The Engineering Newsletter

Professor Elizabeth Edwards receives NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation


By Carolyn Farrell

Professor Elizabeth Edwards (ChemE) and her industrial partner, Geosyntec Consultants, have been awarded the 2009 NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation in the Large Company Category. The Synergy Awards for Innovation recognize outstanding partnerships in research and development between universities and industry.

Professor Edwards’ partnership with Geosyntec had focused on the development of effective techniques for using bacteria to clean up contaminated groundwater sites. This has led to the development of the bioaugmentation culture KB-1, which breaks down the chlorinated solvents used in dry-cleaning and industrial degreasing. Most recently, they received a $10 million grant from Genome Canada towards the discovery and commercialization of novel cultures and enzymes for environmental and biofuels applications. Professor Edwards and Geosyntec were also key partners in the creation of “Biozone” – a collaborative research facility in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry with a mandate to “engineer a sustainable future.”

“Professor Edwards’ partnership with Geosyntec is an outstanding example of industry and academe working together for the benefit of society,” said Cristina Amon, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. “I am delighted that Professor Edwards continues to be recognized for her exemplary research achievements.”

NSERC will honour Professor Edwards and the other Synergy Award recipients at a ceremony in Ottawa on October 19.

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