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Engineering and Applied Science

Driving innovation

GM Canada President Steve Carlisle to visit Queen’s for Principal’s Forum presentation on innovation in the auto industry.

Steve Carlisle, President and Managing Director, General Motors of Canada, will visit campus on Nov. 11 as part of the Principal’s Forum distinguished lecture series. Mr. Carlisle will deliver a presentation on the importance of innovation in the auto industry, as well as future challenges and opportunities for the next generation of auto engineers.

“Innovations and creative solutions will be key to success for the next generation of business and technology leaders,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “I am delighted to welcome Mr. Carlisle to Queen’s to share with our community his wealth of experience in the rapidly changing automotive industry. It is my hope that our students, faculty, and members of the greater Kingston community will leave this lecture with a more thorough understanding of the power of collaboration and innovation in driving the future of the automobile, transportation, and technologies that cut across sectors.”

Mr. Carlisle first joined GM as a co-op student in 1982 at the Oshawa truck assembly plant. Rising through the ranks over the past 30 years, he has witnessed first-hand the changes and challenges faced by the North American auto industry and the need for manufacturers to innovate. Beginning his career in advanced manufacturing engineering, he has also served in roles relating to materials management, product simplification, and advanced product engineering. Mr. Carlisle has held a number of senior leadership positions at General Motors, which have taken him around the globe and given him a unique perspective on the industry.

Aside from his role at General Motors, Mr. Carlisle remains active in the business and academic communities. He serves on the Ontario Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity; the University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, and is Chair of the Advanced Technology Committee of Canadian Automotive Partnership Council. From 2014 to 2016, he served as a member of Business Leaders of Michigan, and has been a member of the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

Mr. Carlisle’s public talk will take place in the atrium of Beamish-Munro Hall from 12:30- 1:30 pm on Nov. 11. The event is open to the public and free to attend.

Established in 2012, the Principal’s Forum is a public lecture series that takes place on Queen’s campus. It enables the principal to invite distinguished visitors to campus to speak on issues of interest to the Queen’s community. Past speakers include The Rt. Hon. David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, technology entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews, and Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen of the Canadian Space Agency.

Golden Age for Science Formal

  • Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science transform Grant Hall into the "The Golden Age of Film" for the 114th Science Formal. (University Communications)
    Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science transform Grant Hall into the "The Golden Age of Film" for the 114th Science Formal. (University Communications)
  • A pair of Queen's engineering students work on one of the railings that will be added to the main structure, which is modeled after an Academy Awards stage. (University Communications)
    A pair of Queen's engineering students work on one of the railings that will be added to the main structure, which is modeled after an Academy Awards stage. (University Communications)
  • It takes thousands of volunteer hours from engineering students to help transform Grant Hall for the 114th Science Formal, being held Saturday, Nov. 5. (University Communications)
    It takes thousands of volunteer hours from engineering students to help transform Grant Hall for the 114th Science Formal, being held Saturday, Nov. 5. (University Communications)

Grant Hall has been filled with the sounds of pounding hammers and saws buzzing this week as students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science have been hard at work setting up the Science Formal.

In its 114th edition, the Science Formal is set for Saturday, Nov. 5, and hundreds of students have been hard at work creating the decorations, highlighted by the massive centerpiece structure. This year’s theme is “The Golden Age of Film.” The event is also a fundraiser for the United Way of Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington.

While the focus is on creating an atmosphere worthy of the history-filled celebration, it is also an opportunity for engineering students to put their education to work and pick up some new skills.

“Everyone has a lot of good skills,” says convener Brent Fallis, Sc’17, adding that there has been a conscious effort to incorporate students from a wider range of engineering programs. “Being able to apply those is a pretty good way to get people to put the pedal to the metal in a time like this.”

Ahead of the celebration, Grant Hall will be opened to the public for tours on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and entry is by donation to help support the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Over the past 13 years the Science Formal Open House has raised more than $15,000 for the United Way.

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

Building bridges to female engineers

[Go ENG Girl]
Go ENG Girl participants talk with a panel of engineering academics and professionals during the 2015 event at Queen's. (Supplied Photo)

Go ENG Girl is aimed at introducing female students in grades 7 to 10 to the many areas of study and career possibilities in engineering. Having been involved with the program for four years as Engineering Outreach Coordinator at Queen’s, Scott Compeau has seen the positive effects first-hand.

From time to time, a student will tell him that the reason she is studying at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is because of Go ENG Girl or a similar outreach program at Queen’s or elsewhere.

That’s exactly what he wants to hear.

“We are seeing a consistent increase in the number of girls who are not only attending our program but are having interest in the science and engineering fields,” he says, adding that such programs play a key role in increasing diversity and gender balance in engineering. “We get a lot of repeat girls coming back from year to year (for Go ENG Girl), which speaks to the program itself and some of the things that we do, because they seem to be having a great experience and they look forward to coming to the next one.”

Go ENG Girl is being held in Ellis Hall (58 University Avenue) at Queen’s University on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9:15am – 2:30pm. While response has been good, there still are 10 available spots remaining. Go ENG Girl is free for all participants with lunch provided where the students can socialize with peers and female STEM role models.

Attendees come from around eastern Ontario, and not only are introduced to engineering but to Queen’s as well. It’s also an opportunity to connect with positive female role models, whether engineering students or professionals.

One such role model is keynote speaker Charlene Falkenburger, a Queen’s Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry graduate who is currently working as the Global Operations Manager for Dr. Roebuck's, an Australian natural skincare company that promotes all aspects of healthy living including exercise, clean eating and what you put on your skin Click here to register. The schedule of events can be viewed on the Queen’s Go ENG Girl webpage.

For more information, contact Scott Compeau at 613-533-6000 ext. 75640, or by email.

Research in motion

Reza Nosrati is the first Queen’s researcher to receive the Colton Medal for Research Excellence.

Groundbreaking research into infertility issues has earned Queen’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow Reza Nosrati the 2016 Douglas R. Colton Medal for Research Excellence from CMC Microsystems. Dr. Nosrati is the first Queen’s researcher to receive the award since it was founded in 1994.

Dr. Nosrati’s research examines the fluid mechanics of male infertility treatment. His work which has been praised for its simplicity, functionality, and for its commercial potential, holds promise for applications in assisted reproduction, cell biology and sensing, and early stage cancer detection. Patent applications have been filed for at least three of his inventions.

Reza Nosrati has won the Douglas R. Colton Medal for Research Excellence.

“I am truly honored to receive 2016 Colton Medal, particularly given the previous distinguished recipients, including my PhD supervisor, David Sinton,” says Dr. Nosrati. “This prestigious recognition brings me tremendous encouragement to keep improving these microtechnologies towards commercial products, which I believe will have a sure impact on assisted reproduction in Canada and worldwide by alleviating major emotional and financial burdens for infertile families.”

Dr. Nosrati was recruited to Queen’s as a result of the inaugural Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds competition, after completing his doctorate at the University of Toronto. He completed a masters degree at the University of Tehran, and a bachelor’s degree at the Amirkabir University of Technology, in Tehran, Iran.

In 2015 Dr. Nosrati attracted global attention for his discovery that sperm have a distinct “slither” swimming mode that can be critical for reproductive success – in the process, answering a key question about the natural process of fertilization.

His current investigations include developing clinical technologies for selecting sperm with high DNA integrity, developing microfluidic technologies to detect ovarian cancer biomarkers in blood, and to study the process of fertilization. Other research includes studying the biology, physics and biomechanical behaviour of bacteria.

His research collaborators include researchers from the University of Toronto, McGill University, and Mount Sinai Hospital.

“Dr. Nosrati’s receipt of the Colton Medal at this early stage in his career is evidence of true research excellence,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “If Dr. Nosrati’s research and output speaks to the emerging generation of Canada’s intellectual leadership and innovation leaders, I am very excited to see what the future holds. 

Dr. Nosrati has published more than 40 papers – 14 of which have been published in high-profile scientific journals such as Nature Communications, The Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Clinical Chemistry.

“Dr. Nosrati is an example for all of us in his ability to combine scientific curiosity, multidisciplinary collaboration and technological innovation to answer difficult questions, while producing elegant, deceptively simple and commercially promising solutions,” says Ian McWalter, President and CEO of CMC Microsystems.  “He also has the distinction of following in the footsteps of his University of Toronto supervisor, Professor David Sinton, who won the Colton Medal in 2006.”

For more information visit the website.

New art piece unveiled in Beamish-Munro Hall

  • Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Kim Woodhouse welcomes former principal Bill Leggett and his wife Claire, at Beamish-Munro Hall.
    Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Kim Woodhouse welcomes former principal Bill Leggett and his wife Claire, at Beamish-Munro Hall.
  • Former principal Bill Leggett speaks during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 13 of the art piece 'synapse,' that is dedicated to the 17th principal of Queen's.
    Former principal Bill Leggett speaks during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 13 of the art piece 'synapse,' that is dedicated to the 17th principal of Queen's.
  • Former principal Bill Leggett speaks during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 13 of the art piece 'synapse,' that is dedicated to the 17th principal of Queen's.
    Former principal Bill Leggett speaks during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 13 of the art piece 'synapse,' that is dedicated to the 17th principal of Queen's.
  • Adorning the front foyer of Beamish-Munro Hall, 'synapse' was created by artist Kwest, with the collaboration of a number of students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
    Adorning the front foyer of Beamish-Munro Hall, 'synapse' was created by artist Kwest, with the collaboration of a number of students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

Homecoming this year marks the inauguration of a new artwork piece featured the front foyer of Beamish-Munro Hall.

The 38-foot-tall sculpture of steel, wood, acrylic and paint is meant to add dramatic impact to the entryway and to symbolise the intersection of art and engineering. Toronto artist Kwest completed and installed the work the first week of September.

“It’s creating something that could last at Queen’s for generations,” Kwest says. “I see it as an awesome opportunity. The space is amazing. This city is amazing. It’s been a really cool process.”

The process of creating the piece spanned six months. Earlier this spring Kwest and a group of Queen’s engineering students gathered for two days to workshop ideas. Together they visited the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Queen’s University Archives to gather inspiration. They talked a lot about engineering at Queen’s, the creative aspects of engineering design and the legacy the new piece represents.

“In most public art calls, you submit your ideas and all the work falls to you,” Kwest says. “In this case, the collaboration with students was unique. It’s one thing that really appealed to me about this installation: being able to create a piece with the students who actually go here and know what this place is about. It’s about getting a better understanding about what’s actually happening here.”

Queen’s engineering student Max Lindley-Peart is one of those who worked with Kwest in the spring.

“It was really interesting doing a bit of background research behind the piece, trying to understand what we wanted to represent,” he says. “What does it mean to be part of Queen’s engineering? What is the history of Queen’s? How is that going to play into the piece? I really enjoyed that process.”

The piece, eventually named ‘synapse,’ was dedicated, Thursday, Oct. 13 by Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Kim Woodhouse in honour of Queen’s 17th principal and vice-chancellor William C. Leggett.

“My personal favourite time to see the art is at night,” says Lindley-Peart. “I love biking by on my way home after class. It’s so wonderful with the lights. It’s a really nice introduction to the space and I can’t wait to see the plaque that explains what’s going on in it.”

3D printing a path to success

Queen’s engineering student uses QyourVenture, crowdfunding to take business to the next level.

Having launched his business before arriving at Queen’s, Mechanical Engineering student Eric Sammut (Sc’18) was looking for the support and mentorship necessary to take his startup – DisTech Automation – to the next level. Thanks to the resources available through the QyourVenture program, he recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to help launch an innovative new product that will push the limits of desktop 3D printing.

Eric Sammut (Sc’18) has been able to grow his 3D printing business, DisTech Automation, through the QyourVenture accellerator program. (Supplied Photo)

“My business was already established when I arrived at Queen’s so programs such as QICSI weren’t quite what I was looking for,” says Mr. Sammut. “I met with Greg Bavington and he told me about QyourVenture – a newly-formed incubator program for established entrepreneurs. That was just what I needed.”

QyourVenture is a key pillar of the innovation and entrepreneurship programming offered at Queen’s. The program, designed for students who already have established businesses, offers students access to workspace at Innovation Park for up to two years, as well as the opportunity to compete for seed funding.

DisTech's latest product, The Prometheus System, allows 3D printer users to print with multiple colours or materials from a single hot-end. (Supplied Photo)

In his first year with QyourVenture, Mr. Sammut applied for and received about $4,000 in funding to support new product development. His startup produces after-market accessories for 3D printers with their latest product, the Prometheus System, allowing users to print objects using multiple colours or materials through a single print nozzle – eliminating colour contamination and enabling easy and affordable multi-filament 3D printing.

“3D printing has always been limited to a single colour or material,” says Mr. Sammut. “I have a unique solution, in that I use a single nozzle and switch between multiple filaments that feed into that one nozzle. It’s much more elegant than other solutions on the market and really simplifies the process of creating multi-colour and multi-material objects.”

In addition to funding opportunities, QyourVenture also gave Mr. Sammut the opportunity to connect with a mentor at Launch Lab – the Regional Innovation Centre that is co-located at Innovation Park with Queen’s University and Parteq Innovations. Through QYourVenture and Innovation Park, he also has access to work space and equipment such as laser cutters which are a crucial component of the manufacturing process for his products.

By allowing users to print with multiple colours, the Prometheus System opens up new opportunities for 3D printing. (Supplied Photo)

In recent weeks, Mr. Sammut ran a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to put the Prometheus System into development. In just 80 minutes, he surpassed his $10,000 funding goal – raising a total of $40,000 in the first 24 hours – and ended the campaign with $76,215 pledged. Mr. Sammut says the campaign and his QyourVenture experience have further cemented for him the importance of taking charge of all aspects of a product launch – from product design to promotion and media outreach.

“Entrepreneurship is all about taking calculated risks and making the most out of the skills and resources you have available,” says Mr. Sammut. “I have learned a lot as an entrepreneur and I’m very thankful for the help Greg Bavington and the QyourVenture program have given me over the past few years.”

Innovation and entrepreneurship programming at Queen’s has a pan-university focus, setting it apart from other universities in Ontario. Students from all faculties have the opportunity to participate in innovative and entrepreneurial activities using state of the art equipment, technology and resources across campus. To learn more about the opportunities and programs available to help Queen’s students at all stages entrepreneurship, please visit the Queen’s Innovation Connector website.

Current issue of For the Record

For the Record provides postings of appointment, committee, grant, award, PhD examination, and other notices set out by collective agreements and university policies and processes. It is the university’s primary vehicle for sharing this information with our community.

The next issue of For the Record will be published Thursday, Oct. 20. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, Oct. 18. For the Record is published bi-weekly throughout the academic year and monthly during the summer.

Submit For the Record information for posting to Senior Communications Officer Wanda Praamsma

Appointments

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

New appointments:

  • Julián Ortiz, Associate Professor, Robert M Buchan Department of Mining – Aug 1, 2016

Faculty of Health Sciences

Daniel W. Howes – Head of the Department of Critical Care Medicine

Dean Richard Reznick is pleased to announce that Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen’s University, has appointed Daniel W. Howes as head of the Department of Critical Care Medicine for a five-year period as of Sept.1, 2016.

Dr. Howes completed his undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Guelph and his medical degree at Dalhousie University in 1994. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at Queen’s in 1999, and received a Critical Care Fellowship at Queen’s in 1998. Dr. Howes attended Harvard University’s Macey Institute Program for Health Science Educators in 2006.

Dr. Howes joined Queen’s as an assistant professor in 2001 and is currently a professor in the departments of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. He is the director of the Clinical Simulation Centre for the School of Medicine, as well as the lead for the Kingston General Hospital RACE team, and serves as the medical director for the Regional Trauma Program of Southeastern Ontario.

Dr. Howes has served in several key roles as part of Kingston and southeastern Ontario’s trauma programs and trauma education programs. He has been the recipient of several teaching awards, including the 2016 H.F. Pross Award, the 2011 Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award, and was Critical Care Teacher of the Year in 2005-06 and 2010-11. He also received the Canadian Association of Medical Educators Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Contributions to Medical Education in 2012.

Dr. Howes is an active researcher, with academic interests in resuscitation, medical education and medical simulation. As an active member of several research teams, Dr. Howes has been involved in multiple funded research initiatives and scholarly publications, and has presented widely at national and international conferences.

Dr. Reznick extends his thanks to John Drover for his leadership and service to the Department of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Drover has been the leader of Queen's Critical Care Medicine Program for 14 years, and it was through Dr. Drover’s vision and his efforts that Critical Care Medicine was established as a department of Queen’s University in September 2015.

Awards

New inductees for Smith Faculty Hall of Fame announced

Established in 2009, the Faculty Hall of Fame recognizes Smith School of Business faculty members who made significant contributions to the school during their tenure. Outstanding research, exceptional mentoring, and excellent teaching are a few of the accomplishments of the 2016 Faculty Hall of Fame inductees.

Recipients are chosen by a selection committee comprised of the dean, senior university leaders, alumni, as well as current faculty and students.This year’s inductees are:

  • R.G.R (Gordon) Cassidy: 1972-1997
  • R.H (Bob) Crandall: 1961-1990
  • R.L (Rick) Jackson: 1974-2014
  • C.A (Carl) Lawrence: 1963-1991
  • J.E (Ev) Smyth: 1946-1961

All inductees will be honoured at a ceremony in Goodes Hall on Oct. 11. Pen and ink portraits of each member will be displayed in Goodes Hall.

To learn more about the contributions of these inspirational professors, visit the Faculty Hall of Fame website.

Committees

Advisory Committee — Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon announced that Kimberly Woodhouse’s second five-year term as dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will end on June 30, 2017, and that Dr. Woodhouse has indicated that she does not wish to be considered for another term. 

Provost Bacon will chair a committee to advise Principal Daniel Woolf on the present state and future prospects of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and on the selection of the next dean. 

The provost’s office invites letters and commentary regarding the faculty and to suggest individuals to serve on the advisory committee via email to lacey.monk@queensu.ca, until Oct. 10, 2016. Respondents are asked to indicate whether they wish to have their letters shown, in confidence, to the members of the advisory committee.

Headship Selection Committee — Department of Chemical Engineering

James McLellan’s term as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering ends June 30, 2017. 

In accordance with the terms of Article 41 of the Collective Agreement between Queen’s University Faculty Association and Queen’s University, a selection committee will be formed to consider the present state and future prospects of the department, and to assist the provost and vice-principal (academic) in the selection of a department head. Members of the bargaining unit will elect five members. Faculty, staff and students are also invited to nominate staff and students from the Department of Chemical Engineering and faculty from cognate disciplines, for membership on the selection committee. Nominations should be sent to Dean Kim Woodhouse (Chair), c/o Dayna Smith (dayna.smith@queensu.ca) Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science by Oct. 20, 2016.  

Human Resources

Successful Candidates

Job Title: Registered Practical Nurse (USW Local 2010)
Department: Student Wellness Services
Competition: 2016-229
Successful Candidate: Jenna McManus

Job Title: Programs Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Department of Philosophy
Competition: 2016-283
Successful Candidate: Susanne Cliff-Jungling

Job Title: Graduate Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Education
Competition: 2016-258
Successful Candidate: Cassandra Bryce

Job Title: Departmental Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Emergency Medicine
Competition: 2016-263
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Director, Finance - Facilities
Department: Physical Plant Services
Competition: 2016-202
Successful Candidate: Ginette Denford (Student Affairs)

Job Title: Manager, ITS Finance and Administration
Department: Information Technology Services
Competition: 2016-208
Successful Candidate: Mary Kemp

Job Title: Administrative Assistant Student Services (USW Local 2010)
Department: Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean Services Affairs
Competition: 2016-230
Successful Candidate: Gail Motut-Plata (Disability Services)

Job Title: Manager, Financial Analysis and Reporting
Department: Financial Services
Competition: 2016-218
Successful Candidate: Michelle Perry

Job Title: Business Analyst, Gift Planning
Department: Development, Gift Planning
Competition: 2016-212
Successful Candidate: Lydia Scholle-Cotton

Job Title: Graduate Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Education
Competition: 2016-261
Successful Candidate: Janice Tsui

Weigh in on future of Engineering and Applied Science, search for next dean

Dean Kimberly Woodhouse’s 10-year tenure to end in June 2017.

Kimberly Woodhouse has served two terms as dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. (Supplied Photo) 

Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon announced today that Kimberly Woodhouse’s second five-year term as dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will end on June 30, 2017, and that Dr. Woodhouse has indicated that she does not wish to be considered for another term. 

Provost Bacon will chair a committee to advise Principal Daniel Woolf on the present state and future prospects of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and on the selection of the next dean. 

“I would like to encourage all members of the community to provide input regarding the faculty, and to suggest individuals to serve on the advisory committee,” says Provost Bacon.

The provost’s office invites letters and commentary via email to lacey.monk@queensu.ca, until Oct. 10, 2016. Respondents are asked to indicate whether they wish to have their letters shown, in confidence, to the members of the advisory committee.  

Q&A: Astronaut Jeremy Hansen

Learn more about becoming an astronaut and achieving your dreams in this Q&A interview with Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Jeremy Hansen. 

  • Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen discusses the career path that led him to the Canadian Space Agency, including his time as a CF-18 Hornet pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
    Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen discusses the career path that led him to the Canadian Space Agency, including his time as a CF-18 Hornet pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
  • Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen discusses the lengthy training process to become an astronaut. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
    Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen discusses the lengthy training process to become an astronaut. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf leads the question and answer period with Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
    Principal Daniel Woolf leads the question and answer period with Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
  • Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen replies to a question from a student during the Q&A. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
    Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen replies to a question from a student during the Q&A. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
  • Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen speaks to a packed crowd of students at the Beamish-Munro Hall Atrium on Sept. 23. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)
    Lt.-Col. Jeremy Hansen speaks to a packed crowd of students at the Beamish-Munro Hall Atrium on Sept. 23. (Photo Credit: Bernard Clark)

Following his Principal’s Forum speech, Lt.-Col. Hansen sat down with communications officer Chris Armes to discuss lessons learned and tips for those who wish to shoot for the stars.

Chris Armes: Most people, at some point in their childhood, dream about being an astronaut. When did you first decide to actively pursue that dream and what inspired you to do so?

Jeremy Hansen: I was inspired to be an explorer and an astronaut at a very early age – early elementary school – mostly by seeing images of the moon landing, but my understanding of what it is to be an astronaut wasn’t clear yet obviously. It developed over time. I constantly updated that goal and that dream of being an astronaut as I continued to understand what it is to really be an explorer and never really gave up on that.

The biggest thing that I did that helped me was that I shared these dreams and aspirations with other people. You don’t do anything in a vacuum by yourself. Other people will help you achieve your goals – you just have to enable them to do so by sharing them.

CA: When you were selected by the CSA in 2009, what did you expect training to be like and how did it compare to your expectation?

JH: When I was selected I guess I didn’t really understand what the day-to-day life would be like. I had a very good picture of the demands of spaceflight, how much training time was involved – roughly two years of training for a mission once you’re selected prior to launch, six months on the International Space Station – things like that. What I didn’t know was what the day-to-day would be like. I assumed it would be pretty demanding, and it is. There’s a lot to learn and in your initial two years after selection. You basically spend all your time training. What I didn’t really get was, after I finished that initial training, that I would be a contributor to the larger space program. Now that I’m a trained astronaut, even though I haven’t flown, I spend a lot of my time contributing to the program and working with a huge team of people that makes spaceflight possible.

CA: On that same topic, what misconceptions do you find the general public has when it comes to astronaut training or space exploration in general?

JH: There are some misconceptions I see a lot. One is that spaceflight is commonplace and easy. We have learned a lot over the history of spaceflight for sure, but we are still pushing that envelope. Space is not easy for us. Every single day we have people in orbit and it is a huge challenge to maintain that. Now, we work as an international community to get this done, which adds other challenges to the work. One of the greatest rewards of the International Space Station is that we have now set an amazing example of what humanity can do by working together.

The other big thing worth considering is this invisible space infrastructure. We are so reliant on space, as humans today. There are so many conveniences and so many efficiencies that we have in today’s world and they are completely reliant on space. If we had a day without space, people would be shocked at the impact it would have on everything from driving to banking to your phones – it would have so much impact on humanity. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to push technology in space. We have to understand how we’re going to maintain that infrastructure in the future and how we’re going to do a better job of it and make it more affordable.

CA: What do universities need to do to prepare, not just the next generation of astronauts, but the next generation of leaders in science and technology?

JH: Probably the most important things going forward are going to be the way we communicate information and the way we organize information. People need to understand how they can contribute in a collaborative effort. We have this amazing communications system now – the Internet – so how are we going to organize ourselves in the future so we don’t have all this duplication of effort and nobody achieving the ultimate goal. We will need to be able to work together, set goals, set priorities, bring information together and organize it and find the right solutions so we can accomplish the most amazing things in the future. A lot of the ideas to do that will originate in universities.

CA: You’re currently awaiting a mission assignment. What is the one thing that you look forward to most about going to space?

JH: I know absolutely what I’m looking forward the most to when I get to space. It’s going to be the opportunity to look out the window at our planet. It’s very obvious to me that it’s a very emotional experience to see the planet from space with your own eyes. I’m just so excited to float up to that window, look out and just gaze upon planet Earth from space.

CA: What would be one take away from today’s presentation that you’d want attendees to leave with?

JH: In the space program, we set big goals on behalf of humanity that brings together an incredible team of people who, individually, would accomplish incredible things. But, when they are brought together with a common goal and united, they often accomplish the most impossible things. What I would love students to understand is what they need to do with their lives – they need to set goals. Some of them short-term, some of them long-term, but set goals, start off on the journey to achieve them, surround yourself with people who can help you achieve those goals, be that kind of person for the people around you and you will have a very fulfilling life experience.

 

Celebrating science literacy

Queen's University Library is celebrating Science Literacy Week Sept. 19-23, an annual event that brings Canadians together to celebrate science and share an appreciation for the insights, inventions and ideas that shape our world.

Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) makes a presentation on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during last year's Science Literacy Week at Queen's University. (Supplied photo)

This is the second year Queen’s University Library has hosted events for the Queen’s community.

“It makes sense for the library to host this event given our priorities of enhancing learning and research within the Queen’s community,” says Tatiana Zaraiskaya, Public Service and E-Science Librarian and Science Literacy Week event organizer. “It is also a great opportunity for us to provide a forum to engage with others across a number of different fields.”

Currently scheduled presentations include a Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) demo by Francine Berish, Geospatial Data Librarian, and an Online Anatomy Resources Demo at Bracken Health Sciences Library by Sarah Wickett, Health Informatics Librarian. There will also be tours of the Anatomy Museum conducted by Dr. Stephen Pang, the Miller Museum of Geology by Mark Badham, and the Museum of Health Care, an exhibit in W. D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections hosted by Alvan Bregman, Head of Special Collections, and Jillian Sparks, Special Collections Librarian, and science book displays.

For the full schedule, please see the schedule of events.

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