$5-million gift supports interdisciplinary water research

Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, today announced a $5-million gift from Ross J. Beaty to support collaborative research and education in the field of freshwater resources.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queen’s University is one of Canada’s leading universities and among its oldest degree-granting institutions. It offers a transformative student learning experience enriched by a research-intensive environment. Established in 1841, Queen’s is home to roughly 22,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all provinces and more than 100 countries around the world.

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