Cleantech hack: Challenging entrepreneurs to think of next-generation clean technologies

Catalysts that break down pollutants from car exhausts, functional coatings that prevent the build-up of dirt and grime on solar cells, software packages that help engineers design batteries faster and cheaper, new electric bicycles, and most energy efficient light bulbs.

What do these have in common? All are examples of recent technologies from the University of Toronto that represent the next generation of clean innovations.

Foreseeing the future of oil prices

Multidisciplinary student teams design trading strategies at the first Quantathon
Nina Haikara

How do you predict the future trading price for a barrel of oil? You may be more likely to succeed if you have a statistician, a financial expert and computer scientist working together. 

Waterfront International Ltd. (WIL), a quantitative finance research firm specializing in developing computer-based statistical trading strategies, challenged University of Toronto students to develop an automated trading strategy for oil prices – in only 48 hours. 

Portable HIV blood-testing device from U of T startup, ChipCare, readies for market with $5 million in funding

Headquartered at U of T's Banting & Best Centre, global health venture wins millions above target for its field-testing technology
Brianna Goldberg

Imagine having blood drawn for HIV-related testing. And then imagine never finding out the results.

In many low-income and middle-income countries around the world, research suggests that up to 50 per cent of patients don’t receive test results for treatable diseases such as HIV. They’re cut off from labs by poor infrastructure, unreliable sources of electricity, and other realities of life in rural or developing areas.

But what if the testing could be brought to them and performed on the spot?

India wants to build 100 smart cities – and U of T is thrilled

Terry Lavender

The prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, wants to build 100 smart cities in his country, an idea that has University of Toronto faculty members – including president Meric Gertler – excited. 

teaBOT: doing business one cup at a time

“Just because you're in a hurry doesn't mean you don't deserve something that's great,” says co-founder Brian Lee
Blake Eligh

Safina Allidina thought she was headed for a career in healthcare management, but a cup of tea changed her mind.

Going green? Eco-alternatives could do more harm than good – it depends where you live

Knowing where your electricity comes from is key, researchers say
RJ Taylor

Whether it’s swapping your car for an electric vehicle or your natural gas furnace for geothermal heating, transitioning from fossil fuels to electric-powered technology is widely believed to be the best way to lower carbon emissions.

But U of T civil engineer Chris Kennedy says knowing where the electricity comes from to power those “eco-alternatives” is critical. If that electricity comes from burning oil and coal, it might mean that green alternatives aren’t that green after all.

Molly Shoichet wins L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science award

Innovative research leader already the only person ever elected to all three of Canada’s science academies
Peter McMahon

University of Toronto biomedical engineering professor Molly Shoichet has been named the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science North American laureate for 2015.

The organic LED age is here: Meet the U of T engineers behind OTI Lumionics

Robert Hercz

Google “OLED,” and you’ll find scores of articles confidently predicting that this is the year of the organic light-emitting diode. Some of those articles are ten years old.

Still, there are reasons to believe the OLED age is finally dawning. In fact, engineering alumnus Michael Helander is betting on it.

Recognizing U of T’s rising stars

Sloan Research Fellowships reward faculty members for early-career achievements
Sean Bettam, with files from Marit Mitchell & Jim Oldfield

The Cannes Film Festival may have the Caméra d'Or for debut filmmakers – but the research world has the Sloan Research Fellowships.  

And, of the eight fellowships awarded to faculty at Canadian universities this year, six are going to University of Toronto scholars.

Alumni startup OTI Lumionics awarded $5.7 million to produce energy-efficient lighting solutions

Luke Ng

It’s about to get a whole lot brighter in Toronto thanks to a significant investment from the Canadian government in a University of Toronto engineering alumnus’ sustainable lighting company.

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