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U of Alberta 140618-emerald-awards-ualberta-sign-teaserUAlberta partnership with TEC Edmonton, Innovate Calgary receives federal funding to help grow promising startups. By TEC Edmonton Staff on June 24, 2014 (Edmonton)

A partnership of the University of Alberta, TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary has been selected by the Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program to help business accelerators and incubators deliver their services to promising Canadian firms.

TEC Edmonton, Edmonton’s leading business incubator and accelerator, will offer additional business services to health-based startup companies, including new companies spun off from medical research at the U of A. Innovate Calgary, TEC Edmonton’s counterpart in Calgary, will focus its funding on energy-related high-tech startups.

With the U of A, the two business incubator/accelerators will also put the new funding to work by linking investment-ready new companies to existing investor networks focused on new, made-in-Alberta technologies.

U of Alberta 140618-emerald-awards-ualberta-sign-teaser

“This is fantastic news,” said Lorne Babiuk, vice-president (research) at the U of A. “It’s another example of how the University of Alberta continues to transfer its knowledge, discoveries and technologies into the community via commercialization to benefit society, the economy and Canada as a whole. We are delighted to be partnering with Innovate Calgary and TEC Edmonton, which are Alberta’s largest and most successful incubators, and among the best in the country. I thank the Government of Canada for their support and for this valuable program.” “CAIP funding allows us and our partners to enhance and expand our services supporting the innovation community and Alberta’s overall economic prosperity,” said Peter Garrett, president of Innovate Calgary.

“With our shareholders the University of Calgary, the Calgary Chamber and the City of Calgary, Innovate Calgary is committed to accelerating the growth of early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.” “TEC Edmonton is a true community partnership,” said TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb. “We were created by the University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton (through the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation) with strong support from the regional entrepreneurial community, technology investors, the Province of Alberta, the Canadian government and hundreds of volunteers.

With such support, TEC Edmonton has grown into one of Canada’s best tech accelerators. “This new federal funding strengthens TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary’s ability to help grow great new companies and to further commercialize research at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.”

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Aaron Veldstra is performing March 19 as part of U of Alberta Water Week 2014.

Performance art project explores remediation and sustainability in resource industry.    By Michael Brown

(Edmonton) At some point along the creative process, the waste left over from Aaron Veldstra’s various projects began to weigh on him. “Through creating, I realized I was making all these buckets of dirty water and just pouring them down the sink. I sort of became uncomfortable with the fact that I was just pouring my waste down the sink and it was disappearing, making it someone else’s problem,” said the first-year master of fine arts student in the Department of Art and Design. “Out of sight, out of mind—I was basically pushing the problem to a different space so I didn’t have to see it anymore.”

Veldstra, who has spent a decade of summers in the reclamation industry as a tree planter, says his first instinct was to find a way to reclaim his waste water, an interesting process in its own right that engaged his artistic side further. What has emerged is an early incarnation of a performance art project entitled Experiments in Artistic Hydrology, in which Veldstra attempts to engage people in a conversation about oil and the oil industry in Alberta using the concepts of remediation and sustainability.

“These terms get thrown around quite a bit, but what do they really mean? That’s the question that I’m asking or provoking through these acts.” The acts in question start with Veldstra marking his wall-sized canvas—two sheets of drywall—with a series of lines representing geographical data sets, such as pipelines, roads, cutlines and power lines, related to oil exploration and the resource industry in northern Alberta.

“When you clean something, you always make something else dirty.” Then, Veldstra applies thick beads of black ink using a syringe to trace along the data set lines. The resulting lines and drips are then sponged off using a combination of water and baking soda. “What I have is a bucket of dirty water, which I then filter using sand in a series of buckets,” said Veldstra, who models the filtration system after how most municipalities filter their citizens’ drinking water. “In the end, what I have is essentially clean water and a bunch of dirty sand. “The end result is when you clean something, you always make something else dirty.”

Veldstra says the project isn’t solely a critique of remediation and sustainability of oil producers, but also our reliance on oil in general. “We’re all implicated in our use of oil. It’s not specifically about oil companies, it’s about everybody: everybody wants to drive a car, everything we do involves oil in some way,” he said. “I’m using the oilsands as this contestable thing, but I’m not specifically talking about the giant holes we see north of Fort McMurray—it’s all of us.

“I’m just trying to broaden this conversation a little bit more, engage people through the act of doing something weird.” Watch Aaron Veldstra’s performance Veldstra is performing as part of U of Alberta Water Week in the PCL Lounge of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science March 19 from 5–9 p.m.

March 17–22 is U of Alberta Water Week, a campus celebration of water leading up to UN World Water Day. The theme of this year’s events is “Exploring Sustainable Practices for Water and Energy.” Events are free and open to the public.

Learn more about U of Alberta Water Week – See more at:

Printing Graphene Chips(Nanowerk News) Advanced plasma-based etching is a key  enabler of Moore’s Law that observes that the number of transistors on  integrated circuits doubles nearly every two years. It is the plasma’s ability  to reproduce fine patterns on silicon that makes this scaling possible and has  made plasma sources ubiquitous in microchip manufacturing.
A groundbreaking fabrication technique, based on what is called  a DC-augmented capacitively coupled plasma source, affords chip makers  unprecedented control of the plasma. This process enables DC-electrode borne  electron beams to reach and harden the surface of the mask that is used for  printing the microchip circuits. More importantly, the presence of the beam  creates a population of suprathermal electrons in the plasma, producing the  plasma chemistry that is necessary to protect the mask. The energy of these  electrons is greater than simple thermal heating could produce—hence the name  “suprathermal.” But how the beam electrons transform themselves into this  suprathermal population has been a puzzle.
Plasma Wave Spectrum
A  plasma wave can give rise to a population of suprathermal electrons. (Credit:  I.D. Kaganovich and D. Sydorenko)
Now a computer simulation developed at the U.S.  Department of Energy’s Princeton
Plasma Physics Laboratory in collaboration with the University  of Alberta has shed light on this transformation. The simulation reveals that  the initial DC-electrode borne beam generates intense plasma waves that move  through the plasma like ripples in water. And it is this beam-plasma instability  that leads to the generation of the crucial suprathermal electrons.
Understanding the role these instabilities play provides a first  step toward still-greater control of the plasma-surface interactions, and toward  further increasing the number of transistors on integrated circuits. Insights  from both numerical simulations and experiments related to beam-plasma  instabilities thus portend the development of new plasma sources and the  increasingly advanced chips that they fabricate.
55th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma  Physics
TO6.00005 Collisionless acceleration of plasma electrons by  intense electron beam
Session: Low Temperature Plasma Science, Engineering and  Technology
9:30 AM–11:06 AM, Thursday, November 14, 2013
Source: American Physical Society 

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3D Graphene 99Materials science and nanotechnology students at the University of Alberta have recently joined more than 70 universities across the world in becoming members of the internationally known Materials Research Society (MRS).



The newly established MRS chapter at the U of A is the first in Canada and will set an example for other universities in the country to follow, according to its founding member.

Rokib Hassan, PhD student and president of the U of A MRS chapter, said it’s becoming increasingly important for students to get involved with these global organizations, as they help foster a sense of leadership in their fields.

“What happens is the (students can) boost their research and commit to working with the materials research or nanotechnology communities,” he said.

“They’re trying to create a field or a platform for their students, so that they can become more passionate to pursue their interests or their research in the areas of materials research or nanotechnology.”

The idea to establish a chapter at the U of A came to Hassan when he travelled to Cancun for an MRS conference and saw the types of schools that were represented — some of the largest, most prestigious American universities had established chapters, he said, but no Canadian schools.

“I was quite shocked when I went there,” Hassan said. “I started thinking, ‘Why not from Canada?’ We are just beside the U.S., and if the U.S. are leading all the (research), why not Canada?”

Hassan said when he began the process of founding the U of A chapter, he received positive responses from the community, quickly gathering interested undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members in a matter of weeks.

Going forward, the new chapter aims to host its own symposium next year, and eventually create undergraduate funding and a summer research program. Hassan said the chapter, like the ever-changing fields of nanotechnology and materials science, is looking to build the future.

“In the future, everything is coming up to the materials science and nanotechnology, if you think about making all the devices for your iPhone or smartphone,” he said.“Everything is coming into the materials science and nanotechnology (area).”

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