Dalhousie University is pleased to announce that the Dalhousie Innovation Award for 2007 has been given to Professor Josef Zwanziger, Department of Chemistry, the second year in a row that it has been won by a researcher in the Department of Chemistry.

Dr. Zwanziger’s technology is titled, Development of RoHS-Compliant Optical Glass with Zero Stress Optic Coefficient. Dr. Zwanziger holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Studies of Materials, from NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada).

Dr. Zwanziger’s laboratory is creating new composite materials by closely coupling the processes of synthesis, characterization and use, and makes extensive use of NMR, a method by which the magnetic signatures of atoms in molecules are used to infer the structure and dynamics of molecules. The resulting information is crucial to understanding the material’s performance at the molecular level.

A variety of glass used in high technology equipment including the optical components of large-scale image projectors must possess a variety of properties including high transparency, high index of refraction, good durability and zero stress-optic response. Currently, the optical glass in many projection TV\'s, contains about 50 per cent lead, which is used to make the glass transparent, strong and resistant to temperature change. The European Union issued a ban on the use of lead in electronic equipment in Directive 2002/95/EC which includes: “Electronic products (existing and new designs) placed on the EU market after July 1, 2006 may not contain lead…”.

In addition to making new forms of glass to meet these high tech needs, Dr. Josef Zwanziger has the ability to predict the zero stress-optic response of glasses using a variety of lead-free alternatives without actually needing to generate the glass material. This predictive model would be valuable to potential commercial partners that need to focus on optimizing lead free glass alternatives in a time period corresponding to the implementation of new lead free glass legislation.

This award is co-sponsored by the Office of Economic Development for Nova Scotia, the IWK Health Centre and the Capital District Health Authority. The Innovation Award is intended to award and encourage innovative research with strong commercial potential. The winner was selected by Innovacorp and the Industry Liaison and Innovation office at Dalhousie University and is valued at $50,000. The award will go toward further research in Dr. Zwanziger’s laboratory.

About the Industry Liaison and Innovation Office at Dalhousie University:

Industry Liaison and Innovation (ILI) commercializes research at Dalhousie University, manages and facilitates collaborations between companies and university researchers and assists in the creation of spin-off ventures.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Ronald Layden
Executive Director
Office of Industry Liaison and Innovation
Dalhousie University

Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 12, 2007