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LEEF Research Chairs
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Research Chairs Technology

Chairs Appointed

Hyperspectral Remote Sensing – UVIC

*UPDATE SUMMER 2009 - Dr. Benoit Rivard completed his term as chairholder in 2009 and a search is underway to appoint a successor.

Dr. Benoit Rivard is the newly-appointed BC Leadership Chair in Hyperspectral Remote Sensing in the department of Geography at the University of Victoria, heading up the Imaging Spectroscopy laboratory. Hyperspectral remote sensing enables scientists to obtain simultaneous images in many narrow, contiguous spectral bands. Each image pixel provides information about a target’s chemical composition, brightness and absorption characteristics. As a result, hyperspectral data offers a more detailed examination of a scene than does data collected from broad, widely separated spectral bands. Dr. Rivard and his group will be developing improved algorithms and image processing techniques. There are geological, geographical, biochemical and environmental applications for this novel remote sensing technology. UVic scientists and their students are using it to look for early indications of mountain pine beetle infestations in forests, for instance. As well, hyperspectral remote sensing can reveal much about the state of the forest canopy and the stresses it’s experiencing due to environmental change and degradation. The main thrust of Dr. Rivard’s research, however, will be in the geological area, identifying rocks and minerals in support of mapping and mineral exploration.

Advanced Forest Products Manufacturing Technology– UBC - Dr. Philip Evans
Dr. Philip Evans has been named the B.C. Leadership Chair in Advanced Forest Products Manufacturing Technology. Before coming to UBC in 2001, he was director of the Centre for Science and Engineering of Materials at the Australian National University in Canberra. Evans’s research focuses on the structure and properties of wood at the macroscopic, microscopic and nanoscopic levels. He works with universities and corporations around the world on novel technologies for modifying and improving the properties of wood, as well as with B.C. communities that have relied on mills and are diversifying their economies. He was director of UBC’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing – the world’s largest university-based centre for R&D and education related to value-added wood processing – from 2001 to 2006.  Evans’s accomplishments include developing image software that can pick out cracks in timber and distinguish them from similar markings – such as annual growth rings – saving researchers the time-consuming job of counting the cracks by hand. This, along with a machine he developed to speed up cracking, is accelerating the process of finding treatments to prevent wood from weathering. He is also conducting groundbreaking research into new materials that mimic key structural elements found in wood.

Proposals Receiving Preliminary Approval
The following institutions have been invited to submit full proposals for Leading Edge Endowment Fund chairs.

Integrated Energy Systems - UVic
The Chair will build on the strong research base at the University of Victoria focused on the development of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies and will benefit from the existing partnerships with leading companies and organizations within the BC fuel cell and hydrogen cluster. The Chair will play a lead role in provincial initiatives to lay the foundations of the hydrogen economy, such as the Hydrogen Highway.

Multimedia communication - SFU
The marriage between high-speed digital networks and communications technology has changed the way that we live and conduct business. A variety of applications – from telemedicine to teleconferencing and integrated entertainment– have been developed and are becoming a part of our everyday life. This chair will experiment with diverse concepts and ideas to develop new applications and evaluate their potential to positively impact quality of life and our economy.

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