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Build 2000


Trent University Receives Over $450,000 in CFI Funding to Support Two Researchers


Chemistry Professor David Ellis and Physics Professor Ralph Shiell Receive Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Investment

Monday, March 27, 2006, Peterborough

Today, Trent University welcomed the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) investment of $453,049 supporting two research projects lead by Chemistry Professor David Ellis and Physics Professor Ralph Shiell.

"These awards represent a strategic boost to the research capacities of Trent University," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. "It's investments like these that have transformed Canada's research landscape over the past decade and made the country a destination of choice for the world's best researchers."

The CFI Funding will go toward supporting two Trent University research projects, which will be lead by Professor David Ellis of the Chemistry Department and Professor Ralph Shiell of the Physics Department.

"This vital investment from CFI helps Trent achieve the goal of attracting talented researchers to our university, like Professor Ellis and Professor Shiell, as well as helping to ensure that they have the necessary tools to conduct leading edge research", said Professor James D. A. Parker, Trent's Associate Vice President (Research).

Prof. David EllisThe grant will allow Professor Ellis to continue work on a project entitled "The Synthesis, Characterization, and Identification of Atmospheric Pollutants and Degradation Products in the Canadian Troposphere". For the past ten years, Professor Ellis has been working with a team exploring perfluorinated pollutants found in polar bears in the Canadian High Arctic. The CFI funds will allow the team to purchase equipment that will be used to analyze pollutants in an artificial atmosphere chamber to be created at Trent University.

"This is a big emerging environmental issue," said Professor Ellis. "It is a number one priority for Environment Canada to find out how these pollutants are being transported to the Arctic."

Physics Professor Ralph Shiell will use the funding to support his research project, "Laboratory for Coherent Control of Novel Molecular States". The main goal of the project will be to study unusual molecules with extreme properties, such as massive size and/or a significantly enhanced sensitivity to electric and magnetic fields. These molecules will be used to study both fundamental and applied physics.

"As everyday objects, such as computer chips and memory cards, get smaller and smaller, they approach the quantum limit and, therefore, this understanding becomes of greater importance for technological applications," Professor Shiell said. "The funds from CFI will enable a high-specification turntable and pulsed laser, together with advanced test and measurement equipment, to be situated at Trent."

The CFI announced a total of $23.6 million in new funds for 35 institutions across the country. Today's announcement marks the inauguration of the CFI's new Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF). This new program, created to reflect Canada's fast-evolving research environment, was designed to give Canadian universities the added flexibility they need to both attract and retain the very best of today's and tomorrow's researchers at a time of intense international competition for leading faculty.

Prof. SchiellThe CFI's Board of Directors approved this investment under two funds: $19.7 million under the Leaders Opportunity Fund and $3.9 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, an accompanying program which assists universities with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects.

Mr. Dean Del Mastro, Member of Parliament, Peterborough, praised Trent University's faculty for their success in obtaining federally funded grants to support their research.

"The reputation that Trent University has garnered as Research University of the Year is built in part upon its faculty's success in securing new investments from federally supported granting councils such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation," he said. "Through CFI, the federal government is playing an important role in assisting universities such as Trent University to attract and retain faculty of the calibre of Professors Ellis and Shiell."

A complete list of LOF projects, by university, can be found at: www.innovation.ca.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

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For further information, please contact: James D. A. Parker, Associate Vice President (Research) - Trent University (705) 748-1011 x7935
Angus McKinnon, Coordinator, Media Relations - Canada Foundation for
(613) 996-3160
Tony MacMillan, Executive Assistant to MP Dean Del Mastro
(705) 745 2108

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Last Updated March 27, 2006