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University of Alberta

Country: Canada

University of Alberta

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27 Projects, page 1 of 6
  • Funder: SNSF Project Code: 104933
    Funder Contribution: 12,350
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/X007111/1
    Funder Contribution: 8,537 GBP

    EPSRC : Patrick Curran : EP/L016273/1 The UK and Canada have officially declared a climate emergency; clean energy production is vital in combatting climate change. Offshore wind proves a viable method of green energy production for the UK and Canada. Titanium alloys offer longer lasting structural materials than steels, but titanium is expensive. Recycling titanium from aerospace waste offers a cost effective and green source of high-performance materials. A novel recycling process called field assisted sintering technology, can easily recycle titanium. The combination of crashing waves and corrosive environment, damages offshore renewable-energy structures. In this project we investigate the effects that the marine environment has on the growth of cracks in the currently used steels and recycled titanium by bending the titanium and steel within a marine environment and measuring crack growth using innovative non-contact techniques like digital image correlation. We expect that the crack growth will be faster in the currently used steel than recycled titanium. This would mean that a wind turbine made from titanium would have a longer lifetime and produce more green energy, which could make it cost and energy effective.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/T014652/1
    Funder Contribution: 10,065 GBP

    ESRC : Fiona Long: ES/P00069X/1 Housing First was introduced in Edmonton, Alberta in 2009 and had the ambitious goals of ending homelessness by giving chronically homeless people a permanent home, followed by the provision of wrap-around support, with client choice being a central aspect. Since implementation, HF has yielded several successful outcomes, for example, 80% of HF participants have remained housed for at least 12 months. On the face of it, this move appears to be highly socially progressive. However, when considered within wider context of homeless governance, this shift towards HF simultaneously represents a shift away from forms of emergency support such as hostel and drop-in centres, and consequently a move away from 'service-dependent ghettos' or 'service hubs' (Evans, Collins and Chai, 2018). Service hubs consist of a range of small-scale, often centrally located services, which tend to interact with one another. This spatial concentration of impoverished individuals in deprived, 'no-go' areas is one of the logics underpinning Wacquant's concept of urban marginality (1999). Wacquant emphasises that such neighbourhoods are the creation of state planning and housing policies, and that their diffusion is therefore largely a political issue. Viewed from this perspective, Edmonton's housing policy can be seen in part as an attempt to disperse its homeless service hub. Whilst multiple reasons may underly the socio-spatial management of homeless populations, Evans and DeVerteuil (2018) highlight the prominence of urban gentrification. However, Evans Collins and Chai (2018) have explored the resilience Edmonton's downtown service hub in the face of gentrification; identifying strategies used to defend against displacement and stressing the importance of resilience for the security, wellbeing, and survival of homeless populations. This research project will therefore explore the resilience of service hubs in the wake of HF. A number of studies have sought to explore this topic by first mapping the geographical locations of service hubs and then conducting interviews with either representatives of those services (DeVerteuil, 2012; Evans, Collins and Chai, 2018) or users of those services (Kearns et al, 2019). These studies begin by identifying meso-level service hub assemblages, before focusing on micro-level accounts. Rather than taking a pre-established map of service hubs as its starting point, this study represents a new methodological approach, which will encourage homeless individuals to create their own maps; using micro-level accounts to identify meso-level assemblages. A bottom-up approach to mapping homeless cities can unveil 'hidden' aspects of these landscapes which may be invisible to non-homeless people e.g. CCTV cameras (Kiddey, 2014). Further, as the 'urban environment both shapes and is shaped by all those who inhabit it' (Cloke, May and Johnsen, 2008: 241), remapping the city in this way can draw attention to the ways in homeless individuals rework space through both tactical negotiations and spontaneous emotions within the context of regulation and resistance. I will recruit participants on a convenience basis, asking to accompany them whilst they go about their usual routines. GPS technology will be used to track these daily movements, thereby creating an individual service hub map (Hall and Smith, 2013). I will combine GPS-mapping with auto-photography, by asking participants photograph places which they utilise or are significant to them (Johnsen, May and Cloke, 2008). Accompanying conversations will be conceived as a type of unstructured interview. This study will locate individual narratives within the changing terrains homeless governance, in order to explore the resilience of Edmonton's service hub in the wake of HF. GPS maps will also be plotted against existing service hub maps to assess points of convergence and divergence.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/X008304/1
    Funder Contribution: 12,484 GBP

    "NERC : Emma Louise White : NE/S007512/1" Climate change has disproportionately affected the Arctic, and the recent Sixth Assessment Report from the IPCC states that the Arctic is highly likely to continue warming at twice the average global rate. Outside of Greenland and Antarctica, the melting of glacial ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago has made the largest contribution to recent sea-level rise. This makes the Canadian Arctic Archipelago a critical region to understand, yet it remains understudied due to its remoteness. There are over 300 tidewater glaciers in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago which are in contact with the ocean. To understand the recent melting and ice mass loss from these glaciers, it is highly important to understand how the ocean influences them. This work will focus on an area of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago called northern Baffin Bay, which is an important area to understand due to the presence of the two fastest retreating tidewater glaciers in the region. The North Water Polynya is also present in northern Baffin Bay, which is a large area of open water which remains free of sea ice. There is very high primary productivity in this area, and it sustains a large diversity of marine life which has led to it being classified as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The aim of this work is to improve understanding of ocean circulation in northern Baffin Bay, and the influence that ocean circulation has on melting tidewater glaciers in the region as well as local nutrient distributions. This study will use data from an ocean circulation model, along with a software called ARIANE, to release modelled particles in the vicinity of tidewater glaciers in northern Baffin Bay. These modelled virtual particles will be traced backwards in time, providing information on the origin of the particles and pathways that water follows as it enters the region. Once we have identified these pathways, we will then consider the temperature of water travelling along these pathways, and where warmer water is able to access. In particular, we will assess if warmer, deeper water originating from the Atlantic Ocean is able to reach the tidewater glaciers in the region. This is important to understand, as warmer water is able to drive more melting of glaciers, so it is crucial to understand if warmer Atlantic Water is in contact with tidewater glaciers. We will also consider the nutrients that are supplied to the region by the ocean circulation pathways identified. Phytoplankton are photosynthetic organisms that form the base of many marine food chains, similar to plants. They are found in the surface ocean where there is light availability, and they also require nutrients to grow. Ocean circulation pathways can provide these nutrients to the surface ocean, and it is therefore an important control on primary productivity. Tidewater glaciers can influence the supply of nutrients to the surface ocean because where the glaciers are in contact with the ocean, the freshwater buoyancy input from them can lead to upwelling of deeper, nutrient rich waters towards the surface, where these nutrients can stimulate phytoplankton growth. In summary, the main aims of this work will be to 1) identify pathways of water transport to northern Baffin Bay to improve understanding of ocean circulation in the region; 2) assess the influence of ocean circulation and pathways of warmer water on melting tidewater glaciers; and 3) assess the impact that ocean circulation has on nutrient distributions, and therefore primary productivity.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/T014075/1
    Funder Contribution: 13,187 GBP

    EPSRC: Thomas Robinson: EP/S023070/1 Static mixers are solid structures that can be inserted into process piping to homogenise a fluid flow as it passes through it. This means that at any point in the pipe, the fluid is the same as at any other point. Currently, multiple different designs of static mixer exist, and the two most eminent static mixers are the Chemineer KM mixer and the Sulzer SMX mixer. These came to prominence in the early 1980s and most sold static mixers are derivative of these two designs. As part of my Chemical Engineering Master's thesis at the University of Birmingham, I worked with CALGAVIN LTD on the design of a brand-new static mixer design and compared it against those current market leaders. To assess the capabilities of this design we employed the use of Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF). Put simply, if a mixture of two separate fluids is pumped into the inlet of static mixer, at the outlet of the mixer, the two fluids will have become more mixed. If you add a dye that fluoresces under laser light to one of the initial fluids, you can shine a laser at the outlet of the static mixer to make the dye give off light. This light can be captured with a camera and generates an image that shows the distribution of the fluid in the pipe after mixing. By doing some post-processing and calibration, the exact concentration of each fluid can be calculated from this image as well as a value for how mixed it is. Different static mixers and different flow conditions (temperatures, viscosities, velocity, etc...) can be tested and compared to find which static mixer offers the best mixing. The PLIF research validated the new static mixer and showed it has promise against the KM-type and SMX-type mixers. This PLIF technique can be used to rapidly iterate a new static mixer design but it has inherent downsides. Like when mixing squash and water, they cannot be unmixed. It is the same with the PLIF experiments, the test fluids are irreversibly mixed. When this test fluid is expensive, it adds significant costs to experimental testing. To mitigate this expense, this 12-week research project has been proposed. The premise is to use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to run analogous testing in computer simulations. If the simulations can be accurately mapped to the experimental results that have already been taken, it will allow a computer to test multiple small design changes to the static mixer that could never all be tested experimentally. This proposal represents a significant benefit to both the UK and Canadian parties involved. The University of Birmingham and CALGAVIN will gain access to the expertise of the modelling team in the University of Alberta and in return, they will receive world-class experimental data that can be used to hone their simulations to match real work experimentation. The output of this research will, therefore, be higher confidence in more accurate CFD simulation techniques as well as drastically lower development costs of the new static mixer with increased chances of it becoming a viable market product.

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