Hydro Québec gives $3.9M to Concordia
Will fund study of sustainable energy, smart-grid security
A $3.9-million gift from Hydro Québec will support research in Concordia University’s engineering and computer science faculty into sustainable energy and smartgrid security, and underwrite several dozen merit-based student awards.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)/Hydro- Québec/ Thales Senior Industrial Research Chair in Smart Grid Security, the first of its kind in Canada, will oversee Concordia researchers at work on protecting the province’s power grid from cyberattacks. Mourad Debbabi, associate dean of Research and Graduate Studies and professor at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, holds the chair.
The gift, announced Thursday at the university, will also support the NSERC/Hydro- Québec Senior Industrial Research Chair in Design and Performance of Small Electrical Machines. Pragasen Pillay, the professor of electrical and computer engineering who holds the chair, explained that his research focuses on “special machines for electric vehicles as well as renewable energy technologies, mainly targeting remote communities but also for use in urban environments during emergencies when powerful loads are required.”
Andreas Athienitis, professor of building engineering, holds the NSERC/Hydro-Québec Senior Industrial Research Chair in Optimized Operation and Energy Efficiency: Towards High Performance Buildings. “We are developing cross-disciplinary research to optimize performance and the integration of solar systems into both new and existing buildings,” he said.
One third of the Hydro-Québec gift, $1.395 million, will support 68 scholarships over the next five years for undergraduate and graduate students in Concordia’s engineering and computer science faculty, its arts and science faculty and the John Molson School of Business.
The utility has supported Concordia for more than 30 years, said Réal Laporte, president of Hydro Québec Innovation, équipement et services partagés, and president and CEO of Société d’énergie de la Baie James.
“With this new gift, we deepen our commitment to advancing scientific discovery through the great work being conducted by experts in their field at Concordia.”