Campus Digest: Briens named Lignoworks scientific diretor

By Communications Staff
February 14, 2013

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‘Shake’ it, Western

Are you still Gangnam Styling? If so, cut it out. ‘The Harlem Shake’ caught Internet fire in the past few weeks using the song Harlem Shake by New York City music producer Baauer. The meme is simple: A masked dancer boogies alone to the song in a room unnoticed by others until – pow – thanks to a harsh jump-cut, the room comes alive with similar oddball dancing. Yes, it makes about as much sense as anything else on the Internet. Universities across Canada haven’t missed a chance to hope on the craze, and so far, several Western-related ones have popped up, none more popular than Western University does the Harlem Shake. The video, shot Sunday evening, has already garnered almost 750,000 hits on YouTubeas of Wednesday afternoon.

Briens named Lignoworks scientific diretor


Western Chemical Engineering professor Cedric Briens has been named scientific director of Lignoworks, an Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) research network that strives to provide alternatives to fossil fuel feedstocks by creating technology platforms for lignin-based chemicals and materials.

At total of 15 professors from eight universities from across Canada are involved with Lignoworks, including Briens and Western professors Franco Berruti and Charles Xu, both Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) colleagues. Chantal Gloor, from ICFAR, has been named the administrative network manager.

“Lignoworks aims to generate new knowledge to develop innovative, high value-added lignin-based materials and chemicals,” Briens said.  “These products – and the technologies developed to produce them – decrease our dependence on petroleum and move us to a more renewable bioeconomy.”

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  • Western researchers Paul Charpentier and Clare Robinson has been named among 83 scientific teams at universities across the country receiving NSERC Strategic Project Grants. Of the 83 funded projects, 81 are receiving more than $36 million over three years to support early-stage work and to encourage collaboration among academic researchers, industry and government partners. Charpentier, a Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor, will receive $503,700 over three years for his project, Multi-layer solar harvesting nanofilms by roll-to-roll fabrication; Robinson, a Civil and Environmental Engineering professor, will receive $504,000 over three years for her project, Quantification of groundwater contribution to fecal and nutrient pollution at beaches of the Great Lakes.
  • On March 5, the Arthritis Society is encouraging members of the Western community to wear blue for the organization’s Blue Day. Displays will be set up at the University Community Centre as well as the King’s University College cafeteria on that day to encourage people to take the next step and get involved in the Walk to Fight Arthritis June 9 at TD Waterhouse Stadium.

Take a look inside


Photo by Henry Leparskas
Glassblower Yves Rambour, decked out in his Western purple, demonstrates his craft as the Department of Physics and Astronomy, along with The Department of Chemistry, hosted an open house of the shop facilities in the newly renovated Physics and Astronomy building on Feb. 6. Visit for more images or to watch a video of the event.











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