ARCHIVED - World-Leading Science, World-Leading People
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January 04, 2004— Ottawa, Ontario
World-leading science, the kind that leads to major, life-altering discoveries, begins with world-leading people. NRC has a workforce of almost 4,000 of the best and brightest minds and is working to hire more through a new program called New Horizons, New Opportunities. A number of researchers have now been hired as a result of the initiative, including two recent recruits to NRC institutes in Montreal, Quebec, and St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador.
Dr. Ralf Bachmayer recently joined the NRC Institute for Ocean Technology (NRC-IOT), as part of the Underwater Robotics research group. Dr. Bachmayer holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and, prior to joining NRC-IOT, worked as a Research Associate at Princeton University. Bachmayer specializes in the dynamics and controls of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). An AUV is essentially a self-propelled submersible robot capable of carrying out pre-programmed tasks, such as environmental monitoring, mine detection, pipeline and hydrographic surveys.
Bachmayer was first introduced to St. John's and NRC-IOT in particular when he attended an AUV workshop held in the city several years ago. According to Bachmayer, the new position represents a chance to use NRC-IOT's unique facilities to conduct further researcher into AUVs. As an example, he noted that NRC-IOT's Offshore Engineering Basin has the depth to allow for underwater maneuvering of an AUV. Future plans involve making the facility adaptable for development and testing of underwater positioning systems which are a necessary component of AUV navigation. "I have the chance to pursue a wide range of opportunities with research partners and private-sector firms that build products with interesting applications for AUVs. In a sense, my previous environment was almost purely academic, so this will be a refreshing change," Bachmayer said. He added: "My overall goal is to help strengthen the community in ocean engineering, to make sure that more researchers and businesses are attracted here by the work being done."
According to Dr. Gerald Rowe, who joined the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute (NRC-BRI) in September, 2003, NRC always stood out as the place to be. "I have wanted to work at NRC for years," said Rowe, who joined the organization after spending a number of years at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.
Rowe holds a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Western and has considerable experience in bioprocessing and separation technologies. At NRC-BRI he is Team Leader for Downstream Processing - Proteins, part of a larger group in the Bioprocess Platform sector. Bioprocessing involves the use of living cells, or components of these cells, to produce biologically-active components, either for industrial or pharmaceutical applications. Bioprocess products include biopharmaceuticals, enzymes, viruses, bioinsecticides and biopolymers. At NRC-BRI, Dr. Rowe leads a team responsible for developing purification processes for protein-based bioproducts. Downstream processing addresses a number of factors such as reproducibility, product purity and product potency. The group frequently collaborates with firms in Montreal's biopharmaceutical cluster who need help in producing enough purified proteins (used as the basis for drug therapies) to permit clinical trials. Rowe's team helps design and optimize purification processes that can later be scaled up to full production scale. The group also has a mandate to continue contributing towards new and leading-edge purification processes. Said Rowe, "After all, it's NRC."
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