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Saint Mary’s University

Tracing its earliest beginnings to 1802, Saint Mary’s received degree-granting status in 1841 and formally became a university in 1952. It is home to one of the first commerce faculties in Canada and currently ranks among the top ten primarily undergraduate universities in Canada, according to Maclean’s magazine. Saint Mary’s has a history of achievement, strong collaborations with partners at institutions all over the world, and a tradition of engaging undergraduate students in hands-on research.

Research Capabilities

Green Chemistry

  • Specializing in ionic liquids and other solvents applied in: Waste water remediation, carbon capture, CFL cleanup, etc.
  • Nanoscale materials, interfacial electrochemistry, plasmonics (e.g. gold samples differing in particle size shape), surface-enhanced spectroscopy, sustainable nanotechnology and biosensors (wearable nanosensors that can detect disease biomarkers through sweat and other bodily fluids).

Computer Science & Data Analytics

  • Big Data Analytics: Expertise in mining and manipulating data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, wearable technology, image processing, intelligent transportation systems and optimization using evolutionary algorithms.
  • Image Processing: Processing an image through data analytics. Receive the image, transform to data, analyze data and return output. The biggest challenge is data input, gathering the images necessary to have a large data set.
  • Automation: Automating the data analyzed to return meaningful output. Machine learning is a big factor here, where the data received can be analyzed and optimized based on the given parameters.
  • User X
  • Lightweight phoneme recognition engine (linguistics)


  • Mechanical Engineering: The Laboratory of Control Systems and Mechatronics is a research laboratory that focuses on mechatronics engineering and technology, offering a broad range of research opportunities in automation, control and energy conversion systems.
  • Working with adjustable dynamic multi-source energy converters to optimize efficiency. Adjustable blade pitch, predictive energy storage, optimized energy source, etc.
  • Connected to DAL and IDEAhub through engineering partnership
  • Artificial Intelligence, research areas focus on applying machine learning and optimization to embedded, real-time system development in both hardware and software. Kernel machine algorithms is used for online machine learning, big data applications, and problem solving related to computer vision, signal processing, system optimization and extraction of knowledge from large data sets, passive acoustic characterisation and visualisation within Virtual Reality


  • Functional interactions between crop plants and beneficial micro-organisms
  • Optimizing biomass crops as biofuel feedstocks
  • Virology and Immunology, testing yeasts and bacteria strains in search for new antibiotics

Business & Commerce

  • Operations Management
    • Mathematical modeling of strategic, tactical, and operational production planning problems, Modeling distribution planning problems (vehicle routing, trawler routing) and scheduling and planning of manpower resources
    • Applying sophisticated quantitative techniques such as simulation, statistical analysis, linear and nonlinear optimization and other operations research methods in solving business-related problems
  • Marketing
    • ‘Green marketing’ – effective use of social media to help small businesses grow
    • Helping companies learn how to grow sustainably, especially those that actively care about their community and environment
    • Analyzing customer experience and customer satisfaction to develop brand strategy

Environmental Sciences

  • Monitor and manage environmental contamination
  • Contaminants in the aquatic environment
  • Mapping mercury contamination in aquatic
  • Access to Clean-room Trace Element Analytical Laboratory
  • Using environmentally sustainable coastal engineering principles to mitigate the effects of climate change in  inter-tidal zones and salt-march wetland


  • Sourcing technology-critical metals
  • Toxic metal extraction
  • Organic Geochemistry Lab: two-dimensional gas chromatographer

Centre for Environmental Analysis and Remediation (CEAR)

  • Instrumentation technology, sample analysis and methodology development for chemical analysis in the areas of chromatography, mass spectrometry and element analyses. These technologies are particularly suitable for:
    • Separation and purification of compounds in mixtures
    • Structural interpretation and identification of analytes
    • Quantification of elements and compounds
    • Evaluation of purity of synthesized compounds
    • Characterization of unknown substances

Maritime Provinces Spatial Analysis and Research Center (MP_SpARC)

  • Large-format digitizing table.
  • Large-bed scanner (large documents, including aerial photography)
  • Millimeter level of accuracy for: Recording the location of points of interest, measuring differences in elevation, or quickly survey topographic conditions
  • Easily plot civic addresses on maps, overlay data from different sources and scales, convert coordinates between different projections and datums, and model and measure your data in three-dimensions
  • Subsurface geology software for efficient interpretation of horizons and faults, as well as the ability to convert time surfaces to depth surfaces, and 3D visualization and mode

Regional Geochemical Centre

  • Analytical x-ray fluorescence (XRF) determines elemental concentrations in environmental samples.
  • Geologic samples analyzed by crushing whole rocks into fine particles less than one-tenth of one millimeter in diameter. These powders then can either be pressed into flat pellets at high pressure or melted with a fluxing agent to form a glass like disk prior to analysis.
  • Measures loose powder or even liquid samples directly. We can typically analyze most elements down to the low parts per million levels using this technique.

Electron Microscopy Centre

  • Scanning/transmission electron microscopy of geological, chemical and biological materials.
  • Specimen preparation includes: microtomes, ultra-microtomes, critical point drier, tissue dryer, and the sputter coater.
  • Advanced techniques in specimen preparation and analysis, such as observation of frozen dehydrated samples at the SEM level, elemental analysis using Liquid Nitrogen free 80mm2 SDD INCA energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDS) and cathodoluminescence imaging system (Mini CL) of small specimens.

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