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Celebrating success at Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics

From an initial meeting at an analytics conference in Banff to a full-time position at the Data Science and Analytics Lab at Scotiabank, Hootan Kamran’s perseverance and adaptability have served him well.

[Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics]
Hootan Kamran, left, and Mikhail Nediak, centre, of Smith School of Business accept a cheque for renewed funding for the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics.

At the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) conference in 2016, Kamran first met his future supervisor, Smith School of Business associate professor Mikhail Nediak. Several months later, Kamran was offered an industrial postdoctoral fellowship through MITACS with Smith and Scotiabank. It let him gain work experience as a data scientist while advancing analytics research.

As one of 15 graduate-level students collaborating with a team of industry experts and faculty at Smith’s Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics, Kamran worked on a series of applied research projects with a goal to reshape the customer experience.

Founded in 2016 through a partnership between Scotiabank and Smith, the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics (SCCA) brings together interdisciplinary teams of professors, graduate, students and analytics practitioners to collaborate on research, create new knowledge, and lead the conversation about the future of big data and its applications for organizations looking to better serve their customers.

Kamran credits the centre with encouraging the pursuit of robust scholarship combined with practical applications in the world of data analytics.

“My postdoctoral fellowship with the SCCA allowed me to direct my academic goals toward real industry experience,” he says.

One such experience came after Kamran was transferred from Scotiabank’s Data Science and Analytics (DSA) Lab to the international banking unit as the main investigator tasked with solving a customer lifetime value (CLV) problem for one of Scotiabank’s clients in Chile. After finishing the job in five months, clients in neighbouring Peru expressed interest in the same project, and the experienced team was able to deliver results after only two months.

“The Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics plays a crucial role in encouraging innovation across industries,” says David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business. “As a global leader in teaching the management of analytics, the centre is a great opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate with industry leaders to develop research and solutions to industry problems.”

After his experience with international banking, Kamran moved back to DSA, where he began working on a project to implement a complex neural network model for prediction tasks in capital markets. In June, after a year of full-time involvement, Kamran accepted a permanent position with the lab.

Established with an initial gift of $2.2 million from Scotiabank, the SCCA has seen a number of successes since its start, including research advances in the areas of pricing, revenue management, loyalty programs, adaptable database management systems, analytics and decision making, and ethics and AI. The centre also helps Scotiabank integrate recent research advances and best practices in CLV into its operations.

“This partnership gives our faculty and students direct hands-on access to the most relevant business context and ultimately increases the impact of our research,” said Professor Nediak, who is also SCCA’s associate director.

In July, Scotiabank reaffirmed its commitment to the centre’s mission and success with $2 million in additional funding, supporting the centre through to 2025.

Scotiabank also provided an anonymized dataset from its SCENE program for use in classes and competitions, including for Smith’s Master of Management Analytics program and the annual Queen’s International Innovation Challenge. The dataset gives students the chance to find deeper insights into customer behaviour while helping Scotiabank determine the best products and services to offer.

“There is tremendous demand from organizations to hire data-savvy employees who can find the opportunity in the numbers and work in teams to solve problems,” says Yuri Levin, the centre’s executive director and Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business. “Access to current, real-company data gives Smith students a competitive edge.”

Going beyond the classroom, the centre’s popular quarterly community seminars, as well as ongoing public talks and industry conferences, foster a thriving analytics community in both Kingston and Toronto.

SCCA builds on Smith’s research leadership in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Faculty leverage this thought leadership in Smith’s custom executive education programs and develop case studies for use in executive education, MBA, and other graduate-level programs.

This article was first published on the Smith School of Business website.

LIVES LIVED: Kristian Palda

From fleeing communism to winning Queen’s University’s highest award for research excellence, Smith School of Business Professor Emeritus Kristian Palda (Com’56), lived a storied life.

 Professor Emeritus Kristian Palda

A revered professor and prolific researcher, Palda passed away peacefully at home in Kingston on July 26, surrounded by family. He was 91. 

Born in Prague in 1928, Palda escaped communist Czechoslovakia in 1949. He came to Canada, eventually enrolled at Queen’s University and earned a commerce degree.

After completing his MBA and PhD at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Palda spent the 1960s writing three books and many academic articles on marketing and economics. His 1963 thesis, The Measurement of Cumulative Effects of Advertising Effects, was an oft-cited work and established the field of “Lydiametrics.”

In 1970, Palda joined the faculty at Smith. He soon became a pioneer in the emerging field of public choice. His work on the relationship between election advertising and political success, published in the Journal of Law and Economics in 1975, was especially important. 

Eventually his interest turned to the link between R&D and economic performance. A critical essay he wrote for the Fraser Institute in 1979, called The Science Council’s Weakest Link, launched a Canada-wide debate on how involved government should be in managing commercial research. Palda’s work in this area, as well as his stature as one of the top researchers in empirical marketing, earned him the Queen’s University Prize for Excellence in Research in 1987.

Retired Smith Associate Professor Bohumir Pazderka remembers Palda as a “true academic – always on the lookout for a new subject to explore, a new research project to initiate, and figuring out how to generate a new publication.”

Like Palda, Pazderka grew up in Czechoslovakia. And, like Palda, he escaped in 1968. When Pazderka came to Smith as a graduate student, Palda was his supervisor. 

“I always admired his excellent grasp of the English language and his exquisite writing style,” Pazderka said.

Palda spoke four languages fluently and maintained a high profile abroad with research stays at Louvain, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Strasbourg, Poitiers, Clermont-Ferrand and the Center for Study of Public Choice at Virginia Tech. 

As a young man in Czechoslovakia, Palda was persecuted by the communists and expelled from law school. After the fall of communism in 1989, Charles University in Prague awarded him an honorary doctorate in law. Palda later spent a year in Prague advising the government on the transition from a centrally-planned to a market economy. He also participated at conferences and meetings of educators and administrators of newly established business schools and shared his expertise on the contribution of business education to the functioning of the economy.

Palda retired from Smith and Queen’s in 1995 but continued with his research for many years after. Throughout his life and even into his final year, he shared his incredible intelligence and genteel manner with those who surrounded him.

The Smith and Queen’s communities will remember him as a groundbreaking researcher, scholar and teacher who challenged the status quo and inspired colleagues and students to do the same.

This Lives Lived column was first published by Smith School of Business.

Researchers and policymakers to discuss ‘inclusive prosperity’

School of Policy Studies to host annual Queen’s International Institute on Social Policy.

2019 Queen's International Institute on Social Policy icons
The 2019 Queen's International Institute on Social Policy runs Aug. 20-21.

Most economies have recovered from the global financial crisis of 2008, or at least that’s what traditional indicators — like growth in gross domestic product (GDP) — would have us believe. That said, some experts say that in many advanced economies, income levels and growth have become increasingly uneven, regional inequities have widened, labour’s share of income has declined, and wealth has become highly concentrated within a small fraction of society.

From Aug. 20-21, the annual Queen’s International Institute on Social Policy (QIISP) will bring together senior policymakers and leading researchers to discuss how the rules of the market and the design of public policies can work better for everyone.

“The starting point for QIISP 2019 is that the benefits of economic prosperity and innovation have not been equally distributed in recent decades," says Keith Banting, Professor Emeritus, Stauffer Dunning Fellow, and conference co-organizer. “Moreover, this trend may well be amplified in the years to come as new technologies alter the nature of work.”

Titled Inclusive Prosperity: Recoupling Growth, Equity, and Social Integration, the gathering will see participants analyze how and why understandings of economic growth have become decoupled from broad-based societal benefits. 

The two-day agenda will feature moderated discussions on trends in growth, equity, and opportunity; inclusive innovation; work and wages; social protection, immigration and social integration. The conference will close with a discussion of Canadians’ attitudes to emerging economic and social trends.

“Although the high levels of inequality and social upheaval reshaping the political landscape in the U.S., U.K., and parts of Europe are more muted in Canada, the underlying factors exist here as well,” says Margaret Biggs, Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy and conference co-organizer. “There are risks of deepening inequalities and fissures in the fabric of Canadian life.”

Speakers include experts from international organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and international researchers from Oxford University, Johns Hopkins University, and the U.K.-based Resolution Foundation. Canadian experts from leading universities and research institutes will join them. In addition, the program will feature commentary from columnists from leading newspapers.”

“The Queen’s summer institute has become Canada’s premiere conference on social policy, “says Naomi Alboim, Distinguished Fellow at the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and conference co-organizer. “It is unique in the way it bridges research and policy, has an international comparative perspective, and involves senior policy-makers from all levels of government.”

Established in 1995, the QIISP is organized by the Queen’s School of Policy Studies with support from the governments of Canada and Ontario, the Region of Peel, and the City of Toronto. For more information, or to register, visit the QIISP website.

Provost provides update on Smith School of Business deanship

Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris provided an update regarding the deanship of the Smith School of Business on Friday, Aug. 9.

As previously announced, David Saunders’ term as dean ends on June 30, 2020. Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane has asked the Principal’s Advisory Committee (PAC) for the Smith School of Business to complete an assessment of the current state and future prospects of the school.  At the conclusion of this assessment, the committee will make a recommendation to Principal Deane as to whether or not Dean Saunders should be considered for renewal, or if a full search for a new dean should be undertaken.

Feedback from the Queen’s community will be a significant factor in the committee’s assessment. Details on how to provide input will be shared shortly.

As the mandate of the Principal’s Advisory Committee for the Smith School of Business has been modified, the committee membership may alter slightly. Updates to the membership will be posted on the Office of the Provost website.

The Smith and Queen’s community will remain informed as this process progresses.

Queen’s School of Policy Studies welcoming new expertise

Former Senator Hugh Segal appointed Chair of the External Advisory Board and senior public servant William Bromm as the Executive-in-Residence.

The Queen’s University School of Policy Studies recently announced Hugh Segal has been appointed Chair of the School of Policy Studies External Advisory Board and the Donald Matthews Faculty Fellow in Global Public Policy.

In a second announcement, the School of Policy Studies announced William Bromm as the Executive-in-Residence, effective until September 2020.

Hugh Segal

Segal, the fifth head of Massey College at the University of Toronto, where he is a Senior Fellow, is a former chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism. He has also served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Associate Cabinet Secretary for Federal-Provincial Relations in Ontario under Premier Bill Davis, and as president of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He was awarded an honorary degree at Queen’s University in 2018.

“The School of Policy Studies is very pleased to welcome the Honourable Hugh Segal back to Queen’s,” says Warren Mabee, Associate Dean and Director (Policy Studies). “He brings expertise in all aspects of policy development and analysis to the school and will be a tremendous resource for our students and faculty as the school evolves over the next few years. We are delighted that Mr. Segal is joining us and look forward to working closely with him to implement an exciting new agenda within the school.”

Segal’s public policy focus for many years has been reforming income security in Canada with a basic income guarantee. He has written seven books on public policy and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa and the Royal Military College. He is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy, and, most recently, served as Canada's Special Envoy. Segal was a member of the Eminent Persons Group dealing with human rights and rule of law in Commonwealth countries and recently wrote the proposal published by Ontario for a pilot project on a basic income.

William Bromm

He is also Senior Advisor at the law firm of Aird and Berlis, LLP.

The School of Policy Studies also welcomes Bromm to his new role of Executive-in-Residence. Currently serving as the Senior Director and General Counsel at the Office of the Secretary of the Cabinet for the Government of Ontario, Bromm brings a wealth of knowledge of government operations and the interactions between the executive and legislative branches of government to Queen’s.

“He will be a tremendous asset to the university, the School of Policy Studies, and, most importantly, our students,” says Dr. Mabee. “We look forward to working closely with Mr. Bromm in his new role here at the university and are grateful for the opportunity that his presence brings to research and teaching at Queen’s.”

For more information, visit the School of Policy Studies website.

Sustainable finance: Canada risks being left behind in low-carbon economy

Global investors are already mobilizing capital to take advantage of investment opportunities in climate-smart infrastructure, emissions-reducing technology and updated electricity grids. (Photo by Zbynek Burival/Unsplash)

Earlier this spring, the most in-depth analysis to date on Canada’s changing climate provided clear evidence that Canada is warming twice as fast as the global average. As we increasingly experience the physical impacts (flooding, extreme weather, forest fires), we will experience the financial impacts as well in the form of both increasing market risks and unprecedented investment opportunities.

For the financial sector, this is a pivotal moment where it can realign its structures to ensure global capital flows toward solutions that will protect Canada’s economy and our prosperity, more broadly. However, Canada’s financial community has yet to fully grasp the numerous challenges and opportunities that climate change presents for us in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

On June 14, an independent panel of experts released recommendations on what Canada’s financial system needs to do to support this transition. The key message: we must empower our financial sector to design a made-in-Canada sustainable finance system so that Canadian firms can compete successfully among their global peers over the long term.

In its simplest definition, sustainable finance means aligning all of our financial systems and services to promote long-term environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. That includes channelling investments toward climate solutions and managing climate-related financial risks.

Canada has the talent, resources and institutional muscle to define sustainable finance for our economy. We need to grow and harness that capacity now, if we want to captain our own ship through one of the most significant global economic transitions in history.

Much to lose, but more to gain

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, a 2C global warming scenario will trigger global financial losses of roughly US$4.2 trillion. With 6C of warming, those losses balloon to $13.8 trillion. That represents about 10 per cent of the global assets currently under management.

Losses at this scale will have wide-reaching implications for investors and the asset-management industry. Everyday people who are depending on investment income for their retirement will find themselves in dire straits. That includes every Canadian counting on the Canada Pension Plan.

On the flip side, there is tremendous value — some $26 trillion worth — to be gained by shifting economies to avoid worst-case climate scenarios. This represents massive and economy-wide investments in climate-smart infrastructure, emissions-reducing technology, updated electricity grids, to name just a few examples. Global investors are already mobilizing capital to take advantage of these opportunities.

The question for Canada is: how do we attract global investment while, at the same time, protecting Canadian assets, investors and firms from risk?

In essence, this is what sustainable finance is about — harnessing our financial systems to help accelerate the activities, decisions and structures that will put Canadian industries and our economy ahead of the curve without ignoring the environment.

[Wind turbines]
Climate change is expected to trigger global financial losses in the trillions, but there are also opportunities for investment. (Photo by Karsten Wuerth/Unspalsh)

We can’t afford to fall behind

Other global players are already acting. The European Commission has spent the past two years mobilizing expertise to build a financial system that supports sustainable growth. It has made significant progress in establishing disclosure rules for climate-related financial risk and creating unified definitions (a taxonomy) on what can be considered environmentally sustainable economic activity.

For example, this includes defining the labels and criteria for green financial products, which will, among other things, significantly shape the direction of the rapidly expanding green bond market.

The problem is these rules and definitions are being pioneered elsewhere and are unlikely to benefit Canada. They may even penalize us, because they are designed for economies significantly different from our own.

For example, there is a current gap, and huge opportunity, to pioneer financial mechanisms and incentives could be created to expedite the sustainable transition of higher-emitting sectors like oil and gas and agriculture.

This requires our leadership.

If we allow others to direct the innovations in sustainable finance, we will find ourselves without the financial tools and structures that Canada’s resource-rich economy needs to determine its own path through a global transition.

The expert panel’s report is our wake-up call. It is time to catch up and get ourselves to the table. Our financial sector — and the broader ecosystem including our accountants, lawyers and actuaries — needs to start answering some big questions.

What does meaningful, responsible and consistent disclosure look like in a Canadian context? How do we create incentives and opportunities to draw in private capital to boost clean tech innovation across our economy and to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure? How do we better assess risk and the value of assets through a climate-smart lens?

We must, and we can, build the knowledge, understanding and capacity of our financial system to rise to these challenges. We can do this by investing in the research, education, professional training and the collaboration necessary to lift our current generation of professionals to the next level, while preparing an emerging generation to lead.

For those of us in the financial sector, this is about the future of our industry. For all Canadians, it’s about the future of our economy and well-being. Let’s get started now.

_________________________________________________________The Conversation

Sean Cleary is BMO Professor of Finance, CFA, ICD.D at Smith School of Business at Queen's University, and Ryan Riordan is Associate Professor and Distinguished Professor of Finance at Smith School of Business at Queen's University.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.

Spring convocation comes to a close

Four ceremonies and an honourary degree round out 2018/2019 graduation events.

  • Honorary degree recipient Gerald Sutton (Com'48) shakes the hand of Rector Alex Da Silva during the convocation ceremony for the Smith School of Business Commerce program on June 11, 2019. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
    Honorary degree recipient Gerald Sutton (Com'48) shakes the hand of Rector Alex Da Silva during the convocation ceremony for the Smith School of Business Commerce program on June 11, 2019. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Smith School of Business Commerce graduates being hooded during a convocation ceremony on June 11.
    Smith School of Business Commerce graduates being hooded during a convocation ceremony on June 11. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Graduating Commerce students attending spring convocation on June 11, 2019.
    Graduating Commerce students attending spring convocation on June 11, 2019. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • A graduate of the Smith School of Business Commerce class smiles after being presented with a Pendleton blanket.
    A graduate of the Smith School of Business Commerce class smiles after being presented with a Pendleton blanket. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • A Commerce graduate shakes hands with David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business.
    A Commerce graduate shakes hands with David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Engineering and Applied Science students arriving to June 12, 2019 spring convocation.
    Engineering and Applied Science students arriving to June 12, 2019 spring convocation. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Engineering and Applied Science students seated with their peers during the June 12, 2019 convocation ceremony.
    Engineering and Applied Science students seated with their peers during the June 12, 2019 convocation ceremony. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Daniel Woolf addresses Engineering and Applied Science graduates at Spring convocation; his last ceremony as Principal and Vice-Chancellor.
    Daniel Woolf addresses Engineering and Applied Science graduates at Spring convocation; his last ceremony as Principal and Vice-Chancellor. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Kevin Deluzio, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, addresses graduates at spring convocation.
    Kevin Deluzio, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, addresses graduates at spring convocation. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • A graduate of the Engineering and Applied Science class being presented with a Pendleton blanket.
    A graduate of the Engineering and Applied Science class being presented with a Pendleton blanket. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • An Engineering and Applied Science student shakes hands with university Chancellor Jim Leech.
    An Engineering and Applied Science student shakes hands with university Chancellor Jim Leech. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)

Spring Convocation has officially come to a close following four ceremonies this week.

On Tuesday, June 11, the season's final honorary degree was conferred upon Gerald Sutton, former president of Canada's first venture capital company.

Gerald Sutton arrived in Canada from England in 1941 and settled in Chatham, Ont. Two years later he joined the RCAF at the age of 17 and would be commissioned as a pilot. Following his service he enrolled in the Commerce program Queen’s University, graduating in 1948. A year later he graduated from the Master of Commerce program. Working in the head office of the Bank of Montreal he would become Assistant Economic Adviser but left in 1958 to be Director of Research at Nesbitt, Thompson And Company Limited, now BMO Nesbitt Burns. In 1961 he organized Canada’s first venture capital company, Canadian Enterprise Development Corporation Limited (CED). He was appointed General Manager in 1964 and subsequently President of CED. Throughout his career, Sutton was also a pioneer in organizing and supporting not-for-profit organizations to improve the quality of life for developmentally handicapped people. Sutton and his wife Margaret, also a graduate of Queen’s, are enthusiastic supporters of Queen’s and have established a number of bursaries, awards and scholarships. Two rooms in Goodes Hall bear their names.

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science undergraduates were conferred during the final spring ceremony on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 12. The occasion also marked Daniel Woolf's final convocation as Principal and Vice-Chancellor, before he leaves the post on June 30 after 10 years of service.

A total of 18 ceremonies were held for Spring Convocation, with seven honorary degrees conferred by Queen’s during the events.

More photos of this season's convocation events can be viewed at the Queen’s University page on flickr.

Queen’s hosts diplomats from across Asia-Pacific

Annual Ambassadors’ Forum brings international representatives to campus for networking and knowledge sharing.

Queen’s representatives and international ambassadors pose together in front of Summerhill, a yearly tradition after the Ambassadors’ Forum.
Queen’s representatives and international ambassadors pose together in front of Summerhill, a yearly tradition after the Ambassadors’ Forum.

Diplomats from 10 countries across the Asia-Pacific region met at Queen’s University recently for the Ambassadors' Forum – an annual event that provides opportunities for international networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. Representatives from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam joined Queen’s academics and administrators for discussions of international education, partnerships, and economic and political issues.

“I want to thank our guests for joining this year’s Ambassadors' Forum, and for sharing their invaluable perspectives on opportunities and challenges we all share,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Effective partnerships are built on communication, so this annual gathering serves as a fantastic opportunity to deepen these connections and explore untapped potential for future collaboration.”

First held in 2003, the Ambassadors' Forum was developed and nurtured by Hok-Lin Leung, Professor Emeritus in the Queen’s Department for Geography and Planning. The yearly event hosts ambassadors, high commissioners, and national representatives, as well as Queen’s academics and administrators for a luncheon and private guest lecture. This year, David Detomasi, Adjunct Associate Professor at Smith School of Business addressed forum guests with a talk entitled “The New International Trade Order”.

“I want to thank Dr. Leung for continuing to devote significant time and effort into building and strengthening Queen’s University’s relationships with this important community,” says Dr. Harris.

Dr. Harris was joined by other administrators in representing Queen’s at the forum, including Fahim Quadir, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies; Kent Novakowski, Associate Vice-Principal (Research); and Jill Scott, Interim Associate Vice-Principal (International).

“We must continually strive to set the bar higher for ourselves as we work to equip our students with the tools they will need to become global citizens,” says Dr. Scott, who closed out the luncheon with remarks about the social mission of universities like Queen’s.

The spring edition of the annual Ambassadors' Forum took place at Queen’s on Friday, May 31.

Membership of Principal’s Advisory Committee, Smith School of Business

On behalf of Principal Daniel Woolf, Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) has announced the membership of the committee that will advise him on the deanship and the present state and future prospects of the Smith School of Business.


  • Kandice Baptiste - Director, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre
  • Joanna Bitharas - MBA Candidate 2020, President, Student Executive Council
  • Yolande Chan - Associate Dean (Research, PhD and MSc Programs) and E. Marie Shantz Professor of IT Management
  • Shawn Cooper - Managing Director and Regional Leader, Russell Reynolds Associates, member of the Smith Advisory Board
  • Tina Dacin - Stephen J. R. Smith Chaired Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behavior
  • Tom Harris (Chair) - Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
  • Yuri Levin - Professor & Stephen J.R. Smith Chair of Analytics; Executive Director, Analytics and AI; and Director, Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics
  • Rebecca Luce-Kapler - Dean, Faculty of Education
  • Bertrand Malsch - Associate Professor & PricewaterhouseCoopers/Tom O'Neill Fellow of Accounting and Director of the CPA Ontario Centre for Governance & Accountability
  • Lynnette Purda - Professor & RBC Fellow of Finance
  • Laurie Ross - Executive Director, Dean’s Office
  • Stephanie Simpson - Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion)
  • Lori Stewart (Secretary) - Executive Director, Office of the Provost and Vice Principal (Academic)
  • Ann Tierney - Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
  • Maryann Turcke - COO of the National Football League, Chair of the Smith Advisory Board
  • Wei Wang - Associate Professor & RBC Fellow of Finance and Director of Queen’s Master of Finance (Beijing) Program

Commerce Society leadership will participate by meeting with the committee to discuss undergraduate student considerations. Principal Woolf thanks the members of this committee for their willingness to serve.

Funding new scientific frontiers

New Frontiers in Research Fund fuels Queen’s research in topics ranging from Lyme disease to climate change.

Early-career researchers are the backbone of Canada’s research infrastructure. Recognizing this area of research strength and its potential, the Government of Canada has launched the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) to support early-career researchers as they pursue the next great discovery in their fields.

[Minister Kirsty Duncan]
Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

Seven Queen’s University projects earned a $1.72 million portion of the $38 million in NFRF funding announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, earlier this week. The successful Queen’s researchers are: Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry) and Mark Ormiston (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), Robert Colautti (Biology), Samuel Dahan (Law), Lindsay Morcom (Education), Jessica Selinger (Kinesiology and Health Science), Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry), and Laura Thomson (Geography and Planning).

“I am pleased today to celebrate the very first researchers to benefit from the New Frontiers in Research Fund. Our government’s vision is for our researchers to take risks and be innovative,” says Minister Duncan. “We want our scientists and students to have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, and we want the halls of academia to better reflect the diversity of Canada itself. This new fund will help us achieve that vision.”

Drs. Capicciotti and Ormiston are studying how cancer cells change the sugars that they express on their surface to avoid detection by the immune system. The researchers will work to develop technology to screen hundreds of sugar structures, with the ultimate goal of creating new cancer therapies that function by boosting an individual’s immune response.

As a member of the Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network (CLyDRN) based at Queen’s, Dr. Colautti is leading a diverse and multidisciplinary group of researchers to disrupt the way that tick-borne diseases are identified and managed in Canada. Their approach includes the use of handheld DNA sequencers and cloud computing for rapid detection of known or potential tick-borne pathogens, summarizing this information into a risk assessment framework for medical practitioners, public health officials, and the general populace.

Professor Dahan, in collaboration with Xiaodan Zhu (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and a team of 25 data scientists, Artificial Intelligence researchers, and law students, is working on an open source AI-tribunal for small claims in Ontario. This digital dispute-resolution platform will provide predictive legal services and negotiation support for self-represented plaintiffs. The NFRF funding will help develop the first stage of the product, focusing on severance pay and termination negotiation.

Using the skills of an interdisciplinary team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and visual and digital media artists, Dr. Morcom and her team will work to create a network of virtual reality spaces across the country. The newly-created spaces will be used to stage cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and cross-generational encounters.

Dr. Selinger has formed an interdisciplinary team that combines expertise in fundamental human biomechanics, clinical rehabilitative medicine, and applied robotic control. The research has the potential to revolutionize the next generation of rehabilitation strategies by focusing on how people re-learn to walk after a stroke.

Focusing on a new area of research, Dr. Stamplecoskie and partner Guojun Liu (Chemistry), are researching new electrochemical devices, capable of capturing the tremendous amount of energy available in rainfall, waves, and evaporating water. The research is working to create new devices capable to meeting global energy demands.

Dr. Thomson has amassed an interdisciplinary team that will integrate modern glacier research practices and inter-generational perspectives on climate, to improve environmental monitoring in Canada’s high-Arctic. This initiative will provide open-access, real-time climate data for the first time in this part of the Arctic, and provide public access to rare historic data.

All of the Queen’s projects are funded under the Exploration stream of the NFRF program. The second stream is the Transformation stream that provides large-scale support for Canada to build strength and leadership in interdisciplinary and transformative research. The third stream, International, will come online later, according to Minister Duncan.

“Through the NFRF program, early-career researchers at Queen’s are bringing new ideas and methodologies to critical issues from Lyme disease to climate change,” say Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Importantly, they are increasing the potential impact and application of their work by collaborating across disciplinary boundaries.”

For more information, visit the NFRF website.

Don’t miss out on research funding opportunities, subscribe to the University Research Services Funding Opportunities listserv.


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