Terri-Jane Yuzda


Nanotech Initiatives Receive $3.1 million

Small Mechanics
This microelectronmechanical device is a combdrive-based, rotational actuator, fabricated in the U of A NanoFab by Mark Salomons, E.I.T. The entire device, less than 0.5 mm across, twists around the central pivit point when a voltage is applied across its combdrive fingers.

The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering received major funding last month for nanotechnology research and innovation. Under the $3.1 million in federal new money, the NanoFabrication Facility will acquire new equipment, the Centre of Excellence in Integrated NanoTools will be created to accelerate research capability at the university, and new applied research will be undertaken to develop more cost-effective alloy materials.

“Western Economic Diversification and the Government of Canada continue to be strong supporters and partners with the province and the University of Alberta in the nanotechnology and microsystems industry,” Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan said March 16 on behalf of Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan, the minister of Western Economic Diversification Canada. “Scientists and researchers in the province of Alberta and Edmonton in particular are leading the world in the development of 21st century technologies, and should be commended for their continued innovation and entrepreneurship.”

“The Alberta Government continues to make investments in key areas such as nanotechnology that help strengthen the province’s research system and support the commercialization of innovative technology,” said Victor Doerksen, minister of Alberta Innovation and Science. “Collaborating with other governments, industry and universities has enabled us to create new opportunities and continues to put Alberta on the map as a centre of excellence for research and technology development.”

Engineering Dean Dr. David Lynch, P.Eng., expressed appreciation for this increased capacity. “Combined contributions from the federal and provincial governments, the private sector, and the university will produce a critical mass of intellectual property to demonstrate the Faculty of Engineering’s nanotechnology research strategy,” he said. “This funding will contribute to unparalleled research and commercial opportunities for all participants.”

As a research field, nanotechnology has nearly limitless potential applications, from the creation of molecule-sized robots, to fuel cells that do not need to be recharged and molecular capsules capable of conveying precise quantities of medication directly to the site of infection or disease within a patient’s body. A platform technology still in its infancy, nanotechnology also has practical applications in telecommunications, manufacturing, and a variety of other industries that will ultimately improve the efficiency and quality of life of Albertans, Canadians, and people worldwide.

Home | Past PEGGs | PEGG Search | Contact Us