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Engineering and Applied Science

Global entrepreneurship network expands to Shanghai

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre’s Global Network program helps budding entrepreneurs find their feet in the economic capitals of the world.

Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, presents in Shanghai. (Supplied Photo)

Freshly minted Queen’s entrepreneurs looking to get their start in Asia now have some additional support.

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC)’s Global Network, a group of alumni and senior business leaders around the world, has added a network node in Shanghai. The node marks the fifth link in the Global Network, and the first in Asia.

“A node in Shanghai is the next logical step for us, and will be a boost to our ability to support entrepreneurship and innovation activities at Queen’s and beyond,” says Greg Bavington (Sc’85), Executive Director of the DDQIC. “Our growing network will help entrepreneurs emerging from our program solidify their manufacturing strategy and tap into one of the world’s largest markets.”

Joining Queen’s in Shanghai for the announcement of the node was Iris Technologies, a startup launched by Colin Harding (Com’17) and Conor Ross (Sc’16). The company is focused on solving the problem those with a concussion, migraine, or eyestrain often have when using computers. The company is in the midst of implementing a manufacturing strategy for the region.

“As a technology company looking to grow sales and expand its manufacturing capabilities, doing business in Asia is almost a necessity,” says Mr. Ross. “It is my hope that this Global Network node will help hardware startups tackle their biggest challenge – bringing a high-quality product to market – and to achieve this faster and with better products. We are grateful for the support of the DDQIC team and their efforts to support entrepreneurs like us.”

The Queen’s China Liaison Office, located in Shanghai, and the department of Alumni Relations are supporting the recruitment of the first volunteer members of this new node. The China Liaison office was founded in 2007 and its existence underscores the importance of the country to Queen’s global ambitions, says Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien.

“Building relationships in China is a priority for Queen’s,” says Ms. O’Brien. “The university sent 47 students on exchanges to China in 2016-2017, and has almost 300 identified alumni in mainland China. The Shanghai node of the Global Network is an exciting opportunity to engage our strong and committed Queen’s alumni community in building Queen’s-China connections, and to leverage and recognize their talents by making them an integral partner to what we are doing.”

The DDQIC, Alumni Relations, and Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International) are seeking Shanghai-based alumni, business leaders, and other supporters who are willing to volunteer their time advising and assisting Queen’s student entrepreneurs. In addition to supporting alumni entrepreneurs as they seek to build connections globally, the network also helps review the pitches of student entrepreneurs who are a part of the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative program.

Those interested in participating in the Global Network program or learning more about it should visit the DDQIC’s website.

Keeping up The Conversation

It’s a simple, but powerful, formula. Take one part leading academic research, add a dash of journalistic flair, and mix in a robust digital presence. It is this winning recipe that has earned The Conversation, an academic journalism website, the participation of thousands of researchers worldwide, and captured the attention of millions of citizens interested in news with a healthy dose of academic rigour.

The Conversation
Queen's is a founding member of the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation and, since its launch earlier this year, 33 articles by Queen's experts have been published.   

After a successful soft launch this summer, the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation is running at full steam, having published hundreds of researchers’ articles, including a number from Queen’s. The university is a founding member of the national news platform.

“Our participation in The Conversation relays the importance and impact of disseminating and promoting the leading-edge research and scholarship happening at Queen’s University,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “The Conversation is a powerful tool for community engagement and is already bolstering the efforts of our researchers to share their expertise and build profile.”

Over the course of the summer, over two dozen Queen’s academics contributed to The Conversation, sparking dialogue about the business of marijuana, how to improve the skills of tomorrow’s doctors, , recruiting more women to join the military, how to prevent irregular heartbeats, the meaning of The Tragically Hip’s lyrics, and more. These faculty and graduate students suggested topics, wrote columns, and submitted them to The Conversation. From there, professional journalists helped edit the articles to ensure consistency and clarity.

The Conversation’s unique model puts the researchers in the driver’s seat when sharing their expertise,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “It is increasingly important that we convey the impact of our research and ideas beyond the academy, and we believe tools such as The Conversation are filling that gap in a powerful way.”

THE STATS

The 33 articles published to date by Queen’s experts have garnered a combined 167,000 reads and 166 comments on The Conversation’s website. One of the most popular, and possibly most controversial, pieces was an article by David Maslove, Clinician Scientist with the Department of Medicine and Critical Care Program, about the need to regulate journalism in the same way his profession is regulated.

“Working with The Conversation’s editorial team was great, with turnaround times between drafts that were much faster than what I’m used to in traditional academic publishing,” says Dr. Maslove. “It was really gratifying to see the piece we created reach a wider audience and stimulate debate.”

Another notable Queen’s submission included Sarita Srivastava’s (Sociology) “I wanna be white!’ Can we change race? – a piece analyzing a recent controversy on transracialism. Dr. Srivastava’s piece led to an invitation for her to speak during a symposium on the matter held at the University of Alberta.

Sarita Srivastava
Sarita Srivastava

“Writing for The Conversation has been a wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience and to comment on current events as they are happening,” says Dr. Srivastava. “Their editor was extremely skilled in working with me to write in a more journalistic style, while maintaining scholarly content. Within days of my article’s publication, I was invited to speak at an upcoming symposium on the same topic.”

Once the articles are posted to The Conversation’s website, they are shared with a large network of Canadian and international media organizations through a “Republish” feature and posting via The Canadian Press Wire service. The work of Queen’s academics has gone on to be featured in major North American newspapers such as The Washington Post, CNN, CBS News and The National Post, magazines like Scientific American, and national dailies as far away as Australia, where The Conversation was originally founded.

“In our first three months of publication, content from The Conversation Canada has been viewed almost two million times. Combining academic expertise with journalistic storytelling means we are reaching a wide audience across Canada and around the world at a time when the public is thirsting for reliable, fact-based information,” says Scott White, editor-in-chief of The Conversation Canada. “We're very pleased that Queen's has been with us from the very beginning, including a Day One story, as well as important articles on the country's health care system and the beauty of song lyrics, to name just a few.”

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

Students hard at work supporting causes

Students gather in the Athletic and Recreation Complex for the annual Shine Day. (Supplied Photo)
Students gather in the Athletic and Recreation Complex for the annual Shine Day. (Supplied Photo)

It may be early into the new academic year but Queen’s students are already hard at work in the classroom and in the community.

”We are proud of the work that so many students are doing to improve their communities,” says Palmer Lockridge (Artsci'17), the Alma Mater Society’s Vice-President (University Affairs). “Queen’s students have a long and proud tradition of volunteerism and leading the way on fundraising and community involvement. They recognize that they are members of a broader community while at Queen’s and have a responsibility to contribute meaningfully.”

Soon after the new group of students arrived for the fall term, garishly attired engineering students fanned out into the broader Kingston area selling chocolate covered nuts in partnership with four local Rotary Clubs. This year’s “Go Nuts” fundraiser brought in $20,000 in support of a number of local charities.

The engineering students were also busy in late September with their annual “Fix’n’Clean” volunteering effort. About 360 students gave up their time to help Kingston residents in need of assistance over a weekend in September. In total, the group helped 70 members of the community with some yard work, painting, organizing, and cleaning, and they plan to do it again this winter.

"Through my position within EngSoc I have the unique opportunity of witnessing the full breadth of the events we organize to do our part in giving back,” says Jordan Pernari (Sc'19), Director of Community Outreach with the Engineering Society. “Whether it was by raising over $4,000 during our Terry Fox Run, having over 100 people join the Canadian Blood Service’s stem cell database, or doubling the number of volunteers participating in Fix’n’Clean this year from last year, our students’ kindness truly knows no bounds. I’m amazed by the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response we’ve seen so far."

Also in September, the Shinerama Campaign at Queen’s got underway as part of national university-based campaigns supporting cystic fibrosis research. The campaign includes the annual Sidewalk Sale; Shine Day, which formally introduces first-years to the campaign; and a tour of the town. Campaign organizer Leah Slater (Artsci’18) with the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society says it has been a ‘successful year’ and announced a total of $96,817.34 on October 29.

One recently concluded student campaign was organized by the MBA student Charity Gala Team. Their campaign runs through the spring and summer culminates in a gala event at the end of August. This year’s campaign, in support of St. Vincent de Paul Society Kingston, raised over $20,000 – far exceeding the campaign goal of $15,000.

“It was a really positive experience and I joked that I would love to come back next year and participate again,” says Elizabeth Pratt (MBA’18), who chaired the campaign. “One of the reasons this year’s campaign was so successful is that we were able to bring the community into the campaign and drive more attendance from outside Queen’s. I hope future classes keeps building on that reputation.”

Many other clubs and groups on campus are getting organized for their charitable and community activities in the year ahead. MEDLIFE Queen’s is one group you can expect to hear from this semester, as President Rachael Allen (Artsci’18) says the club has seven fundraising events planned in the next few months. Proceeds from their campaign will support the MEDLIFE Project Fund, which is used to supply mobile clinics with medical supplies and resources for preventative medicine and medical treatment as well as development projects. The club also recruits and prepares student volunteers to head out on service trips to countries like Peru, Ecuador, Tanzania, and India.

Queen’s is also home to the only university chapter of Helping Haiti. The club works to build awareness and fundraise in support of their mother organization, with proceeds supporting first aid training, women’s self-defense and empowerment classes, a medical clinic, and the construction of community resources such as a water tower and community centre in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Haiti’s capital. Co-President Devyn Willis (Artsci’18) say, among their fundraising plans, the club will host workshops called “Tammy Talks” – discussions by the founder of Helping Haiti on her work and experience.

You will also start to see the Room to Read Queen’s Chapter kick into high gear in November as part of their annual ‘Literacy Awareness Week’. The club is affiliated with the international not-for-profit which focuses on literacy and gender equality in education in many developing countries. Co-Chairs Crista Leung (Con.Ed’18) and Kathleen Waterston (Artsci’19) say you can expect to see Room to Read’s literacy awareness campaign around campus, including posters and sales. Their biggest fundraiser takes place in January in Stauffer Library, as club members camp out as part of their “Live-in-for-Literacy” initiative.

For a full listing of clubs at Queen’s, including the many charitable clubs and their fundraising and volunteering efforts, visit myams.org/clubs-directory.  

From trash to treasure

  • Julia Fast-Grass (Artsci'20) imagines a forest without trees. (University Communications)
    Julia Fast-Grass (Artsci'20) imagines a forest without trees. (University Communications)
  • Neve Scullino (Artsci'20) brings the smoky skies to life. (University Communications)
    Neve Scullino (Artsci'20) brings the smoky skies to life. (University Communications)
  • Sara Swedberg (Artsci'20) spells out the message of their art - that we must all do our part. (University Communications)
    Sara Swedberg (Artsci'20) spells out the message of their art - that we must all do our part. (University Communications)
  • The team works together to highlight the pollution in their painted ocean. (University Communications)
    The team works together to highlight the pollution in their painted ocean. (University Communications)

It is not an obvious place you pause to look but a dumpster on campus may catch your eye this week. The garbage disposal, belonging to waste hauling company Green for Life, has been painted by a few Queen’s students seeking to remind the community about the importance of reducing the amount of waste they produce.

“We wanted the dumpster to be pretty and something people would enjoy looking at, but that would also cause them to think critically,” says Sarah Swedberg (Artsci’20), one of the artists. “Our goal was that the scenes would look like cheery depictions of life on earth, but that upon second glance show the state of our environment. Although the sad reality can seem ominous, there is hope because a lot of people making change adds up.”

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” is painted in large letters on one side of the dumpster. The other sides show scenes of smoke-filled air, garbage-filled water, and stumps where trees once stood. Ms. Swedberg, Neve Scullino (Artsci’20), and Julia Fast-Grass (Artsci’20) painted the dumpster this past weekend. The three students earned the right to put their artistic skills to this important cause by submitting the winning proposal to a Sustainability Week contest organized by Physical Plant Services.

With the students’ work complete, the beautified dumpster will now be placed in high profile area on campus to engage the community about the importance of environmentalism and their role in contributing to campus sustainability.

“An underlying theme of Waste Reduction Week at Queen’s is the idea that we all have a responsibility to the environment and that, by working together, we can have a more positive impact,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “In keeping with that spirit, this year’s activities include students, staff, our sustainability office, and our waste hauling vendor Green for Life working together towards a goal of a more sustainable campus. I want to thank them all for making this week of reflection and education possible.”

At the same time that the Queen’s community is being challenged, through the art project, with this stark environmental reality, new tools are being unveiled to help put those sustainability ideas into practice.

“Waste diversion is a significant component of the Queen’s Policy on the Environment, and our obligations under the Waste Free Ontario Act,” says Llynwen Osborne, Recycling Coordinator with Physical Plant Services and one of the contest organizers. “We’re excited to use this week, building on what we achieved during September’s Sustainability Week, to help the Queen’s community think about how they can do their part to reduce waste both in their personal lives and here at Queen’s.”

One of the new tools available to help Queen’s employees is a website you can use to help you find supplies that other departments are getting rid of, or post your own unwanted furniture, office supplies, and equipment. Recycle@Queen’s was launched by the Sustainability Office within Physical Plant Services and developed by Stephen Hunt and Paul Hiles of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Since its launch, 71 items have been listed across campus.

“My personal observation is that Queen’s shouldn’t have to buy another filing cabinet ever based on the number that are available internally for free,” says Mr. Hunt, the Director of Information Technology for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “I’m very interested in promoting the re-use of furniture and equipment on campus as it reduces overall costs for the university, reduces the carbon footprint of equipment being shuffled between offices and storage and back again, and reduces the amount of stuff going to landfill. We all want to work together, but too often the information needed isn’t available easily and widely; I hope the Recycle@Queen’s program will change that.”

To learn more about waste reduction and other sustainability initiatives, visit the Sustainability Office website.

  • This dumpster has been painted to remind the Queen's community about the importance of waste reduction and environmental protection. (University Communications)
    This dumpster has been painted to remind the Queen's community about the importance of waste reduction and environmental protection. (University Communications)
  • The front and left side of the dumpster show scenes of polluted skies and water. (University Communications)
    The front and left side of the dumpster show scenes of polluted skies and water. (University Communications)
  • The quote on the side reads, “The greatest threat to our planet is our belief that someone else will save it”. (University Communications)
    The quote on the side reads, “The greatest threat to our planet is our belief that someone else will save it”. (University Communications)
  • From the call to action, the viewer is brought full circle to the scene of a forest which has been clear cut. (University Communications)
    From the call to action, the viewer is brought full circle to the scene of a forest which has been clear cut. (University Communications)

Investing in research

QROF supports cancer research 
Last year, 20 Queen’s faculty members received QROF grants, including Parvin Mousavi (School of Computing) whose project is advancing multi-parametric imaging for augmenting the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. A recipient of the International Fund, Dr. Mousavi is working within the Advanced Multimodal Image-guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School.
According to the American and Canadian Cancer Societies, 262,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually and these numbers are expected to double by 2025 when the baby boomer generation reaches the age of peak prevalence. Dr. Mousavi’s research will contribute to better diagnoses and risk stratification of prostate cancer, and help decrease its mortality and morbidity.

Letters of intent are being requested for two funding competitions open to researchers and scholars at Queen’s University – the 2017-2018 Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds (QROF) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Institutional Grant (SIG) competitions.

The QROF provides researchers and scholars financial support to accelerate their programs and research goals, and offers opportunities to leverage external funding to build on areas of institutional research strength. Through a federal government block grant provided to Queen’s by SSHRC, the recently-redesigned SIG competition supports social sciences and humanities researchers with funding for research project development, pilot study work, or to attend or run knowledge-mobilization activities like workshops, seminars or scholarly conferences.

“Championing research and scholarly excellence is a cornerstone of our mission at Queen’s University,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “The QROF competition allows us to make our largest internal investment in research, scholarship and innovation by supporting researchers striving to take their work to the next level. With SSHRC's recent redesign of the allotment of funding from the SIG, we are poised to reinvigorate research in the social sciences and humanities, further strengthening scholarship in the SSHRC disciplines."

The QROF competition consists of four funds:

  • The Research Leaders’ Fund – for strategic institutional commitments to aspirational research in support of the university’s research strengths and priorities
  • The International Fund – to assist in augmenting the university’s international reputation through increased global engagement
  • The Arts Fund – designed to support artists and their contributions to the scholarly community and to advancing Queen’s University
  • The Post-Doctoral Fund – to both attract outstanding post-doctoral fellows to Queen’s and to support their contributions to research and to the university

The SIG competition provides funding through two granting programs:

  • SSHRC Explore Grants – support social sciences and humanities researchers at any career stage with funds to allow for small-scale research project development or pilot work, or to allow for participation of students in research projects
  • SSHRC Exchange Grants – support the organization of small-scale knowledge mobilization activities in order to encourage collaboration and dissemination of research results both within and beyond the academic community, as well as allow researchers to attend or present research at scholarly conferences and other venues to advance their careers and promote the exchange of ideas

The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) has issued calls for letters of intent, and successful candidates will be invited to submit a full application. Information on each of the funds and the application processes can be found on the on the website of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research). For more information, email ferrism@queensu.ca.

Alumnus, professor and, now, dean

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Kevin Deluzio
Kevin Deluzio became the dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science on July 1. Previously, he served as the head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s. (University Communications)

Kevin Deluzio became the dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science on July 1. Most recently Dr. Deluzio was the head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s and has established a state of the art human motion performance laboratory at Hotel Dieu Hospital. The Gazette had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Dean Deluzio about his early experiences in the position, his goals for the coming year, and to learn a bit more about him.

Since becoming dean, what have you learned about Queen’s and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science that you didn’t know before?

“One of the things I have done since becoming dean is I invited all the faculty members to have individual meetings and the response has been amazing. Through these meetings I’ve learned about the incredible breadth of work that is being done and the most exciting part is we have so many international leaders working at the boundaries of what would be considered traditional engineering disciplines. The other thing that I’ve learned a lot about is the incredible group of people we have who are involved in our support services for undergraduate students, particularly at the first-year level where the change is the largest. I am amazed by this incredible, dedicated group, who provide all levels of support including academic, and mental health counselling. We’re very proactive in this way and I also think we set the standard across the nation in terms of the services that we have that pick students up after they stumble. It’s incredible. I’ve really been blown away by that.”

You have an extensive background with Queen’s as an alumnus and faculty member for more than 10 years as well as being the former head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and director of the Human Mobility Research Laboratory. Do you think this helps you in your new role?

“Absolutely. If you take a look at what the role of a dean is it’s to provide leadership to help our students, our faculty, and our staff to achieve their very best. That’s really what I am here to do and I have experience in all of those areas. Teaching here at Queen’s has made me aware of excellence of our students. The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science attracts the very best from across the country and internationally. As a researcher, by establishing a lab here at Queen’s, building it to somewhat of an international reputation, I’m aware of the challenges new faculty face and that is really one area that I have a lot of passion for, providing the environment for our new faculty to succeed and help them over those hurdles and barriers to start research programs. Through my experience as a department head I have learned what you can do as an academic leader and the kind of difference you can make for students, staff, and faculty members. That will inform me in my work as dean in the sense that you have the ability to broaden and make that influence more impactful. As an alumnus, my love for Queen’s runs very deep. My pride in the engineering faculty is something that is palpable to those I work with. Honestly, I’m humbled and honoured by this opportunity to serve my faculty, to serve in this role. I think that enthusiasm and my passion will come through to the students, to the alumni, to all the stakeholders. I think that is a real strength that I will bring to this role.”

What are your priorities for the year ahead?

“There are really three main priorities: to strengthen research impact; engineering student experience; and increasing diversity within the faculty. 

“If we look out my window at the construction site for the Innovation and Wellness Centre (IWC) we are looking at the largest expansion to the engineering program in the last 15 years. About a third of the IWC is dedicated to engineering and that includes both research space and undergraduate programming. That differs very much from Beamish-Munro Hall, which was formed as a new way to provide undergraduate programming to engineering students. The IWC will enhance the overlap between undergraduate programming, world-leading research centres and innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We are going through an exciting time of faculty renewal. That gives us an incredible opportunity to increase the diversity of our faculty. When it comes to engineering it is clear that we need more diverse points of view to provide better solutions to the complex problems that engineers face.”

For those who do not know you, what should they know about you?

“I’m a very proud father of three children, one of whom is in second year of university, and I have a very supportive wife. I am passionate about sailing. I took up sailing when I moved here 10 years ago, and I think it is a metaphor for much of what we do in life. There is also a lot of engineering at work in sailing. For me it is a great way to relieve stress – it is the most relaxing thing I do. You can’t sail well unless your mind is completely on it. It takes your full everything – your mind, your body – and therefore any kind of troubles in the day, when you’re on the water, go away and you focus on sailing.”

Canada’s largest STEM scholarships name Queen's recipients

Schulich Leader Scholarships names four Queen’s University recipients.

Four Queen’s University students have been named recipients of Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) scholarships, the Schulich Leader Scholarships.

Seymour Schulich spoke at Queen's University last year at the opening of a new rare book collection.

Johann Sapim of Toronto, Ontario and Laure Halabi of Whitby, Ontario are studying engineering and will each receive $100,000 over their four years of study. Ryley Molloy of Lindsay, Ontario and Jacob Meadus of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland will each receive $80,000 towards their undergraduate studies at Queen’s. Mr. Malloy and Mr. Meadus are both pursuing their Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree.

Created in 2011 by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, this annual scholarship program encourages high school graduates to embrace STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in their future careers.

Laure Halabi

“Schulich Leader scholarship recipients are the best and brightest STEM students in Canada,” says Mr. Schulich.  “I truly believe that many of these students will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of technology innovators.”

This year, there were over 1,300 Schulich Leader nominees from across Canada vying for 50 scholarships, valued at up to $100,000 each. Since inception, 270 students have received this scholarship.

Jacob Meadus

“The Schulich scholarships are another example of Seymour Schulich’s outstanding commitment to post-secondary education in Canada,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “This award is highly competitive and we are proud to have four winners again this year. This is a perfect example of the high quality of first-year students studying at Queen’s University.”

Mr. Molloy says he felt a great feeling of relief with the lifting of the financial burden associated with post-secondary studies which enhances his ability to succeed while Ms. Sapim says the scholarship shows that people can achieve their goals through hard work.

“Receiving the Schulich Leader scholarship has served for me as a confirmation to this idea. I hope that my experience can inspire others to never give up on their goals, their ideas and most of all themselves. Everyone has the potential to accomplish great things; you just have to be willing to set your mind to it,” says Ms. Sapim.

Ryley Molloy

Mr. Meadus calls the Schulich Scholarship his “golden ticket” adding the funding will make all of his life aspirations accessible and possible. Living on campus, studying abroad, attending such a prestigious institution as Queen's, all of these things – once vivid pipe dreams – are now my reality. I am truly blessed.”

Johann Sapim

“I cannot begin to describe how much this scholarship has changed my family's life and mine. It has provided me with the foundation and support that I needed to fulfill my dream of becoming an engineer and change the world. My family and I are forever grateful for this incredible opportunity,” says Ms. Halabi, who was born in Lebanon and speaks English and Arabic.

“Both Seymour Schulich and Queen’s University want to help develop the leaders of tomorrow, and we are delighted to welcome these four exceptional students to campus. We are grateful to the Schulich Foundation for its commitment to supporting these students in their post-secondary pursuits,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs.

For more information on the scholarships and full profiles of the Queen’s recipients visit the website.

Supporting new scientific discoveries

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has provided a combined $14,808,621 million in funding to over 70 Queen’s researchers through the flagship Discovery Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships, and Research Tools and Instruments Grants programs. The funding received will enable researchers to carry out innovative research projects over the next one to five years in fields ranging from particle astrophysics to mechanical engineering.

“This funding provided by NSERC provides crucial support to long-term, ongoing programs of research,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “This allows researchers the flexibility to pursue promising new avenues and address higher-risk topics with the potential for tremendous rewards. The process is highly competitive, and the success of our researchers in receiving this funding speaks to both the significant potential of their programs and the leading expertise of the researchers themselves.”

NSERC’s Discovery Grants Program aims to promote and maintain high-quality Canadian research in the areas of natural sciences and engineering by fostering excellence and promoting scientific innovation. Notable recipients include Philip Jessop (Chemistry), Ryan Martin (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) and Virginia Walker (Biology).

Dr. Jessop has received $619,400 for a project aimed at developing new means of recycling waste CO2 collected from power plants and other industrial processes. This research could lead to the development of methods to produce needed chemicals in a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

Dr. Martin has received $225,000 to support a team of researchers in developing and testing new particle detectors made of high-purity germanium. These detectors will be used in large-scale particle astrophysics experiments, such as the MAJORANA and MINER experiments, to help answer some of the most challenging questions in particle physics and further cement Canada’s status as a leader in the discipline.

Dr. Walker has received $300,000 to examine the role anti-freeze proteins play in protecting plants and animals from cold-related cell damage and in immune response. She proposes that a more thorough understanding of how these proteins function could assist in developing crops that are better able to withstand freeze damage, as well as improved techniques for the cryopreservation of tissues.

In addition, three Queen’s researchers were awarded Discovery Accelerator Supplements. Valued at $120,000 over three years, these grants serve to provide additional support for researchers who show potential to become international leaders in their fields. The additional funding aims to accelerate their potential progress and maximize the impact of top calibre research. Recipients include Leon Boegman (Civil Engineering), Julian Ortiz (Mining), and Ryan Martin (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy).

Notably, Dr. Mark Chen received $2.6 million from the Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants program, and another 14 researchers received a combined $1.8 million to assist in acquiring tools and equipment necessary to carry out their research.

A further 20 doctoral research students were awarded scholarships with a combined total of $1.9 million over a two to three year period. Nine of these recipients were awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Graduate Scholarship, a prestigious award aimed at nurturing the research leaders of tomorrow.

For the full list of Discovery and Research Tools and Instruments program recipients from Queen's University, see below.

 

Discovery and SAP-Individual/Project Awards:

Andrew, Robert
Banfield, Bruce
Barthelme, Thomas
Boegman, Leon
Chen, Mark
Dean, Thomas
Evans, P Andrew
Fam, Amir
Gallivan, Jason
Gee, Katrina
Genikomsou, Aikaterini
Ghasemlou, Nader
Graham, TC Nicholas
Green, Mark
Hollenstein, Tom
Hudon, Nicolas
Jerkiewicz, Gregory
Jessop, Philip
Lai, Yongjun
Levin, Yuri

MacDougall, Colin
Martin, Ryan
Mosey, Nicholas
Moyes, Christopher
Oko, Richard
Ortiz, Julián
Oteafy, Sharief
Peppley, Brant
Raptis, Leda
Rau, Wolfgang
Robertson, Robert
Rowe, R Kerry
Scott, Neal
Smol, John
Surgenor, Brian
Taylor, Peter
Troje, Nikolaus
Walker, Virginia
Zou, Ying

 

Discovery Accelerator Supplements:
Boegman, Leon
Martin, Ryan
Ortiz, Julian

 

Northern Research Supplement:
John Smol

 

Research Tools & Instruments Awards (RTI) and RTI-SAP Awards:

Amsden, Brian
Beninger, Richard
Cunningham, Michael
Davies, Theresa
Di Stefano, Philippe
Fichtinger, Gabor
Flanagan, John

Hassanein, Hossam
Jessop, Philip
Lafreniere, Melissa
Lougheed, Stephen
Plaxton, William
Smith, Steven
Take, William

 

Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships:
Bagherzadeh, Mojtaba
Bonafiglia, Jacob
Jeronimo, Mark
Lamontagne, Steven
Neeteson, Nathan
Rygus, Jason
Sikora, James
Van De Ven, Cole
Vance, Tyler

 

NSERC Postgraudate Scholarships:
Brault, Andre
Coulson, Jeremy
Fernandes, Suzette
Gushulak, Cale
Mangardich, Haykaz
Peoples, Jacob
Raveendran, Joshua
Sivarajah, Branaavan
Stortini, Christine
Welte, Lauren Kelsey Marie
Wright, Timothy

A Royal honour

Three Queen’s University professors were granted the honour today of being elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), one of the highest honours for Canadian academics in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

The three fellows, Richard Bathurst, Anne Croy and Robert Morrison, have a wide range of research interests including civil engineering, reproductive sciences and literature, which demonstrative of the range of research expertise and excellence found across campus.

“The three newly elected fellows have made important contributions to their respective fields and represent a diverse mix of areas of study,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Having the RSC recognize these three scholars is an honour and I join the university community in congratulating them.”

Richard Bathurst

Richard Bathurst (Civil Engineering) – Professor Bathurst has made contributions to the advancement and understanding of modern civil engineering geosynthetic reinforced earth retaining structures and slopes. Cross-appointed to the Royal Military College of Canada, his work demonstrates a multi-disciplinary approach to the design, analysis and sustainability of these structures.

“We don’t work for awards so this is a true honour,” says Professor Bathurst. “It’s really a recognition for a lifetime of work in my field. I’m humbled.”

Anne Croy

Anne Croy (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) – Dr. Croy is a world-leader in reproductive sciences and has made seminal contributions with her descriptions of uterine Natural Killer (uNK) cells recruited to the uterus in early pregnancy. Most complications of human pregnancy are linked with incomplete remodeling of vessels called spiral arteries – a process initiated by the uNK cell.

“Only the very best get recognized and I was truly shocked to be nominated,” says Dr. Croy. “This type of award is the crown jewel for my career.”

Robert Morrison

 

Robert Morrison (English) – Dr. Morrison is a leading scholar of British Romantic literature, and the world’s foremost authority on the nineteenth-century English essayist and opium addict Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859).

“I was really gobsmacked to win this award,” says Dr. Morrison. “It’s really a type of validation for my work. I’ve won awards for teaching in the past but this is for research. Being named a Fellow gives me confidence to keep forging ahead.”

The Royal Society of Canada is the senior and most prestigious academic society in Canada. Members represent a wide range of academic fields, including the arts, social and natural sciences and humanities. Candidates can be nominated by existing members, seconded by at least two others, or by one of the society's member institutions. Existing members of the society then vote to elect the next cohort of fellows. Election to the society is considered one of the highest honours in Canadian academia.

For more information visit the RSC’s website.

Mean green protein

 'Team Duckweed' features, from left, Alex Stothart, Hana Chaudhury, Gilad Streiner, Santiago Spencer, and Rachel Amirault. These five Queen's students are participating in the Queen's Innovation Connector Summer Initiative, which is helping to kickstart their business. (Supplied Photo)

It’s full of protein and fibre. It’s a leafy green, and a rich source of Vitamin A and B. It’s a hearty plant – you could even say it grows like a weed.

The one remaining question on the mind of Queen’s students Hana Chaudhury (Comm’18), Rachel Amirault (Sc’18), Gilad Streiner (Artsci’17, Sc’17), Alex Stothart (Sc’18), and Santi Spencer (Sc’18) is: would you like to try some duckweed?

“We initially came across duckweed as a commercial opportunity from [an industry trend report] that highlighted alternative, plant-based protein sources,” explains Hana. “After conducting research, we were surprised – and delighted – to find that duckweed as food is a largely untapped market in North America. We saw it as both a great market opportunity, and as a chance to provide a much more sustainable protein alternative with little sacrifice on nutrition and a lower environmental footprint than most plant-based protein alternatives.”

The members of ‘Team Duckweed’ are currently participating in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI), a summer-long bootcamp for budding entrepreneurs. They are using the time, and the feedback of QICSI mentors, to validate their market, conduct tests, research their product, and design the system that will eventually help them grow their crop. Hana and the team are grateful for the opportunity they have had through the QICSI program to learn these lessons and develop their business in a safe environment.

A successful expedition to gather duckweed. The next place you see it may be a store shelf near you. (Supplied Photo).

“It’s an unparalleled opportunity for young people interested in entrepreneurship,” says Hana. “We have loved having the feedback from mentors who have worked in this field and have a wealth of knowledge to provide us with, as well as the quality of the speakers and entrepreneurship education the program has provided. We quickly built a strong community with the rest of our cohort, and seeing everyone’s hard work definitely fuels the competitive fire and has pushed us to work harder.”

But, of course, before their business gets off the ground there’s that million dollar question: how does it taste?

“We have tried duckweed in small quantities and, to us, it tasted like nothing,” adds Hana. “Granted, when we taste it in larger quantities we will probably get a better sense of its taste profile. We initially began with the idea of developing a taste neutral nutritional powder that could be added to any meal in small quantities. We are exploring some other options such as incorporating it into a sauce, breads, or another food product, but are still in the process of researching what end-product consumers will gravitate towards most.”

QICSI runs until mid-August, and ‘Team Duckweed’ is one of eight teams participating in this year’s bootcamp. Learn more about QICSI at queensu.ca/innovationcentre

The next superfood? A photo of duckweed harvested by 'Team Duckweed'. (Supplied Photo)

 

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