Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

The Magazine Of Queen's University

Search form

Quid novi: what's new on (and off) campus May 2018

Quid novi: what's new on (and off) campus May 2018

[photo of Queen's researchers and staff at Parliament Hill]
Andrew Meade

Queen's on the Hill

In April, a delegation of Queen’s researchers, staff, and students met with parliamentarians in Ottawa. The event promoted the university’s areas of strength in research and innovation while demonstrating support for the federal government’s recent investments in fundamental research.

McDonald Institute

On May 10, Queen’s launched the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute, named in honour of Nobel laureate Arthur McDonald, Professor Emeritus (Physics). In 2016, Queen’s received an investment of $63.7 million from the Government of Canada’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The money was earmarked to create a world-leading physics research centre. The institute,with its base at Queen’s, is a collective of eight universities and five affiliated research organizations from across Canada. Professor Tony Noble, Canada Research Chair in Subatomic Physics & Particle Astrophysics, has been appointed the institute’s first scientific director.

Along with the official launch and naming, the McDonald Institute also unveiled a new visitor centre in Stirling Hall. The visitor centre features a virtual reality setup that allows guests to travel though space and experience a solar storm. The centre also has an augmented reality sandbox that teaches guests about gravitational fields in an interactive and tactile manner.

Learn more: McDonald Institute.

Downlink event a stellar success

[photo of NASA astronaut Drew Feustel talking, via video, to an audience in Grant Hall from the International Space Station]
Astronaut Drew Feustel chats to people in Grant Hall via video downlink from the International Space Station. (Photo: Garrett Elliott)

On April 6, NASA astronaut Drew Feustel (PhD’95) checked in to Queen’s from his post at the International Space Station, 408 km above the Earth.  The live educational downlink was organized by Queen’s Marketing staff in collaboration with NASA Mission Control. Hundreds of people filled Grant Hall to hear Dr. Feustel answer questions about life in space.  The event was also livestreamed on Facebook live, enabling thousands more to watch from around the world.

Speakers before the downlink began included NASA post-doctoral fellow and planetary scientist Michelle Thompson (Artsci’11, Sc’11) as well as Nobel laureate Arthur Mcdonald, Nathalie Ouellette (MSc’12, PhD’16) of the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute, and Nandini Deshpande from the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. Dr. Thompson shared her experience applying to NASA and the Canadian Space Agency and about her research as a planetary scientist. Dr. McDonald explained how the SNOLAB and ISS have a lot in common as extreme environments for research. Dr. Ouellette discussed her research in astrophysics and how she works collaboratively with other research teams to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Dr. Deshpande walked through the research she conducted on astronauts at the Johnson Space Center to understand muscle atrophy and cardiovascular issues that affect them in space.

Dr. Feustel answered 24 questions from the Queen’s and Kingston community, ranging from local elementary and high school student to Queen’s students, professors, and alumni.

“One of the greatest impacts of my life has been how my perspective has changed on earth, from up here on the space station. There’s only one home for us now, and it’s fragile,” said Dr. Feustel, answering Dr. Thompson’s question about how his perspective on earth and humanity’s place in the universe has changed. ”We would be in a different world if folks could see how i see it from the ISS; no borders, one Earth.”

Other participants asked questions about how astronauts sleep in space, what to study to become an astronaut, and if astronauts play tag on the ISS. you can watch the “Ask an Astronaut” event video on the Queen’s University Facebook page, in addition to other videos featuring Dr. Feustel (“How does a rocket stay in orbit around the earth?”) and Dr. Thompson (“Space dust and doughnuts”).

Dr. Feustel was the flight engineer for Expedition 55. He and his colleagues landed on the ISS on March 23 for a six-month mission involving three planned spacewalks and a variety of scientific experiments. He will take over the role of ISS commander for Expedition 56 in June.

New CAE Fellows

Two Queen’s professors have been welcomed as fellows in the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Regarded as Canada’s leading authority on microwave heating for metallurgical applications, Christopher Pickles (Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining) has been a pioneer in the development of microwaves for processing ores, precious metal residues, and waste materials. Other major contributions include the use of extended arc plasma reactors for the treatment of electric furnace dusts and generation of ferro-alloys.

Andrew Pollard (Mechanical and Materials engineering) is a world leader in many engineering disciplines, including computational and experimental fluid dynamics, heat transfer, biological flows, and renewable energy. He is best known for his work on turbulent flows, especially free shear flows, which has provided the fundamental knowledge required to accelerate the field.

In memoriam

Aubrey Groll, retired professor (Medicine), died Feb. 22.
Frank Lewis, Professor Emeritus (Economics), died March 14.
Ian Hughes, retired professor (Mathematics and statistics), died March 18.
Klaus Hansen, Professor Emeritus (History), died March 29.
J. Clair Bailey, Professor Emeritus (Education), died April 6.
Malcolm Williams, Professor Emeritus (Otolaryngology), died April 23.

If you have memories of these professors you would like to share, please email review@queensu.ca.


[illustration of Queen's students in 1918 wearing army uniforms and Queen's students in 1968 at a peace rally