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19 MUN Student Researchers Awarded Applied Research Funding

The individuals were recognized this morning at MUN’s main campus in St. John’s for their Ocean Industries Student Research Award wins. The awards come with supportive funding meant to build the ranks, in province, of qualified researchers who are active in investigations relevant to the offshore industries.

The Ocean Industries Student Research Award funding ranges from $7,500 for bachelor degree-level programs, to $20,000 a year for master’s candidates and a maximum of $30,000 a year for doctoral candidates.

The awards, the latest being the sixth round, are often announced in the fall. The Telegram was told provincial and federal elections delayed the announcement of the latest 19 awards, with $960,000 coming through provincial government investment.

Of the 19 recipients in the latest round, 15 are doctoral and master’s candidates and four are undergraduate students.

Awards are issued based on a collection of considerations, according to RDC, including: a student’s academic performance, the merit of their research plan, relevance of that research to the ocean industries and any private company partnerships also supporting the work.

The funding helps students to attend relevant international conferences, reach out to potential colleagues, or simply focus more on the work, by reducing stress associated with covering even a month of bills.

At the podium, Memorial University of Newfoundland president Gary Kachanoski congratulated the most recent winners.

“At the grad student orientation that we have every fall, I make the point of thanking graduate students for choosing to come to Memorial University,” he said. “I do it to make sure that everyone is reminded that these are talented people that can go anywhere in the world and we’ve got to have the right conditions and the right reasons for them to want to come here.”

Kachanoski also said the Crown corporation RDC has played an important role in building research and development capacity at the university, while also fostering industry partnerships for the purpose of R&D in-province.

Acting RDC CEO Mark Ploughman said over 100 researchers have been awarded funds under the Ocean Industries Student Research Awards program since 2010.

“RDC is proud to invest in these students as they draw upon our province’s rich natural resources to advance research that will possibly impact future economic growth,” he said.

The latest recipients of the RDC Ocean Industries Student Research Awards are:

Fisheries and Aquaculture

• Bruno Gianasi, PhD (Ocean Sciences), exploring the potential of the commercial sea cucumber.

• Cheng Zhaohai, PhD (Environmental Science/Interdisciplinary), Trawl technology for the Newfoundland shrimp industry.

• Cole Walsh, B.Sc. (Mathematics and Statistics/Physics and Physical Oceanography), Examining pathological otoliths in Atlantic Cod near Newfoundland.

• Jonathan Bergshoeff, M.Sc. (Ocean Sciences), developing an optimal removal program for the invasive European green crab in Newfoundland.

• Melissa Cook, M.Sc. (Environmental Science), Biological effects of contamination on aquatic species with a focus on oil and gas contaminants.

• Nicola Zargarpour, M.Sc. (Ocean Sciences), Using underwater video to investigate the impact of invasive European green crab (Carcinus Maenas) on lobster catch, and inform mitigation strategies.

• Phillip Meintzer, M.Sc. (Ocean Sciences), improving the efficiency of cod pots for fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador,

Marine Transportation

• Doug Smith, PhD (Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering), Probabilistic accident modeling for arctic shipping

Ocean Technology

• Michaela Ryan, B.Sc. (Chemistry/Biochemistry), The use of porous metal-organic frameworks for the sensing and sequestration of the environmental pollutant HONO (AKA Nitrous Acid).

• Mohamed Ismail, PhD (Civil Engineering), Use of rubberized concrete in offshore structures

Offshore Petroleum

• Alex Brubacher, B.Sc. (Earth Sciences), Structural analysis of the Flat Rock Thrust Zone: Tectonic implications for onshore and offshore regions of Eastern Newfoundland.

• Alireza Dehghani Sanij, PhD (Mechanical Engineering), Theoretical and numerical modeling of heat loss and ice accretion on marine vessels and offshore structure.

• Daniel Jose Sivira Ortega, M.Sc. (Earth Sciences), Alteration of the wetting character of the composite rock through enhanced oil recovery methods for the Ben Nevis formation, Hebron Field, Jeanne d’Arc Basin, offshore Newfoundland, Canada.

• Fan Jiang, PhD (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Joint data detection and channel estimation in underwater acoustic communications.

• Ladan Khaksar, PhD (Mechanical Engineering), A prediction model for internal corrosion due to hydrogen sulfide in Terra Nova oilfield pipelines

• Mashrura Musharraf, PhD (Oil and Gas Engineering), offshore emergency response team training with artificial team members.

• Qinhong Cai, PhD (Civil Engineering), Hyperproduction of bio-dispersants by genetically engineered species and their applications for offshore and deep sea oil spill response in harsh environments.

• Sean Murphy, B.Sc. (Earth Sciences), Three dimensional ichnology of the trace fossil parahaentzschelinia and its relationship to fracturing in unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs.

• Tristan Strong, M.Sc. (Oil and Gas Engineering), Offshore huff ‘n’ puff for injector well improved oil recovery.