MONTREAL — Thanks to new funding from the Government of Canada, two Concordia University professors just might create a greener aerospace industry and help cure fungal infections.

Christian Moreau and Malcolm Whiteway have both been awarded Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs (CRC) on the recommendation of an international committee of researchers. In total, this represents $2.8 million in funding for research at Concordia; for each chair, the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years.

“Our government remains committed to attracting and retaining the world’s best researchers, creating jobs and strengthening our economy,” says Minister of State Rickford. “Through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, we are supporting cutting-edge research at Canadian universities and fostering innovation by helping researchers bring their ideas to the marketplace, to benefit Canadians and improve our quality of life.”

For Moreau, professor in Concordia’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, the Chair will fund research on new coating and functional surface solutions that would improve energy efficiency in aerospace, automotive and other industrial applications.

“In aircraft jet engines, the flow of hot combustion gases could damage internal components if their surfaces were not properly protected with a temperature-resistant coating,” explains Moreau. “My research works on developing a new kind of coating that will help improve engine fuel efficiency, decrease greenhouse-gas emission and extend component life.”

For Whiteway, professor in Concordia’s Department of Biology, the CRC will help in his use of genomic tools to study Candida albicans, a medically important fungal pathogen. This naturally occurring fungus can lead to unpleasant oral and genital infections and can be a serious threat to people with compromised immune systems, such as patients with AIDS, or undergoing cancer chemotherapy, organ or bone marrow transplantation.

The Canada Research Chairs program is part of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. Chair holders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers' work.