Hind Al-Abadleh, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been awarded $200,000 in research funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Exceptional Opportunities Fund. The grant will finance essential infrastructure costs for her study on air pollution in Kitchener.
Last year, Al-Abadleh launched a pilot air-quality monitoring project in partnership with the City of Kitchener and Hemmera Envirochem Inc., with funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The team installed low-cost sensor systems, which measure level of pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides, close to Kitchener public schools to collect air pollution data that will be used to inform the city’s climate action plan.
With the new funding from CFI, Al-Abadleh is able to purchase and permanently install air-quality sensors – which had been rented for the pilot project – and to secure equipment for atmospheric particle analysis. This infrastructure is critical for the next phase of her research, which involves analyzing air-quality data collected when schools were closed due to COVID-19 and comparing it with real-time data at open schools.