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Research Prominence

Canada’s largest STEM scholarships name Queen's recipients

Schulich Leader Scholarships names four Queen’s University recipients.

Four Queen’s University students have been named recipients of Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) scholarships, the Schulich Leader Scholarships.

Seymour Schulich spoke at Queen's University last year at the opening of a new rare book collection.

Johann Sapim of Toronto, Ontario and Laure Halabi of Whitby, Ontario are studying engineering and will each receive $100,000 over their four years of study. Ryley Molloy of Lindsay, Ontario and Jacob Meadus of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland will each receive $80,000 towards their undergraduate studies at Queen’s. Mr. Malloy and Mr. Meadus are both pursuing their Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree.

Created in 2011 by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, this annual scholarship program encourages high school graduates to embrace STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in their future careers.

Laure Halabi

“Schulich Leader scholarship recipients are the best and brightest STEM students in Canada,” says Mr. Schulich.  “I truly believe that many of these students will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of technology innovators.”

This year, there were over 1,300 Schulich Leader nominees from across Canada vying for 50 scholarships, valued at up to $100,000 each. Since inception, 270 students have received this scholarship.

Jacob Meadus

“The Schulich scholarships are another example of Seymour Schulich’s outstanding commitment to post-secondary education in Canada,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “This award is highly competitive and we are proud to have four winners again this year. This is a perfect example of the high quality of first-year students studying at Queen’s University.”

Mr. Molloy says he felt a great feeling of relief with the lifting of the financial burden associated with post-secondary studies which enhances his ability to succeed while Ms. Sapim says the scholarship shows that people can achieve their goals through hard work.

“Receiving the Schulich Leader scholarship has served for me as a confirmation to this idea. I hope that my experience can inspire others to never give up on their goals, their ideas and most of all themselves. Everyone has the potential to accomplish great things; you just have to be willing to set your mind to it,” says Ms. Sapim.

Ryley Molloy

Mr. Meadus calls the Schulich Scholarship his “golden ticket” adding the funding will make all of his life aspirations accessible and possible. Living on campus, studying abroad, attending such a prestigious institution as Queen's, all of these things – once vivid pipe dreams – are now my reality. I am truly blessed.”

Johann Sapim

“I cannot begin to describe how much this scholarship has changed my family's life and mine. It has provided me with the foundation and support that I needed to fulfill my dream of becoming an engineer and change the world. My family and I are forever grateful for this incredible opportunity,” says Ms. Halabi, who was born in Lebanon and speaks English and Arabic.

“Both Seymour Schulich and Queen’s University want to help develop the leaders of tomorrow, and we are delighted to welcome these four exceptional students to campus. We are grateful to the Schulich Foundation for its commitment to supporting these students in their post-secondary pursuits,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs.

For more information on the scholarships and full profiles of the Queen’s recipients visit the website.

New scientific director for Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) has a new scientific director with David Pedlar being appointed for a five-year term beginning Dec. 1.

"David Pedlar"
David Pedlar begins his five-year term as scientific director of CIMVHR on Dec. 1 (Supplied Photo)

Dr. Pedlar brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and leadership to CIMVHR and, since 2002, held the position of national director of research for Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).

CIMVHR is partnered with 37 universities across Canada. The institute acts as a channel between the academic community, government organizations, industry and similar international organizations to address the health and well-being of military personnel, veterans and their families. 

Dr. Pedlar built VAC’s research capacity by founding and growing the department’s research directorate, executed numerous research programs on veteran health, and led the groundbreaking Life After Service Studies program of research in partnership with Statistics Canada and the Department of National Defence.

At Queen’s, Dr. Pedlar will join the School of Rehabilitation Therapy as a professor in the physical therapy program. He previously held the positions of adjunct professor at both the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Prince Edward Island and the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. In 2015, he was named the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Military Social Work at the University of Southern California where he continues as an International Affiliated Faculty at the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families.

For further information see the news release announcing Dr. Pedlar’s appointment.

Queen’s student venture victorious in Singapore

They travelled to the other side of the world to put their business plans to the test, and in the end the Spectra Plasmonics team came up victorious at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition.

"Spectra Plasmonics Team Members"
The Spectra Plasmonics team is comprised of, from left: Yusuf Ahmed, Malcome Eade, Christian Baldwin, Tyler Whitney, Ryan Picard. (Photo by James McLellan)

As part of their winnings, the team will receive $125,000 in cash and tens of thousands of dollars in services, prizes, including legal, corporate and marketing support.

The competition was hosted by Singapore Management University and the Queen’s team was up against 35 other teams flown in specially for the competition.

The Spectra Plasmonics team is made up of Tyler Whitney (Comm’17, Artsci’18), Ryan Picard (Sc’17), Malcom Eade (Artsci’18), and Christian Baldwin (Sci'19) and Yusuf Ahmed (Sc’18). This past summer they took part in the Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition at Queen’s where they developed a chemical sensor that can be used for food safety, forensics, and law enforcement. With state-of-the-art capability, this device saves time and money in detecting trace levels of harmful compounds in complex mixtures.

“The win by Spectra Plasmonics is a testament to the character and effort put in by the team, to our strong academic programming and the leading edge research underway at Queen’s, and to the resources we have in place at Queen’s to support student entrepreneurs,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. “Congratulations to the entire Spectra Plasmonics team, and the Queen’s researchers behind the chemical detection technology, on their outstanding accomplishment.”

This venture demonstrates the success of the Foundry Program, developed together by the Office of Partnerships and Innovation and the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre to provide the opportunity for researchers who have intellectual property with commercial potential to work with students who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. Spectra Plasmonics is building a venture around some of the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy intellectual property that Hannah Dies, Aris Docoslis, Carlos Escobedo and Josh Raveendran - all of the Chemical Engineering department - have been developing. 

Learn more about the team, their technology and their trip to Singapore, in this previous Gazette story. You can also meet Mr. Picard and Mr. Ahmed and learn more about their business in this short video.

Bringing Queen’s economic rigour to the social sector

"Based at Innovation Park, the Limestone Analytics team includes, from left: Caroline Godin; Jay MacKinnon; Jordan Nanowski; Jenny Watt; Bahman Kashi; Alexandra Galvin; Aalisha Lakdawala, Christopher Cotton."
Based at Innovation Park, the Limestone Analytics team includes, from left: Caroline Godin; Jay MacKinnon; Jordan Nanowski; Jenny Watt; Bahman Kashi; Alexandra Galvin; Aalisha Lakdawala, Christopher Cotton. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

The Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Collaborators series profiles regional innovations, startups and collaborations that are flourishing and which engage Queen’s faculty, staff and/or students.

Bahman Kashi slides the mouse in his right hand back and forth on the table top, clicking on the long columns of numbers and graphics displayed on his computer. To the casual observer, seeing these long ranks of columns on a wall screen in a boardroom at Innovation Park, what he is working with looks like a long, complex, and not easily understandable spreadsheet; in fact, these numbers are part of a sophisticated analysis that his company, Limestone Analytics, is carrying out aimed at improving health outcomes in hospitals in Cameroon, specifically saving children’s lives. 

Important, interesting work. But what has earned Kashi and his firm a spot at Innovation Park, Queen’s University’s incubator for startups (usually of the high-tech variety), is what lies behind the numbers – what Kashi refers to as Limestone’s “methodology.”

“Economists love models,” says Kashi, himself a PhD in the field and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Economics. With good reason. A mixture of data, assumptions and formulae, economic models are powerful tools, useful for determining the costs and benefits of business decisions, government policies or development programs such as the one that Kashi and his colleagues are working on. But the typical model is anything but user-friendly. Experts on a program or economic sector often build extensive models across a series of interconnected spreadsheets, making it nearly impossible for anyone else to update their analysis, let alone understand the details of the calculations being performed. Very much the idiosyncratic product of one mind, “it’s easier,” says Kashi, “for a second person to rebuild it from scratch than understand what had been done.” 

To cap it off, says Kashi, “Economists aren’t the best at communicating.”

Not surprisingly, given the somewhat artisanal fashion in which these models are constructed (they can take literally hundreds of hours), hiring an economic consultant is an expensive proposition. Kashi wondered if there might not be a more efficient and less expensive way to do it, one which would make modeling more accessible to a larger group of potential users. “An architect can draw a plan and pass it to a builder,” he says. Why not do something similar with modeling?

The result is what he is displaying on-screen. It looks like a spreadsheet because it is a spreadsheet. But baked into it, so to speak, are the economist’s assumptions and formulae – relating to costs and benefits, the social impacts, the stakeholders. Different people can work on different parts of the model – a health economist could create the model, essentially a series of equations; a programmer could then incorporate the equations into Excel; and a research assistant (who might be an undergraduate, not a PhD) could track down statistics and enter them in an Excel table that the programmer set up to feed data into the underlying model. Making changes can be done quickly, he says, in a “matter of hours, not a week,” as might be the case with a more conventional model.

Kashi was interested in bridging the gap between the social sector and the world of academic economics. He knew people in the social sector from teaching at Queen’s, where they would approach the department for help with their projects. Largely lacking in economic training, they didn’t have the right conceptual tools to evaluate a program or choose between two competing ones. 

Founded in 2016, Limestone Analytics specializes in economic modeling, as well as the design, monitoring and evaluation of international development and social sector projects. Working with Kashi and his firm gives NGOs (among them World Vision, one of the world’s largest), a sophisticated analysis of potential or ongoing projects. For their part, Limestone Analytics gets real, hands-on examples to help them hone their methodology further. Those real-world examples are key, says Kashi. “We would be making fools of ourselves if we just went into a room for a year and a half, and then came out and said, ‘Here’s the model.’” 

One of Limestone’s recent projects, focused on an analysis of the Haitian electrical sector, undertaken for the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a Danish think tank. Limestone’s project was chosen as the number one submission by an expert panel created by the Center to look at ways to help the Caribbean country climb out of poverty.

Most firms involved in consulting work similar to that done by Limestone Analytics tend to locate in Toronto or Ottawa, or even Washington. Limestone plans to stay in Kingston, at Innovation Park. 

There are, says Kashi, a number of reasons for this. 

“One is academic rigour. Very often these social-sector analyses are critiqued as poor quality, so we want to maintain our relationship with high-quality academic partners in the Queen’s Department of Economics.” 

Thanks to the university connection, they also receive funding from MITACS, which reduces the costs for them to hire graduate students. Other faculty members in the partners in the Queen’s Department of Economics are also regularly involved with Limestone’s projects, helping ensure that they adhere to the highest standards of academic quality.

“The other point is if we were in Washington, say, we’d be flooded with jobs. But you don’t want that if you are trying to change the very way things work. And we wouldn’t get the support we get here,” he says. Now up to eight people, Limestone Analytics has recently moved into a larger, more private footprint within the incubation space at Innovation Park, which continues to provide the company with access to numerous resources such as business advice from Launch Lab, and match-making services and intellectual property guidance from the Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation. (Limestone Analytics can also draw on resources in Toronto and Ottawa.) One of the key proposals Limestone is working on now is a direct outcome of an international event that took place at Innovation Park in June. “Even getting into MaRS (Toronto’s startup incubator) for a desk you’d have to wait a year or two,” he laughs.

“We are not the first to have tried this,” says Kashi of the idea of creating a development-specific economic model. Both the United Nations and the World Bank have tried, but earlier attempts proved unsuccessful. “The problem is that earlier attempts have either tried to create a complex model to fit all situations, or restricted their assumptions to the degree that their work is no-longer useful. Our way is different. We are trying to develop a streamlined approach to the modeling process, while still allowing the models themselves to be flexible in their design and assumptions.” 

Ultimately, their goal is to refine their methodology and scale it up, which will give them a real product that they can sell to the World Bank, or other large and small organizations that deal with investments in infrastructure and social projects. 

“It’s a niche market,” says Kashi, “but there’s lots of demand for it."

Putting the Queen's in Queen's Park

  • Premier Kathleen Wynne, front, second from left, and Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala, front right, met with a delegation from Queen's University. Front, from left: AMS President Jennifer Li; Premier Wynne; Principal Daniel Woolf; Ms. Kiwala. Back, from left: AMS Vice-President (Operations) Chelsea Hollidge; AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge; Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon; Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney; and Rector Cam Yung.
    Premier Kathleen Wynne, front, second from left, and Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala, front right, met with a delegation from Queen's University. Front, from left: AMS President Jennifer Li; Premier Wynne; Principal Daniel Woolf; Ms. Kiwala. Back, from left: AMS Vice-President (Operations) Chelsea Hollidge; AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge; Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon; Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney; and Rector Cam Yung.
  • Principal Daniel Woolf speaks during a reception hosted by Queen's University at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, Sept. 11.
    Principal Daniel Woolf speaks during a reception hosted by Queen's University at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, Sept. 11.
  • Rector Cam Yung takes a moment with Sarah Letersky, former AMS vice-president (University Affairs), the special assistant to the Leader of the official opposition.
    Rector Cam Yung takes a moment with Sarah Letersky, former AMS vice-president (University Affairs), the special assistant to the Leader of the official opposition.
  • Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, explains the chemical engineering Grad Map to two reception attendees.
    Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, explains the chemical engineering Grad Map to two reception attendees.
  • Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon takes a moment with Paul Newcombe, executive assistant for MPP Lorne Coe, Critic for Advanced Education and Skills Development.
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon takes a moment with Paul Newcombe, executive assistant for MPP Lorne Coe, Critic for Advanced Education and Skills Development.

Queen's faculty, staff and students visited Queen's Park on Monday, Sept 11, for a full day of advocacy meetings and a reception with government officials.

The day began with a recognition in the Legislature by Sophie Kiwala, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. From the Members Gallery, the Queen's delegation sat in on the first Question Period of the fall session, before a quick meeting and photograph with Premier Kathleen Wynne (Artsci’77). Throughout the afternoon, the delegation met with various government and public sector officials, for a series of meetings on a range of topics – including access to post-secondary education, research and student experience.

After the Legislature adjourned for the day, MPPs and staff from all parties attended a reception that highlighted areas of excellence at Queen's. Researchers from a wide range of faculties mingled with elected officials, describing their leading-edge work in areas such as chemistry, physics and green energy. The signature Queen's student learning experience was on display as well, with career services highlighting efforts such as Major Maps and Grad Maps, which ensure students enter the workforce with the skills necessary for success. Past and present participants in the Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition highlighted both the limitless innovation potential of Queen's students, as well as the supports in place to allow their ideas to become reality.

Canadian research leaders elected to College

Early-career Queen’s researchers honoured by the Royal Society of Canada.

See also:
A Royal Honour
Royal Society of Canada recognizes three Queen’s University faculty members as RSC fellows. (September 7, 2016)

Two Queen’s University faculty members have been named to the Royal Society of Canada’s (RSC) College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists program. The Members of the College are research leaders who, at an early stage in their career, have demonstrated a high level of achievement these elections are indicative of the research excellence fostered at Queen’s.

Katherine McKittrick’s (Gender Studies) research focuses include black studies, gender studies, history and literature while Karen Yeates (Medicine) is focused on bringing healthcare expertise to impoverished areas of Africa including Tanzania.

The New College program recognizes an emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership and seeks to gather scholars, artists and scientists at a highly productive stage of their careers into a single collegium where new advances in understanding will emerge from the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural and social perspectives.

Karen Yeates

“The College opens the doors of the RSC to early and mid-career scholars and researchers, and provides them an opportunity to contribute to the promotion of learning and research,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The researchers elected as part of the 2017 Membership are great representatives of the diverse range of leading edge and innovative research being undertaken by our younger colleagues on campuses across Canada.”

Dr. Yeates’ implementation science research program brings healthcare expertise to Tanzania and other nations using mobile phone technology. She is recognized as a leader in the field of mobile health research, and she has been praised internationally for her contributions to disease screening and prevention.

“I thought my research program wouldn’t really fit the metric of the scientist but this honour gives me motivation to keep pushing forward,” says Dr. Yeates.

Katherine McKittrick

Dr. McKittrick’s scholarly work looks at the links between the theories of race, liberation and creative texts in relation to the fields of geography, cultural studies, black studies and gender studies where her work on interdisciplinary and anti-colonial intellectual thought is widely recognized.

“I’m still very early in my career so this award is a deep honour,” says Dr. McKittrick. “To have a scholar who works on questions of black liberation recognized by the RSC is very exciting.”

For more information on the New College visit the website.

New era of health research in Kingston

Dr. John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s University delivers speech at event opening ceremony.
John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research), speaks during the opening of the W.J. Henderson Centre for Patient-Oriented Research on Monday, Sept. 11. (University Communications)

Home to one of the country’s top 40 research hospitals and a world-renowned university, Kingston has long been recognized as an important centre for health research in Canada.

That reputation is reaching new heights with the opening of the W.J. Henderson Centre for Patient-Oriented Research. The new centre positions Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), Queen’s University and the KGH Research Institute (KGHRI) as international leaders in partnering with patients to improve health knowledge and outcomes.

The state-of-the-art centre brings together for the first time the facilities, equipment and research projects that require direct patient involvement into a single space. Located within KHSC’s Kingston General Hospital site and adjacent to the Queen’s University campus, the facility is situated to give clinician-scientists, researchers, and research volunteers a safe and accessible environment where patients can be consulted, assessed and monitored as they take part in research studies.

“This centre is the realization of our commitment to patient-oriented research,” says Dr. Roger Deeley, Vice-President of Health Sciences Research at KHSC and Vice-Dean of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University. “It expands opportunities for patients to take part in the discovery process, and it provides a stimulating environment for collaboration. This will lead to innovation, better treatments and improved outcomes for patients and their families. It also provides the ideal environment for multi-disciplinary approaches to research and a solid training ground for future clinician-scientists and researchers.”

At 10,000 square feet, the centre increases research space at the KGH site by 25 per cent. Facilities include shared research labs and work spaces, patient examination and procedure rooms, comfortable waiting areas for patients and their families, a biohazard Level 2 preparation area, as well as the capability to conduct early stage clinical trials, crucial steps in the development of new drug and device treatments and therapies.

“Research has become an increasingly collaborative pursuit that not only requires clinician-scientists from partner institutions to work more closely together, but also for researchers and patients to become more deeply involved in the discovery process,” says Dr. John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s University. “This new centre will strengthen the collective efforts of Kingston’s world-class scientific community and ultimately provide patients with improved healthcare and quality of life.”

"This represents a significant milestone in health research at KHSC. The centre will become a major hub for clinical research as we further integrate research between Queen's and our academic hospital partners,” says Dr. Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. “Ultimately, the work of the centre will translate into improved patient outcomes in our community and will help us to both educate future scientists and recruit leading researchers from around the world.”

Constructed at a cost of $4.2 million, the centre’s creation was made possible through generous gifts from more than 150 donors, including $1 million from the W.J. Henderson Foundation and $1.2 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, awarded to Dr. Stephen Vanner, (Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit) and Dr. Douglas Munoz (Centre for Neuroscience Studies).

“This facility reflects a significant commitment by individuals and organizations, including the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, clinician-scientists and researchers, and donors including the W.J. Henderson Foundation. Their support made this centre possible, and we are profoundly grateful to them,” says Dr. Deeley.

For more information on the W.J. Henderson Centre for Patient Oriented Research, visit www.kgh.on.ca/research.

Queen’s researcher recognized for work on toxic algae blooms

The Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (CJFAS) has selected a paper lead by Queen’s National Scholar and researcher Diane Orihel as Editor’s Choice for 2017, an honour that highlights articles of particularly high caliber and topical importance, in recognition of her team’s national study of nutrients that feed algal blooms in Canadian lakes. Algal blooms – the blue-green scums visible on nutrient-polluted lakes – negatively affect not only recreational activities like swimming and fishing, but can put drinking water, property values, wildlife, and human health at risk.

Researcher and Queen’s National Scholar Diane Orihel takes samples of lake water. The Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences has selected a paper lead by Dr. Orihel as Editor’s Choice for 2017. (Supplied Photo) 

“We looked at all of the national data on phosphorous release from sediments of Canadian freshwater ecosystems and saw how important paying attention to the bigger picture can be,” says Dr. Orihel (Environmental Studies, Biology). “I think our research will help us better manage our lakes and wetlands so all Canadians can feel safe to enjoy them.”

Dr. Orihel’s team investigated a process in Canada’s aquatic ecosystems: the recycling of phosphorus between sediments at the bottom of lakes and overlying water. Algae thrives on phosphorous so as it is released from lakebeds harmful accumulations of algae, called blooms, are more likely to form. Across the country tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars are invested every year to manage nutrient pollution – but in some lakes – legacy effects from nutrients deposited years ago can linger and delay recovery.

“Our main goal was to better understand where, when, and why this process occurs so that we can make improvements to how algal blooms are managed and develop realistic goals for lake restoration,” explained Dr. Orihel. “We found that phosphorus release from sediments was a common phenomenon in Canadian fresh waters, but that rates of this process varied dramatically from lake to lake.”

Major case studies featured in the article include Lake Simcoe, Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, Cootes Paradise, and Lake Diefenbaker.

Prairie lakes in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta were shown to have the highest rates of phosphorous release, while the lowest rates were found in northern Ontario and the Maritimes.

“We found that oxygen levels, pH balance, nutrient status all affected the rate of phosphorus release from sediments,” Dr. Orihel says. “Following this study, it will be important to examine how human impacts, such as climate change and fish farming, affect this process so we can better tailor our efforts to improve water quality.”

The take-home message for the public, according to Dr. Orihel is “we need to stop dumping phosphorus into our lakes, because it’s not only causing problems right now, but in many lakes, it continues to deteriorate water quality for our children and grandchildren”.

The article was published online today in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2016-0500).

Collaborators on the project included Helen Baulch (University of Saskatchewan), Nora Casson (University of Winnipeg), Rebecca North (University of Missouri), Chris Parsons (University of Waterloo), Dalila Seckar (Queen’s University), and Jason Venkiteswaran (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Supporting new scientific discoveries

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has provided a combined $14,808,621 million in funding to over 70 Queen’s researchers through the flagship Discovery Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships, and Research Tools and Instruments Grants programs. The funding received will enable researchers to carry out innovative research projects over the next one to five years in fields ranging from particle astrophysics to mechanical engineering.

“This funding provided by NSERC provides crucial support to long-term, ongoing programs of research,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “This allows researchers the flexibility to pursue promising new avenues and address higher-risk topics with the potential for tremendous rewards. The process is highly competitive, and the success of our researchers in receiving this funding speaks to both the significant potential of their programs and the leading expertise of the researchers themselves.”

NSERC’s Discovery Grants Program aims to promote and maintain high-quality Canadian research in the areas of natural sciences and engineering by fostering excellence and promoting scientific innovation. Notable recipients include Philip Jessop (Chemistry), Ryan Martin (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) and Virginia Walker (Biology).

Dr. Jessop has received $619,400 for a project aimed at developing new means of recycling waste CO2 collected from power plants and other industrial processes. This research could lead to the development of methods to produce needed chemicals in a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

Dr. Martin has received $225,000 to support a team of researchers in developing and testing new particle detectors made of high-purity germanium. These detectors will be used in large-scale particle astrophysics experiments, such as the MAJORANA and MINER experiments, to help answer some of the most challenging questions in particle physics and further cement Canada’s status as a leader in the discipline.

Dr. Walker has received $300,000 to examine the role anti-freeze proteins play in protecting plants and animals from cold-related cell damage and in immune response. She proposes that a more thorough understanding of how these proteins function could assist in developing crops that are better able to withstand freeze damage, as well as improved techniques for the cryopreservation of tissues.

In addition, three Queen’s researchers were awarded Discovery Accelerator Supplements. Valued at $120,000 over three years, these grants serve to provide additional support for researchers who show potential to become international leaders in their fields. The additional funding aims to accelerate their potential progress and maximize the impact of top calibre research. Recipients include Leon Boegman (Civil Engineering), Julian Ortiz (Mining), and Ryan Martin (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy).

Notably, Dr. Mark Chen received $2.6 million from the Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants program, and another 14 researchers received a combined $1.8 million to assist in acquiring tools and equipment necessary to carry out their research.

A further 20 doctoral research students were awarded scholarships with a combined total of $1.9 million over a two to three year period. Nine of these recipients were awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Graduate Scholarship, a prestigious award aimed at nurturing the research leaders of tomorrow.

For the full list of Discovery and Research Tools and Instruments program recipients from Queen's University, see below.

 

Discovery and SAP-Individual/Project Awards:

Andrew, Robert
Banfield, Bruce
Barthelme, Thomas
Boegman, Leon
Chen, Mark
Dean, Thomas
Evans, P Andrew
Fam, Amir
Gallivan, Jason
Gee, Katrina
Genikomsou, Aikaterini
Ghasemlou, Nader
Graham, TC Nicholas
Green, Mark
Hollenstein, Tom
Hudon, Nicolas
Jerkiewicz, Gregory
Jessop, Philip
Lai, Yongjun
Levin, Yuri

MacDougall, Colin
Martin, Ryan
Mosey, Nicholas
Moyes, Christopher
Oko, Richard
Ortiz, Julián
Oteafy, Sharief
Peppley, Brant
Raptis, Leda
Rau, Wolfgang
Robertson, Robert
Rowe, R Kerry
Scott, Neal
Smol, John
Surgenor, Brian
Taylor, Peter
Troje, Nikolaus
Walker, Virginia
Zou, Ying

 

Discovery Accelerator Supplements:
Boegman, Leon
Martin, Ryan
Ortiz, Julian

 

Northern Research Supplement:
John Smol

 

Research Tools & Instruments Awards (RTI) and RTI-SAP Awards:

Amsden, Brian
Beninger, Richard
Cunningham, Michael
Davies, Theresa
Di Stefano, Philippe
Fichtinger, Gabor
Flanagan, John

Hassanein, Hossam
Jessop, Philip
Lafreniere, Melissa
Lougheed, Stephen
Plaxton, William
Smith, Steven
Take, William

 

Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships:
Bagherzadeh, Mojtaba
Bonafiglia, Jacob
Jeronimo, Mark
Lamontagne, Steven
Neeteson, Nathan
Rygus, Jason
Sikora, James
Van De Ven, Cole
Vance, Tyler

 

NSERC Postgraudate Scholarships:
Brault, Andre
Coulson, Jeremy
Fernandes, Suzette
Gushulak, Cale
Mangardich, Haykaz
Peoples, Jacob
Raveendran, Joshua
Sivarajah, Branaavan
Stortini, Christine
Welte, Lauren Kelsey Marie
Wright, Timothy

The colours of Orientation Week

  • Each faculty at Queen's has its own unique traditions as seen with these students and orientation leaders from the Faculty of Arts and Science. (Photo by Tia Wilson)
    Each faculty at Queen's has its own unique traditions as seen with these students and orientation leaders from the Faculty of Arts and Science. (Photo by Tia Wilson)
  • Incoming commerce students gather on Summerhill on Wednesday, the first day of orientation for each of Queen's University's faculties. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Incoming commerce students gather on Summerhill on Wednesday, the first day of orientation for each of Queen's University's faculties. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Incoming students for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science fill Grant Hall during the beginning of their faculty orientation on Wednesday. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Incoming students for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science fill Grant Hall during the beginning of their faculty orientation on Wednesday. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's cheerleading squad try to sign up new recruits during Queen's In the Park, hosted Wednesday at City Park. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's cheerleading squad try to sign up new recruits during Queen's In the Park, hosted Wednesday at City Park. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Newly-arrived students take part in a carnival held Wednesday, Sept. 6 on Tindall Field. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Newly-arrived students take part in a carnival held Wednesday, Sept. 6 on Tindall Field. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

Incoming students are being introduced to university life during Orientation Week – Sept. 3-8 – as well as to some traditions that make Queen’s a unique place.

Wednesday marked the transition from University Orientation to Faculty Orientation, where first-year students connect with their peers and colleagues from the same programs.

For orientation details, visit www.queensu.ca/orientation

Classes begin on Monday, Sept. 11.

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