Bill Anderson wearing "Research Matters" shirt.Ontario Research Chair in Cross-Border Transportation Policy Bill Anderson will represent the University of Windsor in the Research Matters campaign.

Border expert signs on for campaign to promote research

A professor who specializes in cross-border transportation studies has been selected to represent the University of Windsor in the second year of a campaign aimed at heightening the awareness of the importance of university research.

Bill Anderson, a professor in the political science department, said he’s pleased and honoured to represent the University in the Research Matters campaign.

“I hope I can use this opportunity to showcase not just my own research, but a much broader picture of research that’s going here,” said Dr. Anderson, a native of Boston who came to UWindsor in 2008.

The Council of Ontario Universities launched the Research Matters campaign last year to demonstrate to the general public how university research impacts everyday life in Ontario. Besides a website containing articles about research conducted by faculty members representing each of the province’s 21 universities, the campaign also includes a series of public lectures, where researchers predict what life will be like in 2030, as seen through the perspective of their own research expertise.

Engineering professor Rupp Carriveau represented the university during the campaign’s first year. Patchen Barss, the campaign’s managing editor, said representatives from the first year may still be called upon to help boost Research Matters.

“We’re certainly not saying goodbye to those first-year people,” said Barss. “But we did feel that it was time to expand the conversation and bring in some new faces, and we’re certainly happy to have Bill on board.”

Anderson, who got acquainted with the campaign several months ago when he appeared at a Research Matters “pop-up park” in Ottawa designed to familiarize federal politicians with a variety of research subjects, holds the Ontario Research Chair in Cross-Border Transportation Policy.

Besides completing a major analysis on the economic impact of the Detroit-Windsor border on the region’s economy, Anderson is currently in the middle of conducting another analysis on the economic impact of the Windsor-Essex Parkway, a multi-million dollar 11-kilometre stretch of tunneled roadway connecting Highway 401 with the new bridge to be built down river.

Over the past few months, he’s been recruiting researchers from engineering, arts and social science, science, business and law to take part in a “Cross-Border Initiative” focusing on border logistics and security. There are now 36 faculty members taking part, with projects ranging from high tech security devices to exploring the social implications of surveillance.

Michael Siu, UWindsor’s vice-president research, said he’s thrilled that Anderson was selected.

“This is a really crucial campaign and I think Bill will do a tremendous job representing the University of Windsor,” he said. “His research is relevant to virtually everyone in this province and I’m sure Bill will have no difficulty convincing people why.”

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