NAIT research projects receive almost $3 million in NSERC funding

Published on June 13, 2019

Boreal forest reclamation, oil sands tailings management and sensors for wireless technology among the projects funded by federal agency

EDMONTON – Three NAIT research projects have received close to $3 million in total funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The money, from NSERC’s Colleges and Community Innovation program, will be used to further research in the following areas:

  1. NAIT’s Centre for Boreal Research in Peace River received $1.75 million to advance its work in boreal reclamation. The money will create a service centre to put the centre’s plant and seed technology research into practice, working with industry to reclaim disturbed sites using native plants. The project includes work driven by Indigenous communities in the area to help identify, collect, handle, store and grow native plant species in the centre’s nurseries.
  2. NAIT’s Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability received $1 million to fund a five-year NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Oil Sands Tailings Management. Dr. Heather Kaminsky’s research focuses on new technologies to help solve the huge challenge in the oil sands industry posed by fluid fine tailings, a waste product of the oil sands extraction process.
  3. NAIT’s Centre for Sensors and System Integration received $149,438 for a project to measure and test signal strength for wireless communication for the Internet of Things and other technologies.



Kevin Kemball, director of business development, Centre for Boreal Research
“With this funding, we can now become a service centre for business. We’ve been researching and innovating – now we want to get that information out to industry to make a difference.”

Dr. Heather Kaminsky, NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Oil Sands Tailings Management
“I’m excited because this is an opportunity for us to be a collaborative hub in this area, to work on the problem together and continue that communication so we’re all speaking the same language.”

Peter Laffin, director of business development, Centre for Sensors and System Integration
“This analytical equipment will allow us to evaluate and potentially optimize new technologies that our industry partners bring us. On paper, things work nicely in an isolated environment, but you need to put them in a real environment.”

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With nearly 40,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to the provincial economy. NAIT also contributes to Alberta’s prosperity by helping business and industry become more competitive with Industry Solutions offered through its Productivity and Innovation Centre, including technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

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