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    Engineering and Applied Science

    Advancing research from lab to market

    How a Queen's research team has generated a real-world solution to efficiently capture solar power.

    Praveen Jain
    Praveen Jain the Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics and founder and CEO of SPARQ Corp 

    How can we connect knowledge built in academia to people that need knowledge-based solutions for real-world challenges? In a word: innovation. But the journey from a research lab to hitting a consumer’s radar is not obvious, fast, or straightforward. Transforming research discovery into new products and processes available at market usually requires investment, connections, and patience.

    Praveen Jain, professor of electrical engineering and Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics, has navigated both worlds for a long time. Working at the frontiers of academia and industry, the internationally recognized researcher has built the theory and practice of the field of power electronics and holds over 100 patents. In January, Dr. Jain reached a new milestone when his start-up company SPARQ Corp. went public through a listing on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV:SPRQ), after receiving $10 million financing through brokered private placement. 

    SPARQ’s main product, the Quad, is a compact microinverter created to improve residential solar energy technology – a solution in tune with the broader goal of a low-carbon future. For the consumer, the new system means increasing energy production while simplifying design and installation. In other words, it means acquiring a cost-effective, reliable solar energy system. 

    “Compared to installations that use traditional string inverters, the Quad delivers five to 20 per cent greater energy harvest over the system's lifetime,” explains Dr. Jain. “The Quad is a unique product in the market that can be used in any power grid, conventional or smart, independent of jurisdiction, around the globe.” 

    SPARQ is an outcome of years of research conducted by Jain and his team at the Queen’s Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (ePOWER). With the aim of increasing the availability and accessibility of solar power, they started from the basics: the development of mathematical algorithms to reduce the hardware complexity of the existing option. This research resulted in a lightweight, compact, cost-effective, and reliable microinverter design.

    The work at ePOWER was made possible with support from Canada’s and Ontario’s research funding bodies, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Ontario Research Fund. “I was also fortunate enough to acquire funding for ePOWER from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and had unparalleled support of the university, particularly Queen’s Engineering,” says Dr. Jain.

    Once the team developed the initial concept of Quad, PARTEQ Innovations (now Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation) – a not-for-profit unit created to support Queen's researchers in their commercialization endeavours – was a key partner in shaping SPARQ as a spin-off, playing a key role in start-up funding, intellectual property protection, and commercialization.

    Dr. Jain, who started his career in the telecom and aerospace industry, returned to the market as a founder and CEO of SPARQ. 

    On Jan. 26, Praveen Jain and team closed the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange in celebration of Queen’s spin-off SPARQ Corp. being listed. Watch the video.

    While academia is, in Dr. Jain’s perspective, the place to creatively explore his ideas, his previous experience in industry helped him understand the process of commercialization.

    “Industry has taught me how to apply innovation in practical and real-life applications,” he says. 

    Now that they have addressed residential solar energy, SPARQ is in the process of developing a multi-purpose microinverter for farms. 

    “Currently, in agriculture photovoltaic applications, two distinct inverters are employed: one to feed solar power to the grid, and another to run water pumps for irrigation. The new Quad microinverter will perform the functions of both inverters in one,” explains Dr. Jain. “The multipurpose Quad microinverter will not only help farmers to run water pumps and irrigate their farms, but also to earn extra revenue by selling electricity to the grid when their pumps are not in use.”

    For more information on Dr. Jain and SPARQ, visit the website

    Combating misinformation and fake news

    Two upcoming workshops with The Conversation Canada will highlight how Queen’s researchers can help bridge the gap between academia and the public

    The Conversation Canada and Queen's University workshops

    As we enter the third year of a global pandemic, we are facing what the World Health Organization calls an infodemic – too much information including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak. In this scenario, the importance of fact-based, expert commentary has never been clearer, and not only in relation to COVID-19: research-informed analysis is a powerful tool in supporting critical thinking and daily decision-making related to climate change, health, politics, technology, the economy, and many other topics.

    The Conversation and Queen’s

    The Conversation, an online news platform created in Australia in 2011, aims to combat misinformation by paring academic experts with experienced journalists to write informed content that can be shared and repurposed by media outlets worldwide.  Following its success in Australia, regional editions began appearing worldwide and, in 2017, The Conversation Canada launched with support from some of the country’s top universities, including Queen’s, and Canada’s research funding agencies.

    As a founding member of The Conversation Canada, the Queen’s research community has embraced the platform as a unique tool for sharing their research expertise and engaging with the media. Over 240 Queen’s researchers have published more than 380 articles that have garnered over 7 million views via The Conversation Canada’s website. Through the platform’s Creative Commons Licensing and newswire access, 100s of major media outlets, including The National Post, CNN, TIME, The Washington Post, The Weather Network, Today’s Parent and Scientific American, have republished these pieces.

    From cryptocurrencies to extinct bird species, Queen’s researchers have written on a variety of timely and timeless topics. Some of our most-read articles looked at the rising popularity of spirituality without religion, the negative effects of salting icy roads on aquatic ecosystems, a study of depression in adults with autism, wine consumption and cardiovascular health, and COVID-19 tests and terminology. Each of these articles have reached over 127,000 readers.

    “Key to our research promotion and thought leadership strategy, The Conversation is a powerful tool for community engagement, bolstering the efforts of our researchers to share their expertise and build profile,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “We have seen participation from every faculty, and Queen’s continues to show leadership in contributing to the platform among Canadian peers.”

    The workshops: How to write for The Conversation

    The Conversation Canada and Queen’s University Workshops*
    Wednesday, March 9, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Tuesday, March 22, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Limited spaces. Click to register.
    * The workshops will be held via Zoom.

    On March 9 and 22, Queen’s will welcome Scott White, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Conversation Canada, for two workshops targeted to faculty and graduate students interested in writing for the platform. The virtual, hour-long program will highlight the changing media landscape, the role of The Conversation and researchers as credible news sources, and how to craft the perfect pitch. Participants can bring pitch ideas to the workshops to receive real-time editorial feedback.

    Queen’s is always looking to add to its roster of authors taking part in The Conversation. Researchers interested in learning more about the platform are encouraged to register for the March workshops or contact researchcommunications@queensu.ca. 

    Visualizing impact with the Art of Research

    The Art of Research photo contest has been reimagined to highlight research that aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals.

    [Collage of past winners of the Art of Research photo contest]


    The Queen’s Art of Research photo contest is returning for its sixth year with a new focus. The 2022 contest has been reimagined through the lens of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to action and framework for social impact. This change also aligns with the mission and vision of the new Queen’s Strategy and our participation in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which measure an institution's impact on society, based on their success in delivering on strategies that advance the SDGs. Queen’s ranked first in Canada and fifth in the world in the 2021 Impact Rankings. Photo submissions will be accepted from Feb. 28 to April 13, 2022. 

    SDG Action and Awareness Week
    As a new member of the University Global Coalition, Queen’s is participating in the 2022 Sustainable Development Goals Action and Awareness Week and highlighting the contributions of the Queen’s community to social impact within and beyond the local community. Learn more.

    For the past five years, the Art of Research has been an opportunity for Queen’s researchers to share their work through compelling visuals and engage the public in seeing their research in new ways. In aligning this year’s contest with the UN SDGs, we celebrate the impact of Queen’s research in advancing these important global goals.

    “The Art of Research showcases the diversity of Queen’s research in a creative and innovative way,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “By aligning the contest with the SDGs, we can further demonstrate the impact of our research in addressing the challenges of society at home and around the world. I encourage members of our research community to participate.”

    Eligibility and prizes

    Hosted by Queen’s University Relations, the photo contest is open to Queen’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Research depicted in the submissions must have been completed at Queen’s or while the submitter was affiliated with the university. More information about contest rules can be found on the Research@Queen’s website.

    Five new SDG-themed categories will be offered this year. These, along with the popular People's Choice Vote, add up to a total of six prizes of $250 each for the top submission in each category. Photos from the contest are highlighted across university research promotion initiatives.

    2022 categories:

    Good health and well-being

    Research that advances our understanding and the improvement of human health and supports the well-being of all global citizens.

    Inspired by SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), and 3 (Good Health and Well-Being)

    Climate action

    Research that seeks to protect our planet’s natural resources, including water, biodiversity, and climate for future generations.

    Inspired by SDGs 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water), and 15 (Life on Land)

    Creative and sustainable communities

    Research that helps us to understand our past and present to help build resilient, sustainably-focused, and creative communities.

    Inspired by SDGs 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions)

    Partnerships for inclusivity

    Research that promotes just and inclusive societies through partnerships and community-based research.

    Inspired by SDGs 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and 10 (Reduced Inequalities)

    Innovation for global impact

    Discovery- and curiosity-based research and innovations that addresses wicked, complex global challenges.

    Inspired by SDGs 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals)

    People’s choice

    Determined by an online vote by members of the Queen’s community.

    The contest closes on April 13. To submit an entry and explore winning images from previous contests, visit the Research@Queen’s website.

    Black scientists gather to discuss research and leadership

    As part of our Black History Month celebrations, Queen’s supported the first national Black Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine/Health conference.

    Male researcher in the lab
    As part of its commitment to equity and diversity, Queen's is proud to support initiatives that celebrate and connect Black researchers and students in STEMM.

    Founded in 2020, the Canadian Black Scientists Network aims to celebrate, make visible, and connect Black researchers and students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine/health (STEMM). This year, the network held the first national Black Excellence in STEMM virtual conference (BE-STEMM 2022), from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. Queen’s – as well as several other top Canadian universities – sponsored the event, which virtually gathered hundreds of participants.

    Queen’s was a proud sponsor of BE-STEMM 2022, which engaged Canadians from across the country to focus on action to remove barriers to attracting and retaining Black Canadians in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine & Health (STEMM). 

    For more information on BE-STEMM and the Canadian Black Scientists Network, visit the website.

    Highlights of the conference included keynotes by leading Black academics and policy makers, research talks and posters, undergrad and high school students’ presentations representing all STEMM areas, and a career fair. The last day focused on practices and programs for promoting inclusion and leadership and encouraging Black Canadians in STEMM. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave some of the closing remarks on the conference and highlighted the importance of such event to change the face of science in Canada and inspire next generations.

    Engaging Black Youth in STEM

    A number of Queen’s staff, faculty, and students also attended the conference. One of them was Cressana Williams-Massey from Queen’s Engineering. She is the team lead for Black Youth in STEM, a virtual club offered by engineering students and designed for grades 1-8 children in the Kingston, Ontario area.

    Cressana Williams-Massey
    Cressana Williams-Massey, team lead for Black Youth in STEM at Queen's Engineering

    “BE-STEMM 2022 was very significant to me as a Black female professional focused on providing outreach service to Black students,” she says. “Being an immigrant who was born and raised in Jamaica, the open discussions – especially those focused on inclusion and equity, educated me greatly on the social climate experienced by some Black people living in Canada. Understanding the thoughts and feelings of persons in the Black community will help me to build greater ties to effectively serve the K-12 children”.

    Williams-Massey was particularly interested in sessions that discussed education and community-centered initiatives, as they presented data that can help in framing her work at Queen’s. 

    “A lot of the data points to a lack of Black representation and feelings of isolation and exclusion in the school environment due to differences in race,” she highlights. 

    Participating in the conference has further inspired Williams-Massey to develop strategies to engage Black outreach instructors and role models, as well as provide a safe space for students to talk freely with their tutors and other Black-identifying students.

    Recognizing Research Excellence

    Nomusa Mngoma, an adjunct professor within the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and research scientist within the Department of Medicine, found the program of the conference vast, covering the basic sciences to population health and epidemiology, and the quality of speakers outstanding, with high-caliber presentations and ample opportunity to meet new colleagues. A highlight for Mngoma was the Leadership Summit, which saw attendees engage with and learn from experts in academia, funding agencies, government ministries, and industry. 

    Nomusa Mngoma
    Nomusa Mngoma, School of Rehabilitation Therapy and Department of Medicine

    “I appreciated the opportunity to network with other scientists from across Canada and was able to connect on issues of mutual interest,” she affirms. “The amalgamation of early-career scientists, students, and seasoned scientists presented the attendees with exciting new mentee–mentor exchange opportunities”. 

    As part of the conference, Mngoma was the recipient of BE-STEMM 2022 Award for Research Excellence in Epidemiology & Population Health for her work on mental distress and substance use among rural African youth. Her findings indicate that youth excluded from education and employment opportunities experience more emotional distress and consume more alcohol and drugs then their peers – a situation that might contribute to increased health inequalities and poverty levels for this group.

    “Rural Africa is rarely represented in global mental health research, yet there are heavy health burdens on these remote communities with often extremely limited health resources,” warns Mngoma. Her research findings have supported advocacy and strategic planning to address mental health challenges in the region through the South African High Commissioner’s office in Ottawa, local government in South Africa, community leaders and volunteer agencies.

    “Global health research in rural Africa is like ice-fishing, requires a lot of patience in low-resource settings and difficult terrain,” says Mngoma. “It was an honour to receive the award in recognition of our research and a privilege to tell the stories of these communities with high rates of poverty and mortality.” 

    Narrowing gender gaps in engineering

    On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Heidi Ploeg, Queen’s Chair for Women in Engineering, discusses strategies to engage and retain female students and researchers in traditionally male-dominated fields.

    Heidi Ploeg
    Heidi Ploeg is the first Queen’s Chair for Women in Engineering. (Queen's University)

    It doesn’t require much investigation: anyone interested in gender imbalance and inequalities in academia worldwide will see gaps when it comes to male versus female participation in some research areas, especially the sciences and engineering. This reality led the United Nations General Assembly to declare Feb. 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Since 2015, the date has been celebrated to raise awareness of gender inequities in science and promote engaging girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

    At Queen’s, the Faculty of Engineering has developed several initiatives to tackle this gender imbalance, including the appointment of the first Queen’s Chair for Women in Engineering (C4WiE) in November 2020. During her five-year term, Associate Professor Heidi Ploeg, an expert in biomechanics and design of biomedical devices in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, is hoping to shift the field towards women-friendlier environments for students, faculty, and those moving into the work force.

    Data from Engineers Canada indicate that in 2020 only 20.6 per cent of the newly licensed engineers in the country identify as women. In academia, the percentage of female faculty members in engineering is even smaller: 16.6 per cent. This staggering imbalance led Engineers Canada to launch the 30 by 30 initiative, aiming to increase the number of female newly licensed engineers to 30 per cent by 2030. 

    Queen’s supports 30 by 30 as an endorsing member and participant. At Queen’s, almost 30 per cent of engineering undergraduate degrees awarded each year are to women – a number comparable to some other top universities in Canada, like the University of Toronto, McGill University, and Polytechnique Montréal. But to achieve this percentage for licensed engineers nationwide and to maintain and even increase it will require a collective effort that supports girls and women throughout their educational and research journeys.  

    “The primary goal of the C4WiE is to increase the number of women in engineering and their retention in the field,” says Dr. Ploeg. “The scope of our reach is broad, including K-12, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty members, and practicing engineers.” 

    To promote this extensive culture change, Queen’s partners with other institutions in developing educational and outreach initiatives focused on engaging girls and women in engineering.

    Heidi Ploeg and students celebrating International Women in Engineering Day in 2021.
    Dr. Heidi Ploeg and students celebrating International Women in Engineering Day in 2021.

    Diversity leads to better solutions

    Stereotypes, discrimination, and harassment in the workplace and on campuses, and systemic barriers and biases are among the challenges women face in pursuing a career in engineering. Queen’s and the C4WiE help to address these challenges through a strong digital presence – the C4WiE website hosts resources and promotes events and a network of external groups dedicated to increasing the participation of women in engineering. C4WiE also designs online campaigns like Women in Action, created to collect and share pictures of female engineers across Canada, defying the stereotypical image of engineers and providing women a place to see themselves represented (Submit a photo).

    Other initiatives promoted by C4WiE initiative include undergraduate research grants to support women-led research labs on campus, C4WiE mini-grants to support female students in engineering, and an annual course on Gender, Engineering and Technology. Last semester, Queen’s Engineering launched Engineering for Everyone, focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in the field, and hired a diversity and inclusion program manager, to provide training for staff and faculty and to support program development promoting participation of girls, 2SLGBTQIA+, Black, and Indigenous students and youth in STEM. 

    These efforts benefit women and other representative groups by providing tools and resources to face systemic barriers, but they are also tremendously beneficial for engineering as a field overall. 

    “Without diversity, engineers solve the wrong problems with less than optimum solutions,” states Dr. Ploeg. “Engineering will only find the best solutions to the most complex challenges we are facing with a diverse (including gender-balanced) community. We need all perspectives and experiences to solve the multidisciplinary challenges that we are currently facing like climate change and global health.”

    C4WiE’s priorities for 2022 include creating a physical space for women in Queen’s Engineering to find and meet with each other, and to fund research examining the experiences of women working in the engineering field. Dr. Ploeg also would like to build connections between women engineers and industry partners to foster women’s participation and leadership in engineering beyond academia. She believes increasing female presence in both academia and industry is key to progress. 

    “To excel and succeed at learning or working in an already challenging field shouldn’t have additional challenges of underrepresentation,” argues Dr. Ploeg. “Seeing people who look like you or have similar experiences or perspectives helps to see what your career might look like and directly combats imposter syndrome.”

    Engaging girls and women in STEM

    Share your passion
    To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we invite all women in science at Queen’s to post pictures of them in action and tag us on Instagram (@queensuniversity) and Twitter (@Queensu). We’d love to share your passion for STEM and celebrate and inspire present and future women in STEM disciplines #QueensuResearch.

    Queen’s has several successful, federally funded outreach programs aimed at tackling stereotypes and systemic biases though engaging girls from a young age in engineering and other STEM disciplines: Connections Engineering offers programs for kids from kindergarten to high school, Robogals introduces young women to robotics and engineering, and on campus summer camps like Math Quest and Science Quest have girls-only programs and mentorship opportunities. 

    Campus clubs and groups like Queen’s Women in Applied Science and Engineering (Q-WASE), Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), Women in Science Queen’s (WiSQ), Queen’s University Scientista, and Queen's Women in Computing (QWiC)  help interested female students, staff, and faculty to connect to each other and join efforts in their campaigns for inclusion.

    Partnership for progress

    Combating gender imbalance and inequalities in academia worldwide will not be met by individual groups or universities. It is a long-term process that will require the collective effort of governments, industry stakeholders, and partnering education institutions to ignite a global cultural change. But the efforts at the individual level make a difference at the community and sector level, and beyond. 

    “In slightly over a year, we've seen significant steps forward at Queen's, but also in the engineering profession as a whole. In fact, in recent hirings for engineering, 40 per cent of new assistant professors identify as women,” highlights Dr. Ploeg. “By creating inclusive learning- and work-places we give diversity space to thrive and we all benefit. This is a collective effort to change engineering culture, and I'm confident we are on the right track.”

    Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

    On Feb. 11 Queen's is encouraging the campus community to share their passion for STEM to celebrate and inspire present and future women in STEM disciplines.

    [International Day of Women & Girls in Science]

    On Feb. 11, Queen’s is recognizing the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science by encouraging the campus community to share their passion for STEM and showcase their research by tagging Queen's on Twitter @queensu and Instagram @queensuniversity.

    This year marks the seventh anniversary of the international recognition day, which promotes full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. According to UNESCO’s Science Report, only 33 per cent of researchers globally are women. International Day of Women and Girls in Science is meant to celebrate and inspire present and future women in STEM disciplines.

    Showcase your research and follow Queen's University on Twitter and Instagram as we share and highlight some of our researchers and their contributions to groundbreaking STEM research.

    “Love Under the Microscope.” Dalila Villalobos, Pathology Researcher. Submitted to the Art of Research.
    Art of Research Photo: Love Under the Microscope by Dalila Villalobos, Pathology Researcher
    As pathologists in training, we are constantly reminded that both human cellular responses and the most deadly medical conditions can be unexpectedly beautiful under the microscope. We are trained to be detail oriented and to understand disease in all its forms because abnormalities will only present to the eye that knows what to look for. This photo captures a normal prostatic gland with its characteristic double layer and irregular branching. The moment we diagnose a benign condition in a patient that is anxiously awaiting results is always rewarding. But, if, on top of that, we see heart-shape glands, it is inspiration.


    Edward Burtynsky to collaborate with Queen’s on unique work of public art

    Renowned photographer and artist to collaborate with Queen’s Engineering and Arts & Science on life-size whale skeleton sculpture.

    Concept design for Standing Whale
    Edward Burtynsky's conceptual design for Standing Whale.

    Today, two Queen’s University faculties announced a partnership with world-renowned Canadian photographer and Queen’s Honorary Degree recipient, Edward Burtynsky, to help realize his new public art piece titled Standing Whale

    On the heels of his critically acclaimed and highly successful Anthropocene project, Burtynsky continues to push his artistic practice into a new dimension, with the creation of his first large-scale public sculptural work – a true-to-size, artistic re-imagining of a whale skeleton, inspired by retrieved whale skeletons that washed ashore in Newfoundland in 2014. 

    “My hope is this public art sculpture will become a true Canadian statement: one that symbolizes our commitment to protecting the environment, our cultural institutions and heritage, as well as our efforts to ensure that our planet experiences a positive Anthropocene instead of a negative one,” says Burtynsky.

    The partnership will engage the expertise and innovative thinking of faculty and students in multiple programs across the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Faculty of Arts and Science, who will tackle the piece’s structural and conceptual challenges with the aim of bringing this artwork to life in a public setting.

    Edward Burtynsky partners with Queen's University on "Standing Whale".

    “Edward Burtynsky creates compelling, passionate calls to action on climate change,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Contributing to Standing Whale represents an opportunity for our faculty and students to take on unique engineering challenges that span the disciplines of engineering but also rely on collaboration with our colleagues from the arts and sciences.”

    Based on the story of a pod of North Atlantic blue whales that perished in an unprecedented ice event, Standing Whale is a thematic continuation of Burtynsky’s 40-year artistic practice looking at the impacts of humans on the planet. When the bodies of these whales washed ashore following their demise, there were only an estimated 250 of the mammals left worldwide. This pod represented four per cent of those remaining. The North Atlantic blue whale, like so many other species, is at risk of becoming a casualty of the climate crisis and Standing Whale acts as an homage to and lament for this loss.

    “Through the duration of this partnership with Queen’s University and the deployment of these multidisciplinary special projects, students will have an opportunity to engage with this artwork in a tangible way and work towards achieving feats of both engineering and storytelling alongside Canada’s most prolific contemporary photographer,” says Dean Barbara Crow, Faculty of Arts and Science.

    On-campus academic activities cancelled today due to weather

    Only essential areas on campus are operating. 

    Due to COVID-19, Queen’s university has already been operating with most academic and operational activities occurring remotely. 

    As the result of the current and forecasted weather conditions, the few remaining on-campus academic activities are cancelled. In addition, the university will only operate with a reduced level of service.  This means:

    • Instructors with classes on campus/in-person will determine whether they will continue remote or cancel the class.  Instructors will provide further details.
    • Remote classes will continue as scheduled.
    • Employees working remotely should continue to do so.
    • Employees that are scheduled to come to campus should work remotely if possible. 
    • Only essential areas should be operational on campus. Managers of these areas should determine the level of staffing that is needed to keep these operations functioning. 

    More details on the University’s inclement weather process and a list of essential areas can be found on the Inclement Weather webpage

    If you are required to travel to campus, please allow extra time and proceed with caution.

    Online career events in January

    Job search and networking opportunities for all students are continuing online this term as pandemic-related restrictions remain in place. Faculty and staff are encouraged to promote these activities to students who are exploring their career options.

    Upcoming events this month, include:

    Career Networking Event for Indigenous Students – Wednesday, Jan. 19, 4-6 pm

    Co-hosted by Queen’s Career Services, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, and Aboriginal Access to Engineering, Indigenous students and recent Queen’s graduates can make connections with potential employers that can lead to short-term and long-term career opportunities.

    First piloted in November 2020, the event was a success for both students and employers who recognize and value the contributions of Indigenous colleagues, employees, and partners.

    Students can register in MyCareer.

    Engineering & Technology Fair – Jan. 19-20

    This two-part, two-day event is open to all students and recent grads seeking internships and full-time positions in engineering and technology fields.

    On Wednesday Jan. 19, Career Services staff members and resume coaches will be available to provide advice and support to help prepare participants for meeting with employers the following day.

    Students from all disciplines are encouraged to attend, as recruiters often look for candidates beyond those with engineering and technology backgrounds. Once registered, students can preview the exhibitor booths and learn about which employers will be attending, their organizations, and available jobs.

    Students and recent grads are invited to register below for one or both days:

    Summer Opportunities Fair – Jan. 26, 10:30 am-3:30 pm

    This annual event is open to all students, and connects them to employers for summer work, including part-time positions, internships, international experiences, and more.

    Once registered, students can preview the exhibitor booths. Some booths may not be fully set up until closer to the event date and additional booths are being added, as exhibitors continue to register.

    Email Queen’s Career Services at qocr@queensu.ca with any questions or assistance with any of these events.

    For all Career Services events, services and supports, visit careers.queensu.ca

    Six Canada Research Chairs announced for Queen’s

    The Canada Research Chairs program advances the country’s position as a leader in discovery and innovation.

    As part of a bundled science announcement made today by the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne five researchers at Queen’s University have been named Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs (CRC) – including two new appointments and three renewals  and one Tier 2 CRC. The prestigious honour recognizes outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields

    The new CRCs are Katherine McKittrick (Gender Studies) (Tier 1), Caroline Pukall (Psychology) (Tier 1), and Kimberly Dunham-Snary (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) (Tier 2). Ying Zou (Electrical and Computer Engineering) has been promoted from a Tier 2 to a Tier 1 Chair, and, seeing a renewal of their Tier 1 CRC appointments, are Mark Daymond (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), and Alan Jeffrey Giacomin (Chemical Engineering).

    “The Canada Research Chairs program continues to attract  and retain our country’s best and brightest researchers,” says Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal (Research). “Each of these outstanding researchers will continue to contribute to new discoveries across multiple disciplines, enhancing the culture of research excellence here at Queen’s.” 

    Support for cutting-edge research
    As part of today’s bundled science announcement, Queen’s also received over $24 million in support from the New Frontiers in Research Fund: Transformation stream to advance research into cutting-edge molecular coatings that preserve metals from deteriorating. Additionally, for the 2020-21 period Queen’s University received a total of 281 Tri-Agency Scholarships and Fellowships for graduate students, with an overall funding value of more than $7.25 million.

    The CRC program is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s national funding bodies. There are two levels to the CRC program: Tier 1 chairs (seven-year term) are recognized by their peers as world leaders in their respective fields, while Tier 2 chairs (five-year term) are recognized as emerging leaders in their research areas.

    Currently, Queen’s is home to 49 Canada Research Chairs.

    “I am beyond proud of the Canadian institutions and researchers who think outside disciplines and borders to tackle major challenges,” says Minister Champagne. “These programs are a catalyst for amplifying new voices, insights and discoveries that will answer communities’ needs, elevate our innovation hub and shape Canada’s prosperity for years to come. Congratulations to all recipients!”

    Overall, on Wednesday, the Government of Canada, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), invested than $9.5 million in research infrastructure to support 43 Canada Research Chairs at 19 institutions across the country.

    Queen’s new and renewed CRCs are:

    Katherine McKittrickKatherine McKittrick (Gender Studies), CRC in Black Studies, Tier 1 (SSHRC)

    Dr. McKittrick’s research program will analyze the interdisciplinary contours of Black Studies and the emergence of ecological and aesthetic themes in this field. Theorizing interdisciplinarity as a decolonial epistemology and methodology, the project uniquely decenters self-identity and emphasizes collaborative and creative knowledge-making as entwined with physiography. Specifically, drawing out and employing methodologies in Black Studies will uncover a sustained engagement with how the racial dimensions of climate catastrophe are creatively theorized in black communities.

    Caroline PukallCaroline Pukall (Psychology), CRC in Sexual Health, Tier 1 (CIHR)

    Genitopelvic pain affects one in five people, negatively impacting their sexuality, mental health, and quality of life. Dr. Pukall will reposition her work by focusing on genitopelvic pain in sexually- and gender diverse populations, significantly expanding the narrow lens inherent in the field by conducting an inclusive, online, longitudinal survey to establish key knowledge about pain and sexuality experiences, developing an effective pain management program that espouses diversity, and applying a multimethod framework to investigate the sensory and vascular correlates of pain.

    Kimberly Dunham-SnaryKimberly Dunham-Snary (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), CRC in Mitochondrial and Metabolic Regulation in Health and Disease, Tier 2 (CIHR)

    Dr. Dunham-Snary wants improve care for patients with cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs), including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension (high blood pressure) by identifying a ‘fingerprint’ for CMD to enable early intervention for sub-populations at risk. CMDs are metabolic diseases associated with dysfunctional mitochondria (the energy powerhouse of the cell). She will will explore how mitochondrial structure and genetics alter the body’s cell signaling switchboard, causing cell growth, inflammation, and other issues leading to CMD. 

    Ying ZouYing Zou (Electrical and Computer Engineering), CRC in Software Evolution, Tier 1 (NSERC)

    We rely on software applications to pay our bills, to shop, and to stream videos online. Their quality is critical and cannot be compromised by their ever-increasing user base and programming complexity. Dr. Zou’s research program will develop leading-edge methods and tools in software analytics and apply machine learning techniques to build smart infrastructure that can provide intelligent support for software development and evolution, leading to a substantial improvement in software engineering practices with respect to the quality and cost-effective development and evolution of reliable software applications.

    Mark DaymondMark Daymond (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), CRC in Mechanics of Materials, Tier 1 (NSERC)

    Understanding how materials deform and fail is crucial in many applications, as we try and design components. For example maximizing the lifetime of power plant components, or minimizing the weight of automotive components, with resultant fuel savings.  Practical engineering materials like metals are complex, inhomogeneous collections of crystals or grains. These grains have different behaviours dependent on orientation and surroundings. Dr. Daymond’s program investigates the influence of such local inhomogeneity and the resulting internal stress on materials' deformation as well as the processes occurring under stress and temperature fluctuations. One particular are of interest is the impact of radiation on local scale phenomena. The research will define deformation mechanisms that drive development of practical engineering techniques and component design.

    Alan Jeffrey GiacominAlan Jeffrey Giacomin (Chemical Engineering, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy), CRC in Physics of Fluids, Tier 1 (NSERC)

    Dr. Giacomin will extend and advance his world-leading studies in rheology to embrace more broadly the physics of fluids, uncovering the physics underlying the flow of matter. Anticipated accomplishments with his team of highly-qualified graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will include predicting nonlinear rheological responses for any macromolecular shape; revealing how macromolecular structure affects polymer processing; and pioneering how the coronavirus spiked structure and its bulbous spike shapes determine the transport properties governing cell binding and infection.

    Queen's is currently recruiting a number of new CRC positions in cutting-edge research areas, for more information, visit the Canada Research Chairs recruitment page on the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) Portfolio website.  To find out more about existing CRCs at Queen's, visit the Canada Research Chairs at Queen’s University.


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