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    Engineering and Applied Science

    Researcher honoured with international fellowship

    [Randy Ellis]
    Dr. Randy Ellis holds the Queen's Research Chair in Computer-Assisted Surgery and recently received a lifetime achievement award for his work.

    For his significant contributions to the development of computer-assisted surgical technology, Randy Ellis from the Queen’s School of Computing has been named the 2015 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

    The IEEE Grade of Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the institute and is recognized as a prestigious honour and important career achievement. Dr. Ellis joins four other current researchers from Queen’s in receiving this honour. The IEEE currently has 400,000 members across 160 countries and is a leading authority on fields ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.

    “I’m honoured to have been elected as a fellow of the IEEE and to join world-class researchers in my field ,” says Dr. Ellis, who is also appointed as a professor in the departments of Biomedical And Molecular Sciences, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Surgery. “I’m looking forward to continuing my research and I hope to be able to expand and pioneer new techniques in the field of computer-assisted surgery.”

    As a result of Dr. Ellis’ research, a ground-breaking surgery took place at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) in 1997 when the world’s first total knee replacement with computer-assisted guidance was performed.

    More recently, Dr Ellis, who also holds the Queen’s Research Chair in Computer-Assisted Surgery, received the Maurice E. Müller Award – a lifetime achievement award from the International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery.

    “On behalf of the School of Computing, I’d like to extend my congratulations to Dr. Ellis on this distinct honour,” says Selim Akl, Director, Queen’s School of Computing. “Computing and the field of computer-assisted surgery are lucky to have a researcher who is ready to push the boundaries and pioneer so many significant advances.”

    Dr. Ellis joined Queen’s shortly after obtaining his PhD in robotics in 1987 and took the lead in developing a computer-assisted surgical suite at KGH, which is now recognized as one of the world’s leading facilities for imaged-guided orthopedic research.

    For more information on the IEEE or the IEEE Fellow Program, please visit www.ieee.org.

    Student excels during internship

    Interns from Queen’s University continue to flourish at Devon Canada Corporation.

    Omatseye Wilkie won a presentation award during his internship with Devon Canada Corporation. He accepts the prize from Treena Brodie, his leader at Devon. 

    Omatseye Wilkie is the second Queen’s student in three years to win the energy company’s end-of-term peer-rated engineering presentation award.

    Matt Fallen (Sci’03), Technology Development, Devon Canada Corporation, has been impressed by Mr. Wilkie and other interns from Queen’s.

    “I find the Queen’s students have a natural ability to work in cross-discipline teams and understand the theme of a common goal, which for me is a critical skillset required to succeed in today’s engineering environment,” he says.

    For his part, Mr. Wilkie walked away from the internship experience with a lot more than the best presentation award.

    “I have been extremely blessed by this experience. Having 12 to 16 months of practical experience puts you in the upper echelon of new graduate position consideration,” he notes.

    Mr. Wilkie accessed the opportunity through the Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP). During the 16-month internship at the independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company in Calgary, he worked on significant projects that taught him how to structure his time, give updates to stakeholders, present his ideas, and demonstrate how he could thrive long term in the company.

    QUIP facilitates experiential learning opportunities for second- and third-year students. The internships are paid, professionally supervised, career-related positions that allow students to learn about current advances, practices and technologies in business and industry.

    “QUIP internships appeal to students because they get to test drive a career before they graduate,” says Katie Fizzell, Co-ordinator, QUIP. “They also enjoy applying the skills they have learned in the classroom. And, in many cases, students return to their final year of studies with renewed energy and a fresh perspective that helps them get a deeper understanding of course materials.”

    Career Services will host a QUIP information sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 14 from 5:30-7 pm. More information about the internship program is available on the Career Services website.

    Pedal to the metal

    Queen’s University engineering student Dalton Kellett (Sc’15) has broken through into the world of professional auto racing after signing a one year contract with Andretti Autosport. The 21-year-old will drive for the Indianapolis-based team for his sophomore season in the Pro Mazda Championship.

    Dalton Kellett has signed with Andretti Autosport.

    After he completes his degree this spring, Mr. Kellett is heading to Indianapolis to start racing full time with hopes of moving up the ladder to the Indy Racing League.

    “This is a big announcement for me,” says Mr. Kellett. “The Andretti name has a lot of weight and that will provide benefits down the road when I’m looking for further sponsorship to advance my career.”

    Mr. Kellett started racing go-karts in 2008 at the Toronto Kart Club when he was 14-years-old and quickly moved up the ranks. In just two years he advanced to the senior ranks, competing in the Eastern Canada Karting Championship and the Florida Winter Tour. From there he’s travelled the world competing and last year caught the eye of the Andretti Autosport team who signed him for the 2015 season.

    Dalton Kellett is racing for Andretti Autosport for the 2015 season.

    Having a background in engineering should give him a leg up on the competition, Mr. Kellett believes.

    “I can relate to race engineers as I’ve already built and raced my own car when I was with the Queen’s Formula SAE Design and Race Team,” he says. “My engineering skills have been critical to my success.”

    “We’ve noticed Dalton as he's been making his way through the Mazda Road to Indy and have been impressed by his work ethic and consistency over the years," says JF Thormann, Chief Operating Officer, Andretti Autosport. “Dalton joined us earlier in the offseason for a test and we were pleased to see how well he fit in with our Pro Mazda team. We're very excited to have he and his family join our Mazda Road to Indy family and expect great things in the 2015 season.”

    For more information visit Dalton Kellett’s website or Andretti Autosport.

    Alumnus prepared to cement new program

    [David Yokom]
    David Yokom (Sc'03, Msc'05) is drawing on his experience at Lafarge to lead the development of a new Bachelor of Technology degree, which is a major new collaboration between Queen's University and the Northern College Haileybury School of Mines. (Photo by Rob Whelan)

    Managing a quarry and launching an academic program seem worlds apart, but David Yokom doesn’t see it that way.

    “My project management background underlies nearly everything I have done during my career. In my different roles at Lafarge, I dealt with people and budgets, with curveballs coming at me on a daily basis,” says Mr. Yokom (Sc’03, MSc’05). “Since graduating from Queen’s I have been developing a toolkit that was applicable to this job.”

    Mr. Yokom’s new job involves overseeing a major new collaboration between Queen’s University and the Northern College Haileybury School of Mines (NCHSM), which is located 140 km north of North Bay. The two institutions have partnered to create a new Bachelor of Technology degree. The program will admit college graduates with either a civil or mechanical technology diploma, or graduates with a NCHSM mining engineering technician diploma. After taking a customized bridging curriculum, they will then complete years three and four of the program to earn a university degree.

    Development of this collaborative partnership is funded by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer.  The Bachelor of Technology program is still in the planning stages and must receive approval from the Queen’s Senate, the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance, and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities before it can begin accepting students.

    Mr. Yokom says the strong online component of the program intrigued him, as well as the opportunity to build an academic program from scratch.

    “We are identifying the tools and skills graduates need to be successful in the mining industry and then designing the program around those needs, which will make the program both relevant and applicable,” he explains. “The blended nature and part-time option of the curriculum will be particularly attractive to working professionals, who will now have the ability to get a university degree while continuing to work.”  

    Mr. Yokom completed his master’s degree in mechanical and materials engineering in 2005 and immediately went to work at Lafarge’s cement plant in Bath, Ont. For nearly 10 years with the company, he oversaw several significant expansion projects and also served as manager of the quarry in Bath. In the back of his mind, though, Mr. Yokom always thought he would like to return to the university in some capacity.

    “I was immersed in the Queen’s culture as a student. I was an active participant in the Engineering Society and the Alma Mater Society,” he says. “I really loved engineering as a whole culture, not just the degree. It felt like one big family, and accepting this position felt like I was coming home.

    “The decision to take the position was made a lot easier due to the fact my wife works here at Queen’s in the Admissions Office,” he adds.

    International connections flow from research

    [Queen's in the World]
    Queen's in the World

    Throughout his three-decade academic career, Andrew Pollard (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) has worked to establish networks that support international collaborations. Those efforts and his research contributions in the field of fluid dynamics have earned him a fellowship in the American Physical Society.

    “The fluid dynamics research community in Canada is small. I have long held the view that reaching out to others around the world is the best way to keep the community and my research vibrant,” says Dr. Pollard, Queen’s Research Chair in Fluid Dynamics and Multi-scale Phenomena.

    [Andrew Pollard]
    Andrew Pollard (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) has received a fellowship from the American Physical Society. 

    To foster those international collaborations, Dr. Pollard has hosted international conferences at Queen’s and elsewhere and visited laboratories around the world during his sabbaticals. He has also reached out to colleagues at other universities, which resulted in annual meetings of fluid dynamics researchers.

    Making international connections offers additional benefits beyond advancing his research, according to Dr. Pollard.

    “Our students get to see their work is just as good if not better than their peers around the world,” he explains. “And I have found that our graduate students go on to work at other universities often based on the contacts they have made while conducting research here at Queen’s.”

    Dr. Pollard’s international work dates back to his graduate school days when he embarked on a PhD in England. During his doctoral work, he used both computers and experiments to understand turbulence and fluid mechanics problems. This synergistic approach has been a hallmark of Dr. Pollard’s research career ever since, which the American Physical Society fellowship celebrates.

    “I take two approaches to the subject matter. As an engineer, I am focused on the application side, and I have been recognized as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for that work,” he says. “It’s really icing on the cake to receive the fellowship from the American Physical Society honoring my theoretical research into the intricacies of the flow physics of fluid dynamics and especially turbulence.”

    Dr. Pollard accepted the fellowship at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics on Nov. 23 in San Francisco. 

    QIC fostering entrepreneurship

    Established in 2012 by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC) provides a number of programs and resources to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship at the university. With Global Entrepreneurship Week being marked Nov. 17-23, Gazette Editor Andrew Carroll sat down with QIC executive director and Special Advisor to the Provost, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Greg Bavington and Alix Murphy, Queen’s Innovation Connector Summer Initiative (QICSI) co-ordinator, to talk about the work being done and what it means for the future of Queen’s and its students.

    [Queen's Innovation Connector]
    Leading the way at the Queen’s Innovation Connector are Greg Bavington, executive director of QIC and Special Advisor to the Provost, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Jim McLellan, QIC academic director, professor and head of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry, and Alix Murphy, Queen's Innovation Connection Summer Initiative co-ordinator. (University Communications)

    Andrew Carroll: Innovation and entrepreneurship have become buzzwords in recent years in regard to the Canadian economy and education system. Why are they important?

    Greg Bavington: There is certainly a risk as trends come and go in education but I think this is really a response to a more fundamental shift in the economy. It’s been going on for quite a while and the shift is pretty deeply embedded, which is a trend to smaller companies with much shorter lifespans because of the pace with which technology replaces them. Even in the bigger companies, Google and Apple come to mind, these are companies that have gotten big because they have been highly innovative and they were founded by entrepreneurs. So they are buzzwords but they are not fleeting. The words might get replaced but the concept is going to persist and that is smaller, more agile, shorter life expectancy companies.

    Alix Murphy: Even those larger companies are looking for innovation more than ever now. The innovation gap is where people high up want this and that to happen but employees don’t necessarily have the skills or experience to look outside the box. So that’s the kind of training we’re providing now, not just us but universities in general are working toward innovative programming. It’s also so prevalent at the university level because it is such a hub of talent. You have young people, eager to learn, shaping the economy for the future, so why not start at this level?

    AC: Some critics argue that entrepreneurship is either difficult or impossible to teach. What’s your view?

    GB: This cuts right to the nature-nurture debate and I don’t know of a single example where the person doing the study concluded 100 per cent that it is all one and not the other. It just never comes out that way. So entrepreneurship, I think, like all other things, is both. It’s not 100 per cent nature and no nurture. Our students come to us, our community members, faculty members come to us, with varying amounts of it in their nature. But there are a whole lot of skills that you need to execute on it and that is the nurture part. QIC sees itself existing in no small part to delivering on that nurturing. How do you start a company? How do you tell if an idea is possibly the makings of a successful business or just a cool idea? How do you find out who will pay you for it? How do you find out how much it costs to deliver to your customers?

    AM: Many students come to us with an entrepreneurial spirit but they really don’t have the technical skills. That’s where we come in to teach it. That’s nature and nurture.

    AC: What differentiates QIC from other similar programs found at the post-secondary level?

    GB: There are a number of things and a lot of them are very intentional. QIC, first of all, is reflective of the career experiences of the people involved, who have come to see the value in diversity in skills. Big successful companies are not built by individuals, they are built by teams. Also we understand and recognize the tremendous diversity of the academic programming at Queen’s, which of course drives a diversity of interests, aspirations and capabilities among the student body. The breadth of the QIC has to reflect both of those things and does. We have a tremendous breadth of programs with varying financial and emotional commitment but they are all basically open to all students.

    Also, the level of support students get is, I think, exceptional. In the case of QICSI, which involves a more-than-full-time commitment for an entire summer, there is financial support so that it doesn’t become something only the wealthiest students can participate in. Also because we run this program pan-university, on the university main campus during the summer, the access we have to facilities is excellent. There are large companies that would kill to have the resources that we have in terms of our ability to support prototyping efforts, bio-labs, machine shops, makerspaces, electronic prototyping areas, welding facilities.

    AC: To date with the QIC, what are the successes you have seen?

    GB: I think one of our dramatic successes is the number of students we are impacting now. The amount of pent-up entrepreneurial energy at Queen’s, we’ve just cracked the valve open and it’s exploding, it’s a groundswell.  We started out lurking around the engineering faculty and Queen’s School of Business with 20 students in QICSI in the summer of 2012. QICSI is still there, it’s still important, with 40 students, but we touch thousands of students through all these other events and conferences that we do. That’s absolutely a success for us. Students who have gone through some of the more intensive programs, like QICSI, have benefitted tremendously in their careers, whether it is starting a successful company that’s keeping them employed, or if they have sold for a lot of money, or allowing a company to fail and moving on to a second one or being hired by another start-up because they have learned that they love that way of earning a living. We’ve seen all those things as outcomes and I consider all of them to be successful.

    AC: What are the biggest lessons you have learned regarding innovation and entrepreneurship and how these apply to Queen’s?

    AM: We’re still learning and as Greg says we are a start-up ourselves. It’s still a relatively new concept to introduce this kind of a program in a university.

    GB: I’m proud of what the team at Queen’s has accomplished. I’m proud of our student body. Faculty and staff have jumped right into it, making resources available as well as their own time and expertise. I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far but we’re still new at it. We are a start-up. So far a successful start-up.

    Diving deep to uncover history of rocks

    [Noel James]
    Noel James teaching carbonate sedimentology in Bermuda.


    [Queen's in the World
    Queen's in the World

    As a PhD student, Noel James (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) saw a research opportunity to examine relatively young rocks, especially reef rocks, on and around the island of Barbados.

    There was only one problem: he lacked a key skill required to understand reef rocks.

    “I had never been a diver before. Literally, I learned to dive so I could work on my PhD in a semi-intelligent way,” he says.

    Dr. James was hooked on scuba diving right away, which has allowed him to conduct extensive research on coral reefs, shallow seafloors and open shelves, the birthplace of many ancient limestones. From his original marine work in the Caribbean, Dr. James expanded his scope to innovative research on carbonate sedimentary rocks in the High Arctic, the Rocky Mountains, deserts in the Middle East and Australia’s Red Centre.

    His contributions to the field earned him the Sorby Medal, the highest award of the International Association of Sedimentologists. The organization has only awarded the medal eight times over the past 40 years.

    “It was a shock when I found out I’d won. I looked back at the previous medalists and they were my heroes. I thought, ‘what am I doing with this group of people?’” he says. “The other awards I have received have been profound but this one really affected me quite deeply because it’s worldwide.”

    Dr. James, member of the Order of Canada, shares a connection with previous Sorby medalist Bob Ginsburg. After finishing his PhD, Dr. James worked with Dr. Ginsburg to establish a laboratory at the University of Miami. Their research focused on comparing ancient carbonate rocks such as limestone to modern seafloor sediments formed by the shells of dead calcareous organisms often using research submersibles to probe the deep zones of reef growth.

    Dr. James carried on that style of research when he returned to Canada, examining rocks in locations across Canada while continuing his work on the modern seafloor. His passion for field work spills over into his teaching, where he infuses his undergraduate and graduate courses with his experiences. In addition he currently takes exceptional students to the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences each year to let them experience first-hand the complexities of reef growth.

    “In a course like Geological Evolution of North America, I can tell the students what I found working in the Arctic on 3-billion-year-old rocks. I can use my own pictures and illustrations,” he says. “It’s nice to see them perk up when you are talking about what you have done. I hope in the back of their minds they are thinking, ‘maybe I can do that, too.’

    Dr. James accepted the Sorby Medal at the 19th International Sedimentological Congress in Geneva.

    Nobel laureate explores connection between arts and science

    Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize laureate and Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Emeritus at Cornell University, delivered this year’s Alfred Bader Lecture on Oct. 30. Communications Officer Andrew Stokes spoke with Dr. Hoffmann about his lecture and lengthy career in the arts and sciences.

    Andrew Stokes: Can you tell me a bit about the topic of your lecture?

    Roald Hoffmann: The lecture was about the commonalities between the arts and sciences. English chemist and novelist CP Snow argued in the 1950s that there were two distinct cultures between artists and scientists and that the two were incapable of really communicating with each other. With that in mind I looked at examples from chemistry, poetry and painting to note the deep similarities they have.

    Along with winning the 1981 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Dr. Roald Hoffmann has written poetry, plays and philosophy.

    AS: Why did you pick this topic for the lecture?

    RH: This topic is important to me as both an artist and a chemist, because I’m interested in the interface between the two. The arts penetrate to important questions that aren’t necessarily scientific but that nonetheless trouble us all. I picked this topic especially because of its connection to Alfred and Isabel Bader. I’ve known the Baders for nearly 40 years and I’m a great admirer of Alfred – this lecture is really for the two of them who are strong believers in the importance of both arts and science.

    AS: Have the two of you worked together in chemistry?

    RH: When we first met one another years ago, we took an instant liking to each other. We’ve never worked together professionally, but our shared love of paintings, music and chemistry has led to a long friendship between us. We’re also both European immigrants; Alfred came shortly before World War Two, while I’m a childhood survivor of the Holocaust and came to America in 1949.

    AS: You’ve had a prodigious career in chemistry, but can you tell me about your work in the creative arts?

    RH: Around midlife I started writing creatively. I began writing poetry, and now have four books of poetry in English and one in Spanish and Russian. I’ve also written essays, short fiction, philosophy and have now started writing plays. My creative writing allows me to express myself in a way that I otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to do.

    AS: How did a career in science affect your creative work?

    RH: It’s had a very strong effect on my creative work. I write on some of the traditional topics, like nature, relationships and love, but I try to make use of the language of science. It isn’t easy, but I try. One of the plays I’ve written is about the discovery of oxygen and what it means to be a scientist. My work in the arts has affected my science too. When I write a chemistry paper, I try to bring an artistic sensibility to it. I’ve never tried opening a paper with a poem because I don’t think it would get past the gatekeepers, but stylistically I’ve tried to bring about a greater humanization of science writing. I think it’s worked well in that my papers are viewed by people as being a more complete image of the thing they discuss.

    The Bader lecture, organized by Dr. Victor Snieckus and the Office of Advancement, is delivered in honour of Alfred Bader’s contributions to Queen’s University and the field of chemistry.

    Ready for Movember

    Queen's Engineering Movember
    Daniel Kao, left, and Eric Kailly, are helping the Engineering Society of Queen’s University raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues through Movember Canada. (University Communications)

    It’s that time of year again. It’s Movember, when those who can grow moustaches – and even those who can’t – work to raise funds and awareness about men’s health.

    And Queen’s has a role to play with various groups taking part each year.

    One of the main groups is the Engineering Society of Queen’s University, which once again is activating its membership for the month.

    With a solid track record from previous campaigns, the society’s Movember committee this year is putting a greater emphasis on getting as many people involved as possible as well as raising awareness about men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer and mental health.

    “Our role is to encourage people through events, through motivation and free giveaways, we just want to liven up the spirit for Movember so that individuals and their friends, other students, maybe even professors and staff members, they will contribute to the Movember Foundation,” says Daniel Kao (Sci’17), one of the campaign coordinators along with Josh Burtney (Sci’16). “That’s the push this year.”

    Throughout November, the group will be handing out leaflets and free giveaways, hosting special events as well as sales of special merchandise and tickets to an upcoming Kingston Frontenacs game.

    It’s a role that the Engineering Society has filled before and continues to fill.

    “The Engineering Society just wants to fill that niche and lead the campus just like they do with a lot of other initiatives,” says Mr. Kao.

    However, as with so many initiatives, there are a lot of positives for participants as well. That isn’t lost on the committee.

    “It’s just a great way to get students involved with fundraising. We are all engineers here but this is a totally different spin on things,” explains Mr. Kao. “We’re cooking burgers, spending time with people, selling merchandise, which isn’t engineering at all.”

    And it’s not just about getting out of their circle of friends and classmates. Eric Kailly (Sci’17), the media coordinator for the campaign, also recognizes the real-life value of getting involved, beyond helping others.

    “This opportunity with the Movember committee is my first experience to simulate a real job experience outside the classroom. Having meetings with other people, consulting people outside the school for equipment for these Movember events,” he says. “So it’s all a very new experience to me and it’s also a very worthwhile experience at the same time. It’s invaluable experience that we’re getting.”

    This year’s campaign kicks off with a special “Shave-Off” event Friday afternoon at Clark Hall with participants starting with a clean slate before getting their facial hair going.

    To find out more about events and the campaign go to Queen’s Eng Movember  on Facebook. To learn more about Movember go to Movember.com.

    Connecting at Engineering & Technology Fair

    • [Engineering & Technology Fair]
      A group of Queen's students gather around a representative from Aviya.
    • [Engineering & Technology Fair]
      Grant Hall was abuzz with the sounds of students connecting with recruiters from a wide range of employers.
    • [Engineering & Technology Fair]
      A Queen's student speaks with a representative from Geo. A. Kelson Company at the Engineering & Technology Fair.
    • [Engineering & Technology Fair]
      Representatives from Aecon connect with Queen's students at the Engineering & Technology Fair.
    • [Engineering & Technology Fair]
      A Queen's student gets information about Alberici Constructors.

    Crowds of Queen's University students filled Grant Hall on Tuesday to take in the Engineering & Technology Fair, which offered connections to close to 40 employers from a wide range of industries and sectors. The event, hosted by Career Services, continues Wednesday from 10:30 am-3:30 pm


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