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TRC report brings communities together to change course

  • Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

At a special reception Tuesday night to mark the unveiling of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Task Force final report and recommendations, Principal Daniel Woolf told the crowd of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local Indigenous community members that, “Today, our communities come together to change course.”

“By taking steps to ensure that Indigenous histories are shared, by recognizing that we can all benefit from Indigenous knowledge, and by creating culturally validating learning environments, we can begin to reduce barriers to education and create a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse university,” said Principal Woolf.

The special event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the TRC report represent a significant milestone for Queen’s and the local Indigenous communities, signalling a broad and sustained effort to build and improve relations, and to effect meaningful institutional change. The recommendations in the report span everything from hiring practices and programming, to research, community outreach, and the creation of Indigenous cultural spaces on campus. (More detailed list of recommendations below.)

Principal Woolf reiterated his commitment to fulfilling the recommendations in the task force’s final report, and to illustrate that commitment, he announced that the university will be creating an Office of Indigenous Initiatives in the coming months – an announcement met by a loud round of applause from the audience.

“This is just one of the task force’s many recommendations that I am committed to implementing across campus, and because I believe that we are stronger together, I welcome the rest of the Queen’s community to join me in that commitment,” he said.

Principal Woolf also stated his commitment to the TRC recommendations in a special Senate meeting on March 7, where he acknowledged “Queen’s own history as an institution that participated in a colonial tradition that caused great harm to Indigenous People.”

‘We are making history’

Bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, Tuesday’s event was hosted by TRC Task Force co-chairs Mark Green and Jill Scott and showcased the importance of ceremony – with a traditional Mohawk opening presented by lecturer Nathan Brinklow, presentations by Elder Marlene Brant Castellano and student Lauren Winkler, an Anishinaabe Honour Song performed by the Four Directions Women Singers, and to end the evening, a Haudenosaunee Round Dance, led by performers from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, that brought guests together in a huge circle, hands linked.

“Ceremony reminds us that what we do today is important, impacting the relationships and responsibilities that we carry forward, and woven into our memory as a community,” said Dr. Brant Castellano, a member of the task force, Queen’s alumna, and pioneer and champion of Indigenous rights and education.

“We are making history,” Dr. Brant continued. “In creating the task force, Queen’s has stepped up to ask of itself: What can we do to advance reconciliation? … The task force has brought together voices from the Queen’s community saying: We can do this. We have a responsibility to do this. The report is presented to the principal, who speaks on behalf of the university. In this ceremony, all who are present become witnesses to Queen’s acknowledgement of past errors and commitment to walk together with Indigenous Peoples and others of good mind to restore and maintain a relationship of peace, friendship, and respect.”

“I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through"
​~ Lauren Winkler

Lauren Winkler, student and president of the Queen’s Native Student Association, as well as deputy commissioner of Indigenous affairs for the Alma Mater Society and member of the TRC Task Force, spoke about the experiences of Indigenous students and the challenges and racist encounters they face on Queen’s campus.

"Our education system has failed and is failing to educate our students at the cost of Indigenous students. The university recognizes this – it’s one of the truths in our truth and reconciliation process," said Ms. Winkler, who went on to thank Principal Woolf for his acknowledgements of the history of mistreatment of the Indigenous community and Queen’s role in perpetuating the mistreatment.

"I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through," said Ms. Winkler.

The TRC Task Force’s final report, which includes reproductions of artwork included in the Indigenous art collection at the Agnes, outlines recommendations and timelines for implementation – in particular, the formation of an implementation team that will work with faculties, schools, and shared service units to expedite recommendations. The task force asks for five-year plans from the faculties, schools, and other units to be completed by fall 2017.


Real-world learning, real-world impact

The following article is the second in a monthly series focused on the work by Queen’s and Physical Plant Services to reduce energy consumption by the university.

[Connor Reed]
Connor Reed (Sc’18) is gaining experience in energy management at Physical Plant Services through the Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP). (University Communications)

When Connor Reed (Sc’18) started his internship at Physical Plant Services, he was amazed by how involved energy management is in the day-to-day business of Queen’s University.

Building standards and specifications, utility management, lighting design, utility costs and forecasting, water and mechanical systems. Over the past nine months he has been involved in projects in each of these areas and more. 

“The amount of detail that goes into lighting and lighting design, I heard 10 new terms each day in the first weeks,” he says of one of his first projects. “Lumens and CRIs and efficiencies… it was 100 per cent learning from the beginning and it continues to be every day.”

Mr. Reed is the fourth student to work with the Energy Management team, and the first intern through the Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP), which provides second- and third-year students with a 12-16 month paid work experience at a partner employer.

The students who work with PPS are key contributors to the energy management efforts at Queen’s and gain real-world experiences that they can carry into their future careers.

They are directly involved in the process.

“The students integrate into our team and take on very complex and important projects,” says Nathan Splinter, Energy Manager, adding that the interns enable the university to push bigger projects forward. “The feedback that we’ve received from the students is that they really enjoy the fact that they are working on things that actually develop into real world projects – construction projects, and changes to how the university functions or operates.”

Mr. Reed agrees. He knows how valuable the learning experience is and that he is making a real contribution to the ongoing energy management effort at Queen’s.

“It is a lot easier to do your job and be effective when you know that what you’re doing has impact,” he says.

Over the past nine months, Mr. Reed has been involved in a number of projects, such as the design work and specifications for the installation of new condensate meters in 35 major buildings on campus. Condensate is water that has condensed back into a liquid after steam has given up its energy to heat the building. The new meters can be monitored in real time and will allow PPS to identify leaks and mechanical malfunctions as soon as they occur.

During this past summer he also was involved in the decision-making process for Electricity Demand Response Days when air conditioning is shut down in many buildings on campus to reduce the university’s electricity demand. 

This included analyzing results from previous years to estimate the financial impact of demand reduction during the summer. Mr. Reed and Mr. Splinter both monitored weather conditions and provincial electricity demand forecasts on a daily basis to help decide whether or not to reduce air conditioning loads. Missing a single ‘peak’ day could have a financial impact of $750,000 or more. Mr. Reed was also responsible for communicating the process to internal and external staff and, as a result, developed more effective communications and presentation skills.

Mr. Reed says he has found it very rewarding to be part of a team that is supportive and effective. He is impressed by the professionalism of the people he works with in PPS and campus partners such as Procurement Services.

It’s something that Mr. Splinter has seen with each of the internships.

“The students are contributing and learning from others, gaining hands-on experience as well a new skill set and a broad-based knowledge,” he says. “The internship here gives the students the opportunity to taste a little bit of some different options and different fields and understand potentially a little more what’s out there, and what different jobs entail.”

 

Queen’s researchers awarded $4.5M in Ontario government funding

  • The Honorable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, announces that four Queen's researchers would receive a combined $4.5 million in research funding from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    The Honorable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, announces that four Queen's researchers would receive a combined $4.5 million in research funding from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, welcomes the investment of $4.5 million in research funding for four Queen's researchers, and discusses the importance of research and innovation in Kingston. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, welcomes the investment of $4.5 million in research funding for four Queen's researchers, and discusses the importance of research and innovation in Kingston. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf discusses how the funding announced by Minister Moridi will assist Queen's researchers in breaking new ground in their respective fields. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Principal Daniel Woolf discusses how the funding announced by Minister Moridi will assist Queen's researchers in breaking new ground in their respective fields. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering) discusses how the funding announced today will help researchers at the Queen’s Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (ePOWER) continue to find new methods of producing efficient and environmentally-friendly renewable energy. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering) discusses how the funding announced today will help researchers at the Queen’s Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (ePOWER) continue to find new methods of producing efficient and environmentally-friendly renewable energy. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Khadijat Hassan, a master's student conducting research in the ePOWER lab, discusses how the investment will help create new research opportunities for students at Queen's. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Khadijat Hassan, a master's student conducting research in the ePOWER lab, discusses how the investment will help create new research opportunities for students at Queen's. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • From L-R: Principal Daniel Woolf, Khadijat Hassan, The Honorable Reza Moridi, MPP Sophie Kiwala, Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering), Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    From L-R: Principal Daniel Woolf, Khadijat Hassan, The Honorable Reza Moridi, MPP Sophie Kiwala, Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering), Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)

The Government of Ontario today announced more than $4.5 million in new infrastructure and research funding for four Queen’s researchers through the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs. The Honorable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, made the announcement today at Queen’s, as part of a $77-million investment in research across the province. The grants will provide funding to support key research programs, as well as the operational and equipment acquisition costs associated with research that is leading-edge and transformative.

“The funding announced today highlights Queen’s record of sustained research excellence and demonstrates how our researchers are working to address crucial issues – such as renewable energy development – facing the province and the public at large,” says Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. “We are grateful to the Government of Ontario for its continued investment in research and innovation at Queen’s and across the province.”

A leader in the field of energy and power electronics research, Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), the Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics, has received $4 million from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence to develop small-scale, point-of-use photovoltaic (solar) power systems for residential use. Dr. Jain will lead a team of researchers from four Ontario universities in developing new technology to reduce cost and increase the efficiency, output, and reliability of residential solar systems. Dr. Jain was previously awarded funding from the Ontario Research Fund.

“Our government recognizes the importance of investing in our innovation ecosystem,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “We are proud to support the researchers at Queen’s University who are working on transformative research that will help strengthen our province’s competitive edge.”

Geophysicist Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) has received $180,000 to support the acquisition of a superconducting gravimeter – one of only 12 such devices in the world. The device will be used for monitoring fluid migration processes in oil, gas, and water reservoirs, to monitor mass changes in reservoirs, and to help mitigate environmental hazards related to extraction.

Psychology researcher Jason Gallivan (Psychology) has received $150,000 from the fund to support new infrastructure in the Memory, Action, and Perception laboratory (MAPlab). Dr. Gallivan’s research examines how a stroke or other neurological disorder can alter the perceptual, cognitive, and motor-related mechanisms of the brain.

In addition, physicist Ryan Martin (Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy) has received a grant of $250,000 to support the establishment of a world-class facility to develop p-type point contact detectors. These complex detectors are used to more accurately measure interactions with difficult-to-detect particles, such as neutrinos and dark matter.

“Innovative research is essential for future economic growth and I am absolutely thrilled with the investments being made in projects in Kingston and across Ontario,” says Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands. “The world-class research being conducted at Queen’s University is an immense source of pride for our region and I am excited and anxious to see the results of this funding. This investment demonstrates Ontario’s commitment to supporting cutting-edge, innovative research that will lead us into the future. Congratulations to all of the Queen’s researchers receiving these competitive awards.”

More information is available on the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure Funds websites.

 

Interdisciplinary, innovative, and insightful

[Building Better Together]
A team of engineering and occupational therapy students display their project during the final poster event for the Building Better Together course. The course was created through the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s inaugural Educational Leadership Initiative grant. From left: Robert Diebel (OT), Isaac Freda (Engineering), Akram Ghoudi (Engineering), Katie Fisher (Engineering), Elizabeth Gibson Crowder (OT) and Robyn Bernick (OT). (Supplied photo)

A new course created through the Centre of Teaching and Learning’s first-ever Educational Leadership Initiative grant has helped foster collaboration between students in occupational therapy and engineering in creating assistive devices for actual end users.

The instructional team of Claire Davies (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and Elizabeth Delarosa (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), and Catherine Donnelly (Rehabilitation Therapy) and Susanne Murphy (Rehabilitation Therapy), developed “Building Better Together: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching and Learning” with the aim of applying the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative’s framework to an academic environment.

Through the course, offered during the 2016 Fall Term, students from occupational therapy and engineering teamed up to create an assistive device for an end user. The teams had to interact and collaborate with each other as well as with a person in need of an assistive device.

The course re-created the interdisciplinary environment many of the students will see in their professional careers.

“I think one of the key elements of this that made it realistic is that we actually had end users there that could respond,” says Ms. Delarosa, a doctoral student in engineering who is also a registered occupational therapist, adding that similar courses often offer simulated end users and case studies. As a result feedback is limited as is the interaction seen in the clinical setting. “In this case we got the end users in the classroom and the students could ask them questions and they could be answered.”

Through earlier studies, the team found that occupational therapists were interested in being more involved with the design process and engineers wanted to be more involved in interacting with the end users. Building Better Together offered both sides the opportunity to collaborate throughout the process.

The results were innovative and insightful.

“One end user said that she was so surprised at how well the students were able to create something from what she said,” says Dr. Davies. “Another one said just from the dialogue or conversation they had with the OT students and the engineering students, they became blurred, they didn’t know who were the occupational therapy students and who were the engineering students. It was interesting to see the relationships that were built too. Not just with the OT and engineering students but in regards to how the users were feeling comfortable to share ‘This is what I need and this is what I want, and how are we going to do this kind of thing?’”

The course was developed to mirror the workplace and provide the students with experiences that can be applied in their future careers. It was also informative for the instructors.

“It was interesting to see it was somewhat structured but when the students and the users got together it kind of unfolded by itself as well,” Ms. Delarosa says. “Certainly the OT students are encouraged to utilize their interview skills and clinical skills, and the engineering students were drawing on their design focus, what might be functional and all that. Interaction developed over time on its own. They didn’t tell the end users what to do and they interacted differently, some quiet, some seeking more guidance and others wanting to be actively involved in the process.”

With the inaugural course complete the instructional team is excited by the results and is looking forward to building upon the foundation that has been created.

“We’ve learned a lot,” Dr. Davies says. “We’ve learned that it can be done. We’ve learned that it takes a lot of time to try to get everyone on a similar page. We realized that it is very important to both disciplines to be better informed about the other discipline.” 

The Educational Leadership Initiative is aimed at supporting Queen’s students, faculty, librarians and staff who want to forge a new educational path. It is one of three grant programs offered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning, along with the Educational Research Grants and Teaching and Learning Enhancement Grants.

“This project and those involved exemplify what the Educational Leadership Initiative is hoping to promote,” says Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning. “The educators created a guided learning environment that brings together students across programs to help design solutions to everyday challenges faced by people in the Kingston community. The educators involved are also researching aspects of the course, presenting this model at conferences and engaging colleagues in discussions around this approach.”

The deadline for submission for the 2017 Educational Leadership Initiative grant is June 27.

For more information visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

A mutually beneficial partnership

[Leigh Cameron]
Through the Queen’s University Internship Program (QUIP), Leigh Cameron (Artsic'18) has gained work experience at the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research). (University Communications) 

The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) has benefitted this year from an extra set of capable hands — namely those of Leigh Cameron (Artsci’18).

“The team I work with has been very supportive and has taught me so much about the research enterprise here at Queen’s,” Ms. Cameron says.

Her role in the office is a paid position through the Queen’s University Internship Program (QUIP). The program provides second- and third-year students with a 12-16 month paid work experience at a partner employer. In this case, the employer is right here on campus.

Kelly Blair-Matuk, Associate Director in the OVPR, explains that their internship position provides students an opportunity to participate in many of the OVPR’s core activities, while also furthering their knowledge and skills that will enhance their understanding of Queen’s, the job market, and of themselves.  

The internships are beneficial for employers as well, she adds.

“A QUIP intern provides us a student perspective on our day-to-day activities that enhances our outcomes and efficiencies, and the youthful energy gives our team a refreshing boost,” Dr. Blair-Matuk says. “Moreover, our own strategic research imperatives encourage the involvement of students, and this doesn’t only mean having more students in labs. It also means including students on the administrative side of the equation.” 

It’s not just the OVPR that’s benefitting from QUIP Interns. 

“This year there are six departments at Queen’s with a QUIP intern on staff. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from them regarding the initiative, enthusiasm, and ability to learn exhibited by the interns,” says Internship Coordinator Kristen Eppel. “We are also thrilled to have several more departments that are in the process of hiring interns for the 2017-18 academic year.”

For her part, Ms. Cameron says she became involved in QUIP because she wanted to take the skills she had learned in the classroom and apply them in a workplace setting.

“I have been able to take on some of my own projects and improve my communications and interpersonal skills,” she says. “My experiences in this position have also helped me decide what type of career I want to enter after I graduate.”

The program provides a diverse set of candidates for campus employers and is open to students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of Arts and Science, and School of Computing. 

To learn more about the program or becoming a QUIP employer, visit the Career Services website or contact quip@queensu.ca.

 

$5-million gift supports water research

  • Ross J. Beaty talks about the reasons that he and his family have presented Queen's University with a $5-million gift to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources during the announcement event Friday at Beamish-Munro Hall. (University Communications)
    Ross J. Beaty talks about the reasons that he and his family have presented Queen's University with a $5-million gift to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources during the announcement event Friday at Beamish-Munro Hall. (University Communications)
  • Ross and Trisha Beaty look at a plaque that was presented to them following the announcement of a $5-million gift to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources. (University Communications)
    Ross and Trisha Beaty look at a plaque that was presented to them following the announcement of a $5-million gift to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources. (University Communications)
  • Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon welcomes Ross and Trisha Beaty to Queen's University ahead of Friday's announcement of a $5-million gift to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources. (University Communications)
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon welcomes Ross and Trisha Beaty to Queen's University ahead of Friday's announcement of a $5-million gift to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources. (University Communications)

Geologist and entrepreneur Ross J. Beaty has provided Queen's University with a $5-million gift to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources.

In recognition of the gift, the interdisciplinary research initiative has been renamed the Beaty Water Research Centre, which will have a permanent space in the new Queen’s Innovation and Wellness Centre.

“Researchers from across Queen’s are working with partner institutions and organizations to tackle a variety of water-related issues,” Principal Daniel Woolf says. “Mr. Beaty’s donation will support a new home for water research where faculty and students can come together and take the lead in sustaining one of our most precious resources.”

Interdisciplinary teams such as the water research centre at Queen’s are the way of the future. I hope that through my gift, these collaborative activities will grow and thrive, providing researchers with the support they need to give our future generations a world they deserve.

— Ross J. Beaty

The Beaty Water Research Centre includes a core group of Queen’s civil and chemical engineering professors, and their graduate students, who work closely with chemists, microbiologists, experts in genetics, and public health researchers.

“Interdisciplinary teams such as the water research centre at Queen’s are the way of the future,” says Mr. Beaty, the father of two Queen’s graduates. “I hope that through my gift, these collaborative activities will grow and thrive, providing researchers with the support they need to give our future generations a world they deserve.”

The research centre’s laboratories, currently distributed across campus, will eventually move to the new Queen’s Innovation and Wellness Centre. Located in the heart of campus, the Innovation and Wellness Centre will support leading-edge research, innovation programming, and wellness services for students. The Beaty Water Research Centre will be located on the third floor of the Innovation and Wellness Centre and will feature state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research laboratories.

“The Beaty Water Research Centre will bring together an interdisciplinary team to study water. A key focus will be on safe drinking water from small, untreated systems or untreated urban or rural domestic wells. This work has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe. In Canada, the research directly impacts those living in vulnerable remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Thanks to Mr. Beaty’s support, our researchers and students will be better equipped to understand and mitigate the risks to drinking water supplies.”

Mr. Beaty is a geologist and resource company entrepreneur with more than 40 years of experience in the international minerals and renewable energy industries. Mr. Beaty founded and currently serves as chairman of Pan American Silver Corp., and he founded Alterra Power Corp., a renewable energy company. He also serves on the advisory board of the Nature Trust of British Columbia.  

The Beaty Water Research Centre is an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to furthering research and education around water-related issues, which play a vital role in the physical, social, and economic well-being of Canadians and people around the world. Researchers and students affiliated with the centre are committed to fostering an environment that encourages collaborative research spanning both traditional water-related disciplines, as well as non-traditional and emerging disciplines.

View into student research

Two Queen’s students are competing in a national video competition to highlight their research.

Yuliya Nesterova and Sterling Mitchell are among 40 students from across Canada competing in NSERC’s Science, Action contest, with the aim of getting Canadians excited about science and engineering research through one-minute online videos highlighting their own work.

[Yuliya Nesterova]
Yuliya Nesterova – Lives Of Shapes in Space 

The 25 most-viewed videos as of Tuesday, Feb. 28 will move on to the finals where they will be judged by a panel.  A total of 15 cash prizes will be handed out, including the top prize of $3,500.

A master’s student in algebraic geometry, Ms. Nesterova took an animated approach for her video Lives Of Shapes in Space which describes how she is testing a beta invariant to try and understand its convexity.

To make the video, Ms. Nesterova spent three months drawing the images and then taught herself how to use an open-source animation program.

It has been a beneficial learning experience, she says.

“(The project) made me learn more math. There were two things that didn't end up getting animated that took a week of problem-solving and researching to try and get right, work out how the shapes would look,” she says. “And then it was too difficult to animate, so it got tossed out. But you're always learning something about your topic from unexpected sources.”

[Mitchell Sterling]
Mitchell Sterling – Mistaken Point

In his video Mistaken Point, Mr. Mitchell, a third-year geological engineering student, introduces viewers to the work by Guy Narbonne (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) and his research team at the recently-designated UNESCO World Heritage site in Newfoundland.

In making the video, Mr. Mitchell utilized some of the skills he has developed through working at Studio Q.

“As a geological engineer, I believe Dr. Narbonne’s research gives us fascinating insight into the history of our world,” he says. “As Mistaken Point was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage site, I thought it would be a great time to highlight his research.”

First for code

Code, the basic building block for creating computer software, apps and websites, is practically ubiquitous in today's tech-driven world.

Yet the majority of people has little understanding of how it works, much less are able to use it.

[Robert Saunders]
 The Engineering Society Coding Competition is aimed at introducing more students to the world of coding, says Robert Saunders, Director of Information Technology for the Engineering Society. (University Communications)

With the aim of introducing more Queen’s students to coding the Engineering Society is hosting its first coding competition. The two-week event offers up some prizes as well as bragging rights for the top coder but the real goal is to get more students involved in coding, says Robert Saunders (Sc’19), Director of Information Technology for the society.

“The competition’s not really about the prizes. It’s about getting people involved,” says the computer engineering major. “You never know, one student who doesn’t know anything about coding can sign up and fall in love with it. For me, the competition is a way to leverage my position to get people involved in coding.”

The competition is open to all Queen’s students no matter their skill level and utilizes HackerRank, a website where users can practice on coding problems or set up competitions. Those who sign up to compete will face a series of coding questions that they will have to solve to earn points. The competitor with the most points wins. If there is a tie, the winner will be decided on time.

“Technology is so huge now, it’s really important to get involved. Even if you have the most basic skills for coding at least you have some sense of how things work,” says Mr. Saunders, adding that the site can be used as a learning tool. “When you are doing a problem (HackerRank) asks you to write your code but what’s different about it is you’re not just submitting the code to the platform for us to review, it also runs test cases through your code. It shows the user the process of a computer kind of feeding input to your program and getting the desired output, which is nice.”

Competitors do not have to be on Queen’s campus and can use their own computers. Sign up is free but does require a Queen’s email address.

Visit the Engineering Society Coding Competition site for more information or to participate.

Following the competition Mr. Saunders has also organized the Engineering Society Startup Workshop on Feb. 28 from 6-9 pm. The workshop will focus on project management, team communication, user interface and experience design, version control and issue tracking systems. 

Opportunities for international collaboration

Queen's in the World

Applications are open for the International Visitors Program of the Principal’s Development Fund, a program that helps connect Queen’s with academics and institutions around the world by sponsoring visits by international scholars. The program also works to foster connections between Queen’s and its partners within the Matariki Network of Universities.

“This program provides a tremendous opportunity for collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas between the Queen’s community and scholars and universities around the globe,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “I am very pleased to offer this funding as part of our ongoing support for international partnerships and, in particular, alliances with the Matariki Network.”

Last year, Professor Karol Miller from the University of Western Australia visited Queen's through the International Visitors Program of the Principal's Development Fund.

The International Visitors Program includes three application categories, each of which offers grants of up to $3,000. Category one is the open program, which helps to cover the costs of bringing an international scholar to Queen’s for a period of at least three days. 

The other two application categories focus on leveraging Queen’s membership in the Matariki Network of Universities. One of these is an extension of the visiting scholars program, specifically aimed at bringing visitors to Queen’s from the other Matariki universities, which include the University of Western Australia (UWA), Tübingen University, Uppsala University, Dartmouth College, University of Otago, and Durham University. Last year, Professor Karol Miller from UWA visited Queen’s through the program and gave a talk about his research into computational biomechanics at the School of Computing Distinguished Speaker Seminar.

The third application category provides funding to assist Queen’s faculty and staff to travel to Matariki partner institutions to build new collaborations. This seed funding may be used to initiate new academic, research, or administrative initiatives.

Applications for these categories are due to the relevant dean’s office by April 21, 2017. For more information, including program details and application forms, visit the Principal’s website.

Questions about the Principal’s Development Fund may be directed to Csilla Volford, Coordinator, International Projects and Events, in the Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International).

 

Seeking summer opportunities

[Engineering and Technology Fair]
Students meet up with recruiters during the Engineering and Technology Fair held in Grant Hall. (University Communications)

The Winter Term at Queen’s started just a few weeks ago but it is already time for students to start considering their options for the summer.

“At Queen’s we have a number of helpful resources available for students to gain valuable information and make connections in their search for summer employment” says Cathy Keates, Director of Career Services.

A pair of job fairs will be on campus this week, offering attendees a chance to meet up with a wide range of organizations and recruiters.

The Summer Opportunities Fair will be held in the Queen’s Centre and the ARC Atrium on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 10:30 am-3:30 pm, with 40 organizations setting up booths. At the event, students can also get resume help and career advice from Career Services experts before connecting with potential employers.

The Engineering and Technology Fair will be set up in Grant Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 10:30 am-3:30 pm, with more than 40 organizations in attendance. This fair is geared toward students and organizations with an engineering, computing, or technical focus but also offers a resume clinic, student prep area and career advising for free.

Away from the fairs, Career Services has recently started a series of free summer job workshops to prepare students for the job search, with a focus on skills and experience development.

Drop-in career advising is also available at the Career Services offices (Gordon Hall, third floor), Monday to Thursday 1:30-3:30 pm, no appointment required, where students can ask an advisor any questions they may have about the job search.

Another opportunity available to students looking to stay in Kingston is the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP), which offers on-campus summer jobs that provide valuable experiences for undergraduates.  Applications are due Feb. 9.

Job seekers can also take their search online through the Summer Jobs webpage, which provides links to a range of resources such as the Ontario Summer Jobs program.

For more information visit the Career Services website.

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