Advancing Solutions to Our Grand Challenges

As society faces local and global challenges, we look to science for help.

Our faculty has identified four Grand Challenges that harness our current strengths, look to future opportunities, and allow us to make new discoveries.

Understanding Earth’s evolving systems

Energy in transition

Unlocking our digital future

Personalized health at the molecular level

A young man uses a telescope at the RAO.

Bringing innovation and discovery to real-world problems

Our goal is to understand as much as we can about the world around, above, and below us, and use that knowledge to help build a better future.

Here are some highlights in areas where we’re fuelling curiosity and discovery around our Grand Challenges, and joining forces to address critical issues our world faces today and in the future. These stories underscore our commitment to research, innovative learning and teaching, and integration with the community.

Understanding Earth’s evolving systems

Including Earth as a system (from the core to magnetosphere), biodiversity and conservation, and the intersection of the natural and built worlds.


Canola researchers.

Discovery opens the door to technologies for improving canola crops, a $27-billion industry in Canada

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STEVE.

Neil Zeller, Neil Zeller Photography

Space physicists and citizen scientists shed some light on STEVE

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Jessica Theodor was part of a research team that discovered the Catopsalis kakwa, a new species.

Fossilized teeth from a newly-discovered species re-opens chapter of evolutionary history in Alberta’s fossil record

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Researchers Eamon Drysdale, centre, François Therrien, right, and Darla Zelenitsky with fossil.

Rare 75-million-year-old local dinosaur fossil discovery reveals new details about its appearance

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A bee.

Digital bee collection launched

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Chris Cahill, PhD student and lead author of the study, says resource management is about tradeoffs.

Study shows precipitous decline in population of adult rainbow trout in Bow River

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Caribou.

Study finds natural mechanism ensures long-term biological diversity for caribou

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Energy in transition

Including lower impact energy production, environmental remediation, and renewable energies.

UCalgary researchers are developing technology that may help energy operations reduce GHG emissions.

Global Research Initiative

Researchers develop technology to calibrate and measure methane, helping reduce emissions

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Student giving presentation.

Capstone geoscience course encourages student creativity

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Dr. Beatriz Molero Sanchez.

Graduates awarded GreenSTEM fellowships

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Batteries.

How many batteries would it take to power the whole world?

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Unlocking our digital future

Including security in the digital age, privacy protection, visual computing, and quantum information.

Robot-human interation.

Researchers study the ways in which humans and robots connect with each other

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Grad student Teddy Seyed, left, strategizing the construction of a multimedia garment.

Kristen Blush

Graduate student’s research leads Microsoft onto the fashion runways of NYC

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Digital globe.

Can machines make us more human?

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Barry Sanders.

Solving the mysteries of the quantum world

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Bandwidth.

Preparing students for a digital world

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Personalized health at the molecular level

Including drug synthesis, delivery and diagnostics, minimizing antibiotic bacterial resistance, and understanding the role molecules play in our health.

Dr. Ian Lewis

Innovation is Infectious

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A team of researchers.

Powerful research tool uncovers link between gut microbiota and copper

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A researcher closely looks a a white blossom

Research widens path to microbial production of pharmaceutical opiates

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A female researcher.

Researchers identify genes, biological pathways involved in microbes’ toxicity and resistance to silver

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