EaRTH District Collaborative Research Grant (EDCRG) initiative
The EaRTH District Collaborative Research Grant (EDCRG) initiative involving researchers from Centennial College, Ontario Tech University, Trent University and the University of Toronto Scarborough aims to develop collaborative projects with industry and government partners in the eastern GTA including Scarborough, Durham Region, and Peterborough.
This one-hour event on Tuesday April 19 (noon) will include an exciting showcase of collaborative research projects focusing on sustainable energy technologies involving current EDCRG awardees across the partner institutions.
Uniting some of Ontario’s greatest minds to fuel sustainable, resilient communities locally and around the world – this is the goal of the recently announced Environmental and Related Technologies Hub (EaRTH District), a collaborative research consortium between Trent University, Centennial College, University of Toronto Scarborough, Ontario Tech University, and Durham College.
“As one of Canada’s most sought-after locations for environmental research and innovation, Trent University is an integral partner in the EaRTH District and Research Consortium,” says Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “With 12 nature areas, an experimental farm and rooftop gardens, plus 15 environmental degrees, as well as renowned researchers, labs, facilities and Cleantech Commons– Trent is home to the environmental leaders of today and tomorrow.”
The consortium seeks to work with the public and private sectors, as well as Indigenous communities and will leverage the unique expertise and facilities of partner institutions. EaRTH envisions shared research facilities, joint interdisciplinary research projects, and collaborations on curriculum, teaching and learning. Trent’s Cleantech Commons is an excellent fit with the EaRTH District as a premier destination for collaborative clean, green, low-carbon, and sustainable technology research and development park. Cleantech Commons is a key future site for industry to connect with students, faculty, researchers and startups."
Research Projects Underway:
Greenhouse Project: Growing change through energy, education and equity: off-grid food production on-campus
Ensuring sustainable food and energy systems is at the core of the Greenhouse Project – an opportunity for students, researchers and community stakeholders to strengthen local food systems through clean technology applications and through embracing new socio-economic, cultural and educational practices. The project will be a true union of ‘hardscaping’ and ‘edible scaping’, with an Energy Efficient Food Production Method (i.e. a greenhouse) established at each partner institution. These greenhouses will be integrated into campus food systems, program curricula and broader community engagement efforts in a manner that addresses each campus community’s unique needs and opportunities.
Project team: Chef Sam Glass, School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culture, Centennial College; Sowmya Kishore, School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culture, Centennial College; Dr. Daniel Bender, University of Toronto Scarborough; Dr. Karen Thompson, Trent School of the Environment, Trent University; Dr. Daniel Hoornweg, Ontario Tech University.
Electro-EaRTH: Using smart materials and microbes towards electrocatalytic and bioelectrosynthetic avenues to alternative fuels and value-added chemicals
Clean, green energy solutions are key to addressing climate change and the production of biomass-derived chemicals as an alternative to fossil-based petrochemicals is fast gaining traction across the globe. The aim of the Electro-EaRTH project is to develop alternative technologies and strategies for electrochemical and microbial conversion of biomass-derived intermediates to value-added products, which will be highly beneficial to the biorefinery sector and other industrial partners. The synergistic expertise and proposed activities brought together through this project are poised to make significant advances in green and sustainable technologies, and will position the four institutions at the competitive edge in tackling global energy demands.
Project team: Dr. Sanela Martic, Assistant Professor, Department of Forensic Science, Environmental and Life Sciences Program, Trent University, Dr. Brad Easton, Faculty of Science, Ontario Tech University; Dr. Ruby Sullan, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough; Dr. Padmaja Shastri, Department of Applied Biological and Environmental Sciences, Centennial College.
Development of Improved Regenerative Braking Systems and New Batteries for Hybrid Hydraulic and Electric Heavy Vehicles
Clean, fuel-efficient vehicles are in high demand, with hybrid vehicle driving systems attracting much attention as an effective solution. This project aims to develop a hydraulic-based regenerative braking system for hybrid hydraulic heavy vehicles (HHHVs), as well integrated lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric heavy vehicles (HEHVs). These new technologies are expected to result in improved fuel economy of up to 70% and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40% for urban driving in HHHVs and HEHVs.
Project team: Yuping He (project lead), Department of Automotive and Mechatronic Engineering, Ontario Tech University; Oleksandr Voznyy, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto, Scarborough; Alan McClelland, School of Transportation, Centennial College; Kenzu Abdella, Department of Mathematics, Trent University.