Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Queen's University Queen's University
    Search Type

    Search form

    Engineering and Applied Science

    Choosing a path to grad school

    Queen’s Apple Math student Siobhan Powell will be starting grad school at Stanford in the fall. She’ll be working on research into mechanical applications in renewable energy. (Supplied photo)

    Fourth-year Mathematics and Engineering (Apple Math) student Siobhan Powell is whip-smart, academically talented and interested in a research field with great currency. She’s capping a very successful undergraduate career at Queen’s University this spring but grad school wasn’t always a foregone conclusion for her.

    “I didn’t plan on going when I first came here,” says Ms. Powell. “I remember, in first year when we had to choose our streams, specifically asking people about Apple Math: ‘Do you have to go to grad school or can you go directly into industry?’ because that’s what I thought I wanted to do.”

    After second year, she took a summer job in corporate finance. Ms. Powell recalls the experience as an interesting challenge but one that ultimately helped her decide that business was not where her passions lay. Rather, she felt drawn to the research and development ­of renewable energy technologies. For the summer after third year, Queen’s professor Abdol-Reza Mansouri recommended her for a research internship at Inria (L’Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique) in France. There she worked with a group on the interpretation of data signals from MRI machines.

    “I spent the first month catching up on all the literature and talking to the PhD students about their projects,” she says. “A three-month summer is very short but I got a taste of the lifestyle and what it’s like to do research.”

    That experience, coupled with her own investigation into the fields that hold special interest to her, finally led to the conclusion that research and graduate studies are right for her.

    “I developed a strong interest in wave energy and tidal energy,” she says. “I also learned that, for all the leading-edge jobs in that field, you need more than a bachelor’s degree.”

    So, armed with a strong transcript and a list of researchers with similar interests, she started the application process. She applied to five of the most prestigious universities in the world, earning and settling on a spot at Stanford University in California.

    “The professor is doing really interesting work and was really nice so I thought we would get along well,” says Ms. Powell. “The graduate students really like him and I got better funding for Stanford than any of the other schools. That turns out to be a big factor, too.”

    So after a summer of family, rest and travel, Powell is off to her next grand adventure. To anyone considering grad school, she has three pieces of advice:

    “First would be to start everything really early,” she says. “It all happens so quickly but you can find out what essays you need to write really far in advance so, if you pick a program early and start writing, you won’t have to during midterms in November.

    “Another is that the professors at Queen’s are very happy to help. I needed six references for one application so I talked to a lot of faculty and they’re all so supportive. I felt bad asking them to send so many letters but they were very helpful. I turned to them a lot for advice.

    “Finally, I’d say to be ambitious. I never thought I could get into Oxford or Cambridge or these places that sound all very far away and fancy but they want people like us to go there so they’ll pick us and it will be great,” she says with a smile. “I wasn’t very confident applying to these places and I should have been more so. So be ambitious.”

    Japan trip an intensive cross-cultural exchange

    Two Queen’s engineering students jumped at the opportunity to spend a week in Nagoya and Tokyo through the JACAC forum.

    Two important factors attracted engineering students John Lenz and Victoria Clark to the annual Japan-Canada Student Forum (JACAC): the theme of the week-long event, “Energy and Society,” and the fact that it was being held in Japan.

    Engineering students John Lenz and Victoria Clark visited the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo as part of the JACAC forum. Groups of Japanese and Canadian students gave presentations at the embassy to an audience that included Princess Takamado and Ambassador Mackenzie Clugston (MPA'77).

    “I felt passionate about the topic,” says Mr. Lenz (Sc’16), who studies electrical and computer engineering, and has worked in the nuclear industry. “I thought I could share some of my experiences in the energy sector. And I’d never been to Japan, and wanted to have that opportunity.”

    Ms. Clark echoes those sentiments. She’s worked in the oil and gas industry, and while her family has lived all over the world (Brunei, Syria, the United States, Oman and Canada), she had never travelled to Japan.

    “There was definitely a feeling of culture shock when we arrived, especially when we travelled to Tokyo, but everyone was so welcoming, and the forum itself was very well organized,” says Ms. Clark (Sc’17), a third-year chemical engineering student.

    The JACAC was held in February in Nagoya, the capital of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. The forum, which is hosted alternately in Japan and Canada every year, brings together students from member institutions in the two countries for a week of cross-cultural exchange (this year, 28 students from 20 schools). The aim is to provide students with the opportunity to interact with their peers from a different culture, to gain insight into their current areas of academic interest, and to encourage a flow of ideas between Canada and Japan.

    “It was interesting to hear the different perspectives – because of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, there is, understandably, no support for nuclear energy in Japan, and all of their reactors are shutting down,” says Mr. Lenz. “I think I was able to shed some light on working at a successful nuclear power plant (Darlington), and the focus on safety.”

    Students heard presentations on topics such as energy efficiency and quality of life, and the oil era and its implications for international politics. They also went on several field trips – to Satoyama-Sugenosato, a rural village developed around principles of conservation, biodiversity and efficiency, and to the Toyota Museum of Industry and Technology.

    While in Tokyo, students visited the Imperial Palace. From left, Sayjon Ariyarathnam (York University), Tristan Masson (Concordia University), John Lenz (Queen's), and Victoria Clark (Queen's).

    Throughout the week, students worked in groups to improve an existing energy policy, or design a new one. The work culminated in each group giving a presentation at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, with several notables in attendance, including Princess Takamado and Ambassador Mackenzie Clugston (MPA’77), a Queen’s alumnus. The Princess is the widow of Prince Takamado, a member of the Japanese royal family who studied at Queen’s from 1978-81. He died in 2002 at the age of 47. Each year Queen’s welcomes an undergraduate student from Japan on a one-year term of study through a scholarship that bears his name.

    “It was an incredible experience to present the work we did at the embassy. We put a lot of work into our presentations, and it was great to see it all come together at the end of the week,” says Ms. Clark. “Coming home and giving presentations in engineering classes seems like nothing now that we’ve presented to Princess Takamado and the ambassador!”

    This opportunity is available to Queen’s students due to the university’s membership in the Japan-Canada Academic Consortium (JACAC). More information


    There's no place like home

    Queen’s honorary degrees will be reserved for alumni in 2016 in celebration of the university’s 175th anniversary.

    [Logo for the 175th anniversary]
    Queen's 175th Anniversary

    This year’s spring convocation ceremonies at Queen’s University will give the honorees the feeling of coming home. The 11 recipients this spring are all Queen’s alumni and feature musicians The Tragically Hip, journalist Ali Velshi and former Queen’s University Chaplain Brian Yealland among others.

    “Bestowing honorary degrees on Queen’s University alumni as we prepare to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the university is very fitting,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “This year we are celebrating the university’s unique legacy while recognizing our leaders in academia, business, science and the arts.”

    The ceremonies get underway Thursday, May 19 and wrap up Friday, June 10. The recipients include:

    Hailing from Kingston, and with close ties to the Queen's community, The Tragically Hip formed in 1984. Consisting of lead singer Gordon Downie, guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay, The Hip has released 12 studio albums, two live albums, one EP and 54 singles. The group has won 14 Juno awards and nine of its albums have reached No. 1 in Canada. In addition to their musical contributions, the band members are also significant for the ways in which they have given back to local and national communities and agencies, contributed to international aid, and helped preserve the environment. Thursday, May 19 at 2:30 pm.

    Donald Creighton Rae Sobey

    Donald Creighton Rae Sobey (Com’57) joined the board of Empire Company Limited in 1963. In 2004, he retired as Chairman of Empire Company Limited and retired from the Board in 2015. He was inducted into the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame and Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and is a member of the Order of Canada. Mr. Sobey established the D & R Sobey Atlantic Leadership Scholarships at Queen’s University, which are awarded to Atlantic Canadian students who demonstrate academic achievement and leadership. He also serves on the Smith School of Business Advisory Board at Queen’s University. Monday, May 30 at 2:30 pm.


    P. Kim Sturgess

    P. Kim Sturgess (Sc’77) is the founder and CEO of Alberta WaterSMART, an organization committed to improving water management through better technologies and practices. In 2007, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and in 2012 was named the Business Woman of the Year in Calgary. She also earned the Queen’s Alumni Achievement Award. Ms. Sturgess is a member of the Order of Canada. Wednesday, June 1 at 2:30 pm.

    Ronald McCallum

    After teaching law at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, for 18 years, Ronald McCallum (LLM’74) was appointed to a full professorship at the University of Sydney. This appointment made Mr. McCallum the first totally blind person to be appointed to a full professorship at any Australian or New Zealand university. He served as Dean of the University of Sydney Law School between 2002 and 2007. Friday, June 3 at 2:30 pm.

    Eileen Hutton

    Eileen Hutton (NSc’74) is currently the Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of Midwifery at McMaster University. She was the first midwife member of the Council of the Society of Obstetrician and Gynecologist of Canada. She is the first midwife ever to hold a professorship in the Netherlands. The Association of Ontario Midwives recently awarded her the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her role in education, research and contribution to the profession. Monday, June 6 at 10 am.

    Piers Handling

    Piers Handling (Artsci’71) has been the director and CEO of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), a charitable cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world, through film, since 1994. Under Mr. Handling’s direction, the organization has grown to become an internationally renowned cultural institution. In 2014, Mr. Handling was invested into the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour, by Lieutenant-Governor David Onley. Monday, June 6 at 2:30 pm.

    Debra Pepler (PHE’73, Ed’74) has been a member of the Department of Psychology at York University since 1988 and works closely with Queen’s professor Wendy Craig as co-scientific director of Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet). This is a collaborative and interdisciplinary initiative that brings together 62 researchers from 27 Canadian universities and 49 national organizations. Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 10 am.

    Ali Velshi

    Ali Velshi (Artsci’94) graduated from Queen’s with a degree in religious studies. He was most recently the host of Ali Velshi On Target, a nightly primetime show on Al Jazeera America. He’s also reported from the U.S. presidential campaign trail, as well as covering ISIL and the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey, the days leading up to the nuclear deal from Tehran, the debt crisis in Greece, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Tuesday, June 7 at 2:30 pm.

    Brian Yealland (MDiv’72) was ordained a United Church minister the same year as his graduation. Following the retirement of Padre A. Marshall Laverty, Rev. Yealland worked as the Queen’s University Chaplain from 1983 until 2013. He is the recipient of the Queen’s University Distinguished Service Award, the John Orr Award from the Queen’s Toronto Alumni Branch, and the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. Wednesday, June 8 at 10 am.

    Wendy Jane Crewson

    Wendy Jane Crewson (Artsci’77) graduated from Queen’s and moved on to study theatre in London. She has worked all over the world and her career includes more than 100 titles including The Santa Clause with Tim Allen and Air Force One with Harrison Ford. She also continues her role as Dr. Dana Kinney on Saving Hope. Wednesday, June 8 at 2:30 pm.

    Stephen H. Safe

    Stephen H. Safe (MSc’62) graduated from Queen’s and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study for his doctorate at the University of Oxford in England. His scientific career has covered several different areas of research that include his early studies on the chemistry of pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). His work has helped regulate and reduce levels of this compound in wildlife, humans and food. Friday, June 10 at 10 am.

    Breathing new life into the PEC

    Queen’s University recently has made progress in its plans to revitalize the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) as a centre for health, wellness and innovation. Jasmine Toor, Communications Specialist, spoke with Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), to learn what the plan will mean for the university.

    The revitalization plan for the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) sees the building transformed into a health, wellness and innovation centre.
    Construction of the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) was completed in 1931, offering gymnasiums as well as swimming, diving and water polo facilities.

    Jasmine Toor: What progress has been made on the university’s plan to revitalize the former PEC building?

    Alan Harrison: The university has made significant progress. Queen’s retained CS&P Architects in fall 2015 to produce a functional program and conceptual design for the revitalized building. The preliminary business case for the project is complete and we have initiated the work that will yield a more reliable cost estimate (known as a class B estimate). Our hope is that the first phase of the project, the demolition of much of the interior, will commence early in 2017. Queen’s has raised a significant portion of the total cost of the project, the class D estimate for which is $87 million.   

    JT: What was the impetus that led to the decision to redevelop the building?

    AH: A structural assessment by an external consultant found that the building was in excellent shape and thus could provide a considerable amount of additional space at a relatively low cost per square foot, if renovated, in comparison to a newly constructed building. The Queen's Health, Wellness and Innovation Centre affords us a wonderful opportunity to utilize and revitalize valuable space in the heart of campus.

    JT: What will the revitalized building be used for?

    AH: The major constituent parts of this project are engineering, innovation and health and wellness. The revitalized building will enhance both the quality of our student experience and the quality of our research facilities by aligning academic and non-academic uses for the building.  Queen’s has a longstanding reputation of offering our students an exceptional educational and extra-curricular learning experience. When completed, the project will be a prominent symbol of Queen’s as the quintessential balanced academy, the Canadian research-intensive university with a transformative learning experience.

    The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will be a major occupant of the revitalized building. Undergraduate learning in engineering will be supported by an interactive Learning Commons that will allow more than 500 mechanical and materials engineering students to work individually or collaboratively on projects and assignments in an environment that offers state-of-the-art information and computing technology. Additionally, a number of high-technology, leading-edge teaching and design studios will each support between 75 and 150 undergraduate students.

    Interdisciplinary laboratory space will support more than 20 faculty researchers working on bioengineering, environmental and biomedical research. This laboratory space will allow considerable expansion of interdisciplinary research, primarily but not exclusively in the areas of chemical and civil engineering. The benefits of this laboratory space will accrue not only to the researchers but also to their graduate students.

    The Queen’s Health, Wellness and Innovation Centre affords us a wonderful opportunity to utilize and revitalize valuable space in the heart of campus.

    — Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

    JT: How does this plan align with Queen’s commitment to enhanced health and wellness related facilities?

    AH: The Wellness Centre is an integral part of the revitalization project. The new Wellness Centre will allow us to co-locate services, so anyone seeking counselling is assured of privacy.  By combining health, counselling and accessibility services together in one centrally located and visible location, along with three gymnasia and other athletic and recreation facilities, the revitalized building will provide opportunities to integrate physical and mental health, connecting them with the student experience.

    Furthermore, the new Wellness Centre will be able to provide us with the increased capacity and flexibility to meet the rising demand across the spectrum of wellness services and expand in response to the evolving needs of our student population. This was acknowledged by the 2012 report of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health, which recommended a new and centralized location for student wellness services.

    The completion of Queen’s Gymnasium in 1931:
    “It is modern in every respect; we can hold up our heads and boast of one of the finest gymnasiums in Dominion. The undergraduates will reap the benefits and it behooves them to carry on and bring more athletic honors to Queen’s. Swimming and diving and water-polo facilities are now open for the Queen’s natatorialartists and soon graduates should hear that Queen’s is once more carrying off championships in this new athletic field.”

    JT: How does the revitalization project align with Queen’s commitment to innovation?

    AH: Queen’s has committed to increasing the number of new opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning, improving intra-university collaboration through new programs and curriculum innovation, and creating new and innovative ways for students to develop fundamental academic skills. The new engineering space of the building will include an Innovation Hub. This and other space in the refurbished building dedicated to innovation will result in a considerable expansion of the Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC), which will support and allow the development of a core strength of the QIC, which is its interdisciplinary nature.

    Students from across the university will have access to the resources, the networks and the mentors that will help transform their ideas into products and services. They will work in diverse teams to address important problems and identify the solutions that will yield benefits not only for our region, but nationally and globally too. The innovation component of the redevelopment plan also aligns with the federal government’s focus on innovation as an important component of university research.

    Looking to EngAGE future engineers

    [Scott Compeau]
    Scott Compeau, Outreach Coordinator for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is coordinating the EngAGE program, a two-week summer course aimed at introducing high school students to engineering and Queen's. (University Communications) 

    A new summer program being offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is aimed at introducing high school students to what Queen’s Engineering offers as well as the wide range of possibilities available in the engineering profession.

    The Queen’s Engineering Academy Guided Experience (EngAGE) is a two-week program that will expose participants to four of the main engineering disciplines at Queen’s – Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Computing, and Mechanical.

    While there are similar programs offered at other universities, what differentiates EngAGE, explains Engineering Outreach Coordinator Scott Compeau, is that the participants will actually be able to take advantage of some of the state-of-the-art research facilities at Queen’s, such as the OTTER Lab, Pilot Plant, and the Coastal Lab. This is hands-on learning and exploration.

    “We are trying to showcase the research being done and the facilities that the university has to offer, to give the participants a really good look at what the disciplines are like,” Scott says.

    He adds that professors and graduate students from the various disciplines who are involved will also introduce the students to the engineering design process as well as the broad range of career options.

    With a Master’s degree specializing in Engineering Education with a thesis on high school students’ perception of engineering, Mr. Compeau is an ideal person to lead the program. He is aware of the stereotypes that are out there and the misperceptions that most high school students have about engineering. This program is designed to dispel those myths, excite the participants, and ”engage” them in considering pursuing engineering, he says.

    The program is for students entering grades 10 to 12 but there are no requirements in terms of having taken courses such as chemistry and physics. The aim of EngAGE is to challenge and inform the students without being technically overwhelming.

    The program is loosely modeled on what the faculty currently offers undergraduate students, particularly those heading into second year.

    “My view is that if we can take the type of projects that we are doing with undergraduate students which are deemed important by Engineers Canada and to the profession, then why not try to bring some of those concepts down to an earlier age. Therefore, these high schoolers who are considering engineering will have a better view on what the profession is all about, and they will be better prepared to study it,” he says.

    The first week of the EngAGE program starts with a General Engineering Challenge on the first day. The student then will be introduced to Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering. The second week starts with another General Engineering Challenge followed by modules on Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The first offering of the program is set for July 18-29 and the second runs Aug. 8-19.

    There is an option to stay in residence with full supervision and meals as well as a day program. Participants can also register for a single week.

    For more information visit the Engineering Outreach website or contact eng.connections@queensu.ca.

    Prestigious honour for groundbreaking work

    Queen’s professor Kerry Rowe elected to National Academy of Engineering in the United States.

    Queen’s University professor Kerry Rowe’s research has garnered him countless awards and recognition over the past 30 years, but a few honours stand out for him. Included in that group is his recent election to the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

    Kerry Rowe has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

    “This is one of the biggest deals in my professional career,” says Dr. Rowe. “It ranks up there with election to the Royal Society (UK) in terms of importance.”

    He was elected to The Royal Society in 2013 as the only Canadian civil engineer. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

    Of the more than 2,200 elected NAE members, only 231 come from outside the United States, including about 20 Canadians. Dr. Rowe is one of only two civil engineers listed as foreign members.

    Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest international honours for an engineer, says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). The most distinguished Canadian civil engineer of his generation, this honour is a testament to the fundamental importance and impact of Dr. Rowe’s research.

    Dr. Rowe is a pioneer in geosynthetics (synthetic products used to stabilize terrain). One area of his research focuses on assessing the effectiveness of plastic liners and geosynthetic clay liners in limiting contamination from mining operations and waste disposal facilities.

    His work ranges from computer modelling to small-scale laboratory tests to examining a full-scale system under controlled conditions and full-scale field monitoring from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

    “My initial work was in landfills and the research we have done has affected regulations and the design and construction of landfills around the world,” says Dr. Rowe. “This work, conducted by a team which includes colleagues and students past and present, has made a difference and this is what is being recognized by my election as a foreign member of NAE; it is recognition of the entire team.”

    Now he is turning his research focus to mining, an area where liners are being widely used in the extraction of minerals by the “heap leach” process and increasingly being used to minimize the environmental impact in tailings storage facilities.

    “Mining generates a large amount of waste that needs to be disposed of properly and improving our ability to provide better environmental protection in a cost effective manner is our next challenge,” he says.

    To learn more about the US National Academy of Engineering visit the website.

    Driving sustainability ahead

    For the past two Homecomings, Fraser Horn (Sci‘89) drove from Toronto to Kingston in his 100 per cent electric Tesla Model S. He was able to just make it to Kingston but had trouble finding adequate charging for his trip home. After last year’s Homecoming, Mr. Horn sent an email to Principal Daniel Woolf .

    [EV Charging]
    Fraser Horn (Sci‘89) charges his Tesla Model S. Mr. Horn made an initial $4,000 pledge to the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Sustainability Initiative.

    “I wrote to Principal Woolf suggesting that there ought to be an electric car charger on campus. I told him I thought universities should be at the forefront of sustainable projects,” says Mr. Horn.

    Principal Woolf connected him with the Sustainability Office to explore the idea of installing an electric car charger on campus. Mr. Horn, an electrical engineer and stay-at-home father, made an initial $4,000 pledge. So began the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Sustainability Initiative.

    As Sustainability Manager Aaron Ball explains, this initiative fits perfectly with Queen’s goal of creating a sustainable campus by increasing support for alternative modes of transportation. 

    “We want to break down the barriers to alternate transportation. For example, more people will ride their bikes if there are lots of bike racks on campus. As electric cars become more popular as an alternate form of transportation, installing a charger on campus will break down another barrier,” says Mr. Ball.

    In Kingston there is an electric car charging station near Hwy. 401 at Division Street, one on Princess Street at the Best Western and another at St. Lawrence College, but because of the hours it can take to charge, it’s really only practical to have a charger at your destination, which for Mr. Horn was downtown and the Queen’s University campus. It is logical and fitting that Queen’s, with its highly-respected engineering program that encourages discovery and invention of sustainable products and green initiatives, leads the way in this initiative. 

    The two electric vehicle charging stations will be located at the corner of Union and Division streets, in front of the School of Kinesiology, where they will be “visible, accessible, and where we easily can connect to a building to get the power,” says Mr. Ball. They will be used by Queen’s employees and visitors to campus.

    The cost of installing the two chargers on campus is $30,000. While Mr. Horn’s initial gift to the program is a good start, more donations are required to make this goal a reality. 

    “I’m reaching out to my classmates and others who feel the same way I do, that Queen’s needs to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices,” says Mr. Horn. “I do a lot of driving with my three busy children, so I see the positive impact of using a sustainable and cleaner means to get around.”

    He adds: “Things like this may feel small, especially if only one or two individuals are doing it, but collectively, I know, we can make a big difference. The lack of charging infrastructure is one of the biggest barriers to electric vehicle ownership but because electricity is everywhere it’s a relatively easy problem to solve.”

    To contribute to the EV Charging Station project, visit givetoqueens.ca/sustainableengineering.

    Health, wellness and a lot of fun

    • A pair of students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science pose at the photo booth set up as part of Health and Wellness Week.
      A pair of students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science pose at the photo booth set up as part of Health and Wellness Week.
    • Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science were able to get a 15-minute massage as part of Health and Wellness Week.
      Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science were able to get a 15-minute massage as part of Health and Wellness Week.
    • Making towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows was one of the fun activities during Health and Wellness Week at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
      Making towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows was one of the fun activities during Health and Wellness Week at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

    With exams just around the corner the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science hosted its Health and Wellness Week, with a full schedule of fun events Nov. 23-27.

    Events included complimentary massages courtesy of Trillium College, a photo booth, yoga and Zumba sessions and a wide range of workshops.

    Building dreams and community support

    • Grant Hall is being transformed into the 'Land of the Olympians' for the Science Formal.
      Grant Hall is being transformed into the 'Land of the Olympians' for the Science Formal.
    • Students work on one of the design projects ahead of Saturday's Science Formal.
      Students work on one of the design projects ahead of Saturday's Science Formal.
    • Grant Hall is being transformed into the 'Land of the Olympians' for the Science Formal.
      Grant Hall is being transformed into the 'Land of the Olympians' for the Science Formal.
    • Students work on one of the design projects ahead of Saturday's Science Formal.
      Students work on one of the design projects ahead of Saturday's Science Formal.

    While the annual Science Formal is one of the major celebrations for students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, it’s also an opportunity for the Queen’s students to give back to the community.

    Each year, the engineering students put their talents together to transform Grant Hall into a design of their choosing – this year’s theme is Land of the Olympians – with a large, intricate structure as the centerpiece. The event is being held this Saturday night.

    It takes countless planks of wood, cans of paint, screws and hours of work but the project, the planning of which started in January, is nearing completion and will be ready for the big reveal this Saturday.

    “It feels incredible being this close to the event. This is supposed to be a really stressful time, and there is stress with all the deadlines, but it has gone so smoothly. We’re on time for everything, all of our projects that we are doing,” says convener Laura McConnell, adding that tradition is a key element for the event, now in its 113th edition. “It’s so exciting to see all of your plans that you had on paper suddenly come to life.”

    Ahead of the celebration, Grant Hall will be opened to the public for tours from 10 am to 3 pm and entry is by donation to help support the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Over the past 12 years the Science Formal Open House has raised over $14,000 for the United Way.

    For more information about the Queen’s Science Formal, visit scienceformal.ca

    Celebrating research excellence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Subscribe to RSS - Engineering and Applied Science