Feng Jiang & Partners Project: Developing Artificial Trees for Extreme Weather-Resilient Cities Awarded New Frontiers in Research Funding

Feng Jiang
Feng Jiang

UBC Forestry is pleased to announce Feng Jiang and his project partners are among the UBC researchers awarded funding through the federal New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2020 Exploration Stream.

In total, seven projects led by UBC researchers were awarded a combined $1.75 million for research projects that demonstrated they either defied current models, bridged disciplines in novel ways or tackled fundamental problems from new perspectives. Jiang, who is co-principal investigator, and his team were awarded $250,000 in funding for their visionary project, Developing Artificial Trees for Extreme Weather-Resilient Cities. Jiang’s project partners are principal investigator Jongho Lee from the Department of Civil Engineering and co-applicant Simcha Srebnik from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

The project aims to address issues that rapid urbanization are causing in already densely populated cities which are estimated to be home to half of the world’s population. This interdisciplinary team are developing a triple-layered film that will mimic the ability of real trees to provide cooling and flood control.

By attaching itself to building walls and roofs, this film is expected to transform cities into a virtual forest of giant artificial trees by mimicking the natural transpiration mechanisms of trees. Turning city buildings into giant tree-mimic evaporators can help to better control flooding by rapidly removing the storm water, as well as providing evaporative cooling effects for extreme weather conditions. The film will be constructed out of bio-based polymers (such as nanocellulose) from trees to minimize the environmental impact. 

About New Frontiers in Research Fund 2020 Exploration Competition

The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2020 Exploration competition has awarded funds to support 117 research projects across Canada that bring diverse disciplines together in pursuit of breakthrough ideas and high-reward outcomes. The NFRF program, a federal research funding initiative, mobilizes cutting-edge interdisciplinary, international, and transformative research that strengthens Canadian innovation and benefits Canadians.

The NFRF is under the strategic direction of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee and is managed as a tri-agency program by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), on behalf of Canada’s three research granting agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and SSHRC.

Learn more about UBC researchers awarded NFRF funding.

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