Simply put, the U of A has become Canada’s leading expert on research partnerships.
We have the people and facilities to create change and solve energy challenges: external energy research funding increased to $61 M per year in 2015 from $14 M in 1999. The Faculty of Engineering, which receives more than $64 M in external research funding per year, has added more than 1 M square feet of teaching and research space over the past 20 years. These financial, infrastructure, and human resources have built up tremendous momentum in energy-related research.
Our most valuable resources are global partnerships in industry, academia, and government, focused on solving complex challenges and educating new generations of engineers and leaders.
- More than 75 companies are working in partnerships with the U of A’s NSERC Industrial Research Chairs. The U of A is home to 18 IRCs—more than any other university in Canada. The Faculty of Engineering alone hosts 16 of these research chairs. The IRC program brings researchers, industries, and governments together to solve society’s most pressing technical and scientific challenges.
- The $25-million Helmoltz-Alberta Initiative connects energy researchers and industry partners from the U of A with the Helmholtz Association (Germany’s largest research organization).
- The U of A collaborates with China’s Tsinghua University on more than 20 energy, environment and infrastructure projects, through the Sino-Canadian Energy and Environment Research and Education Initiative.
- In Smart Grid research, the Faculty of Engineering has strong ties with the E.ON Energy Research Center, in partnership with RWTH Aachen University.
- The U of A’s Foundation CMG Research Program in Reservoir Geomechanics for Unconventional Resources is a recognized global leader in geological sequestration of CO2—and part of Foundation CMG’s global network of 25 research centres and institutes.
- Millions of dollars in industry support for leading centres like the Institute for Oil Sands Innovation and the Canadian Centre for Clean Coal, Carbon and Mineral Processing Technologies (C5MPT), and an alliance of oil sands giants working together as the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance are all driven toward game-changing technological advances to radically change the impact of carbon-based fuels and mining operations.
- The Faculty of Engineering is designing courses in mining regulations for students in Peru, through an agreement Peru’s Supervisory Agency for Investment in Energy and Mining (OSINERGMIN). Under this agreement, the Faculty of Engineering is working with the Peruvian institution and the Alberta Energy Regulator to strengthen human capital and talent.
The outcomes of these partnerships are real-world solutions setting new standards in industrial practice, and educating generations of highly qualified personnel who have the knowledge and creativity required to improve systems and develop new technologies.