Engineering professor Arezoo Emadi in labEngineering professor Arezoo Emadi has received a federal Discovery grant to fund her research project “A new approach in extending the boundaries of autonomous early detection using a novel micromachined resonator.”

Federal funding fuels exploration at the frontiers of discovery

Fourteen UWindsor researchers in the faculties of science and engineering have received nearly $2.5 million in 2023 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grants.

“Federal funding awarded through the NSERC Discovery program provides critical support to our researchers who are pursuing ground-breaking research at the frontiers of science and engineering,” said Shanthi Johnson, vice-president, research and innovation.

“Discovery grants are vital to our research ecosystem, allowing our faculty to explore the most pressing challenges in their fields while supporting the capacity and talent pipeline of the scientists and engineers in training.”

Funded research projects include the health of the Great Lakes, studying border traffic using machine learning, green energy sources, and early mammalian development with grants ranging from $32,000 to $51,000 per year for five years.

One of those projects is led by Arezoo Emadi, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Dr. Emadi says this grant will launch her research project, titled “A new approach in extending the boundaries of autonomous early detection using a novel micromachined resonator.”

“This research program pioneers an innovative micromachined sensor as an emerging technology to deliver a cost-effective autonomous solution for greenhouse pest detection at an early stage,” she says.

In addition, Tricia Carmichael, chemistry and biochemistry professor, led the successful $150,000 Research Tools and Instrumentation grant and Brian DeVeale, biomedical sciences assistant professor, received an Early Career Researcher Launch Supplement.

“We are grateful to NSERC for the opportunity to pioneer an approach to reveal critical targets within larger microRNA target networks,” says Dr. DeVeale. “We are excited to develop the approach and apply it to various clinically relevant microRNAs.”

Six engineering and eight science researchers have been awarded the federal grants.

“The Discovery Research Program fosters research excellence by supporting the long-term goals of a diversified base of researchers at different career stages across Canada while also providing stimulating research training opportunities for the scientists and engineers of tomorrow,” said Alejandro Adem, NSERC president.

“The people behind these explorative research programs lay the groundwork for a thriving research enterprise in Canada. They make the discoveries that ultimately improve our society and quality of life. At NSERC, we make sure this program remains relevant and impactful.”

Here is the list of projects and their lead UWindsor researchers:

  • Jalal Ahamed – Development of high precision and highly stable micro inertial sensing systems
  • Maher Azzouz ­– Complementary protection and control of modern power grids for seamless integration of green energy sources
  • Xuexiu Chang – Effects of blooming cyanobacteria on fish in the Great Lakes: from new neurotoxins mining to lake investigations
  • Brian DeVeale – Dissecting microRNA function in early mammalian development
  • Waguih ElMaraghy – Cyber-physical products and engineered systems design for smart manufacturing
  • Arezoo Emadi – A new approach in extending the boundaries of autonomous early detection using a novel micromachined resonator
  • Drew Marquardt – Investigation of the molecular interactions of vitamin E with cellular membranes: Towards solving a 100-year-old mystery
  • Hanna Maoh – Development and application of machine learning and microsimulation models to study traffic at Canada’s busiest land border crossings
  • Trevor Pitcher – Pre- and post-mating sexual selection and variation in reproductive fitness of alternative reproductive tactics
  • Steven Rehse – Spectroscopy of laser-induced plasmas: an interdisciplinary research program for the 21st century
  • David Ting – Contriving turbulence for engineering efficiency
  • Jichang Wang – The study and application of chemical oscillators for the synthesis of functional materials
  • Dilian Yang – Symmetry and self-similarity on operator algebras
baby bootiesBuilding Blocks for Better Babies is a service offered through the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program in Windsor and Essex County that provides support and health education for expectant moms experiencing social and financial challenges.

Service provides Building Blocks for Better Babies

For moms-to-be, the health of their unborn child is undoubtedly top of mind. When social and financial challenges come into play, worries intensify as the thought of the everyday struggles associated with an expanding family becomes harsh reality.

Building Blocks for Better Babies (BBBB) is a service offered through the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program in Windsor and Essex County that provides expectant moms enduring such hardships with a comforting measure of peace of mind.

The program was developed by Ellen Bachtold, one of the present-day dietitians with the program, together with Mary Louise Drake. Dr. Drake was the original sponsoring faculty member in nursing; the Faculty of Nursing continues to support the program.

“BBBB is a comprehensive, community-based program that supports pregnant women who face conditions that may compromise their health and the development of their babies,” says retired nursing professor and BBBB administrator Deborah Dayus. “Since 1996, the program is designed to provide nutrition support and health education to pregnant women who face challenging circumstances that put their health and the health of their infants at risk.”

Such circumstances include prenatal moms who are:

  • Enduring financial hardship resulting in food shortage
  • New immigrants experiencing social and cultural change
  • Struggling with anxiety or depression
  • Struggling with substance abuse
  • Lacking social supports
  • Lacking post-secondary education
  • Single parents
  • Under 20 years of age
  • Experiencing domestic violence

Along with Dr. Dayus, registered dietitians Ellen Bachtold and Karen Harrop are the backbone of the BBBB program that is experiencing challenges of its own. Funding has not kept pace with inflation and operating costs; BBBB has operated with the same budget for over 20 years.

“We’re appreciative of the funding that we’ve received and feel fortunate to have great relationships with outstanding project partners who supply us with things such as vitamins and fresh food to be distributed to expectant moms,” Dayus says.

Dayus recalls conducting “porch visits” during the pandemic where the team prepared and dropped off care baskets and at a distance, briefly chatted with expectant moms. Without the generosity of program partners, BBBB could not provide the support on such a tight budget.

BBBB offers education including healthy eating, nutritious meals on a budget, and feeding your baby. It also offers prenatal and breastfeeding classes in collaboration with the Windsor Essex County Health Unit.

The program services approximately 50 registered prenatal moms and their families per week and currently runs Tuesday in Windsor, Wednesday in Leamington, and Thursday virtually.

For more information on BBBB, or if you qualify and need support, visit

To support Building Blocks for Better Babies, visit and specify BBBB as the donation target. All gifts will receive a charitable tax receipt.

alumni week bannerAlumni Week celebrates UWindsor pride, Sept. 23 to 29.

Week of activities to celebrate UWindsor connections

The University of Windsor Alumni Association invites grads, friends, and the UWindsor community to reconnect during Alumni Week 2023, Sept. 23 to 29.

Visit for a listing of all events. Many are free and open for alumni, faculty, and staff. Catch the Lancer football game Sept. 23, a Grab-and-Go breakfast outside the Welcome Centre on Sept. 26, and the free outdoor movie night in the Residence Quad on Friday, Sept. 29.

Alumni can take advantage of discounts for the Lancer football game at entry or by using the code AL23 to check out online. The Campus Bookstore is also offering alumni a discount on apparel in store through September.

During Alumni Week 2023, alumni and event attendees are encouraged to share their experience and pride on social media, tagging @uwinalumni on Instagram and Twitter. Use hashtags #AlumniWeek2023 and #AlumniforLife to join the conversation.

Cast of Mac BethCast of Mac Beth, adapted by Erica Schmidt, based on the works of William Shakespeare. Photo by Knelsen Photo.

University Players to deliver killer season opener

Tickets are selling fast for University Players’ season opener, Mac Beth, an adaptation by Erica Schmidt from William Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy.

In a desolate urban underpass outfitted with an abandoned bathtub, couch, and shopping cart, seven teenagers gather for a meeting of their Mac Beth “club” and perform the play. It’s all true to Shakespeare’s original text, but in the bodies and voices of the students, the story gains a deeper meaning.

Mac Beth premiered in New York in 2019. In an interview with, the playwright put the modern context into perspective:

“I wouldn’t say I have adapted the play into a new context. We are still on a heath. We are doing the play faithfully. We adhere to the text as written by Shakespeare wholeheartedly... The idea to use teenage girls came from questioning: what is a witch? What is a person who traffics with the occult and makes potions and believes in spirits? But really. Right now. There is a long history of young women being accused of witchcraft and teenage girls have a ferocity and power unique to being between girlhood and womanhood.”

Mac Beth opens Friday, Sept. 22 with a 7:30 p.m. performance at Essex Hall Theatre. The show runs approximately 90 minutes. Recommended for ages 14+, some mature content violence and gore. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Regular price tickets start at $20.

Subscriptions for the full University Players season will be available through the run of the show. Tickets for a full four-show series start at just $62.

barbecue grillThe OPUS barbecue, Sept. 21 outside Assumption Hall, welcomes UWindsor students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

All students welcome to attend barbecue today

The Organization of Part-time University Students promises free food and drink at its annual welcome barbecue, 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, on the north lawn outside Assumption Hall.

The event is free and open to all UWindsor students, faculty, staff, and alumni. One lucky part-time student will win a bursary worth up to $1,850 in tuition.