Engineering Now :: Volume 5 - Edition 5 :: February 2009

London discovered Western Engineering’s research at WORLDiscoveries Research Showcase

WORLDisoveries Research Showcase
Chemical Engineering graduate student, Kai Pisters, describes the research he and his team are conducting in the area of Chemical Reactions and Processes.

More than 100 University of Western Ontario faculty members and graduate students presented cutting-edge research advances at the WORLDiscoveries Research Showcase on Friday, January 30, 2009 at the London Convention Centre.

The event, held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., hosted by the Faculties of Engineering and Science and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, was an opportunity for university researchers to network and develop partnerships with industry leaders.

The poster presentations highlighted eight key research areas at Western including: neuroscience and the brain and mind; imaging; materials and biomaterials; wind engineering and natural disaster mitigation; fluid mechanics, mathematics and modeling; computing, information technology and robotics; biological and biomedical; environment, sustainability and green energy. For more information on these research themes or the event details, visit

The following patent plaques were also presented at the event:
Apparatus and Process for the Pyrolysis of Agricultural Biomass South Africa Nationalized PCT
Issue Date: 12/31/2008
Dr. Franco Berruti
Dr. Cedric Briens
Mr. Ron Golden
Western researchers and Agri-Therm have created a mobile technology that can turn agricultural wastes into valuable products such as bio-oil, pesticides and even pharmaceuticals. Through a process called pyrolysis, agricultural waste is rapidly heated it in the absence of oxygen to create bio-oil. Their mobile pyrolysis unit can be moved onto a field or in a region, making it economically viable to use material that has traditionally been unused.

Treatment of Wastewater Containing Phosphorous and Nitorgen Full US Patent
Issue Date: 2/5/2008
Dr. George Nakhla
Dr. Jigneshkumar Patel
High levels of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous are increasingly becoming a problem in municipal and industrial wastewater systems. This modified membrane bioreactor system successfully removes biological nutrients in almost half the time as conventional systems.

Rear suspension for a snowmobile
Issue Date: 7/8/2008
Mr. Peter Visscher
This invention is an improved snowmobile rear suspension that offers improved ride and control characteristics, a wider range of adjustability, and increased traction. This improved suspension design increases the performance of the snowmobile while making the vehicle easier to control, softer on the body and more fun to ride. An additional strength of the new design is that it makes the suspension adjustable for each rider's preferences, and the latest iteration even has a computer-controlled shock absorber so snowmobilers can change the suspension while riding.

HIV Vaccine Comprising a Glycoprotein 120 Signal Sequence with No More Than One Positively Charged Amino Acid South Africa Nationalized PCT Patent
Issue Date: 11/26/2008
Dr. Chil Yong Kang UWO Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Dr. Yan Li Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health
Mr. Chad Michalski UWO Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Jason Kinkartz UWO Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Elizabeth Banasikowska UWO Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Lizhong Luo UWO Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Mr. Soon-duck Ha UWO Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
A pioneering HIV/AIDS vaccine developed at The University of Western Ontario is currently being readied for clinical trials. The vaccine could be available for therapeutic use within one year and for use as a preventive vaccine within the next four years. Dr. Kang has been issued one of only a few HIV vaccine patents in the world and has developed one of a handful of technologies to make it this far in a process where dozens of other potential vaccines have failed.

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.: Allison Stevenson
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Phone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808