Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport and Douglas Kneale, left, University of Windsor interim president, embrace as hundreds of staff, students and guests applaud the grand opening of the U of W’s Essex Centre of Research (Essex CORe). Minister Duncan was once faculty at the University of Windsor for 7.5 years before entering politics.
Nick Brancaccio / Windsor Star
Sometimes the most innovative ideas are sparked by conversation and collaboration.That spirit of intellectual teamwork was celebrated Wednesday as the University of Windsor hosted the grand opening of its new science facility — the Essex Centre of Research (Essex CORe).“Instead of each individual faculty having a small spot to themselves, they are now in one large lab and they’re starting to talk to each other — and that’s where innovation comes from — collaboration,” said faculty of science dean Chris Houser.The new space boasts three floors of meeting rooms and open-concept lab space devoted to research in advanced materials including nano-technology and biometrics, transitional health with an emphasis on cancer research, and medical physics including imaging and diagnostic technologies.“Science and engineering are important drivers to the local economy,” Houser said. “And here we have this innovative research occurring that works with industry, which will hopefully bring new industry to the region.”The $30-million, 46,000-square-foot addition to Essex Hall houses four main labs with brand new facilities, which have been open for use since December.“Students are loving the space and obviously change takes a bit of time,” Houser said. “But this space provided the opportunity for brand new facilities, collaboration and conversation happening between research groups that was never happening before.”
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, joined Interim University of Windsor President Douglas Kneale and hundreds of staff, students and guests for the opening of the U of W’s Essex Centre of Research (Essex CORe).
Nick Brancaccio /
Graduate student Layale Bazzie, will be starting her master’s degree at Essex CORe this fall under the direction of physic Prof. Dan Xaio, spoke to the gathering at Wednesday’s ceremony.“The lab space I work in is located just down the hall in room 108, it houses a small but powerful MRI unit that I use in my work,” Bazzie said. “The Xiao group’s research interests are in quantitative magnetic resonance imaging and in the construction and development of a portable and affordable hand-held MRI machine.”The hand-held MRI machine could be taken into developing and remote communities where health care may be difficult to access.Science and engineering are important drivers to the local economyBazzie, who started her research career during her undergrad, said the group also works collaboratively with other research groups on campus and in the CORe building to help with various research, including imaging and quantifying biological systems.The cost of the new facility was shared by the province ($2.56 million), the federal government ($14.95 million) and the university ($12.8 million).Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan was on hand for the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Duncan previously taught meteorology, climatology and climate change at the University of Windsor before moving to the University of Toronto.“Not only does this new facility provide our next generation of researchers an excellent place to learn skills and get the experience they need,” Duncan said. “It also supports economic development and job opportunities in and around Windsor.”
University of Windsor Interim President Douglas Kneale at the podium welcoming The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport and hundreds of staff, students and guests during the grand opening of the U of W’s Essex Centre of Research (Essex CORe).
Nick Brancaccio /
She said it’s about “building the future” — a cleaner environment, advances in technology and health care all require research, and a proper facility and funding is its “lifeblood.”“It’s fundamental — you cannot do research if you do not have your funding and your labs and tools,” Duncan said. “As minister, my job is to put our researchers and students at the centre of everything we do and build a research ecosystem around them.”Related
The grand opening came on the heels of Duncan’s announcement about the next phase of the New Frontiers in Research Fund she made at the Institute for Border Logistics and Security in Windsor on Wednesday morning.Duncan announced that after community consultations, a competition stream will be launched in October to support large-scale research projects that “have the potential to bring about real and lasting change,” a news release said.The competition stream will see an investment in research of $144 million over six years, with individual awards of up to $4 million per firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport and Douglas Kneale, left, University of Windsor interim president, embrace as hundreds of staff, students and guests applaud the grand opening of the U of W’s Essex Centre of Research (Essex CORe). Minister Duncan was once faculty at the University of Windsor for 7 1/2 years before entering politics.
Nick Brancaccio /