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Capturing the creativity of research

This year’s Art of Research Photo Contest winners announced.

  • Community Collaborations - Exploring Worlds at Home - Mars Desert Research Station, Utah, James Xie (Undergraduate student, Engineering Chemistry)
    Community Collaborations - Exploring Worlds at Home - Mars Desert Research Station, Utah, James Xie (Undergraduate student, Engineering Chemistry): The Queen's Space Engineering Team constructs a Mars rover each year to compete at the international University Rover Challenge in Utah. QSET brings together over 40 students from engineering, science, commerce and the arts to design, build and operate the rover. The rover can autonomously navigate treacherous landscapes, collect geological data, analyze samples and remotely operate machinery. It can be seen here gazing out into the Utah desert. The rover is a culmination of countless hours of volunteer work and generous support from both Queen’s and industry partners. The team was proud to be the top team in Canada at the 2017 competition.
  • Invisible Discoveries - Platinum Surface Electrochemistry - Queen’s Department of Chemistry, Derek Esau (PhD student, Chemistry)
    Invisible Discoveries - Platinum Surface Electrochemistry - Queen’s Department of Chemistry, Derek Esau (PhD student, Chemistry): The single crystal of platinum gently hangs atop an electrolyte surface. Electrochemistry is a surface-sensitive field of research, as the composition and atomic arrangement of the electrode drastically affect its properties. Atoms in a single crystal are highly ordered, and we are able to cut and polish a crystal in such a way that we only expose one of the many possible surface arrangements. The single crystal electrode is balanced on the surface of the electrolyte to ensure that only the polished surface is exposed. These experiments give us fundamental information about electrochemical reactions, which are integral to the field of clean energy.
  • Out in the Field - Landscapes of Resistance - Lote Ocho, Izabal, Guatemala, Alexandra Pedersen (PhD student, Geography and Planning)
    Out in the Field - Landscapes of Resistance - Lote Ocho, Izabal, Guatemala, Alexandra Pedersen (PhD student, Geography and Planning): As a feminist/activist geographer, much of my doctoral research has concentrated on Indigenous and non-Indigenous communal experiences of violent development in Guatemala. An emblematic case of community conflict with, and resistance to, transnational corporate interests comes from the remote community of Lote Ocho. There, Irma Yolanda Choc Cac (pictured here) is one of eleven Indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya women pursuing a civil court case against the Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals for sexual assaults allegedly committed during a violent eviction of her community from their ancestral lands in 2007.
  • Art in Action - Unspooling Vermeer - Kimmel Center, Philadelphia PA, USA, Stephanie Dickey (Faculty, Art History and Art Conservation)
    Art in Action - Unspooling Vermeer - Kimmel Center, Philadelphia PA, USA, Stephanie Dickey (Faculty, Art History and Art Conservation): Wherever I go, I look for evidence of how the historical art I study impacts visual culture today. In “After Vermeer 2,” an installation from 2006 by New York artist Devorah Sperber, 5024 spools of thread strung on steel chains recreate, upside down, the famous “Girl with a Pearl Earring” painted by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer around 1665. My photo captures the viewer’s experience of looking through a glass sphere in which the image rights itself. Vermeer, whose paintings explored both optics and female experience, would surely have appreciated this perceptive transformation of his art.
  • Best Description - Inside Concord Floral - Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, ON, Naseem Loloie (Undergraduate student, Dan School of Drama and Music)
    Best Description - Inside Concord Floral - Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, ON, Naseem Loloie (Undergraduate student, Dan School of Drama and Music): Under the heat of the lights, covered in a stranger’s clothes, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the stage – this is when the actor’s transformation comes to life. During Theatre Kingston’s production of Jordan Tannahill’s Concord Floral, the audience and actors are seated inside an abandoned greenhouse – or at least, a stage mimicking a greenhouse through set design by Sean Mulcahy and lighting by Jennifer Lennon. As both an actor and an assistant director in this production, Naseem’s research focuses on costume, lighting, set and staging and their transformative effects on the actor’s experience as they become a character.
  • People’s Choice - Biomimetic Scaffolds - Dupuis Hall, Queen’s University, Fei Chen (Staff, Chemical Engineering)
    People’s Choice - Biomimetic Scaffolds - Dupuis Hall, Queen’s University, Fei Chen (Staff, Chemical Engineering): The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) of the knee joint, one of the strongest ligaments of the body, is also the target of traumatic injuries. Once injured, its healing potential is limited. The ACL mainly consists of packed and thick collagen fibres oriented along the long axis in a wavy pattern, and this unique wavy pattern is essential for providing load-bearing protection to the knee joint. This SEM image shows a bioengineered fibrous scaffold made from synthetic biomaterials with a wavy pattern, with amplitudes and wavelengths similar to the collagen fibers present in a native ACL.

If you take a quiet stroll across the Queen’s campus, you might find it hard to visualize what’s going on inside our many buildings when it comes to research. And this is where the Art of Research photo contest comes in. The annual contest invites researchers in all faculties to submit striking images of their research in action. This year’s contest had dozens of submissions, each capturing a unique aspect of the researcher’s work. From a Mars rover to a moment of resistance, the winners of the photo contest showcased their research in creative and interesting images, demonstrating the importance of their work at the local, national and international levels.

The 2017-2018 contest had a slightly different format, allowing entries from faculty, staff, students and alumni. Images were submitted to four categories: Community Collaborations, Invisible Discoveries, Out in the Field, and Art in Action. Prizes were awarded to the top photo in each category, as well as in two other categories: Best Description and People’s Choice. Winners were selected by a panel of judges, and the People’s Choice winner was determined by an online vote from the Queen’s community.

“Each year we are excited and often surprised by the images that are submitted. Each photo captures a unique perspective and together they contribute to peoples’ overall understanding and appreciation of the scope and the quality of the research being carried out here at Queen’s and around the world,” says Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives.

Please visit the Research page for more information on this year’s contest and the winning images.