Developing Tools to Evaluate the Effectiveness of NGO WaSH Interventions in Low to Middle Income Countries

H2O4All is one of many small, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to address the needs of the 663 million who lack access to safe drinking water and the 2.4 billion who are without access to sanitation facilities in low- and middle-income countries. Unfortunately, evaluation of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) interventions are rarely a priority for NGOs like H2O4All whose projects are time and budget sensitive; this is concerning because without evaluation we cannot determine H2O4All’s impact on the communities in which it works.

Clinical development of avocado-derived lipids as modulators of fatty acid oxidation for the treatment and management of obesity and diabetes

Obesity and diabetes are a significant global burden and there is an immediate need for novel treatments and management strategies. Our lab has shown that an avocadoderived lipid is a potent inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation (i.e., the cellular breakdown of fat for energy) which reduces mouse weight gain without toxicity. Inhibition of fatty acid oxidation for the management and treatment of obesity and diabetes is an established therapeutic strategy. The objectives of this project are two-fold.

Chemical Synthesis of Graphene-Based Nanomaterials from Value-Added Carbon Obtained by Catalytic Conversion of CO2

CO2 is a greenhouse gas that impacts climate change. The Carbon Upcycling Technologies has developed a technique to attach gaseous CO2 molecules to graphite. In this project, this graphite will be converted to graphene using chemical oxidation methods. The one-atom thin monolayer graphene oxide will have potential applications in variety of industries, such as waste water treatment, gas separation and reinforcement of plastics.

Nonlinear adaptive neural controllers - Year two

Contemporary machine learning has been very successfully applied to processing static images and words in consumer applications, resulting in billions of dollars in recent acquisitions of machine learning companies by Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. However, applications to dynamic information (e.g. movies, controlling robotics) has been less well-developed. In this project, will develop and apply a novel machine learning method to neural control system for a sophisticated robotic arm.

Social Enterprises as Revenue Generation for the Non-Profit Sector in Canada

IL Canada would like to increase their revenue streams through inititating market-based approaches. The organization has struggled to identify appropriate social enterprise opportunities that can be replicated across the country. Examples of social enterprise opportunites for a NFP include: adding fee-for-service consulting; starting a new for-profit company that donates all profits to the organization; and offering new products which will be sold by the organization. This Mitacs intern will conduct a study and prepare a report that outlines social enterprise options for IL Canada.

Assessment of Urban Nonpoint Source Pollution in the Middle Grand River Watershed

The Grand River Water Management Plan is a collaborative initiative endorsed by more than 30 partner organizations, outlining best value solutions to current watershed challenges. The Plan identifies knowledge gaps, including the need to better understand the impacts of urban stormwater on the Grand River. The proposed research project draws on existing water quality and flow monitoring data to characterize urban nonpoint source pollution in the Middle Grand River and its tributaries.

Sustainable Food Systems for Future Cities: The Potential of Urban Agriculture from a Case Study in Nanjing, China

Urbanization is increasing rapidly worldwide, predominantly in developing countries, and thus becoming an issue in addressing food security. In addition to the conflict between sustaining rural agricultural production and the rapid consumption of land by growing urban activities, agricultural areas within or around cities are also being transformed. This is creating a need for diverse and responsive food systems.

Development of In-Situ Characterization tools for Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition System

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a popular tool for the deposition of thin film materials that are common in solar cells, sensors and display technologies. However, the need for a vacuum environment and slow material growth rates restricts ALD applicability in large scale commercial and industrial materials production. Atmospheric Pressure Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (AP-SALD or SALD) is a variant of ALD in which thin film materials are deposited without the need of a vacuum environment and with the added benefit of quicker deposition rates.

Expert Gestures for Multi-touch Interaction

Modern smartphones and tablets, and many notebook computers rely on multitouch interaction to augment keyboard and mouse input. Multi-touch gestures typically consists of taps and swipes - simple gestures that don't exploit the full range of technical and human capabilities. In earlier work, we determined that users are willing to learn expert-level gestures, but often find them difficult to discover and challenging to learn without formal training.

Understanding the facilitators and barriers to effective water and sanitation interventions for characterizing spatial trends of Shigella infections in Jiangsu, China

Home to the world’s largest population, China faces scarce water resources and water contamination problems are causing a significant portion of China’s rural population to live without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Exposure to water contaminated with human feces can cause severe diarrheal diseases, especially among children under the age of 5. In the Eastern province of Jiangsu, a significant number of diarrhea incidences are caused by shigellosis, or watery diarrhea.

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