University of Calgary

Three Accelerator grants boost Schulich research on GPS interference, smartphone navigation, oil sands recovery

UToday HomeMay 27, 2013

By Jane Chamberlin

Naser El-Sheimy, professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering.Naser El-Sheimy, professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering, researches personal navigation systems for next generation smartphones. Photo by Riley Brandt
Gérard Lachapelle, professor of geomatics.Gérard Lachapelle, professor of geomatics, and his team explore ways to solve GPS problems related to the electronic interference caused by an increasingly crowded spectrum. Photo by Riley Brandt
John Chen, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering.John Chen, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, focuses on ways to improve the recovery of oil sands resources. Photo by Ken Bendiktsen

Three researchers from the Schulich School of Engineering have been awarded prestigious Discovery Grant Accelerator Supplements from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The award totals $120,000, given in three annual installments to a select group of researchers – recipients of Discovery Grants – whose proposals have the potential to be truly transformative and groundbreaking.

The three were among a total of six researchers from the University of Calgary who received Accelerator Grants, along with another 89 researchers who received NSERC Discovery Grants. Read more about the recent grant announcement.

Naser El-Sheimy, Canada Research Chair in Mobile Multi-Sensor Geomatics Systems, will address the challenges of creating viable personal navigation systems for next generation smartphones. The goal is to provide a multisensor-assisted solution for personal navigation that is ubiquitous, continuous, reliable, and seamless. It’s a complex challenge, given that human movement isn’t contained by defined routes like roads or railways.

Gérard Lachapelle, professor of geomatics and Canada Research Chair in Wireless Location, will be applying his accelerator toward his work on GPS equipment. The benefits of this accelerator extend to the graduate student experience at Schulich.

“The grants will enable me to assist with the hiring of two post-doctoral fellows to further increase research quality and improve graduate student training,” says Lachapelle. He and his team are exploring ways to solve GPS problems related to the electronic interference caused by an increasingly crowded spectrum. The project has a broad range of practical applications, from marine navigation to tracking patients who are mentally challenged.

Also on the accelerator list is Zhangxing (John) Chen, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, NSERC/AI-EES/Foundation CMG Chair in Reservoir Simulation and AITF (iCORE) Chair in Reservoir Modeling. Chen’s overall research centers on reservoir models and simulations that help uncover new, more economical and sustainable ways to recover heavy oil and oil sands resources. The accelerator will allow him to focus on reservoir and wellbore models; geomechanical modules and solutions for describing the actual physics of fluid flow and heat transfer; and predicting the performance of Canadian heavy oil sands reservoirs. Chen welcomes the additional funding boost, saying, “This award will provide substantial and timely additional resources to accelerate the progress of my research.”

 

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