CBU Researchers Awarded NSERC Discovery Grants

Three Cape Breton University researchers were recently awarded funding from the Natural Science Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant program. Their work will progress over five years, thanks to the investment of federal funds.  

Enayat Rajabi, Assistant Professor in Business Analytics in the Shannon School of Business (SSOB), will study Semantic Web Data Analytics over Nova Scotia Open Data with $156,000 from the federal funding agency. Dr. Rajabi says that this research will help capture the benefits of data analytics on current and future open data platforms. “There are extensive published data openly accessible in different domains, where organizations and governments hope that such data are used, analyzed and presented to a wide range of people, from professional statisticians to the lay public,” says Dr. Rajabi.  Open data published in different provincial open data platforms across Canada in community health, for example, provide value in the hidden relationships among the published datasets that may currently exist in isolation.”  Dr. Rajabi’s research will lead to a semantic web analytics approach, which will provide a valid framework to examine open data in Nova Scotia. 

Hamid AfshariAssistant Professor Supply Chain Management in the SSOB, received over $140,000 to support a project in Optimal Design of Renewable Energy Supply Chains Under Uncertainty. Dr. Afshari says this work will contribute to the big picture of working towards sustainable energy accessibility and practice. “The long-term objective of this research program is to develop a methodological framework to help different stakeholders like industries, communities and government through the transition to sustainable sources of energy, explains Dr. Afshari.  “The research will focus on developing an analytical framework to support the application of a renewable energy supply chain, considering the optimal mix of renewable energy sources in different geographical, size, and energy profile settings This research is essential for Canada due to the large number of small and medium sized energy users living in rural and distant communities. 

Deanne van RooyenAssociate Professor in Geology in the School of Science and Technology, will study Igneous intrusions, their metamorphic host rocks, and shear zones, Cape Breton Island, NS; age relationships and tectonic context, with $30,000 from an NSERC Discovery Development Grant. This research involves field mapping to determine the ages of specific rocks and find out under what pressure and temperature conditions they formed. “Some areas in Cape Breton are closely related to the North American continent and are over one billion years old, while others originally formed off the coasts of what are now West Africa and South America,” says Dr. van Rooyen. “This work will help us understand the complex processes that formed Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island and how the terrains connect with those in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and the larger Appalachian system which extends from the southern USA, through Canadainto Western Europe and Scandinavia.”   

“The continued support from research funding agencies is a testament to the expertise of CBU researchers in addressing important research questions across disciplines,” says Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett, Associate Vice-President, Academic & Research. “The NSERC grant program is designed to support established and emerging researchers, which is allowing us to maintain and grow our research programs. We are thrilled that our researchers continue to be recognized with support from our funding partners.” 

NSERC’s Discovery Grants program supports ongoing research with long-term goals, while also allowing researchers to pursue promising high-risk, high reward topics and ideas.