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Engineering and Applied Science

Insights, advice and a song for Major Admission Awards

  • [Admission Awards - Abrams Brothers]
    John and James Abrams of The Abrams Brothers perform during the Major Admission Awards Reception held Monday, Sept 22 at Wallace Hall.
  • [Admission Awards - Abrams Brothers]
    John and James Abrams of The Abrams Brothers perform during the Major Admission Awards Reception.
  • [Admission Awards - Abrams Brothers]
    John and James Abrams stand alongside Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), during the Major Admission Awards Reception.
  • [Admission Awards - Haley Kawaja]
    Haley Kawaja, a Chernoff Family Award Scholar, speaks during the Major Admission Awards Reception as Ann Tierney and Alan Harrison look on.
  • [Admission Awards Reception]
    Donato Santeramo, Department Head for Languages, Literatures & Cultures, speaks to students at the Major Admission Awards Reception.
  • [Admission Awards - Ann Tierney]
    Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, emceees the Major Admission Awards Reception at Wallace Hall.
  • [Admission Awards Reception]
    Students and faculty members attend the Major Admission Awards Reception held Monday, Sept. 22 at Wallace Hall.

A pair of upper year students offered their advice and personal insights Monday evening as Queen’s recognized its major admission award recipients at a reception. 

Both John Abrams and Haley Kawaja are award recipients themselves but have taken very different paths in their education and lives.

Mr. Abrams, a Chancellor’s Scholar from Kingston, is in his third year majoring in Film and Media with a minor in English Language and Literature.

However, he is better known as half of The Abrams Brothers, a country music duo named Best New Artist at the 2012 Canadian Country Music Awards. He and his brother James performed a song for the gathered crowd at Wallace Hall.  

His message was that many people, past and present, may have the ability to study at the university level but may not have the means. It was a message he related through the stories of his grandparents and parents. His father, now a judge, studied law after a career in the RCMP. Mr. Abrams recalled going to his father’s classes at Queen’s when he was a mere three years old.

“Most importantly for me, I recognize that in my generation a lot of us have what I would consider a misplaced sense of entitlement,” he says. “I observe that and I try every day to remember that I am not necessarily entitled to this, that this is a wonderful privilege to be here at this institution, to have this scholarship. As a result I carry myself accordingly and try and work as hard as I can to live up to those expectations and responsibilities.”

Ms. Kawaja, a Chernoff Family Award Scholar from Cornerbrook, N.L., is a fourth-year biology student with a minor in English Language and Literature.

She too has not taken the conventional path in her education, having taken a year away from her studies to live in Kenya, where she developed an educational program for HIV prevention.

Her message was that it was okay to not know what you want, a pressure that many award recipients and Queen’s students may feel.

“I wanted to get across that your plans are always made by a less mature version of yourself,” she says. “You make a plan in high school for the next four years, then in four years your plan hasn’t accounted for everything you learn over that time. More than anything, (my message is) it’s okay to not know what you want and to change your plan.”

Currently, there are 251 entering and in-course award recipients at Queen’s, hailing from coast to coast and across all faculties and departments.  

“Major Admission Award recipients are those who are engaged within their high schools and/or communities, demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities, possess creativity and initiative, and excel academically.  They continue to demonstrate these attributes throughout their time here," says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, who emceed the event. “Each year, the selection committee has to work harder to make its decisions, because of the calibre of students who apply to Queen's.”

The awards are generously supported by numerous donors.  Many donors want to give back this way because they too received some form of support, recognition and encouragement when they were students. Their generosity has a significant impact within the Queen's community and the recipients of their awards.

The 2015-16 Major Admission Award application is now open for students applying to Queen's for the 2015-16 academic year. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2014. Visit the Student Awards website for further information about our Major Admission Awards.

Principal Woolf announces his priorities for 2014-2015

At the beginning of each academic year it has been my practice to outline for the community, in broad strokes, the goals and priorities I intend to pursue over the course of the year. These goals are, unsurprisingly, aligned with the four strategic drivers identified in the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014-2019, a document that will guide the university’s decision making over the next five years.

Principal Daniel Woolf speaks with students during an event on campus. Strengthening the student learning experience is one of his goals for the 2014-15 academic year.

As I commence my second term as Principal my overarching goal remains unchanged-- to advance Queen’s as a university that uniquely combines quality and intensity of research with excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. The strategic drivers – the student learning experience, research prominence, financial sustainability and internationalization – directly support the success of Queen’s as a balanced academy.

It should be noted that the framework builds on and is fully aligned with The Third Juncture, a 10-year vision for Queen’s that I wrote in 2012, as well as a number of other recent planning documents including the Academic Plan (2011), the Strategic Research Plan (2012), the Teaching and Learning Action Plan (2014), and the Campus Master Plan.

In this context, my senior administrative colleagues and I are committed to:

1. Strengthening the student learning experience

A transformative learning experience is central to the Queen’s identity and to our vision as a university. Our academic plan outlines the centrality of developing our students’ fundamental academic skills while also providing them with learning opportunities that will help prepare them for the future. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Increasing the number of new opportunities for expanded credentials, as well as more opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning, both on and off campus.
  • Further integrating technology into the delivery of course content where it enables improved learning.
  • Continuing to focus on strategies for teaching and learning based on student engagement and broad-based learning outcomes.

2. Strengthening our research prominence

Queen’s is recognized as one of Canada’s outstanding research institutions, but sustaining and enhancing our status means we must guide and support our research enterprise while resolutely pursuing funding. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Maintaining success rates in applications for Tri-Council funding.
  • Remaining among the country’s top three universities for faculty awards, honours and prizes, and election to major learned bodies such as the Royal Society of Canada.
  • Supporting the development and engagement of Queen’s faculty members as set out in the Senate-approved Strategic Research Plan.

3. Ensuring financial sustainability

To support teaching and research into the future, we will need stable and diverse revenue streams, particularly as government funding, per student, continues to fall. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Continuing strong revenue growth together with revenue diversification.
  • Meeting our $60 million annual fund raising target as part of the Initiative Campaign, while focusing on its overall achievement by 2016.
  • Pursuing long-term sustainability for our pension plan.

4. Raising our international profile

Two years ago I stated in The Third Juncture that as global competition among universities increases over the next decade, it will not be sufficient to be simply ‘known’ in one’s own country. Increasingly, the value of our students’ degrees will be tied to our international reputation, as will our ability to attract international students, who raise our profile and contribute a great deal to the academic environment. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Moving forward on multi-year plans to increase undergraduate international enrolment.
  • Maintaining our strong record in attracting international graduate students.
  • Supporting growth in international collaborations and partnerships.

5. Promoting and developing talent

We will need to ensure that we are able to acquire, develop and retain top quality faculty and staff to thrive as an institution. Our talent management strategy, which I initiated last year, will provide a strategic approach to ensure we have the right leaders in place and in the wings as we advance our academic mission and work to secure financial sustainability. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Continuing with succession planning efforts for academic and administrative leadership roles across the university.
  • Developing a competency model that will be used to identify necessary competencies when hiring, and for leadership development and performance dialogue discussions.
  • Refining our hiring practices.
  • Promoting discussion among the Deans around faculty renewal. 

Research leaders earn academic accolades

Three Queen’s University professors have been named to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists program. The new program recognizes an emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership and seeks to gather scholars, artists and scientists at a highly productive stage of their careers into a single collegium where new advances in understanding will emerge from the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural and social perspectives.

Queen’s received the maximum allowance of three New College inductees.

“This is an exciting new program that opens the doors of the RSC to early to mid-career scholars and researchers, and provides them an opportunity to contribute to the promotion of learning and research, an important mandate of the RSC,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “Equally important is the opportunity for the RSC to connect with younger colleagues representing a wide range of research pursuits and perspectives. Although we were limited to a maximum of three, the Queen’s researchers elected into the inaugural College cohort are great representatives of the diverse range of leading edge and innovative research being undertaken by our younger colleagues across our campus.”

Pascale Champagne (l), Morten Nielsen and Una D'Elia were honoured by the Royal Society of Canada.

The three new members include:

Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering) is an innovative and collaborative researcher rapidly establishing herself as an expert in the development of alternate water and waste management technologies and sustainable environmental approaches with a focus on integrated bioresource management.  “I am honoured to receive this prestigious award,” says Dr. Champagne. “The award will create new collaborative research opportunities and allow me to develop new synergies with other researchers, and contribute to Canada’s ability to manage bioresources in a manner that is both sustainable and supportive of economic development.”

Una D’Elia (Art History), a leading scholar in the elucidation of Renaissance art. Her award-winning and critically acclaimed publications are lauded internationally for revealing new interpretations of such famous artists as Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael.

“I take this award as validation of the importance and relevance of the study of the arts and humanities,” says Dr. D’Elia. “On a personal level, I am particularly proud to be able to have my two girls see their mother receiving this honour.”

Morten Nielsen (Economics), the Canada Research Chair in Time Series Econometrics and the David Chadwick Smith Chair in the Department of Economics. Dr. Nielsen is a research leader in econometrics, the field of study focused on developing methods for the statistical analysis of economic data.

“I am delighted to be inducted into the RSC College. Being recognized by your peers in this way is a great honour, and I am both humbled and thrilled,” says Dr. Nielsen.

For information on the New College, visit the website.

QSII win a boost for young entrepreneurs

Mosaic Manufacturing
Team members of Mosaic Manufacturing, from left, Mitch Debora, Derek Vogt, Danny Lloyd, Heather Evans and Chris Labelle, celebrate after taking the top prize in the Queen's Summer Innovation Initiative. Photo by Jim McLellan

After four months of planning, preparation and development, the students in the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative (QSII) made their final pitch presentations to a panel of judges. In front of a roomful of professors, peers, media and industry professionals, each business team made the case why their company should take the top prize. For a precious few minutes they succinctly explained their product, what they had achieved so far, and what they planned on doing with the money at stake before being needled with tough questions from the judges.  

For the summer break, the students assembled into small teams and were given a crash course in entrepreneurship, innovation and business management before brainstorming an idea for a start-up business. With $2,500 in seed money each team set about building and designing their businesses from the ground up, collaborating and competing with each other along the way.

“The students make real companies and they run them independently, generating commercial revenue,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Queen’s Innovator Connector, who oversees QSII. “It’s a program that we wanted to be as realistic as possible, giving students a chance for experiential learning outside of the classroom. They’re learning how to create and manage businesses; we’ve just removed some of the risks of entrepreneurship.”
To make QSII more available to a broader group of students, those participating are paid a stipend while they work on their businesses.

“Paying our students to participate makes us an anomaly in university entrepreneur internships. Neglecting to pay the students or making the students pay to participate creates a program that’s only accessible to those with the means to do so. This way we have the greatest number of applicants, making for a more intense competition process.”

Once up and running, the student-companies created products such as crowdfunding websites, hospital sanitization devices and a microbrewery. The team who took the top prize, Mosaic Manufacturing, invented an addition to consumer 3D printers, dramatically improving their ability to print in colour.

Winning the competition netted them a $40,000 prize to further build their business.

“After months of hard work, it’s fantastic to take first place,” says Chris Labelle (Comm’14). “We have access to excellent facilities and resources here at Queen’s and we couldn’t have won without the support we’ve received.”

Working out of the Integrated Learning Centre in Beamish-Munro Hall, all the QSII teams had access to SparQ Labs, a makerspace that has tools, fabricators and a milling machine to create their products. SparQ Labs is also accessible to Queen’s students throughout the academic year.

Mosaic and some of the other competitors have now moved their offices and operations to Innovation Park where they’ll continue to work on their products. For Mosaic, they have a clear plan of what to do next that includes hiring more staff, further developing their device and creating a crowdfunding campaign. Things don’t end there though, because they have big goals for the future. “We’ve spoken to a lot of people who have ideas about what they want to use 3D printers for, and the technology just isn’t there yet,” Mr. Labelle says. “We hope one day you can print anything you can imagine, and we want to help make that happen.”

This article is published in the Sept. 9 edition of the Gazette. Pick up your copy of the newspaper at one of the many locations around campus. Follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette.

New courses focus on experiential learning

The 2014-15 academic year comes with a host of new course offerings from the Queen’s faculties, many of which have been adapted to new teaching subjects and practices.

“Queen’s makes providing students a transformative learning experience a top priority,” says Dr. Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “We’re proud that our faculties are constantly enhancing their offerings, whether in terms of bringing in new research in the field, integrating transferable skills or expanding experiential opportunities in the classroom. Every semester brings fresh ideas and innovative pedagogies.”

The following are a selection of new Queen’s courses.

Faculty of Arts and Science

HIST 212 - Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
Offers credit for non-academic work in historical practice at locations such as museums, archives, historic sites, etc. Students must write a proposal prior to the work experience and a report after its completion.

RELS 268 - Religion and Bioethics
Studies the moral and religious norms of ethical judgment in bio-medicine; specific issues will be chosen such as population control, abortion, genetic control, experimentation, consent, behaviour control, death and euthanasia.

Faculty of Education

GDPI 811 – Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Helps students develop a foundational understanding of innovation in the workplace grounded in exploration of historical, sociological, and philosophical contexts and frameworks. Student will explore case studies and develop a plan of action rooted in the particular needs of their workplace.

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

APSC 223 – Global Project Management at the Castle
Covers the knowledge areas and processes of project management with a focus on a practical and applied approach. The course utilizes the global city of London, its engineering firms, experts, practitioners and massive engineering undertakings (The Shard, Cross-Rail, the Eurotunnel, the Thames Barrier, etc.) to investigate the problems, challenges and successes of managing global engineering projects.

CIVL 372 – Water and Wastewater Engineering
Introduces the general concepts of water/wastewater engineering for the protection of human and ecosystem health. Alternative and innovation urban water management strategies will be discussed and emerging issues for water managers will be introduced.

Faculty of Health Sciences

The Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS) program has been improved for its second year of operation. Along with a full slate of courses in an Arts and Science Honours degree program, QuARMS students now have access to additional courses in topics like Population and Global Health and Skin and Special Senses. Continuing this year will be the First Patient Project, where students are partnered with and learn from a patient in the community, as well as Patient Contact in Internal Medicine, where students work with an internal medicine physician on the examination and observation skills. 

Faculty of Law

LAW 527 – Queen’s Family Law Clinic
Students provides services at the Family Law Clinic, providing legal advice, assistance, information and representation to low income individuals in the Kingston area involved with the family justice system. Instruction is provided through lectures and class discussion, simulation exercises in interviewing and advocacy and individual supervision of student casework by the clinic’s project director.

School of Business

COMM 356 – Gender and Diversity in Organizations
Studies diversity and difference in the workplace, and emphasizes the importance of equity and inclusivity in modern organizations. Classes are discussion-focused and will help students grow comfortable discussing, addressing and managing issues of gender and diversity in their careers and organizations.

COMM 433 – Marketing Analytics
Explores the technological and marketing innovations that have been enabled by the advent of “big data.” This course equips students to transform information to insight and insight into shrewd judgement, allowing them to make better marketing and resource allocation decisions. 

Staff and students prepare for orientation week

Student leaders undergo intensive pre-orientation week training to welcome new students to campus.

Faculty orientation week will have more than 1,000 student leaders on hand to welcome new students to campus.

Next week, Queen'™s will welcome approximately 4,000 new first-year students to campus and introduce them to the place that will become their home away from home.

Once students have moved into residence they begin orientation week activities. At Queen's, incoming first-year students have the option to participate in a two-part orientation week.

More than 1,000 student volunteers undergo intensive training to ensure they are equipped to prepare students for their new living and learning environment and to introduce them to the spirit that makes Queen's unique.

Arig al-Shaibah, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Learning, understands how important this training is for student leaders.

Orientation week by the numbers

More than 1,000 orientation leaders
will be on hand to offer advice and supervision

There are almost 150 SEO student volunteers, residence dons, and Residence Society members involved in university orientation

Queen'™s is welcoming 4,000 new students this fall

Each faculty orientation leader undergoes a minimum of 19 hours of training

There are 8 different faculty orientation weeks at Queen'™s

In 2013, Queen's raised $71,294.70 for Shinerama Canada

"œThe university is excited to welcome a new group of students to campus and give them an educational, inclusive, safe and enjoyable introduction to life on campus and the Kingston community," she says. "To do this, all of our student organizers and leaders receive training to handle a variety of situations in many different areas such as inclusivity, safety, accessibility and mental health."

The first part of the week, university orientation, begins with the Queen's Welcomes U event, the evening of Sunday, Aug. 31, after residence move-in. University orientation days continue on Monday, Sept. 1 and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

University orientation days are co-ordinated by the Student Affairs staff in the Student Experience Office (SEO) who work with Residence Life staff and dons, Residence Society members, and the AMS First Years Not In Residence (FYNIR) student group to ensure students living in residence and off-campus are introduced to their new home and life at Queen'™s and in Kingston.

After university orientation, new students can take part in their faculty-specific orientation days, which run Wednesday, Sept. 3 through Saturday, Sept. 6. Events during faculty orientation days are co-ordinated by the AMS Orientation Roundtable (ORT), comprising student leader representatives from all faculties and schools, as well as incoming exchange, transfer and Bader International Study Centre students.

"œTraining for faculty orientation week leaders is a fundamental part of equipping these students with the knowledge needed to assist in achieving the goals of our orientation week," says Erin Maguire, AMS Orientation Roundtable Co-ordinator. "The AMS looks forward to helping provide incoming students with a solid foundation for a successful academic and social transition to Queen's."

For more information on orientation week at Queen's, visit http://www.queensu.ca/orientation/. More information on the inclusivity and accessibility training provided to all orientation leaders can be found on the Accessibility Hub.

Ready to rove on Mars

Queen's post-doctoral fellow Brian Lynch operates the Mars Exploration Science Rover at Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Que. Photo courtesy Canadian Space Agency

By Andrew Carroll, Gazette editor

A Queen’s researcher is getting a taste of what it is like to be part of a Mars Rover mission.

Postdoctoral fellow Brian Lynch is the lone Queen’s representative on a team of students, primarily from Western University, taking part in the simulated mission, in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, replicating as many aspects of a real space exploration mission as possible.

Over a period of two weeks, the team is remotely operating the Mars Exploration Science Rover (MESR) on an analogue (substitute) Martian terrain at the John H. Chapman Space Centre in Saint-Hubert, Que. The aim of the mission is to collect rock and soil samples to be returned to Earth.

The aim of the program, however, is to get hands-on training for students working on planetary exploration.

Dr. Lynch explains that researchers at Western's Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) act as “mission control” and make decisions about what kind of scientific operations will be conducted, including taking images, laser scans and core samples. After confirming with the engineering team if the plans are feasible, operations are then carried out and the results are uploaded for the science team at the end of the day.

This matches how a real Mars mission unfolds as the delay in radio transmission over such a great distance means live control is impossible.

Dr. Lynch himself is heading up the rover team that helps perform operations and acts as a stand-in for particular science instruments that are not currently installed on the rover.

“Working on this Mars analogue mission with the Canadian Space Agency has been a great experience and has helped me develop important skills,” he says. “Space exploration is a passion of mine and I am looking forward to applying this knowledge in future deployments on Earth as well as real missions to the moon, Mars, and other interesting places in our solar system.”

The Mars Rover is a six-wheeled vehicle with a robotic arm equipped with a microscope and mini-corer to drill into rocks, take samples and perform analysis of rocks. It also can produce 3D maps of the terrain.

Back on the ground at Queen’s, Dr. Lynch is part of the Mining Systems Laboratory, headed up by Joshua Marshall. The multidisciplinary lab, based in mining engineering but also associated with mechanical and electrical and computer engineering, focuses on robotic mining and planetary exploration and development technologies.

Called Technologies and Techniques for Earth and Space Exploration the mission is part of a Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Student entrepreneurs get innovative

Hasina Daya (Artsci'14) provides an update on her team’s start-up business, Cellblock Brewery, during a 3-2-1 meeting that is held weekly as part of the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative. University Communications

This article is published in the Aug. 12 edition of the Gazette. Pick up your copy of the newspaper at one of the many locations around campus.

By Andrew Carroll, Gazette editor

Friday mornings throughout the summer there is a group of students who gather in Beamish-Munro Hall. Divided into teams, they take their turn at the front of Room 313 and provide a progress report on their projects.

This is a 3-2-1 meeting. They have three slides, two minutes for presentation and one minute for questions.

These are young entrepreneurs and they are taking part in the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative (QSII).
Run by the Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC), the program brings together students from a number of faculties, as well as St. Lawrence College, with a range of backgrounds. Their goal, however, is the same – to plan and create a product and then make it market-ready.

From a device providing digital video in boreholes deep in the earth to a microbrewery drawing upon Kingston’s a prison town heritage to an electronic device cleaner for hospitals, the projects are imaginative and diverse.

QIC itself was established in 2012 as a collaboration between Queen’s School of Business and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The aim, along with that of QSII, is to build on the university’s strengths “in cultivating ideas and fueling discoveries.”

It is clear within a few presentations at the 3-2-1 meeting that those goals are being met.

Leading the way at the QSII are Jim McLellan, QIC’s Academic Director, professor and head of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry, Greg Bavington, QIC’s Executive Director, and Alix Murphy, QSII Co-ordinator. University Communications

Leading the way at the QSII are the trio of Greg Bavington, QIC’s Executive Director, Jim McLellan, QIC’s Academic Director, professor and head of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry, and Alix Murphy, QSII Co-ordinator. The 16-week paid internship program, now in its third year, is aimed at advancing innovation and entrepreneurship and each summer has a fresh crop of bright minds, eager to see their ideas come to fruition.

While there are similar programs at other schools, QSII differentiates itself in the breadth of programming and that it is a pan-university effort. Instead of belonging to a particular faculty the QIC reports to the Provost. There is tangible support from all the major faculties and even the Alma Mater Society.
In a short time, the team has seen a lot of progress.

“I’d say we’ve leap-frogged most of them,” says Mr. Bavington when comparing QSII to similar programs in Canada. “We don’t have the track record, we don’t have the scale but I’d say our programming is exceptional and at the leading edge.”

For example, Mr. Bavington and Dr. McLellan recently attended a symposium in Massachusetts where the organizers offered a list of around 20 best practices for on-campus incubation. QSII had already implemented all of them on its own.

One is that the teams are formed by the students themselves, rather than being pre-selected by the directors. The reason for this is simple: while there may be some hurt feelings and awkward moments for the students, it mirrors what really happens in the private sector.

That’s experiential learning and that is key to the program. It is not an academic certificate course and isn’t run as such. The projects really are start-ups and there are no grades.

The teams do not work in isolation either. While there is plenty of competition, with a $30,000 first prize on the line to help grow the team’s business, there also is a massive amount of collaboration. The weekly meetings are an example. Not only are the teams giving a progress report, they are turning to their peers for ideas, support, and perhaps most importantly, constructive criticism. Teams and individuals are held to account.

“They enjoy problem solving and they enjoy brainstorming and they enjoy critical thinking and they enjoy creativity,” Dr. McLellan says. “And where you will see that is in these 3-2-1 presentations where each venture will say ‘here is what we have done, here is our timeline and here are some of the obstacles.’ They just sort of put it out there and they get feedback. Everyone understands that it is time for a constructive but potentially critical feedback.”

Now with the third group of students working on projects, the team is confident in saying that there is a large amount of interest in such a program and that Queen’s students are showing that they are self-starters and bring a strong mix of initiative, creativity and critical thinking to the table. Yet, they aren’t perfect, Mr. Bavington says.

“One of the things that I’ve learned personally is that I am absolutely convinced not only is there a lot of pent-up demand, there’s a lot of talent in these young people” he says. “They’ve got a ton of talent, they’re nice kids, they’re well-intentioned kids, they’re bright, eager, highly motivated, they’re organized and they’re fun. But one of the weaknesses that they have is that they have failed very rarely in their lives.”

Many of the students have been the top of their class throughout their education. The QSII program will challenge them like never before and by the time the program is over there are plenty of students who realize that entrepreneurship is not for them.

However, they will have gained much.

“Some of the important qualities for entrepreneurship are thinking on your feet, being able to say something succinctly, take an idea, figure out what you don’t know, what you don’t know and being able to go dig and figure out what you need to know,” Dr. McLellan says. “Those are all sorts of critical thought qualities you want in students anyway.”

Making the connection

EngQonnect from Queen's Engineering on Vimeo.

By Anne Craig, Communications Officer
 
Maria Lahiffe, outreach coordinator in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS), is preparing a full schedule of event and activities for the EngQonnect program with the support of a $40,000 Innovation Generation grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation.
 
The engineering outreach programs include Go ENG Girl, Take Your Kids to Work Day and the Emphasis on Engineering program.
 
Go Eng Girl encourages female youth to get involved in engineering.
“We want youth from across Canada to come to Queen’s to study engineering,” explains Ms. Lahiffe. “We are sending engineers into schools, we are supporting the engineering students currently attending Queen’s and we are partnering with the Faculty of Education to bring our programs to the wider community.”
 
To help her raise the engineering program profile, Ms. Lahiffe is providing paid and volunteer opportunities for engineering students and a chance for Grade 4 to 12 students to experience engineering in a variety of ways:
  • Go ENG Girl on Oct. 25 is being co-hosted by Queen’s and the Royal Military College of Canada. It is a chance for girls in grades 7-10 and their parents to visit Queen’s campus, meet engineers and engineering students, and learn what career opportunities await anyone who chooses to study engineering. Admission is free and lunch is included.
  • Take Your Kids to Work Day is running Nov. 5. Youth in Grade 9 can spend part of the day at Queen’s and learn about engineering. Admission is $30, which includes lunch. Subsidies are available.
  • Emphasis on Engineering is a workshop that will be offered in two versions: one for Grade 11/12 students and another for Grade 7/8 students. It is a great chance for youth to meet engineering students and learn how to be an engineer. The workshop will appeal to creative students who enjoy a challenge. The program has different costs depending on age and length of workshop, and subsidies are available.
  • Queen’s students will also visit elementary and secondary school classrooms to lead hands-on engineering problem-solving activities that are linked to curriculum expectations in math, science and careers. Teachers in Kingston are encouraged to contact Queen’s for information.
“We want to help our engineer students develop professionally,” Ms. Lahiffe says. “It’s a chance for them to expand their communication and leadership skills and learn to work with people who do not have a technical background. It’s a chance for them to pass their love of engineering along to others. They need to be passionate about what they do.”
 
For more information visit the EngQonnect website.

Student builds backyard dream

By Andrew Stokes, Communications Officer

With some scrap wood and a whole lot of ambition, David Chesney (Sc’17) set out four years ago to build a roller-coaster in his parents’ backyard in Thornhill, Ont. His labour of love, which he has dubbed “The Minotaur,” is finally complete, running on 92 feet of track and reaching 12 feet in height.

“I had some extra wood lying around and wanted to see what I could do. I’ve always loved and been fascinated by roller-coasters, so I decided to try to make one,” Chesney says. “I hadn’t taken physics, hadn’t done much math and I hadn’t even used a power tool before, but I started sawing and putting things together. Before I knew it I had a track, but it didn’t really work.”

Chesney tweaked his designs, tinkering away, making his coaster bigger and bigger. At first he enlisted his parents to take him to Home Depot to buy new parts and materials, but eventually he was sourcing steel and lumber to find the best price.

Chesney took on a summer job to help pay for his project. “I was working at Canada’s Wonderland, saving up my money so that I could go home and spend it on my own coaster. It was a funny circle that way.”

After completing his first year of engineering at Queen’s, he brought a wealth of knowledge to bear on his roller-coaster. “I suddenly understood why certain things worked and why others didn’t,” he says with a laugh. “There were principles I was following without knowing why, but the physics I’ve learnt have given me a much deeper understanding of the forces at work. Physics class convinced me to adjust the orientation of the seat to get more potential energy on the hills.”

 

When on campus away from his roller-coaster project, Chesney finds other things to fill his time. He has experimented with computer programming and, during exams, he built an iPhone app. He also likes to spend his free time in SparQ Labs, the first “makerspace” on a Canadian campus where students can work on projects and share resources.

“I’m always coming up with a new project, and SparQ Labs are the one of the best places on campus for people who want to build something,” he says. “It gives me a space to be creative and is a great way to keep my mind busy.”

Hoping for a future in the amusement industry, Chesney decided to make his own experience. “There’s no program anywhere for learning to build rides, but it’s what I want to do with my engineering degree,” he says. “As an engineer I want to make people happy and this seems like a great way to do it.”

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