Skip to main content

Ontario Tech University, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories re-energize partnership

New agreement opens doors for talent development and research growth in the nuclear sector

Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony with Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University (left) with Dr. Jeff Griffin, Vice-President, Science and Technology, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (November 28, 2022).
Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony with Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University (left) with Dr. Jeff Griffin, Vice-President, Science and Technology, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (November 28, 2022).

OSHAWA, ONTARIO – Canada’s thriving nuclear energy industry will benefit in the coming years thanks to the combined strengths of federal Crown corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), nuclear science and technology leader Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, (CNL) and national net-zero energy research leader Ontario Tech University.

A new agreement between AECL, CNL, and Ontario Tech will create opportunities for both organizations to achieve mutual strategic goals and objectives and position themselves for an exciting new era of nuclear energy in Canada.

Throughout its first 20 years of operation, Ontario Tech has established a powerful track record of impactful collaboration on research and innovation with AECL and now CNL. The university’s nuclear expertise and capabilities align with Canada’s’s future research and talent needs.

Selected highlights of the AECL - CNL - Ontario Tech Memorandum of Understanding
  • Development and access to talent through:
    • Undergraduate and graduate experiential learning (e.g. co-op and internship placements, capstone projects).
    • Mentorship and networking opportunities with students.
    • Employment mechanisms for Ontario Tech graduates and alumni.
    • Development of research chairs and focused teams.
    • Engagement with Ontario Tech’s Centre for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), Brilliant Energy Institute, and International Atomic Energy Agency Collaborating Centre.
  • Joint research and commercial endeavours including projects and applications in areas such as SMRs and hydrogen.
  • Academic and non-academic programming including guest speakers, field trips, campus tours, faculty/staff exchanges that increase knowledge and understanding of each organization. This also involves the development of workshops, courses, and micro-credentials to upskill and reskill CNL and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) employees, and others in the nuclear energy sector.
  • Philanthropic considerations such as scholarships and bursaries, sponsorship, donations and gifts in-kind.
Key Ontario Tech University facts
  • As it trains the next generation of nuclear scientists, operators and innovators, Ontario Tech has the only accredited Nuclear Engineering undergraduate program in Canada and the third-biggest in North America. Ontario Tech’s unique energy-focused degree offerings also include a new Bachelor of Engineering in Energy Engineering.
  • 20+ researchers with specific expertise in SMRs; reactor safety experiments and analysis; advanced computing, modelling, testing, and simulation; integrated energy systems; and cybersecurity.
  • Strengths and expertise in research and education in integrated energy systems and related technologies including: advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and data visualization.
  • Ontario Tech is the first institution in Canada designated a Collaborating Centre to support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • Designated as one of Canada’s Research Universities of the Year in 2021.
Key CNL/AECL facts
  • By leveraging the assets owned by AECL, CNL serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNL’s Vision 2030 strategic plan includes the development of clean energy technologies, with a focus on:
    • R&D for its existing nuclear fleet.
    • Critical components and materials testing.
    • SMRs – fuel, materials, safeguards, safety, whole lifecycle.
  • This work will be further enabled through the construction of the Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre, a cutting-edge research complex scheduled for completion in 2028.
  • CNL is pursuing the siting of SMRs at Chalk River; research related to the production and distribution of next-generation medical isotopes; and some of the largest and most complex environmental remediation projects ever undertaken in Canada.
  • Among a host of research areas, CNL studies hydrogen energy, advanced nuclear fuels, environmental sciences, cybersecurity, and radiopharmaceutical development.
  • CNL was launched as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AECL in 2014.

“Ontario Tech University is excited to enter this dynamic and expanding collaborative phase with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories along strategic areas that include small modular reactors, hydrogen, and integrated energy systems. Through its strong history of energy and nuclear research expertise and programming, Ontario Tech plays a unique energy industry role as a developer of future talent and business solutions creator.”
-Dr. Les Jacobs, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ontario Tech University

“CNL has made it an organizational priority to work closer with Canada’s academic community, and this MOU with Ontario Tech University is one of a series of agreements that will formalize these really important relationships. Working in partnership with Ontario Tech University enables us to pool our financial resources, accelerate early-stage research, facilitate the transfer of knowledge, and work together to address the needs of the nuclear industry and the federal government. Most importantly, this MOU helps create dynamic and tangible professional growth opportunities for the next generation of Canadian scientists, engineers and technical professionals, all of whom will be needed to address the many challenges of tomorrow.”
-Dr. Jeff Griffin, Vice-President of Science and Technology, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

“AECL is proud to announce its partnership with Ontario Tech University, an engaged partner that attracts the best and brightest students and researchers. This is an exciting opportunity which helps fulfil our mandate at AECL – to enable nuclear science and technology in a strategic and programmatic way and in close alliance with strong academic partners like Ontario Tech. As part of our growing nexus, AECL and Ontario Tech will tackle our nation’s greatest challenges.”
-Dr. Amy Gottschling, Vice-President, Science, Technology & Commercial Oversight, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Media contacts

Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
289.928.3653 (mobile)

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories