PICS fellowships spur climate research and action

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), hosted and led by UVic, recently announced 16 new graduate fellowships, collectively worth $684,000 over the next three years, to spur climate change innovation, mitigation and adaptation in BC.

Three of the 16 new fellowship recipients are UVic students.

Michael Shives, MASc candidate in mechanical engineering, is studying the efficiency of tidal current turbines, which could be used in large arrays in ocean channels where there are significant tidal flows. Using computational fluid dynamics models, Shives is analyzing various ducted turbine designs to observe how duct geometry affects power output and efficiency.

Amy Sopinka, PhD candidate in geography, is investigating the market effects of integrating high levels of wind energy into existing electricity grids. In particular, she's examining the extent to which electricity markets in western provinces are integrated. She's also estimating the price of storing wind energy.

Trevor Williams, PhD candidate in mechanical engineering, is working on developing an electrical grid-modeling tool to study plug-in (hybrid) electric vehicle (PEVs/PHEVs) integration as a renewalable energy storage mechanism. The modeling tool will assist in reviewing grid impacts, assumptions about PEV growth, electrical grid power quality effects, and supply-demand balancing.

PICS is a collaboration among UVic, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern British Columbia. All fellowships are drawn from researchers at these four institutions. PICS fellowships are worth up to $12,000 a year for master's students, $18,000 a year for PhD students and $50,000 a year for post-doctoral fellows. PICS allocates up to $700,000 annually for fellowship support at the three academic levels.

Building on the strengths of its partner universities, PICS seeks to develop innovative climate change solutions, explore new opportunities for adaptation and lead the way to a vibrant low-carbon economy by turning climate knowledge into climate action.

The five key interdisciplinary research themes that guide PICS research are: the low carbon emissions economy, resilient ecosystems, sustainable communities, carbon management in BC's forests, and social mobilization.

More info, including project descriptions for all 16 award recipients:

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Keywords: Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, research, climate change

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