Hillary Maddin at work

Seventy-eight faculty members and graduate students at Carleton University are receiving funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for 2015 to conduct groundbreaking research projects such as improving the energy efficiency of buildings and examining evolution in amphibians.

The funds include NSERC’s Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Research Tools and Instruments Grants, and Postgraduate Scholarships. The funding covers Carleton projects over a span of one to five years and totals $6.9 million. Faculty members and students receiving grants come from Carleton’s research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Design, Faculty of Science and the Sprott School of Business.

“Some of the world’s best researchers are working at Carleton University, as evidenced by their phenomenal success in this funding round,” said Kim Matheson, vice-president (Research and International). “NSERC’s support will help Carleton continue its leading science and engineering projects.”

Cynthia Cruickshank, associate professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Design with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has received a Discovery Grant valued at $110,000 over five years to improve the strategic use of heat pumps and thermal storage for residential buildings.

Heating, cooling and domestic hot water loads account for over 80 per cent of the residential energy use in Canada. These loads place significant peak energy demands that have a number of negative impacts on the electricity grid. Reducing peak energy demand on the grid is paramount over the next decade due to aging infrastructure that is rapidly approaching capacity. This project will improve the use of heat pumps and thermal storage which can alleviate the mismatch between off-peak periods and building occupant demands by allowing energy to be stored, thus reducing demand on fossil fuels during peak periods.

Hillary Maddin, a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences in the Faculty of Science, also received a Discovery Grant, worth $160,000 over five years. She will use the funds to examine patterns and processes in the evolution of amphibians.

Evolutionary transformations, such as the transformation from fins to limbs, have captured the attention of naturalists for centuries. Results of this research will rewrite our understanding of several major transformations among land-dwelling vertebrates known as lissamphibians, examples of which include frogs and salamanders and are currently face a global diversity crisis. Maddin’s work in understanding their evolution and past diversity provides avenues for teaching students and the public about the importance of research into understanding present diversity and conservation.

About Research at Carleton University:
Carleton University is a dynamic, interdisciplinary research-intensive institution with a creative international approach to research that has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and engineering, business, public policy and the arts. Home to many award-winning researchers, Carleton is uniquely committed to discovery, knowledge, and understanding of the world around us.

About NSERC:
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging about 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

Media Inquiries:
Chris Cline
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 1391

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