The University of Ottawa opens its Advanced Research Complex, a powerhouse of photonics and Earth science research

September 30, 2014

OTTAWA, September 30, 2014 — The University of Ottawa hosts the grand opening of its Advanced Research Complex (ARC) today, bringing the institution’s top minds in photonics and geoscience under one roof.

The five-storey, state-of-the-art glass and steel building, located at the south end of campus, received more than $17 million in infrastructure and operational funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The building has 10 laboratories, including the facility’s centerpiece: the André Lalonde Lab which hosts Canada’s only accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS), a massive 44-tonne, 25-metre-long piece of research equipment passersby can see from outside the building.

WATCH: Mona Nemer, UOttawa’s Vice-president, Research, explains how ARC became her most ambitious project

Named for one of the university’s former deans of science, the Lalonde Lab will house geoscientists and engineers on the warehouse-like ground and lower levels, including in the AMS lab. The AMS measures isotopes at very low concentrations in natural materials, such as human tissue and minerals, which could help one day yield applications in energy, health and the environment.

WATCH: How the accelerator mass spectrometer works

On the upper floors of the research complex, scientists working in photonics will use sophisticated lasers to push our understanding of the fundamental interactions between light and matter. This information will serve as a foundation to develop applied technologies that advance fields such as medical diagnostics, renewable energy and telecommunications. 

READ: How to design a lab that stays perfectly still

Bringing both scientific disciplines into one building removes traditional academic barriers and encourages scientists with vastly different expertise to work together, inspire their students and innovate the next generation of technologies, products and services.


  • Read about ARC’s grand opening.
  • Find stories, videos and podcasts about the cutting-edge research being conducted at ARC

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