ST. FX Office Of Research Services A Major Resource For Local Businesses

The local economy is getting a boost from a diverse range of innovative research from StFX. “It’s awesome to see our faculty working together with their students on scientific problems facing industry,” says Andrew Kendall, StFX’s manager of Industry Liaison and Knowledge Transfer. “These students will be graduating from StFX with real-world, industry relevant experience and it’s a great way to get an edge-up on launching a career. “We have a new season of applied research and better ways to assess the cleanup of hydrocarbon contaminated lands, new ways to reduce sodium in commercially produced bread dough, safer and more efficient ways for safety inspections of bridges and more refined tools to pinpoint methane emissions from coal seams for environmental monitoring.” The bridge inspection project is a great example of faculty and students supporting a local company, says Mr. Kendall. “StFX engineering professor Frank Comeau and his undergraduate students are looking at ways for an aerial drone to inspect a bridge and send visual and other digital information regarding structural safety to the drone operating inspector.” “This is a fairly complex problem because the metal of the bridge can interfere with wireless transmission of this information,” says Dr. Comeau. “I will be working with my students to deal with this problem by crafting new circuitry and associated software processing of the data collected by the drone. But I am confident that we can find a solution.” Dr. Vidya Limaye, president of the Halifax-based company SHM Canada Consulting Ltd. for whom this work is being done says the StFX research should result in his small company being able to compete for much larger bridge inspection projects. “It makes good business sense for me to partner with StFX to tackle these problems. This research will give my company an advantage in this specialty engineering area. I am already thinking of more research that I can do with StFX when this project is over,” he adds.