Celebrating research excellence

Celebrating research excellence

Queen’s faculty members awarded university’s Prize for Excellence in Research.

By Chris Moffatt Armes

November 3, 2015


Five faculty members will be presented with the university’s Prize for Excellence in Research at this year’s fall convocation ceremonies. Nominated by their peers, the prize recognizes and rewards researchers, in any faculty, for major contributions to their field - either completed in recent years or recognized in recent years. The award also recognizes the impact of their study and celebrates research performed while the scholar has been at Queen’s.

[Prize for Excellence in Research]
Five faculty members will receive the Prize for Excellence in Research at the 2015 Fall Convocation Ceremony. Clockwise from top left: Anne Croy (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), Jacalyn Duffin (History of Medicine), Mark Diederichs (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering), Myra Hird (Environmental Studies) and  Guojun Liu (Chemistry)

Anne Croy (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), Jacalyn Duffin (History of Medicine), Mark Diederichs (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering), Guojun Liu (Chemistry) and Myra Hird (Environmental Studies) are this year’s recipients.

“As in the past, the nominations this year reflected  the strength of our faculty, and the breadth and depth of Queen’s research, scholarly and creative work. The research accomplishments of all the nominees were impressive. I was delighted to see an increase in the number of nominations and acknowledge faculty for nominating their colleagues. This is an important recognition in itself," says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research).  “The five faculty members are internationally-recognized researchers who have made significant and important contributions. Their work is at the cutting-edge of their respective fields and areas  across the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and health sciences. My sincere congratulations to this year’s recipients!”

Dr. Croy is an internationally recognized expert and leader in reproductive immunology research. Her numerous contributions reflect her dedication to innovative, high-quality science and include landmark contributions to our understanding of the maternal-fetal interface across species. Her pioneering work in which she identified and characterized uterine natural killer cells led to recognition of these cells as a distinct phenotype. Dr. Croy’s contributions to the scientific and medical communities extend substantially beyond her own work. She has distinguished herself in teaching and as a mentor.

As the Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University, Dr. Duffin is a pioneer in the medical humanities and an internationally renowned leader in the field of history of medicine. Her books and articles reflect groundbreaking work in the history of medical technology, the history of scientific discovery, the history of medical practice, and the investigation of concepts of disease. A two-time winner of the Jason A. Hannah Medal in the History of Medicine, she is an elected Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Diederichs’ research focuses on the failure of rock, and on safe engineering design for excavations in challenging geological conditions at great depth. Continually advancing standards of practice in underground engineering, he has published 240 contributions, has given numerous invited keynote lectures and is sought after to instruct industry short courses. Numerous professional society and academic awards have recognized Dr. Diederichs’ research excellence, including his induction as a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 2015.

First attracted to Queen’s University as a Canada Research Chair in 2004, Dr. Liu’s pioneering work on polymer self-assembly has bloomed and inspired scientists around the world. Born and raised in China, he attended the University of Toronto for a master’s and PhD, where he started to develop a passion for polymer materials. This has inspired his whole career, as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto (1989) and then at McGill (1990), and the start of his independent work at the University of Calgary as an assistant professor in 1990. There, he rose up the ranks very quickly, becoming an associate professor in 1995 and a full professor only four years later.

A Queen's National Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Hird is a distinguished interdisciplinary scholar with an international reputation for her multifaceted, collaborative investigations into science studies and environmental issues. Dr. Hird is Director of the genera Research Group, an interdisciplinary research network of collaborating natural, social, and humanities scholars, and Director of Waste Flow, an interdisciplinary research project focused on waste as a global scientific-technical and socio-ethical issue. She has published eight books and more than 60 articles and book chapters on a diversity of topics relating to science studies.

In addition to receiving their prize at this year’s fall convocation ceremonies, the winners will also present public lectures in 2016. 

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