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Principal search moves into active recruitment phase

The community consultation is complete and the search for candidates is now underway.

The search for the next principal and vice-chancellor of Queen’s is moving into an important new phase. After hearing from a range of stakeholders inside and outside of the university, the Joint Board-Senate Principal Search Committee has publicly posted a comprehensive position profile.

The Joint Committee carefully developed this position profile over the past month. It incorporates all of the feedback gathered by the committee from a broad range of people in the Queen’s community, including members of the Board of Trustees, senior administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors.

“Queen’s is looking for a leader who is passionate about research and education, can rally all stakeholders to the Queen’s cause, and is able to connect with everyone and build strong relationships across our campus, across the country, and around the world,” says Chancellor Jim Leech. “These are exciting times at Queen’s. The 21st principal will be inheriting a strong institution that offers both an exceptional student learning experience and a research-intensive environment.”

Queen’s is Canada’s definitive university experience. It is home to more than 25,000 students, researchers, professors, staff, and artists and offers an impressive range of undergraduate and graduate programs. It balances excellence in teaching with innovative research to provide a dynamic living and learning environment. It has the highest graduation rate in the country and is in the midst of an ambitious faculty renewal program that will see the university hire 200 new faculty over five years.

Queen’s delivers research excellence with the promise of inspiring education and lifelong community, along with an unmatched mix of teaching, research and community. Queen’s is a member of the U15 group of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities and the Matariki Network of international universities that focus on strong links between research and undergraduate teaching.

“Queen’s is embarking on a search for a visionary, decisive, and inclusive leader who embraces Queen’s culture, past and present traditions, diversity and future directions,” says Chancellor Leech. “Queen’s is an ambitious institution, one that will continue to advance on the academic stage and build its outreach with external partners, all levels of government, and the global community.”

Queen’s launched the active recruitment phase today with the posting of the position profile on the website of the search firm Perrett Laver. The post includes a description of the position, some key facts about Queen’s, an overview of the university’s vision and strategic direction, as well as details about how to apply. The position profile is also posted on the Queen's Human Resources careers website and the Joint Board-Senate Principal Search Committee webpage.

To help reach an international audience, Queen’s will advertise the position in a national newspaper and share it on popular digital sites, such as Academica, Chronicle Vitae, and HigherEdJobs. The application period will close on June 22, 2018. After this, the search committee will aim to identify a first group of interviewees during the summer and hold a series of interviews throughout the fall. The committee will then work toward recommending a candidate to the Board of Trustees by the end of the academic year.

The Joint Committee is guided in this work by its official Terms of Reference, and its activities will follow the Human Rights and Equity Office’s Senior Search Strategy document.

The Joint Committee includes nine elected members from both the Board of Trustees and the Senate, and the Chancellor chairs it. One of its senate positions is currently vacant, though it is expected to be filled within the next two weeks.

Principal Daniel Woolf’s current term is scheduled to conclude on June 30, 2019. He announced he would not be seeking a third term in November.


Joint Board-Senate Principal Search Committee




J. Leech



H. Claxton

Board of Trustees


A. Chowdhury



A. da Silva

Board of Trustees


L. Daneshmend



G. Denford

Board of Trustees


P. Fachinger






C. Lemmon



S. Lounsbury

Board of Trustees


C. Lynch

Board of Trustees


M. Martinez



K. McKinnon

Board of Trustees


T. Morrison



J. Ortiz



D. Raymond

Board of Trustees


R. Reznick



D. Tisch

Board of Trustees


M. Wilson Trider

Board of Trustees


Celebrating STEAM at Science Rendezvous

 Science Rendezvous Kingston attracts more than 4,300 people to the Rogers K-Rock Centre for a day of fun and learning.

  • A young visitor to Science Rendezvous
    A young visitor to Science Rendezvous is amazed by one of the dozens of interactive activities at Science Rendezvous Kingston on Saturday, May 12. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM)
    A young visitor tries out one of the many interactive displays at Science Rendezvous Kingston, the annual event that celebrates science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Chemistry Magic Show
    One of the highlights of Science Rendezvous Kingston is the Chemistry Magic Show. More than 700 people took in this year's show. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Amer Johri (Department of Medicine) at Science Rendezvous
    Amer Johri, (Medicine), founder and director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen's (CINQ), uses an ultrasound machine to help explain how the heart works. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Crowds fill Rogers K-Rock Centre for Science Rendezvous
    Crowds fill the Rogers K-Rock Centre for Science Rendezvous Kingston on Saturday. More than 4,300 people attended the annual event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • AsapSCIENCE at Science Rendezvous Kingston
    A crowd of 560 people fill the stands to watch a presentation by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, better known as YouTube sensation AsapSCIENCE. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

Science Rendezvous Kingston continues to be a massive draw as more than 4,300 people attended the scientific celebration at the Rogers K-Rock Centre on Saturday, May 12.

It was a day of learning and family fun as attendees of all ages were able to speak with researchers, watch demonstrations and take part in experiments, while celebrating the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM).

The annual event offered up dozens of family-oriented activities. Special presentations included the Chemistry Magic Show, watched by more than 700 people, while 560 spectators took in a performance and special meet-and-greet with worldwide YouTube sensation AsapSCIENCE.

The Kingston event was one of 300 Science Rendezvous celebrations hosted in 30 cities across Canada on Saturday, under the theme of ‘Full STEAM ahead!’

For more information visit the Science Rendezvous website. You can also follow Kingston’s Science Rendezvous on Twitter and Instagram.

African Studies conference focuses on transformation

The Canadian Association of African Studies conference hosted scholars from around the world to discuss issues of change in African countries.

[Conference attendees share a laugh during the conference. (Photo: Faculty of Arts and Science)]
Attendees share a laugh during the conference. (Photo: Faculty of Arts and Science)

The Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) focused their 10th anniversary conference on a broad but important topic: Transformations in African environments.

[Marc Epprecht, Amila Guidone, and Sarah Katz-Lavigne]
President of CAAS and professor in Global Development Studies Dr. Marc Epprect stands at the registration table with Amila Guidone, Research Assistant at Queen’s, and Sarah Katz-Lavigne, PhD candidate at Carleton University. (Photo: University Communications)

“I’m excited to show the progress that Queen’s has made since 2009 when we last hosted the conference. There were many professors retiring then, and it seemed African Studies had had its day here, even though Queen’s was one of the first institutions in Canada to have dedicated, tenured faculty members who taught African topics roughly 50 years ago,” says Marc Epprecht, President of the CAAS and professor of Global Development Studies at Queen’s. “Luckily in the last three or four years, there’s been quite a turn around. We’ve hired new faculty members and there is a new project partnering with the MasterCard Foundation and the University of Gondar in Ethiopia, so we’re getting all kinds of great African talent here with PhD and Masters students. To me, it’s a really exciting time to be studying Africa at Queen’s.”

The conference, held Thursday, May 3 to Sunday, May 6, included panels, round-tables, and a keynote from international scholars and specialists.

Dr. Shireen Hassim, professor (University of the Witwatersrand) and Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Scholar (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University), gives the keynote speech during the Canadian Association of African Studies Conference. (Photo: University Communications)
Dr. Shireen Hassim gives the keynote speech during the Canadian Association of African Studies Conference. (Photo: University Communications)

Shireen Hassim, professor (University of the Witwatersrand) and Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Scholar (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University), gave the keynote address on Saturday. Dr. Hassim explored the life of Winnie Mandela and violence under racist capitalism, as well as the history and intersection of racism and sexism in South Africa. She also shared how she introduced a feminist lens into academic discussions throughout her career as a researcher.

Among the many events during the conference, one of the engaging panels was Adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa: From policy to action. Colleen Davison (Public Health Sciences) and Martin Ayanore (University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana) presented on the panel with their colleagues Lydia Kapiriri (McMaster University) and Danielle Mpalirwa (Carleton University).

Dr. Davison focused on ensuring rights for vulnerable populations of adolescents in African countries, such as those living in very poor families, adolescents in rural areas, young people living with disabilities, or adolescents from particular ethnic groups in some countries.

[Dr. Lydia Kapiriri, Dr. Martin Ayanore, and Dr. Colleen Davison pose together]
Dr. Lydia Kapiriri, Dr. Martin Ayanore, and Dr. Colleen Davison pose together  after their panel on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo: Colleen Davison)

“Almost all of the seventeen sustainable development goals [discussed during the panel] give us opportunity for action related to ensuring that the sexual and reproductive rights for these even more marginalized populations are met,” says Dr. Davison.

Dr. Ayanore discussed Universal Health Coverage and its role in driving the goal of equitable sexual reproductive health rights among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. The discussion centred on how strategic purchasing can be used to improve commodity supplies at national levels.

“There are three dimensions that must fit into the drive towards providing adolescent sexual and reproductive services in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Dr. Ayanore. “Risk protection for vulnerable population groups in terms of access to broad range of reproductive services, context-based evidence for improving services and driving further research, and strong national- and international-level commitments to drive resources to advance better health outcomes.”

Other panels and round tables explored the changing landscape of governance, the coup in Zimbabwe, the struggle against homophobia, the effect of political conflict on sustainable development, ageing research, gender politics, access to disability services, mining, and urbanism in African countries.

To find out about upcoming conferences and events, follow the new Global Development Studies Twitter account.


Pulling double duty

An upcoming event aims to help graduate students and post-doctoral fellows balance their family and scholarly lives. 

[Leena Yahia]
Leena Yahia and her husband are both doctoral candidates, and they have four children together. They are helping to organize a workshop for fellow graduate students who are also parents. (University Communications)

Long nights, years of hard work, and plenty of life lessons along the way – graduate studies and parenting have a lot in common. For those who are furthering their education and raising their kids, it can be a challenge to keep up with both responsibilities.

That’s why the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is co-organizing an upcoming workshop to help students and post-docs who are parents, or who want to become parents, with resources, wisdom, and an opportunity to discuss ideas that would help them keep it all on track.

“The idea for the workshop was developed with the Graduate Student Life Advisory Group – a collaboration of students, faculty, and student services staff who work together to enhance the graduate student experience at Queen’s,” says Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “We hope that the event will be an opportunity for the community of parents to meet one another and form a network of support.”

Leena Yahia and her husband are both Queen’s doctoral candidates and they have four children together. After noticing many of their friends and colleagues having similar struggles, they formed a support network and approached the SGS about holding an event on campus.

“We want our kids to have the best experience, while also wanting to be the best students,” says Ms. Yahia. “Rather than complain, we decided to be socially innovative and put something together – and the SGS was very responsive in helping us organize the event.”

The event will begin at 8:30 on Friday morning in room A234 of Duncan McArthur Hall, and will include discussions on time management, stress and mental health, mentorship, existing supports and gaps, and funding. A panel discussion will feature faculty members and post-doctoral fellows balancing caregiving and academic responsibilities, as well as graduate students – like Ms. Yahia – who are studying and parenting simultaneously.

Ms. Yahia notes that, while her graduate studies take time away from her children, it has brought the family together and taught her children to depend on each other and themselves. Plus, she has been able to introduce them to the possibilities of a university education.

“My daughter wants to be a scientist and is keeping in touch with my professors,” she says. “My teenage son wants to be a geneticist and sees what it is to get a university education...he sees that his dream is a not-too-distant reality.”

Ultimately, Ms. Yahia hopes this conversation will spark more discussions about how to make studies at Queen’s more family-friendly through different approaches to conference funding, class scheduling, and spaces for graduate study parents to meet.

Learn more about the event, and register, on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Closing the c-suite diversity gap

The Smith School of Business is launching new executive leadership programs for LGBTQ+ leaders, newcomers to Canada, and more. 

[Erin LeBlanc and Tina Dacin]
Erin LeBlanc (left) and Tina Dacin (right) are two of the minds behind this executive leadership program. (University Communications)

In the coming years, the Smith School of Business will unveil a series of programs aimed at fostering diversity in the corporate boardrooms and executive offices across the country. 

The first such program launches this October, and is designed specifically for senior business professionals who identify as LGBTQ+.  

“Many LGBTQ+ business people shield their identities in the workplace,” says Tina Dacin, Stephen J. R. Smith Chair of Strategy & Organizational Behavior, and Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Smith Business School. “While significant strides have been made in LGBTQ+ acceptance in Canada, there are still barriers to senior leadership roles for members of the community. Our hope is that all of these programs will support leaders as they embrace and apply their full identities at work.” 

According to the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s 2017 Annual Report Card, the number of respondents who self-identify as LGBTQ serving on Financial Post 500 boards decreased from 2.1% in 2016 to 1.6% in 2017. The LGBTQ+ Executive Leadership Program aims to help turn the dial and speed up progress in this area by increasing the talent pool in this category of diversity. 

Offered by Smith’s Centre for Social Impact at the SmithToronto learning facility, this five-day program is intended to help individuals strengthen their leadership impact and work with confidence and authenticity. The five days will include speaker presentations, group discussion, exercises, and opportunities for self-reflection. Completing this course can also help students attain their Certificate in Social Impact for Professionals from Smith.

The LGBTQ+ Executive Leadership Program is the first of its kind in Canada, and was inspired by a similar program offered by Stanford University. There are 30 spaces available in this inaugural offering, and Dr. Dacin says interest has been strong. 

Erin LeBlanc is an Adjunct Lecturer with Smith School of Business, and will be one of the faculty in this leadership program. She was a part of the program design committee, and will be presenting on the diversity of communication, thinking, and problem solving styles. 

“As a member of one of the communities that is the focus of this program, I would have loved to take a program like this had it been available before,” says Ms. LeBlanc. “People are concerned about being their authentic selves at work for fear of reducing their upward mobility, and we hope this program will help them bring their whole selves to work without compromise.” 

In the coming years, the Smith Centre for Social Impact will also be launching programming for women in leadership, Indigenous leaders, and newcomers to Canada. 

To apply to the LGBTQ+ Executive Leadership Program or to learn more, visit ssb.ca/diversity.  

Queen’s marks Emergency Preparedness Week

May 7-13 is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada and it is a good time to remind ourselves of the emergency preparedness and response information that is available on campus.


Here at Queen’s, there are many people who work to ensure a safe, healthy environment for students, staff, and faculty. There are a number of resources available to you in the event that an emergency occurs.

The Queen’s University Emergency Response Procedures can be reviewed on the Campus Security and Emergency Services website. While you are there, please consider printing a copy for your desk or workplace.

Queen's also has an emergency response plan to ensure that the university is prepared in the event of a broad range of emergencies. 

Also, please remind yourself how the university’s emergency notification system works and what it would sound like if activated in the event of an emergency.  

Did you know we have an app to access emergency information?

Download the SeQure app NOW!

On the emergency procedures and plans page  of the Environmental Health and Safety website you can find the following important information:

  • Procedures for reporting incidents and accidents
  • Guidance for the preparation of individualized workplace emergency response plans for employees who have a disability that requires accommodation
  • A template to create lab specific emergency response procedures.


Emergency Preparedness Week is also a good time to consider how you would respond to an emergency at home. In an emergency, being prepared is a key component of positive outcomes.

Information on how to prepare your family for an emergency is available at the following links:

• Emergency Management Ontario
• Get Prepared
• Environment Canada Weather Office 
• Canadian Red Cross 
• St. John Ambulance 
• The Salvation Army 

Queen’s and partner institutions launch national research institute

The Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute will advance scientific research and discovery in astroparticle physics.

[logo: Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute]

Queen’s University is cementing its reputation as a world leader in astroparticle physics with the official launch of a new national research network dedicated to understanding some of the universe’s deepest mysteries.

The new Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute is a partnership of eight universities and five affiliated research organizations. Headquartered at Queen’s, the institute came to fruition as a result of the $63.7 million investment the university received in 2016 from the Government of Canada’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

[galaxy image]

“The launch of this new institute represents a major step forward for our efforts to create a world-leading astroparticle physics research network, building on an area of research expertise for the university and Canada” says Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. “We are also honoured today to be naming this new institute after one of Canada’s most accomplished and celebrated researchers, Nobel Laureate and Queen’s emeritus professor Dr. Arthur B. McDonald.”

Over the past year and a half, the institute has been building momentum, appointing a scientific director and recruiting 13 new faculty members (out of 15 designated positions) from around the world. In total, 100 people, including faculty, staff, and students across the country will be members of the institute, all working to advance its research and outreach goals.

“This new institute will bring together unique expertise from across Canada and leverages over $255 million of federal investment, with matching amounts from provincial partners, supporting astroparticle physics research over the last 20 years, including the leading experiments at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) and the SNOLAB,” says Tony Noble, Scientific Director of the McDonald Institute. “Although the dimensions of the particles we are studying are minute, the implications of these discoveries are monumental and fundamental to the very properties of science and our understanding of the formation and evolution of the universe.”

In addition to advancing research into areas such as the mysteries surrounding dark matter and neutrino science, the institute has a mandate for scientific outreach and to develop unique undergraduate and graduate student programing and opportunities.

  • [Art McDonald at the podium]
    Dr. Arthur B. McDonald. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)
  • [Nathan Brinklow offering the Thanksgiving address]
    Nathan Brinklow offering the Thanksgiving address. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)
  • [Dr. Daniel Woolf at the podium]
    Dr. Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)
  • [speakers on stage]
    Pictured (l-r): Sandra Crocker (Associate Vice Principal, Carleton University), Dr. John Fisher, Liz Fletcher, Dr. Art McDonald, Kate Young (Parliamentary Secretary for Science), Dr. Tony Noble, Dr. Marie-Cecile Piro (University of Alberta). (Photo by Lars Hagberg)
  • [John Burge performing his original composition "Oscillations," a piece dedicated to Arthur and Janet McDonald]
    John Burge performing his original composition "Oscillations," a piece dedicated to Arthur and Janet McDonald. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)
  • [speakers on stage]
    Pictured (l-r): Dr. John Fisher, Liz Fletcher, Dr. Art McDonald, Kate Young (Parliamentary Secretary for Science), Dr. Tony Noble, Dr. Marie-Cecile Piro (University of Alberta), Nathan Brinklow. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)

“The McDonald Institute’s extensive research community and availability of funding for undergraduate and graduate students means that students will be able to contribute to the astroparticle physics community and the larger physics community as a whole,” says Liz Fletcher, master’s student, McDonald Institute. “By fostering of an amazing research environment across all of the McDonald Institute partner institutions, there will be an increase in opportunities for students to get involved, especially at the undergrad level, from summer positions to thesis and independent study projects.”

"Although the dimensions of the particles we are studying are minute, the implications of these discoveries are monumental and fundamental to the very properties of science and our understanding of the formation and evolution of the universe."

Along with the official launch and naming, the McDonald Institute also unveiled a new Visitor Centre located in Stirling Hall at Queen’s along with a new website. The Visitor Centre will feature a virtual reality setup that will allow guests to travel though space and experience a solar storm. The centre will also have an augmented reality sandbox that will teach guests about gravitational fields in an interactive and tactile manner.

MI logoVisit the website:
Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute

“Centres like the McDonald Institute Visitor Centre can help us better understand the world and learn how scientists like Dr. McDonald and his colleagues are working to bring light to a dark universe and discover answers to its many mysteries,” says Dean Barbara Crow. “What is so great about this space is that it makes complex scientific problems and research accessible and understandable for community members, teachers, and students of all ages who are interested in learning more about how the universe works.”

VIDEO: Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute

"With SNOLAB, Canada has become an international centre for the experimental elements of astroparticle physics. Our new Institute adds to that strong international capability through the development of a strong personnel component within Canada – it has created a new generation of researchers in this field.

Additionally, the Institute creates an intellectual centre for interaction between theorists and experimentalists on topics at the cutting edge of particle astrophysics. This is already resulting in a number of experiments at the forefront of topics that will help us to understand the world around us and how it has evolved.

With the Institute, I am convinced that this will continue and keep Canada and Queen’s as a leader in this area of research."

Dr. Arthur B. McDonald
[Dr. Art McDonald]
Dr. Arthur B. McDonald

VIDEO: May 8 Launch Event for the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute

Expanded space for athletics and recreation

New facilities in the Innovation and Wellness Centre are on the way for intramural athletes and varsity teams. 

[IWC gym rendering]
One of the three gyms which will be available in the Innovation and Wellness Centre. (Supplied Photo)

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, an intramural participant, or a varsity Gael, Athletics & Recreation hopes to see you in the Innovation and Wellness Centre (IWC) this fall.

“The IWC will be a hub where every aspect of campus life intersects, blending academic and wellness spaces and emphasizing the links between physical and mental health and academic success,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “When completed, the project will be a signature building for Queen’s and a powerful catalyst for growth and change in the lives of our students.”

When the former Physical Education Centre was closed for construction in 2016, there were three gyms located inside. Once construction on the IWC is complete, two gyms will be re-opened and a third gymnasium will be located on the lower level.

“The IWC’s opening will mean hundreds of additional hours of participation opportunities that will benefit all of our programs, from casual recreation and intramurals to varsity sports and community partners,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Athletics & Recreation. “The new facilities will open up space in the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC), allowing us to provide additional programming and equipment to accommodate ever-increasing interest and demand from our entire campus community."

[High performance training centre]
When it opens, the High Performance Training Centre will provide student-athletes with cutting-edge equipment and technology, including a turf area and weight room, on-site coaching, and an efficient and productive training environment. (Supplied Photo)

The IWC will also be home to a high performance training centre for varsity athletes. This state-of-the-art resource, which will open in January 2019, will provide student-athletes with cutting-edge equipment and technology, including a turf area and weight room, on-site coaching, and an efficient and productive training environment.

The centre will include a 4,000-square foot weight room, a medicine ball power development wall to be used for throwing and catching drills, and a 35-metre turf area for movement, conditioning, and skills development.

“The combination of facilities, equipment, and dedicated strength and conditioning programming in the High Performance Training Centre will allow us to create a unique training environment for our student-athletes,” says Ms. Dal Cin. “Moving the athletes out of the ARC will increase the availability of weights and other equipment for all students looking to work out and get active.”

Rounding out the Athletics & Recreation facilities within the IWC, visitors will also enjoy an active staircase that encourages stair usage, universal change rooms, and student-athlete support offices.

Collectively, the three IWC gymnasia and the training centre will be known as “ARC South”. The facility will be linked to the existing ARC through an underground passageway.

What's in the IWC?
A holistic view of wellness
A home for innovation
Bringing Queen's engineers together
● Learn more on the Innovation and Wellness Centre website

Co-located with the new Athletic and Recreation facilities in the IWC are other wellness services, student life programs, and academic spaces. Placing all of these services under one roof reflects the connection between wellness, the student experience, and student success.

The Innovation and Wellness Centre will be officially opening during the 2018/19 academic year, and a grand opening is being planned for this fall. Follow along with the centre’s progress via the building’s website.

The creation of the IWC was made possible through $55 million in philanthropic support, including $40 million to revitalize the facility. In addition, the federal and Ontario governments contributed a combined total of nearly $22 million to this facility.

Queen’s hosting digital health care discussions

Drs. Eric Topol, Brian Goldman, and Richard Birtwhistle will discuss the impact of technological innovation and big data on patient care.

From the operating room to the waiting room, technology is changing the way healthcare is delivered in Canada. Organizers of a free conference coming up at Queen’s this summer will bring together clinicians, patients, policymakers, educators, business leaders, and technology experts to take the pulse of trends in the medical world, and prescribe a path forward.

[Dr. Eric Topol
Dr. Eric Topol is known for his opinions about how digital technologies will transform healthcare. (Supplied Photo)

The 2018 Research & Innovation Showcase, on June 6, 2018, is a day-long event, hosted by the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO), which will explore developments in the digital health technology field, connect attendees with some of the foremost thinkers in the growing field, and offer participants the opportunity to brainstorm their own revolutionary ideas.

SEAMO has secured three noteworthy speakers for the event, including Eric Topol – cardiologist, geneticist, and author. His book, The Patient Will See You Now, explores how smartphone adoption, big data, and other technological trends, are combining to revolutionize health care. Dr. Topol believes that, in the future, medical advice, much like a cab, could be just a few taps of the smartphone away.

Also appearing at the showcase will be Brian Goldman, host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art. Dr. Goldman is also a Toronto emergency room physician, and author of the book, The Secret Language of Doctors.

The third keynote speaker will be Queen’s own Richard Birtwhistle, Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, who has been the lead on a big data project to establish a national primary care research database.

[Dr. Richard Birtwhistle]
Representing Queen's at the podium will be Richard Birtwhistle, Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences. (Supplied Photo)

“Dr. Birtwhistle’s presentation will provide a tangible example of our digital health leadership, and I am looking forward to his perspective as to how we stay ahead of the curve,” says Chris Simpson, SEAMO Medical Director and Acting Dean (Faculty of Health Sciences). “Queen's Medicine is well positioned to continue our leadership role in digital health, which will continue to create major changes in how healthcare is being delivered going forward.”

Along with the keynote speeches, the event will feature panel discussions focused on how advances in digital technology are changing the nature of health care delivery in Canada. Panel participants will include policymakers, industry leaders, health care providers and patients, as well as the keynote speakers.

Attendees will also learn about cutting-edge work conducted by SEAMO’s Clinician Scientists during breakout sessions and can view poster displays from recent Innovation Fund award winners.

To help spur on more innovative ideas, the Showcase will also feature a Health Care Innovation Hackathon to challenge attendees to come up with their own innovative digital health ideas. The hackathon will be run by Joule Inc., a Canadian Medical Association company.

“We need engineers, computer and social scientists, policy and law experts, and "lived experience" patients and clients to help us understand how this transformation should be accommodated in our lives and integrated into the regulatory and legal environments,” says Dr. Simpson. “That’s why we hope there will be people from all walks of life attending our conference on June 6.”

To get your tickets for the 2018 SEAMO Research and Innovation Showcase, and find out more about these projects and keynotes, visit www.seamo.ca or follow the event on Twitter @2018RIS

New heating system to reduce emissions on campus

Provincial funding supporting the switch to a new heating system for buildings on west campus.

Queen’s University has secured $8.9 million in funding to modernize the way the university heats buildings west of main campus with the West Campus District Energy Conversion project, or District Energy project.

Currently, Queen’s relies on a Central Heating Plant, located on main campus, to meet most of the university’s heating needs. The boilers in this system are fueled by natural gas to provide steam for heating and hot water. In order to transport the steam to West Campus, there are 2.5 kilometers of 46-year-old underground steam lines along Union Street that result in significant energy loss. Once the new District Energy system is in place, these steam and condensate lines will be decommissioned, addressing a $9 million deferred maintenance liability.

The District Energy project will transform the heating system for more than 700,000 square feet of academic and student residential space, including Duncan McArthur Hall, Jean Royce Halls 1 and 2, and John Orr Tower on west campus as well as the Donald Gordon Centre and the Saint Mary’s of the Lake building.

This project gives the university an opportunity to upgrade the heating systems to a cleaner, more efficient natural gas system with dedicated high-efficiency boilers located at each of the sites above.

“The District Energy project is a great example of the sustainable work being done at Queen’s to reach our carbon neutral target in 2040,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “This project will support Queen’s sustainability and fiscal priorities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fuel costs, and the deferred maintenance liability. It will also provide data, project opportunities, and research topics for student research.”

Thanks to funding from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development, the project has commenced and will be completed by April 2019.

“I am so pleased that Queen’s University is receiving this funding through the Greenhouse Gas Retrofits program,” says Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands. “Through this investment, Ontario is not only reducing greenhouse gas pollution and supporting student achievement, but also working to prolong the life of the infrastructure at these institutions. By investing in repairs and retrofits, we are ensuring that institutions across the province will be here to educate students now and for generations to come.”

In addition to supporting the provincial Climate Change Action Plan’s GHG reduction targets, the District Energy Project will help achieve the Principal’s 2016 Climate Action Plan, which set the target for Queen’s to become carbon neutral by 2040. As of 2016, the university has achieved an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 24 percent from 2008 levels with current emission levels of 44,000 metric tonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year. The new project will reduce Queen’s GHG emissions by 1,500 MT of CO2e annually, with a cumulative total reduction of 33,000 MT CO2e by 2040.


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