will go towards the purchase of instrumentation for mass spectrometry,
a powerful technique that can be used to identify unknown molecules and
help characterize their structural and chemical properties. The ability
to rapidly identify and characterize proteins and is critical to our ongoing
study of genomics and proteomics.
English said the facilities will be shared by the Centre for Research
in Molecular Modelling and the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics.
Her collaborators are Paul Joyce, Heidi Muchall, Justin Powlowski, Cameron
Skinner and Joanne Turnbull, all in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
and Jack Kornblatt, Reginald Storms, Adrian Tsang and Luc Varin, of the
Department of Biology.
The Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science received the same number
of awards as last year, 37, to a value of $3.5 million, over four years,
a 19-per-cent increase over last year. There are currently 87 NSERC recipients
in the Faculty.
An NSERC University Faculty Award will enable the hiring of Paula Wood-Adams,
currently an assistant professor at McGill. A specialist in the flow behaviour
of molten polymers, Dr. Wood-Adams will join Concordia in two weeks, and
start teaching in September.
Her award is part of an NSERC program designed to increase the representation
of women and aboriginal people in faculty positions in the natural sciences
and engineering. The competition for this award was intense, with only
a 52-per-cent success rate.
Dean Nabil Esmail was delighted to note that a number of the NSERC awards
were to new professors, including Amnon H. Eden and Ahmed Seffah (Computer
Science), Purnendu Sinha (Electrical/Computer), and Brandon Gordon and
Ibrahim Hassan (Mechanical).