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University of Alberta

Country: Canada
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27 Projects, page 1 of 6
  • Funder: SNSF Project Code: 104933
    Funder Contribution: 12,350
    Partners: University of Alberta
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/T014652/1
    Funder Contribution: 10,065 GBP
    Partners: Cardiff University, University of Alberta

    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.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/X007111/1
    Funder Contribution: 8,537 GBP
    Partners: University of Salford, University of Alberta

    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.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/T014075/1
    Funder Contribution: 13,187 GBP
    Partners: University of Alberta, University of Birmingham

    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.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/T014164/1
    Funder Contribution: 10,716 GBP
    Partners: University of Alberta, University of London

    STFC: Samuel D. Walton: 2062533 Near-Earth space holds two major surprises that scientists are yet to understand, one of which is the Van Allen Radiation Belts. As an astrophysical object, the Earth's magnetosphere would seem to be a rather small and insignificant item bathed by the wind that emanates from the Sun. However, this space contains an exotic zoo of high energy particles and electromagnetic waves that pose a significant hazard to space exploration. In the solar wind, the Earth's magnetic field is altered such that its bar magnet field becomes a bullet-shaped cavity that shields the Earth from the harmful output from the Sun. Only in specific circumstances can the solar wind penetrate this shield, and it is under these circumstances that the Earth's space environment becomes the most interesting and dynamic. The Earth's Radiation Belts were discovered by James Van Allen some 50 years ago quite by chance. These belts are doughnut-shaped regions of high-energy particle radiation trapped by Earth's magnetic field. These electrons are energised to significant fractions of the speed of light but as yet, scientists can offer no definitive explanation for how they are accelerated to such high energies. Since the discovery of the radiation belts, scientists have linked the acceleration and resultant loss of these electrons to the impact of large geomagnetic storms caused by explosive output from the Sun (such as Coronal Mass Ejections) on near-Earth space. However, no conclusive evidence has been put forward which can adequately explain this link. Understanding how these electrons are accelerated to very high energies (and then lost) is of critical importance to the exploitation of near-Earth space for human and technological gain. Most communication and military satellites must orbit through this harsh radiation environment. In fact, several satellite failures have been attributed to component failure during geomagnetic storms. It is essential, therefore, to monitor this "space weather" in order to protect the multi-billion pound space industry. This placement will be taken by Samuel Walton under the guidance of Professor Ian Mann, and will focus on the energetic electron dynamics in the Van Allen Radiation Belts from a long-lasting NASA spacecraft mission and, coupled with another NASA mission, be able to understand the dynamics of the radiation belts from the relative safety of low-earth orbit using novel techniques developed at the University of Alberta. The proposed project is therefore the natural culmination of methods and ideas developed separately in the UK and Canada, to advance our understanding of Van Allen radiation belt dynamics, improving current models and ultimately improving our ability to predict the behaviour.