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Engineering and Applied Science

Remembrance and reflection

  • Students, faculty and staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science take part in the memorial service for the Dec. 6 killings of 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.
    Students, faculty and staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science take part in the memorial service for the Dec. 6 killings of 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.
  • An image of one of the 14 women killed at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal is shown during the memorial service hosted by the Engineering Society and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
    An image of one of the 14 women killed at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal is shown during the memorial service hosted by the Engineering Society and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • Carol Ann Budd, a graduate of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and a community member of Queen’s Aboriginal Council, speaks during the Dec. 6 memorial.
    Carol Ann Budd, a graduate of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and a community member of Queen’s Aboriginal Council, speaks during the Dec. 6 memorial.
  • Kimberly Woodhouse, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, speaks about her experiences and hopes during the Dec. 6 memorial service at Beamish-Munro Hall
    Kimberly Woodhouse, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, speaks about her experiences and hopes during the Dec. 6 memorial service at Beamish-Munro Hall

The Queen’s community took time on Tuesday to remember the shooting deaths of 14 women at Montreal's l’École Polytechnique in 1989.

Three years after the attack, Dec. 6 was declared Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

In the annual event, hosted by the Engineering Society and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, 14 women, representing engineering students, staff and faculty, held red roses, lit white candles and read a brief outline of each of the victims.

The gathered crowd also heard from Kimberly Woodhouse, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and guest speaker Carol Ann Budd (Sc’89), a Queen’s engineering graduate herself and a community member of the Queen’s Aboriginal Council.

Twelve female engineering students, a nurse, and a faculty member were killed in the 1989 attack.

Dec. 6 memorial

The Engineering Society of Queen’s University and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science invites the Queen's community to join them as they remember those who were killed, injured, and otherwise impacted as a result of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre.

The implications and ramifications of those horrific events catalyzed ongoing change in Canadian society. They loom especially large over engineering schools and the profession as stark reminder of our individual and communal responsibilities to each other.

Please visit Beamish-Munro Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 1 pm for the annual Rose Ceremony and remarks on the subject of women in engineering from Dean Kimberly Woodhouse, and Queen’s alumna, Carol-Ann Budd.

All are welcome.

For more information email Breighann Merry.

 

Sounds of the season

Festival of Carols, a 70-year tradition, continues at Grant Hall.

For the 71st year in a row, Grant Hall will be ringing with the sounds of the season.

Since 1945, the Queen’s University Engineering Society has hosted an annual carol service. This year, the tradition continues, with a few tweaks to the program to give it more of a community focus and provide a chance to sing with friends and family.

Preparing to sing their hearts out are: Back row (l to r): Ryan Kwast, Nick Hetherington, Thomas Rautenbach, Sam Mason and front row (l to r): Alex Bennett, Steven Ta, Monet Slinowsky, Claire Dederer 

In 2013, the service, formerly the Carol Service, was renamed the Festival of Carols and the programming was updated to make it more inclusive and diverse. While carols are still sung, organizers now welcome two choirs to perform and, this year, the concert will close with an anthem dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

“Initially the concert was attended by members of the engineering faculty but then alumni starting participating and now it’s open to the community,” says organizer Monet Slinowsky. “The concert has slowly changed over the years, but there will still be singing of traditional carols and readings from the Bible. And there are now other elements that will appeal to everyone.”

Community choirs The Caledonias and All the Queen’s Men will perform and Ms. Slinowsky has also formed a new choir, The Festival of Carols Choir.

“The theme for the concert this year is ‘Love is light in the darkness’, and I think the programming will reflect that,” says Ms. Slinowsky. “It’s a chance for Queen’s and the larger community to get together and just sing. Music is a universal language and we are celebrating that. It’s also a chance to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.”

The concert will take place Sunday, Nov. 27 starting at 7:30 pm in Grant Hall. Admission is free, donations to the food bank are accepted.

A major step forward

Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds help researcher build international team to learn more about how the structures of the foot allow for movement.

Queen’s researcher Michael Rainbow (Mechanical Engineering) is seeking to gain greater insight into the function and design of the human foot. With support from the Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds International Fund, Dr. Rainbow has made great strides in developing collaborations to further this research.

[Michael Rainbow]
Queen's mechanical engineer Michael Rainbow is partnering with researchers around the world to examine the structure of the human foot. Their project is supported by a grant from the Queen's Research Opportunities Fund. (Supplied Photo)

“The human foot is an incredibly complex structure,” says Dr. Rainbow. “Much of what we think we know about how it functions comes from examinations on cadavers. Only recently has technology advanced enough to allow us to track the movement of the bones and activation of the muscles of the foot in real time and in 3D. We’re learning that the foot is far more multifaceted and dynamic than we thought previously.”

In collaboration with researchers from the University of Queensland, INRIA in France, and Brown University, Dr. Rainbow will work to analyze the biomechanics of the arch of the foot, as well as to gain a better understanding of the structures that modulate and control the stiffness of the arch. By analyzing the movement of the individual bones, ligaments and muscles in the foot, in context with full body movement, Dr. Rainbow and his colleagues will advance understanding of the neuromuscular and mechanical function of the foot and its contributions to the human musculoskeletal system.

[Foot Render]
A rendering of the bones and support structures of the foot. By learning more about how these structure allow for movement, Dr. Rainbow and his team can assist the development of more functional prosthetics, as well as rehabilitation or injury prevention techniques. (Supplied Rendering)

“By gaining a better understanding of how the structures of the foot transfer energy during motion, we will be able to design prosthetics that function more like a foot than the current designs,” he explains. “We’ll also be able to better understand what causes common injuries – such as plantar fasciitis – with an eye on prevention and more effective treatment.”

Their research has applications in improving the design of prosthetics that can better mimic the function of the structures of a foot, as well as provide insight for podiatrists and others who study chronic injuries. Finally, by partnering with an array of diverse institutions around the globe, Dr. Rainbow is also strengthening the relationships between the Human Mobility Research Centre at Queen’s and his collaborators in the United States, Australia, and France – something he credits to the QROF.

“The support we’ve received from the Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds has been crucial to forming partnerships with institutions around the globe, and bringing top researchers together for this project,” says Dr. Rainbow.

The inaugural Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds were launched in 2015, and are awarded in four categories – the Research Leaders’ Fund, the International Fund, the Arts Fund and the Post-Doctoral Fund. The funds represent an internal investment in the research enterprise, and provide researchers and scholars financial support to accelerate their programs and research goals.

The deadline to submit a letter of intent for the 2016-2017 competition is December 1, 2016. For more information, please visit the website.

On leading, following and remembering your purpose

Queen’s is reserving its honorary degrees in 2016 for alumni in celebration of the university’s 175th anniversary. Throughout fall convocation, the Gazette will profile the four honorary degree recipients and explore how Queen’s has impacted their life and career.

Andrew Feustel’s (PhD’95) career as a geophysicist has taken him from deep underground mines across North America to over 500 km above the earth as an astronaut servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.

On Nov. 16, he returned to Queen’s to accept an honorary doctorate of science at fall convocation.

[Feustel, Woolf & Leech]
Chancellor Jim Leech, Dr. Andrew Feustel and Principal Daniel Woolf, photographed ahead of the Nov. 16 convocation. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)

“While you’re at a university you don’t realize how unique and special that university can be,” says Dr. Feustel.  “Whether you realize it or not while you’re there, those experiences you have, the friends you meet, the colleagues you meet, the professionals you meet, all have a very significant impact on your life.”

In his address to graduates, Dr. Feustel described a training exercise he underwent after becoming an astronaut that exemplified for him the true values of leadership and perseverance, but also the importance of being an effective follower. During a cold weather survival exercise, he attempted to remove a tree stump from the spot the team had chosen as a campsite for the night. Hacking away at the stump for nearly an hour, he had made little progress and was beginning to tire.

Dr. Feustel explained how a simple comment from a subordinate in that trying moment – which could have easily served to demotivate – instead spurred him into taking action.

[Baker, Feustel and Sinclair]
Dr. Feustel (centre) speaks with fellow honorary degree recipients Rob Baker and Gord Sinclair. Drs. Baker and Sinclair received their honorary degrees during the spring 2016 convocation. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)

“When I reflect back on what I learned that day, there is one primary lesson about leadership and followership that became apparent,” he says. “A good leader is only as strong as his or her followers. My fellow astronauts knew that, as the leader, I felt a responsibility to clear that stump. He could also sense my fatigue and doubt. As a follower, he knew that the best way to support the leader was to motivate and touch on my obligation to the team. His words did just that.”

Speaking to the graduating class – most of whom were from nursing or other healthcare fields – Dr. Feustel highlighted the important role they will play in serving those in need. He reminded the graduates of their obligation – to themselves and their patients – to carry out their duties to the best of their ability, knowing that the reward for a job well-done “is simply having it done well.”

“You chose a career in healthcare, not for recognition, but because you truly believe it’s important to care for and improve the quality of life for others,” says Dr. Feustel. “So remember that.”

While his career may have taken him away from the city, the country and even off the planet itself, Dr. Feustel says that Queen’s and Kingston will always hold a special place in his life.

“Both of our children were born at Kingston General Hospital, so in a way this is like their home – this is where it all started for us,” he explains. “In fact, I can look back on the events that transpired here that are directly related to me being successful as an astronaut. So you want to continue to nurture those things. I think, as you get older you realize the importance of education and growing those interests and finding a way, some way, to inspire even one person at one of those institutions to go on and do great things because anything’s possible. This is where you can plant those seeds.”

Be leaders and changemakers, urges Aboriginal champion

Queen’s is reserving its honorary degrees in 2016 for alumni in celebration of the university’s 175th anniversary. Throughout fall convocation, the Gazette will profile the four honorary degree recipients and explore how Queen’s has impacted their life and career. 

During the mid-1980s, Carol Ann Budd (Sc’89) arrived on Queen’s campus from northeastern Ontario wearing a pair of moccasins she’d made herself. On Tuesday, she came to campus wearing those same moccasins (re-soled many times over the years), and then switched into a special white pair made by her grandmother to accept an honorary doctorate of science at fall convocation.

Carol Ann Budd said receiving the Queen's honorary degree is a proud moment for all Aboriginal women. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

“I really feel like the story of these (white) moccasins represents the full circle – from my grandmother, who went to a residential school, who passed the moccasins down to my mother, and now to me,” said Dr. Budd in an interview prior to receiving her degree. “Their experiences, and all the healing that’s taken place, and the moving forward – it’s all contributed to where I am today.”

Dr. Budd – a revered mentor and role model to generations of Aboriginal youth, a strong supporter of Aboriginal programs and initiatives at Queen’s, and the science, technology, engineering, and math fields in particular, and a champion for Aboriginal women across Canada –  said this honorary degree is a proud moment for all Aboriginal women.

“I am receiving this on behalf of all of us. I know so many deserving women. And it’s a positive story,” she said, adding that so much of what is written and heard about Indigenous woman is in a negative light, about those who are missing and murdered.

A member of the Sagamok Anishawbek First Nation, Dr. Budd at first resisted attending university but was persuaded by her brother and Queen’s graduate Raymond Hatfield (Law’84) to continue her education. She eventually decided to study engineering chemistry at Queen’s, and after a winding path to receive her degree – moving for a period back home to Biscotasing, where she married and began a family – she went on to a successful career in engineering as a research scientist at DuPont and INVISTA, and later in the automotive industry. She later switched gears, and now works as a financial consultant with Investors Group in Kingston.

Dr. Budd wore these moccasins, which she made herself, when she first arrived at Queen's in the '80s. She wore them Tuesday en route to the ceremony at Grant Hall and changed into special white moccasins made by her grandmother to receive her honorary doctorate. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

In her convocation address on Tuesday, Dr. Budd encouraged the graduates and audience members to learn one word of her native language as a way to share and spread her cultural heritage.

“Meegwetch. Thank you very much. It is a great honour to share and celebrate this moment with all of you,” she said. “The seeds that brought you here today were planted long ago. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that, and to see that this is not only an ending, but also a beginning, a time to plant new seeds, new goals."

Dr. Budd reminded students of the importance of education, and that a degree gives you both power and responsibility – a responsibility to be of service and an agent of change in the world.

“You now have the tools and the influence to do what’s right, and to be leaders and changemakers,” said Dr. Budd. “If you at any point lose your way, remember the Anishinaabe seven grandfather teachings of love, wisdom, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth. They are guideposts to steer you back on track.”

Before Dr. Budd addressed convocation, the Four Directions Women Singers sang an Honour Song to acknowledge her great achievement. Following her speech, Dr. Budd – playing a drum made by her mother – joined friends to offer the students an Anishinaabe travelling song, to send them on their journey and to go out and do their good work in the world.

“This is the best day – the very best,” she said before the ceremony. Dr. Budd’s four children and many other friends and family, one from as far away as Winnipeg, joined her Tuesday in Grant Hall.

The Gazette featured a profile of Carol Ann Budd in August 2016. Read the full text here.

Consultations held on fall term break

Task Force hosts town hall to gather input on fall break.

  • Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, welcomes attendees and explains the role of the task force in examining the implementation of a fall term break.
    Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, welcomes attendees and explains the role of the task force in examining the implementation of a fall term break.
  • Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, responds to an inquiry from a student with regards to the implementation of a fall break.
    Deputy Provost and chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, responds to an inquiry from a student with regards to the implementation of a fall break.
  • Students line up to pose questions and discuss the implementation of a fall term break.
    Students line up to pose questions and discuss the implementation of a fall term break.

The Queen’s Fall Term Break Task Force held a town hall on Nov. 10 to allow students the opportunity to have their say on the implementation of a fall term break.

The meeting, led by Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, examined topics including student priorities, the current pre-exam study break, orientation week and other details. 

The town hall is one part of the consultation process, which has included a survey open to all members of the Queen’s community and various other consultation sessions. The Task Force, formed by Principal Daniel Woolf, has been asked to consider the best way to introduce a fall term break for direct-entry undergraduate students in Arts and Science, Engineering, Commerce, and Nursing. It will deliver a comprehensive recommendation to Principal Woolf in February 2017.

More information about the work of the task force can be found on the University Secretariat’s website.

Driving innovation

GM Canada President Steve Carlisle to visit Queen’s for Principal’s Forum presentation on innovation in the auto industry.

Steve Carlisle, President and Managing Director, General Motors of Canada, will visit campus on Nov. 11 as part of the Principal’s Forum distinguished lecture series. Mr. Carlisle will deliver a presentation on the importance of innovation in the auto industry, as well as future challenges and opportunities for the next generation of auto engineers.

“Innovations and creative solutions will be key to success for the next generation of business and technology leaders,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “I am delighted to welcome Mr. Carlisle to Queen’s to share with our community his wealth of experience in the rapidly changing automotive industry. It is my hope that our students, faculty, and members of the greater Kingston community will leave this lecture with a more thorough understanding of the power of collaboration and innovation in driving the future of the automobile, transportation, and technologies that cut across sectors.”

Mr. Carlisle first joined GM as a co-op student in 1982 at the Oshawa truck assembly plant. Rising through the ranks over the past 30 years, he has witnessed first-hand the changes and challenges faced by the North American auto industry and the need for manufacturers to innovate. Beginning his career in advanced manufacturing engineering, he has also served in roles relating to materials management, product simplification, and advanced product engineering. Mr. Carlisle has held a number of senior leadership positions at General Motors, which have taken him around the globe and given him a unique perspective on the industry.

Aside from his role at General Motors, Mr. Carlisle remains active in the business and academic communities. He serves on the Ontario Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity; the University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, and is Chair of the Advanced Technology Committee of Canadian Automotive Partnership Council. From 2014 to 2016, he served as a member of Business Leaders of Michigan, and has been a member of the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

Mr. Carlisle’s public talk will take place in the atrium of Beamish-Munro Hall from 12:30- 1:30 pm on Nov. 11. The event is open to the public and free to attend.

Established in 2012, the Principal’s Forum is a public lecture series that takes place on Queen’s campus. It enables the principal to invite distinguished visitors to campus to speak on issues of interest to the Queen’s community. Past speakers include The Rt. Hon. David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, technology entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews, and Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency.

Golden Age for Science Formal

  • Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science transform Grant Hall into the "The Golden Age of Film" for the 114th Science Formal. (University Communications)
    Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science transform Grant Hall into the "The Golden Age of Film" for the 114th Science Formal. (University Communications)
  • A pair of Queen's engineering students work on one of the railings that will be added to the main structure, which is modeled after an Academy Awards stage. (University Communications)
    A pair of Queen's engineering students work on one of the railings that will be added to the main structure, which is modeled after an Academy Awards stage. (University Communications)
  • It takes thousands of volunteer hours from engineering students to help transform Grant Hall for the 114th Science Formal, being held Saturday, Nov. 5. (University Communications)
    It takes thousands of volunteer hours from engineering students to help transform Grant Hall for the 114th Science Formal, being held Saturday, Nov. 5. (University Communications)

Grant Hall has been filled with the sounds of pounding hammers and saws buzzing this week as students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science have been hard at work setting up the Science Formal.

In its 114th edition, the Science Formal is set for Saturday, Nov. 5, and hundreds of students have been hard at work creating the decorations, highlighted by the massive centerpiece structure. This year’s theme is “The Golden Age of Film.” The event is also a fundraiser for the United Way of Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington.

While the focus is on creating an atmosphere worthy of the history-filled celebration, it is also an opportunity for engineering students to put their education to work and pick up some new skills.

“Everyone has a lot of good skills,” says convener Brent Fallis, Sc’17, adding that there has been a conscious effort to incorporate students from a wider range of engineering programs. “Being able to apply those is a pretty good way to get people to put the pedal to the metal in a time like this.”

Ahead of the celebration, Grant Hall will be opened to the public for tours on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and entry is by donation to help support the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Over the past 13 years the Science Formal Open House has raised more than $15,000 for the United Way.

For more information about the Queen’s Science Formal, visit scienceformal.ca

Building bridges to female engineers

[Go ENG Girl]
Go ENG Girl participants talk with a panel of engineering academics and professionals during the 2015 event at Queen's. (Supplied Photo)

Go ENG Girl is aimed at introducing female students in grades 7 to 10 to the many areas of study and career possibilities in engineering. Having been involved with the program for four years as Engineering Outreach Coordinator at Queen’s, Scott Compeau has seen the positive effects first-hand.

From time to time, a student will tell him that the reason she is studying at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is because of Go ENG Girl or a similar outreach program at Queen’s or elsewhere.

That’s exactly what he wants to hear.

“We are seeing a consistent increase in the number of girls who are not only attending our program but are having interest in the science and engineering fields,” he says, adding that such programs play a key role in increasing diversity and gender balance in engineering. “We get a lot of repeat girls coming back from year to year (for Go ENG Girl), which speaks to the program itself and some of the things that we do, because they seem to be having a great experience and they look forward to coming to the next one.”

Go ENG Girl is being held in Ellis Hall (58 University Avenue) at Queen’s University on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9:15am – 2:30pm. While response has been good, there still are 10 available spots remaining. Go ENG Girl is free for all participants with lunch provided where the students can socialize with peers and female STEM role models.

Attendees come from around eastern Ontario, and not only are introduced to engineering but to Queen’s as well. It’s also an opportunity to connect with positive female role models, whether engineering students or professionals.

One such role model is keynote speaker Charlene Falkenburger, a Queen’s Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry graduate who is currently working as the Global Operations Manager for Dr. Roebuck's, an Australian natural skincare company that promotes all aspects of healthy living including exercise, clean eating and what you put on your skin Click here to register. The schedule of events can be viewed on the Queen’s Go ENG Girl webpage.

For more information, contact Scott Compeau at 613-533-6000 ext. 75640, or by email.

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