The University of Winnipeg



Chris Wiebe’s Canada Research Chair renewed

Chris Wiebe, photo supplied

Chris Wiebe, photo supplied

The dream of the biggest electronics revolution since the 1970s remains alive, thanks to the federal government’s renewal of Dr. Christopher Wiebe’s Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Quantum Materials Discovery. The renewal is a Tier II award valued at $500,000 over a five-year term.

Wiebe’s research explores quantum materials — new materials with unusual electronic and magnetic properties — and how they could be used to develop electronics that are more affordable, power-efficient, and portable than ones currently available. Working out of UWinnipeg’s Prairie Research Institute for Materials and Energy (PRIME) lab, Wiebe’s team grows high quality, crystalized materials, and uses a process of known as neutron scattering to study their interactions with each other.

“I am very honoured to have my Canada Research Chair renewed at The University of Winnipeg,” said Wiebe. “The Government of Canada has sent a clear message to the world that fundamental science research is important, and this CRC renewal ensures that our research on quantum materials will continue to be well funded over the next five years. I am grateful for the support of the Government of Canada, The University of Winnipeg, my colleagues, my students, and my family. The future looks bright for quantum materials!”

Starting in 2012, Wiebe’s first term as CRC was a busy one. His team published nearly 40 papers, many of which appeared in high profile publications such as Physical Review Letters, Chemistry of Materials, and Nature Materials. Several of the team’s student researchers received national and international awards, including two Vanier Scholarships (Alannah Hallas and Harlyn Silverstein), the Smalley-Curl Fellowship at Rice University (Hallas), and the Karel Urbanek Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University (Silverstein). Wiebe was also made fellow of the quantum materials division of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), and took on roles as President of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering (CINS), Chair of the User Committee at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL), and on various international scientific advisory committees.

“The University of Winnipeg is building on its solid reputation for relevant research as the renewal of Dr. Wiebe’s Canada Research Chair clearly demonstrates,” said Dr. Manish Pandey, UWinnipeg Acting Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “Dr. Wiebe is world renowned in his research field and is tackling subjects that can have a real impact on the quality of lives of Manitobans, and all Canadians.”

The CRC program enhances research excellence in Canada in the humanities, social sciences, health sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. It is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR).

The University currently hosts five chair holders:

  • Dr. Charles Wong — Canada Research Chair in Ecotoxicology (Environmental Studies and Sciences, Chemistry)
  • Dr. Jeff Martin — Canada Research Chair in Fundamental Symmetries in Subatomic Physics (Physics)
  • Dr. Christopher Wiebe — Canada Research Chair in Quantum Materials Discovery (Chemistry)
  • Dr. Angela Failler — Canada Research Chair in Culture and Public Memory (Women’s & Gender Studies)
  • Dr. Ryan Bullock — Canada Research Chair in Human-Environment Interactions (Environmental Studies and Sciences)

The University of Winnipeg gratefully acknowledges the funding we receive from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund in aid of our research infrastructure. Every year, the federal government invests in research excellence in the areas of health sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities through its three granting agencies. The Research Support Fund reinforces this research investment by helping institutions ensure that their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available. Please visit our RSF webpage.

Media contact

Adam Campbell
Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg