Graduate Summer Symposium

Dates: Friday, August 5th & Saturday, August 6th, 2022

Location: Speaker’s Corner, Ground Floor, Stauffer Library 

Keynote Address: August 5th @ 2:00pm, Mitchell Hall 

Contact Information: 

Our goal for this conference is to create a space for graduate students to share their research and network with graduate students in an interdisciplinary environment. Current Queen’s graduate students whose research focuses on science, technology, and innovation intersecting with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development will present their research and engage in interdisciplinary discussions on global challenges. Audience members from a wide array of disciplines are encouraged to attend. 

Symposium Committee Members: Emily Bell, Jenn Lucas, Jian Yu, Sho Fujita 

Symposium Program (PDF)

Day One: 5 August 2022

8:30 - 9:00 am Registration and Coffee
9:00 - 9:10 amOpening Remarks
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
9:10 - 9:30 am 

It's More Than Complication, It's Complex: Why Complexity Matters When Planning and Designing Drinking Water Systems
Corinna Dally-Starna, School of Environmental Studies

9:30 - 9:50 am

Health Implications of Coping with Water Insecurity at the Household Level: A Scoping Review
Urbanus Azupogo, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies

9:50 - 10:10 am

Multi-Responsive Smart Polymer Materials for Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering
Opeyemi Ajogbeje, Department of Chemical Engineering

10:10 - 10:30 am

Flood Risk in Information Settlements of Nigeria
Adaku Echendu, School of Encironmental Studies

10:30 - 10:40 amCoffee Break
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
10:40 - 11:00 am

Direct Mass Spectometry Detection Based Rapid Microbial Natural Product Scanning
Jian Yu, Department of Chemistry

11:00 - 11:20 am

Conversion of Carbon Dioxide into Renewable Fuels using Niobium-Supported Iron and Cobalty Catalysts
Emerson MacNeil, Department of Chemistry

11:20 - 11:40 am

Weatherproof Hydrovoltaic Device Made from Multi Walled Carbon Nanotubes
Rahul Kumar, Department of Chemistry

11:40 - 1:10 pm Lunch Break and Poster View
1:10 - 1:50pm

Panel Discussion - Role of Society to Maintain Good Health

Opeyemi Ajogbeje
Corinna Daily-Starna
Urbanus Azupogo
Adaku Echendu

1:50 - 2:00 pmCoffee Break
2:00 - 3:30pm

Keynote Lecture - Addressing Violence in Canada is about Adressing Gender Inequality
Prof. Wendy M. Craig, Department of Psychology
Location: DDQIC Rose Event Comons in Mitchell Hall
Please RSVP for the keynote address

3:30 - 7:00 pmNetworking and Dinner @ The Grad Club 

Day Two: 6 August 2022

10:00 - 10:30 amMorning Coffee
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
10:30 - 10:50 am 

Agroecosystem Resilience in Southeastern Ontario
Bryan Collins, SChool of Environmental Studies

10:50 - 11:10 am

Climate Litigation and Corporate Governance
Xi (Tina) Tian, Smith School of Business

11:10 - 11:30 am

Phytoremediation of Saline Soil Using Halophytes
Lauren Nawroth, School of Environmental Studies

11:30 - 11:50 am

An Efficient Placement of Homeless in Shelters: A Recovery Strategy from Homelessness
Peash Saha, School of Computing

11:50 - 12:30 pm

Panel Discussion - Industrial Innovation for Sustainable Cities

Rahul Kumar
Emerson MacNeil
Yuchen Lin
Bhavya Bogra
Bryan Collins

12:30 - 2:00 pmLunch Break and Poster View
SDG 14: Life Below Water
2:00 - 2:20pm

Mapping Coastal Waves (and Other Spatiotemporal Phenomena) with Mobile Robots
Thomas Sears, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

SDG 4: Quality Education

2:20 - 2:40pm

Experiences of Learning Social Justice Skills Through Learner-Educator Co-Creation in Health Care Higher Education
Laura A. Killam, School of Nursing

2:40 - 3:00pm

Exploring How Encoding Modality Affects Memory Performance in Organic Chemistry
Phung Nguyen, Department of Chemistry

3:20 - 3:30pmConcluding Remarks

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

It’s More Than Complication, It’s Complex: Why Complexity Matters When Planning and Designing Drinking Water Systems 

Presented by: Corinna Dally-Starna, School of Environmental Studies 

Author Bio: Corinna Dally-Starna is a PhD candidate in the School of Environmental Studies who came to Canada 17 years ago. Corinna is a sustainability professional by trade with research interests surrounding safe drinking water. What grabbed her attention is that small communities typically struggle more than larger ones with providing uninterrupted drinking water services, and the inequity this situation represents. Uncertainty about changing social, climatic, and technological conditions will make it even more difficult for these water systems to provide reliable service in the future. Research suggests that current institutional models are no longer adequate and need to be adjusted to these new contextual conditions. Because drinking water infrastructure is the product of interrelated and complex socioeconomic-environmental-technological systems, she made it her research goal to develop a strategy for system change that better supports long-term service continuity of small drinking water systems. 

Presentation Abstract: In Canada, water security is a small-community problem. In 2019, the majority of boil water advisories were issued for small public water supply systems (<5000 residents), i.e. those serving rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. Eighty-five percent were related to technical and process-related issues. This highlights water insecurity concerns in these communities and calls attention to Canada’s performance with relation to SDG 6.1. “Complexity” is a frequently-used concept in the water and infrastructure sector. Water infrastructures are understood as complex socio-environmental-technical systems. The Province of Ontario differentiates requirements for water project approval and supporting documentation on the basis of size and “complexity”. But what does “complexity” mean and how is it understood by those involved in planning and implementing infrastructure projects? This paper explores how “complexity” matters in project planning and design of water supply infrastructure projects. Managing the complexities, uncertainties, hazards, and vulnerabilities that impact the reliability of water supply infrastructure is one of the greatest challenges facing drinking water providers. Small utilities are particularly challenged with the management of the multiple risk factors that threaten provision of safe and reliable water services. Thus far, explanations for sub-optimal infrastructure performance or failure have mainly considered post-construction factors, while the pre-construction phase remains largely unexplored. This research addresses this gap by contributing to emergent discourse surrounding the concept of complexity as a variable impacting on decisions in the practice of managing projects. Understanding how complexity is addressed in the pre-construction phase could help improve delivery models for water supply projects, and mitigate poor practice issues that, when normalized, represent a potential risk for systemic failure. The overall goal of this research is to develop a strategy for system change and contribute to adapting “dominant institutional models designed around providing access to infrastructure” (Fischer et al. 2020) towards ones that support sustainable development objectives by managing uncertainties, vulnerabilities and hazards across the various SDG 6.1 dimensions. 

Health Implications of Coping with Water Insecurity at the Household Level: A Scoping Review 

Presented by: Urbanus Azupogo, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies 

Author Bio: TBA 

Presentation Abstract: In response to water insecurity and its associated social and environmental consequences, households develop and use diverse strategies to meet their daily water needs. Unfortunately, some of these strategies have been found to have adverse health impacts on households. This scoping review explores the health implications of water insecurity scoping strategies. We retrieved published literature from the following databases: EMBASE, MEDLINE, Science Direct, PubMed, and Global Health. Out of 17223 articles, 31 studies were included in the review. The most used coping mechanisms discussed were water storage, water reuse, rainwater harvesting, water treatment, water sharing and borrowing from social networks, illegal connections to public networks, buying water from private vendors, consumption of beverages in place of water, and fetching water from distant sources. The results show that prolonged water storage is associated with a risk of water contamination by diarrheal diseases. A study found that diabetes was more prevalent in households that used sugary beverages as a coping mechanism. Water-sharing and borrowing from social networks lead to water-related anxiety, worry, anger, and concerns that exacerbate psychosocial stress. Finally, muscle-skeletal injuries were associated with transporting water over long distances. Further studies are needed to understand the biomedical and psychosocial consequences of water insecurity coping mechanisms. These may help practitioners develop programs and policies that could be implemented to improve coping mechanisms while limiting their biomedical and psychological effects. 

Multi-Responsive Smart Polymer Materials for Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering 

Presented by: Opeyemi Ajogbeje, Department of Chemical Engineering 

Author Bio: TBA 

Presentation Abstract: Biomaterials are used for implantation, tissue regeneration and organ development. These materials can change the social order of institutions and economies. Companies are expected to rise in accordance with social norms. The potential of polymers is explored for social benefit. Artificial tissues and organs are being investigated for the human body. Cells are grown on polymer scaffolds and have shown success during development. However, the commercial manufacture of these biomaterials has not been fully realized for process and product development. In this work, the biomaterials will be synthesized for production. There are many patients, which lack access to natural tissues and organs. This gap can be filled with the engineered materials and promote good health and well-being. The monomer, 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA), has a tertiary amino group, which gives smart functionality to the polymers. These polymers can be used as biomaterials and contribute to physical well-being. Commodity plastics are widespread and research is being conducted for social change. Water-based coatings are regarded as substitutes for organic solvent-based coatings. These coatings are environmentally friendly and meet the expectations for green engineering. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of good health and well-being, industry, innovation and infrastructure as well as responsible consumption and production are advanced in this research. New and existing polymerization processes will be evaluated for drug delivery such as vaccines and therapeutics. The development of these products promote global supply and allocation to various countries. The therapeutics are developed in nanocarriers, which form the basis of some drug delivery systems. The encapsulation of the drugs, which are loaded into polymer carriers, is common. The drugs are triggered by the external environment and release the active ingredient from the carriers. These external triggers can be pH, temperature, light among other factors. The potential and impact of the polymers ensure innovation and consumption for sustainability. 

Flood Risk in Informal Settlements of Nigeria 

Presented by: Adaku Echendu, School of Environmental Studies 

Author Bio: Adaku Echendu is a PhD candidate in the school of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University. Her research interests encompass Disaster Management, Environmental Justice, Urban Sustainability, Sustainable Development and Sustainability. She has a B.Sc. Honours in Biochemistry, Post Graduate Diploma in Management, Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Research (M.Res). 

Presentation Abstract: Climate change impacts are becoming more devastating by the day. Record flooding events have been recorded this year alone across continents from Australia to North America to Africa. Such occurrences are manifestations of alarms sounded over the years by climate researchers. With increased global warming, extreme rainfall and storms will continue to increase in severity and impact. Climate-related disasters like flooding hit the poor hardest making them bear the most load in terms of overall global climate impacts. This was seen most recently in the April 2022 flooding disaster in South Africa where the most death tolls were among the poorer residents of informal settlements. My research focuses on flooding in Nigeria where gaps still abound in understanding its layered dynamics. I studied flooding in marginalized and disadvantaged informal settlements. The risk of flooding in these settlements is well known but no research has sought to understand the dynamics and layers of vulnerabilities. The precarious status of these settlements makes them prone to government demolitions and evictions which have received some level of international attention. However, the perennial flooding they face is an ever present threat that worsens their living conditions but has received little attention. My work seeks to shed light on the flooding problem. The high levels of poverty in Nigeria undermine the country’s ability to withstand climate shocks. The lack of basic services in informal settlements exacerbates issues of environmental justice. Generally, people who have access to or can afford basic services have a higher adaptive capacity in comparison to those who don’t. This was apparent in the informal settlements I carried out my research. Solutions and adaptation to issues of climate change must leave no one behind including those who live in purported “illegal” or “informal settlements”. 


SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Direct Mass Spectrometry Detection Based Rapid Microbial Natural Product Scanning 

Presented by: Jian Yu, Department of Chemistry 

Author Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Jian Yu from Nanjing China. I have completed a bachelor’s degree of pharmacy and a master’s degree of pharmacology in China. After spending several years as an engineer for mass spectrometry in China, I am now a Ph.D. candidate in Oleschuk lab from department of chemistry focusing on analytical chemistry. My research is about mass spectrometry-based workflow for microbial natural product detection including both detection technique and data analysis strategy development. 

Presentation Abstract: With the quick arising of global antibiotics resistance crisis and the fact that the battle against infectious diseases still heavily rely on natural compounds (NP) derived drugs, researchers have been trying to accelerate the discovery of natural products for decades. The workflow of NP discovery has been greatly optimized and accelerated recently after mass spectrometry (MS) has been revolutionary introduced as a sensitive non-labeling molecular profiling method. However, time and labor-intensive sample preparation process for MS detection is still a bottle neck for further boosting the discovery of NP. Here, we propose an innovative liquid micro junction surface probe (LMJ-SSP) based workflow which don’t require any sample preparation for MS detection. LMJ-SSP is a sampling probe which could be easily conjugated with commercially available mass spectrometry and being directly applied onto the surface of microbial colonies. Microbial metabolites will therefore be extracted and delivered into MS for direct molecular profiling. Such direct analysis approaches combined with multivariant analysis would enable rapid NP scanning to be performed on microbial colonies directly. Furthermore, imaging of microbial colonies is also feasible when an auto-sampling platform is involved when spatial molecular profiles are necessary in the analysis of microbial interaction. In our research, marine bacteria Pseudoalteromonas are used as model bacteria to demonstrate the potential of our direct MS analysis-based NP scanning workflow. Exploratory analysis is performed directly on agar plates inoculated with different Pseudoalteromonas strains, and strain specific NP could be quickly profiled with the assistance of multivariant analysis. Hyperspectral visualization-based MS imaging is also performed aiming at revealing spatial molecular profile of agar plate, and different features are found correlated to specific strains. Our proposed direct scanning workflow is demonstrated capable of revealing molecular profile of microbial colonies without any sample preparation aiming at accelerating discovery of NP. 

Conversion of Carbon Dioxide into Renewable Fuels using Niobium-Supported Iron and Cobalt Catalysts 

Presented by: Emerson MacNeil, Department of Chemistry 

Author Bio: Emerson MacNeil is a MSc candidate working in the Duchesne Group in the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University. He also completed his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University with a Specialization in Chemistry. His current work focuses on tackling the global climate change issue by designing methods to create renewable fuels. By taking carbon dioxide, which is a waste product of normal fossil fuel combustion, and converting it back into fuels using catalysts, he is focusing on creating a cyclic method to generate renewable fuels. His work also uses a technique called X-ray absorption spectroscopy to study how the catalysts behave while under reaction conditions. In his free time, Emerson is a big basketball and tennis fan, and enjoyes spending time with his girlfriend and dog. 

Presentation Abstract: CO2 is a waste product from the complete combustion of fossil fuels and it is well-known for being a greenhouse gas. In the past decade, researchers have sought a method for converting CO2 into hydrocarbon products that can be used as renewable fuels. These fuels would be identical to those produced from fossil fuels but are made renewably from the conversion of CO2, the very waste product of fuel combustion. This project describes one such method in which a metal catalyst heterogeneously converts CO2 into alkane fuels. The catalyst material is composed of iron and cobalt oxides with a niobium oxide support and selects for C8 to C10 alkane products, which are a vital class of alkane fuels used for energy. The CO2 reduction mechanism follows that of traditional Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalysts, which involves the reduction of syngas (CO and H2) into alkanes. However, in this project, carbon monoxide is generated by the catalyst through the reverse water gas shift reaction that converts carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas into carbon monoxide. Finally, CO2 reduction is studied here using a custom-built, in-house reactor that can monitor how selective the catalyst is for specific alkane products. One critical aspect in understanding how the proposed catalyst functions is in situ analysis, which provides element-specific electronic and structural information of the studied catalyst sample. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) is a niche characterization technique that is capable of studying any type of sample in situ by applying different temperatures and gas mixtures to a sample to mimic reaction conditions. In this project, a wide range of different Co/Fe-Nb2O5 catalyst materials were synthesized and tested in our catalytic reactor to test the performance of these catalysts prior to full in-situ characterization using X-ray absorption spectroscopy. By modifying the temperature and gas mixture while conducting XAS analysis, we are able to perfectly replicate catalytic reaction conditions to study how these materials behave and change in situ. The long-term goals for this project are to study a large variety of different Fischer-Tropsch catalysts to better understand how these materials perform CO2 conversion. 

Weatherproof Hydrovoltaic Device Made from Multi Walled Carbon Nanotubes 

Presented by: Rahul Kumar, Department of Chemistry 

Author Bio: I am a Ph.D. student working in Dr. Kevin Stamplecoskie's lab on a project called "Hydrovoltaics." I am originally from India and have a Master's degree from the IISER Kolkata. I worked on a variety of topics, including computational chemistry, gold nanoparticle synthesis, inorganic lead halide perovskite synthesis for optoelectronic applications, and the development of efficient electrocatalysts for water splitting reactions. Among all, I was interested in electrochemistry, so I wrote my Master's thesis on "Zinc Cobalt Phosphate for enhanced water oxidation performance." Now, I'm attempting to create electricity through simple natural water evaporation. In my spare time, I enjoy reading novels and playing volleyball and badminton. 

Presentation Abstract: Evaporation and capillary action of water flowing through surface-active nanomaterials can lead to energy generation, termed the “hydrovoltaic” effect. Recently, many hydrovoltaic devices have been reported, but most device performance remains extremely sensitive to conditions such as temperature and humidity. Herein, we report a surface functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotube (FMWCNT) supported on a polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This method offers a highly flexible device, capable of generating high power even when subjected to these typically challenging conditions. The objectives of next-generation high-power hydrovoltaic devices will be explored in depth, emphasizing this work as a step toward real-world power generation for small- and large-scale applications. 


SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Agroecosystem Resilience in Southeastern Ontario 

Presented by: Bryan Collins, School of Environmental Studies 

Author Bio: TBA 

Presentation Abstract: Southeastern Ontario is home to diverse agricultural enterprises that contribute to the provisioning of the regional food system, provide sources of employment and income generation, and play a key role in the vitality of rural communities. Agriculture provides livelihoods and stability to thousands of farming families who can be considered a foundation of Ontario’s rural life. Unfortunately, many farmers presently struggle with fluctuating net incomes and increasing debts, and face new environmental stresses related to climate change. A holistic policy approach to promoting agricultural sustainability across biophysical, social, and economic contexts is therefore a priority. A synchronized framework of this nature would help direct policymakers as well as guide farmers and other relevant stakeholders, thereby playing a critical role to help those in the industry cope with uncertainty. Yet in eastern Ontario there is at present no unifying policy framework for building agricultural sustainability. On this basis, the purpose of this research project is to develop a greater understanding of agricultural sustainability in the region of southeastern Ontario. To do so, I will draw upon the concept of resilience that has been used widely in the literature on agriculture as a holistic approach to sustainability issues. The concept of resilience is used to interrogate the ability of a farm to deal with adverse shocks and stresses. I will first examine a range of existing frameworks and indicators used to assess farm resilience in ways that incorporate socioeconomic, environmental, and cultural characteristics. I will then synthesize these frameworks to create an approach suited for agriculture in this region. Initial results from semi structured interviews trace specifically how small-scale farmers in the region have contrasting approaches to sustainability, by focusing on ideas such as growing organically, selling to diverse markets, or utilizing local knowledge systems in their decision-making process. Small scale farmers strongly speak to the heavy struggles’ farmers of their nature face in the current climate, meaning they often need to be adaptable to continue operations. Next steps in the study will turn to larger scale conventional farms, where I seek how their farming systems contrast to smaller scale farms based on ideas of resilience. To round out the project, I also will speak to Ontario government representatives to inquire upon their policies in the realm of sustainable agriculture, to see which types of farmers those policies are designed to help. 

Climate Litigation and Corporate Governance Presented by: Xi (Tina) Tian, Smith School of Business Author Bio: I am a graduate student at Smith School of Business, majoring in finance. I have a diverse education background in mathematics, technology and finance acquired from renowned Asian and western universities. Before joining Queen’s University, I have worked in the financial industry for around 5 years, mainly in banking and financial consulting area. My research interests lie in empirical studies and am interested in interdisciplinary topics in social science. I will continue my PhD study in UBC this September. 

Presentation Abstract: Legal rights have been recognized as an essential component of corporate governance. With the evolvement of legislation and the urgency in climate-related issues, climate litigation lawsuits are becoming an increasingly effective instrument to prompt firms to implement environmentally friendly policies. I assess the efficacy of these lawsuits by an examination of the corporate governance effects of 68 climate litigation lawsuits filed in U.S. courts over the period, 2006-2020. Climate suits are mostly brought by non-profit organization/environmentalists or government agencies aiming to address the climate/environment related concern caused by corporate business. Around 25% of cases seek for monetary settlements for environmental damages. Prior researches have studied the role of shareholder class action lawsuits and derivative lawsuits in shaping corporate board structure. However, the evidence from security class action as a corporate monitoring mechanism is mixed. Roman (1991) documents that shareholder litigation is a weak instrument of corporate governance. However, Ferris, Stephen P. (2007) suggests that the monitoring quality of boards of directors significantly improves following the filing of derivative lawsuits. The purpose of climate litigation lawsuits is more diverse compared to security class action which specifically targets at director/management due diligence. Thus, the effectiveness of climate litigation in transforming corporate governance structure is unknown. My study finds that the likelihood of being sued is higher for firms with larger size, longer operation periods, higher dividend yields, higher institutional ratio, and lower market-to-book ratio. Firms with environmental items raised in proxy voting by shareholders are more likely to be sued. However, ESG disclosure scores and CDP emission data seem not influence the likelihood of being sued but they improve corporate climate awareness. Regarding to climate suits’ impact on corporate board characteristics, the number (percentage) of directors with climate-related experience greatly increase post climate litigation, however the trend is the same for suit firms and their industry peers. That is, climate litigation lawsuits are scarcely the driving factor for board director change. Instead, shareholders’ proxy voting requests exert significant influence in improving corporate climate governance awareness. 

Phytoremediation of Saline Soil Using Halophytes 

Presented by: Lauren Nawroth, School of Environmental Studies 

Author Bio: Lauren Nawroth is a Master of Environmental Studies student at Queen’s University. She completed her Bachelor of Science at Queen’s University, where she also majored in Chemistry. Lauren Nawroth is supervised by Drs. Barbara Zeeb (RMC) and Allison Rutter (Queen’s). Her Master’s thesis investigates phytoremediation of saline soils using a variety of halophyte species. 

Presentation Abstract: Salt contamination is increasingly being identified as an environmental concern. Canada is one of the largest users of road salt worldwide; each year over five million tonnes of salt are distributed on roads to melt snow and ice. Inorganic chloride present in road salt has been found to pose a risk to freshwater ecosystems, terrestrial vegetation, and wildlife. The copious amounts of salt applied in winter have lasting effects on ecosystems located roadside and beyond. Other notable sources of salt contamination in the environment include oil and gas production, and the production of saline material from various industries. Traditional methods of soil remediation are often costly and labour intensive with negative impacts on the environment due to the generation of toxic by-products, accelerated soil erosion, and edaphic soil conditions. Phytoremediation utilizing halophytes (i.e. salt tolerant plants), is being investigated as a way of remediating salt-impacted roadsides. This research best aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 15, working to restore polluted ecosystems, reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss with the use of native grasses. Restoring ecosystems polluted with road salts will preserve roadway corridors that are integral for native species. Previous greenhouse and small-scale in situ studies have shown significant reductions in soil salinity using halophytes. In this study, native Canadian halophytes are being evaluated for their abilities to remediate salt contaminated soils at two different field sites. One site is located adjacent to an international airport where roads are treated with salts throughout the winter months for safety reasons, while the second site is an industrial location where batteries were previously stored. The contrasts of the two field sites will allow for a comprehensive analysis of halophytic abilities in large-scale remediation applications. This presentation will report on the 2022 results of salt remediation efforts at both field sites, as well as on concurrent greenhouse trials being carried out at the Royal Military College of Canada. 

An Efficient Placement of Homeless in Shelters: A Recovery Strategy from Homelessness 

Presented by: Peash Saha, School of Computing 

Author Bio: TBA 

Presentation Abstract: Homelessness is alarmingly increasing and the number of shelters is having a sharp hike. In Canada, around 30K people experience homelessness on any given night. The government operates different types of shelters. Each shelter has different types of properties which is considered while admitting a homeless. The profile of the homeless is also an important factor to consider. Each shelter has some initiatives as a recovery process of the homeless and reduce the chronic homelessness. However, the recovery processes are manual and running behind to overcome this social problem. We study different kind of shelter’s attributes and their dependencies on the homeless profile. We formulate an optimization problem of homeless-shelter matching and propose an efficient solution to expedite the recovery process. We first use machine learning models to determine each shelter’s suitability score for all homeless using significant factors, such as the economic status of location and homeless educational background and job history. The better suitability score of a homeless into a shelter means the employment probability in near future is higher for the homeless if admitted into the shelter. The negative suitability score means the homeless is adversary for the shelter. We also considered homeless conflictual history such and the shelter’s tolerance in order to determine the suitability. In the second phase, an iterative algorithm outputs the best match shelter for the homeless with a higher recovery possibility with employment. The algorithm first generates an initial placement of the homeless into the shelters and then iteratively improve the solution by searching for particular structure of improving the overall suitability score. The algorithm is faster, and experimentation shows the accuracy of the algorithm is around 75−80% of the optimal solution for larger instances. Real-time improvement of the solution is done based on any update in the shelters. This efficient strategy can expedite the recovery process from the chronic homelessness. 


SDG 14: Life Below Water

Robots are Here to Help: Deploying Mobile Robots to Observe and Protect Water 

Presented by: Thomas Sears, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Author Bio: Thomas Sears is a Ph.D. candidate and Vanier Scholar in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has a particular interest in space and planetary robotics, but is keen on tackling engineering challenges that have an immediate and needed positive impact on Earth. Thomas is a member of the Offroad Robotics research group and is supervised by Dr. Joshua Marshall. His research focuses on real-time learning during robotic exploration, with applications ranging from environmental monitoring to adaptive precision control for autonomous robots. He hopes to demonstrate how this ability to make predictions about the external environment will enable an autonomous vehicle to anticipate, reject, and exploit exogenous disturbances. This will be particularly important for mobile vehicles in dynamic natural environments, such as a surface vessel on water or an aerial vehicle in windy conditions. 

Presentation Abstract: Ecosystems of coastlines, rivers, and lakes are changing due to human development and climate change. Observations by scientists and engineers in these regions are critical to understand these changes and develop strategies to protect these critical environments. Such measurements are often obtained through stationary sensors that have been installed during a previous visit, through remote sensing technology that correlates measurements to true observations, or with a crewed expedition to make in-situ measurements. By contrast, a mobile robot can be immediately deployed to make measurements anywhere in the water, is as accurate as in-situ observations, can autonomously adjust sampling location from measurement feedback, and is not constrained by safety and comfort considerations. However, measurements from a single mobile vehicle are limited in spatial and temporal resolution, as there is only a single observation at each time and location. To address this challenge, a technique originally designed to improve robot control performance can instead be used to model an unknown phenomenon such as wave motion or water quality. As a first test of this technique, an Otter USV (uncrewed surface vessel) will be deployed to model waves on Lake Ontario. Such observations are necessary to understand lake dynamics and coastal erosion. Measurements will be made using inertial sensors that provide acceleration and angular velocity measurements of the USV as it moves overtop each wave. These data are then combined to generate a space and time varying model using Gaussian process regression, a data-driven non-parametric learning technique. In this presentation, robotic systems, algorithm development, and field testing for wave modelling are discussed, in addition to future potential for mobile robots in marine research and protection. 


SDG 4: Quality Education

Experiences of Learning Social Justice Skills Through Learner-Educator Co-Creation in Health Care Higher Education 

Presented by: Laura A. Killam, School of Nursing 

Author Bio: Laura Killam is an innovative nurse educator who is committed to transforming nursing education. She believes in student-centered approaches to education that are psychologically safe, and dialogue based. Her developing program of research is in authentic assessment, which aims to align graded components of courses with real-world contexts. More specifically, as a PhD in Nursing student at Queen’s University she is focused on exploring diverse student perspectives of co-creation within assessment. Co-creation means sharing decision making power with students instead of dictating course design. Through inviting students to make decisions about their assessments it fosters their evaluative judgement and critical thinking – essential skills for practice in real-world settings. Laura is working with her supervisor Dr. Marian Luctkar-Flude and the Canadian Alliance of Nurse Educators using Simulation (CAN-Sim) to improve student experiences of co-creation of interprofessional virtual online poverty challenge simulations. 

Learn more about Laura here: 

Presentation Abstract: Graduates of health care programs need to have the skills to recognize social justice issues and challenge oppression in society. Traditional approaches to education often fail to engage learners in authentic learning that transfers to solving problems in new contexts. In contrast, co-creation is a strategy that aims to move students beyond information recall into the zone of proximal development where they can accomplish more through partnering with an educator than they could alone. When learners and educators co-create, I argue that more meaningful, inclusive, and authentic learning may occur. Examples of co-creation that involve all learners in a health care higher education course are difficult to identify in the literature. Little is known about student and educator experiences of co-creation, particularly when it is used during assessments. 

This presentation focuses on describing my proposed doctoral study on improving learner empowerment during course delivery through learner-educator co-creation in health care higher education contexts. The overarching goal of this project is to answer the question: How are students and educators enacting and experiencing co-creation when it is used during healthcare education course assignments to empower students? This project has four main components: A scoping review, qualitative literature review, phenomenography study, and an emergent approach to synthesize principles of co-creation. The phenomenography study examines student experiences of co-creation during a poverty challenge assignment, which aims to prepare graduates to work towards reducing poverty of clients in healthcare settings. 

Exploring How Encoding Modality Affects Memory Performance in Organic Chemistry 

Presented by: Phung Nguyen, Department of Chemistry 

Author Bio: My name is Phung. I am a Vietnamese by birth, a Singaporean by education and hopefully will be a Canadian by profession. I believe education is the future of humanity—in this age of fast-paced technological advancement, it is even more pressing that mankind should be well-educated because with great power comes great responsibility to wield it. I graduated from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore with a B.Sc. Honours in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry in 2017. Afterwards, I worked in the education industry for 3 years before joining Bongers’ group in Fall 2020 as an M.Sc. student. I was fascinated to find that Chemistry Education is a recognized field of research where systematic investigations could improve classroom practices. But above all, it is the like-minded people I have been meeting with since I joined Chemistry Education that makes this journey a surreal experience. I am currently exploring the effect of multimodal encoding on memory performance in First-Year Undergraduate Organic Chemistry. 

Presentation Abstract: University-level Organic Chemistry poses a challenge to many students. While students may have learned some Organic Chemistry back in high school, the complex interplay between molecular structures and reaction mechanisms only explored at university level requires an entire paradigm shift in the way students think about and look at matters at the submicroscopic level (Grove et al., 2012). Current introductory Organic Chemistry courses for first-year students often place a big emphasis on learning of chemical structures, which is necessary because this lays the foundation for understanding and predicting the types of reaction a molecule can go through (Cooper et al., 2010). However, not all students are successful in encoding these structures into their long-term memory, which hinders their success in learning Organic Chemistry. This study consists of a series of experiments that explore the effects of different encoding modes on students’ long-term memory of chemical structures. Four encoding modes commonly employed by students—drawing, viewing, imagining, and writing—will be tested against one another to determine which is the most effective in helping students recognize a given list of chemical structures in a later memory test. Memory performance is assessed based on participants’ accuracy rate and response time. Based on the results of past studies, drawing is expected to be the most effective encoding mode (Wammes et al., 2019). The findings from this study can present to Chemistry instructors and students a possible way to improve student learning in university-level Organic Chemistry. 


Rapid Cell Detection Using Discontinuously De-Wetting Sample Preparation and Liquid Micro Junction-Surface Sampling Probe Coupled to Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry 

Presented by: Lilu (Julie) Jia and Richard Oleschuk (Supervisor) 

Author Bio: I am a second-year master student at Queen’s University Department of Chemistry. I am working in Professor Richard Oleschuk’s laboratory. My projects are about using discontinuous dewetting technique to quickly detect and analyze analytes ranging from chemicals to biological samples. As to minimize environmental contamination and improve sustainability, my goal is to use limited amount of samples, shorten experimental time, and improve accessibility by using enhanced sample preparation and detection method. As a student, I hope people study and use science to better serve our community and protect our planet. 

Poster Abstract: Total coliforms are a group of bacteria commonly found in the environment, for example in soil and vegetation, as well as the intestines of mammals. Escherichia coli (E. coli), the only member of the total coliforms that is found in the gastrointestinal tract and feces of warm-blooded animals, can be used as an indicator to measure the degree of pollution and sanitary quality of rivers, lakes, and ground water. To limit sample preparation time and better improve detection proficiency, a microfluidic approach is used with Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS) coupled with Liquid Microjunction Surface Sampling Probe (LMJ-SSP) for rapid cell detection and quantification. The correlation between cell concentration and peak area can be used for a rapid real-time cell detection technique for laboratory purposes. The LMJ-SSP is used to minimize sample preparation such that a small amount of the analyte can be delivered directly into the MS for rapid real-time analysis. A unique ion signature at 749.5 m/z (which could be associated to a specific lipid found in common E. coli species that made up the cell wall) was identified in the cell suspension samples and used to indicate the presence of cells on the chip surface. A good correlation was observed for the peak area corresponding to four suspensions diluted at different folds. The substrates containing surface energy traps (SETs) spontaneously capture microdroplets which are confined to an array of circular-shaped SETs. In such a way, higher volume can be held in a confined area. Detection sensitivity can be further improved (by at least 20 fold) using SETs designed to evaporatively pre-concentrate analytes. The SETs utilize a combination of coffee ring effect and Maragoni flow to direct the sample as it dries. The size of the SETs can be customized to spontaneously capture droplets with volumes ranging from picoliters to microlitres. Furthermore, the precise volumes can be deposited onto the array, dried, and stored for later analysis. 

The Value of Green Homes and Capitalization of Energy Scores 

Presented by: Yuchen Lin, Smith School of Business 

Author Bio: Yuchen Lin is a third-year Ph.D. student at Smith School of Business. His work primarily focuses on the role of information in the financial markets. He conducts empirical research that is frequently interdisciplinary in nature with areas of psychology, finance and real estate economics. He is a recipient of McCall MacBain Sustainable Finance Fellow from 2020-2022, which help develop the paper “The Value of Green Homes and Capitalization of Energy Scores”. 

Poster Abstract: Building on both the certification literature and previous work on the impact of climate change on real estate prices, this paper expands the study of sustainable finance in the real estate market by investigating how prices of sustainable homes differ from conventional homes. Using comprehensive transaction data and energy rating data of U.S. real estate properties, this paper finds that properties with better energy ratings are sold at a premium compared to those with poor energy performance. The results suggest that the premium is more profound among neighbourhoods that are more concerned about sustainability and environmental issues. 

Mapping the Socio-Economic Vulnerability to Climate Change Impacts in Indian Smart Cities 

Presented by: Bhavya Bogra, Department of Geography 

Author Bio: Bhavya is presently in her first year of PhD at Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Ajay Agarwal. She is an Architect-Planner, and her research interest is inclined towards resilient and sustainable cities. Prior to initiating her PhD, she was working with government research organizations in India, including The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), Delhi. She has been actively involved in working on projects including developing viable models for promoting affordable rental housing in Indian cities. Some of her other works include mapping of climate sensitive areas in Indian cities. She has also been engaged in teaching of subjects such as Environmental Economics, Housing and Real estate development and planning and management of open and green areas to planning students in School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Vijayawada. She has gained her master’s degree in Planning with specialization in Regional Planning from School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi. 

Poster Abstract: According to United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the world’s urban population increased exponentially from 30% in 1950 to 55% in 2016 and is expected to reach 66% by 2050 (UNDESA, 2018). The increased haphazard development in cities across the world is a critical reason for climate change and at the same time, it affects the urban population and existing infrastructure (Cannon, T., & Müller-Mahn, D., 2010). The gloomy side of climate change is currently visible in various forms including heat waves, urban flooding, forest fires and many more around the world. Policy makers and governance institutes have initiated focussing on climate action. However, the major challenge that lies in addressing the increasing climate change impacts is inclusive and equitable implementation of the policy and program initiatives (Long J. and Rice J., 2019). To address the urbanization and population growth challenges, Indian government initiated Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015. Indian urban development has seen a major shift with the launch of the Smart cities mission in 2015, aiming to develop100 smart cities and cater the aggravated needs of urban areas (Hoelscher, K. 2016). While the Indian Smart Cities Mission revolves around five major key dimensions including governance, citizen participation, infrastructure, environment, and economy it has been analysed that the growth is slow, socially exclusive, and lacks sustainable practices (Prasad & Alizadeh, 2020; Singhal, 2021). Further, urban areas with a large population of socially or economically marginalized sections are most susceptible to climate risks. Poorer areas such as slums tend to be home to ‘at risk’ populations, have decreased access to city services and amenities, and are often more vulnerable to environmental hazards such as flooding, landslides, subsidence, etc. These vulnerable populations face the differential impacts of climate change due to the poor condition of their settlements (with limited access to basic infrastructure), and a lower ability to adapt and respond (either due to physical limitations or because of low incomes). Therefore, reducing the vulnerability of different communities by leveraging their different strengths can significantly increase a city’s resilience towards climate change. This raises the immediate need for mainstreaming inclusive and sustainable practices in the city planning and governance framework. 

Structural Changes of Shape-controlled Pd Nanoparticles During Hydrogen Absorption in Alkaline Aqueous Media 

Presented by: Sho Fujita, Department of Chemistry 

Author Bio: Sho Fujita is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry and currently pursuing his research on the synthesis, design, and characterization of nanomaterials for microscopic rechargeable batteries and fuel cells under the supervision of Dr. Gregory Jerkiewicz. He completed his B.Sc. in Engineering and M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at Yokohama National University in Japan under the supervision of Dr. Shigenori Mitsushima. During his Master’s program, he devoted to the research through a collaboration with industrial companies on the degradation mechanism and electrocatalytic activity of a lithium-doped nickel oxide anode for the use in alkaline water electrolyzer. His research interests lie in electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, and surface science. He strongly believes that electrocatalysts play a key role to achieve renewable energy society in the future. Outside of the lab, he enjoys going out for exercises, playing sports, and hanging out with friends for drinks. 

Poster Abstract: Palladium (Pd) and intermetallic alloys (AB2/AB5 types) reveal a remarkable capability to absorb a large volumetric amount of hydrogen (H). Pd materials serve as a model system while intermetallic alloys are used for practical applications such as nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries. In general, H absorbing materials are employed for the anode in this battery. It has been well-known that the anode of the Ni-MH batteries encounters degradation due to the pulverization of intermetallic alloys after repetitive cycles of H absorption and desorption. Recently, shape-controlled Pd nanoparticles (NPs), namely octahedral and cubic NPs, have been reported to reveal unique characteristics of H absorption and desorption in aqueous acidic media. Particularly, the octahedral Pd NPs remained stable during repetitive potential cycling in the H adsorption/absorption potential regions in acidic media, indicating the Pd NPs do not pulverize. The unique feature makes the octahedral Pd NPs a promising anode material in Ni-MH batteries to enhance the cycle performance. Due to the high cost of Pd, it is more viable to employ octahedral Pd NPs in miniaturized Ni-MH batteries that can be used in microelectronics or other applications where the cost is secondary to dependability. 

In this work, we prepared octahedral and cubic Pd NPs by a wet-chemical method and investigated their electrochemical properties in an alkaline medium. The behaviour for the H adsorption was stable whereas the charge capacity corresponding to electrochemically absorbed H decreased in both octahedral and cubic Pd NPs after repetitive potential cycling. From identical-location transmission electron microscopy images, it was found that the edges of the Pd NPs disappeared after potential cycling. The cause of the shape changes on the shape-controlled Pd NPs will be discussed in the presentation.