Fire testing lab at York University among projects awarded Ontario research funding


TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2019 – York University researchers will receive more than $700,000 in provincial funding for research projects and equipment through the Early Researcher Award program and the Ontario Research Fund (ORF).

The Hon. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, announced nearly $41 million in research funding for research institutions across Ontario today, in the High Bay Structure Lab at York’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

Civil Engineering Professor John Gales demonstrated how his lab assesses the resiliency of building materials, in order to develop construction materials that are fire safe, innovative and sustainable.

Gates’ fire testing lab will receive $118,135 in Ontario Research Fund (ORF) grants, which match funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The grant will allow the fire testing lab at Lassonde, one of the few in Canada, to scale up the technology to test load and heat on larger building frames to make buildings safer and more cost-efficient.

“York University’s research excellence is rooted in creating positive impacts in the lives of individuals and communities,” said Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor of York University. “Professor Gales’ lab examines how materials can help make buildings and homes – and the people and families who live and work in them – safer from the risk of fire, and we are grateful to the Government of Ontario for supporting this important research.”

Three other York University researchers will also receive ORF grants, and two researchers will receive Early Researcher Awards.

They include:

  • Cora Young, Dept of Chemistry, Faculty of Science – $138,555 for Adaptable Liquid Chromatography System for Online and Offline Analysis of Trace Atmospheric Water-Soluble Compounds
  • Ryan Hili, Dept of Chemistry, Faculty of Science – $114,626 for Expanding the Chemistry of DNA
  • Lyndsay Hayhurst, School of Kinesiology & Health Science – $49,664 for Digital Participatory Research and Physical Cultures Lab
  • Doug Van Nort, Dept of Music, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, Canada Research Chair in Digital Performance – $140,000 Early Researcher Award for Improvising Machine Agents for Ensemble Musical Performance
  • Pouya Rezai, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering – $140,000 Early Researcher Award for Organ- and Organism-on-a-Chip Platform Technologies for Neurodegenerative Disease Studies and Drug Screening

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.
York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact:
Janice Walls, York University Media Relations, 416-455-4710,