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Research Prominence

Capturing the creativity of research

This year’s Art of Research Photo Contest winners announced.

  • Community Collaborations - Exploring Worlds at Home - Mars Desert Research Station, Utah, James Xie (Undergraduate student, Engineering Chemistry)
    Community Collaborations - Exploring Worlds at Home - Mars Desert Research Station, Utah, James Xie (Undergraduate student, Engineering Chemistry): The Queen's Space Engineering Team constructs a Mars rover each year to compete at the international University Rover Challenge in Utah. QSET brings together over 40 students from engineering, science, commerce and the arts to design, build and operate the rover. The rover can autonomously navigate treacherous landscapes, collect geological data, analyze samples and remotely operate machinery. It can be seen here gazing out into the Utah desert. The rover is a culmination of countless hours of volunteer work and generous support from both Queen’s and industry partners. The team was proud to be the top team in Canada at the 2017 competition.
  • Invisible Discoveries - Platinum Surface Electrochemistry - Queen’s Department of Chemistry, Derek Esau (PhD student, Chemistry)
    Invisible Discoveries - Platinum Surface Electrochemistry - Queen’s Department of Chemistry, Derek Esau (PhD student, Chemistry): The single crystal of platinum gently hangs atop an electrolyte surface. Electrochemistry is a surface-sensitive field of research, as the composition and atomic arrangement of the electrode drastically affect its properties. Atoms in a single crystal are highly ordered, and we are able to cut and polish a crystal in such a way that we only expose one of the many possible surface arrangements. The single crystal electrode is balanced on the surface of the electrolyte to ensure that only the polished surface is exposed. These experiments give us fundamental information about electrochemical reactions, which are integral to the field of clean energy.
  • Out in the Field - Landscapes of Resistance - Lote Ocho, Izabal, Guatemala, Alexandra Pedersen (PhD student, Geography and Planning)
    Out in the Field - Landscapes of Resistance - Lote Ocho, Izabal, Guatemala, Alexandra Pedersen (PhD student, Geography and Planning): As a feminist/activist geographer, much of my doctoral research has concentrated on Indigenous and non-Indigenous communal experiences of violent development in Guatemala. An emblematic case of community conflict with, and resistance to, transnational corporate interests comes from the remote community of Lote Ocho. There, Irma Yolanda Choc Cac (pictured here) is one of eleven Indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya women pursuing a civil court case against the Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals for sexual assaults allegedly committed during a violent eviction of her community from their ancestral lands in 2007.
  • Art in Action - Unspooling Vermeer - Kimmel Center, Philadelphia PA, USA, Stephanie Dickey (Faculty, Art History and Art Conservation)
    Art in Action - Unspooling Vermeer - Kimmel Center, Philadelphia PA, USA, Stephanie Dickey (Faculty, Art History and Art Conservation): Wherever I go, I look for evidence of how the historical art I study impacts visual culture today. In “After Vermeer 2,” an installation from 2006 by New York artist Devorah Sperber, 5024 spools of thread strung on steel chains recreate, upside down, the famous “Girl with a Pearl Earring” painted by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer around 1665. My photo captures the viewer’s experience of looking through a glass sphere in which the image rights itself. Vermeer, whose paintings explored both optics and female experience, would surely have appreciated this perceptive transformation of his art.
  • Best Description - Inside Concord Floral - Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, ON, Naseem Loloie (Undergraduate student, Dan School of Drama and Music)
    Best Description - Inside Concord Floral - Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, ON, Naseem Loloie (Undergraduate student, Dan School of Drama and Music): Under the heat of the lights, covered in a stranger’s clothes, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the stage – this is when the actor’s transformation comes to life. During Theatre Kingston’s production of Jordan Tannahill’s Concord Floral, the audience and actors are seated inside an abandoned greenhouse – or at least, a stage mimicking a greenhouse through set design by Sean Mulcahy and lighting by Jennifer Lennon. As both an actor and an assistant director in this production, Naseem’s research focuses on costume, lighting, set and staging and their transformative effects on the actor’s experience as they become a character.
  • People’s Choice - Biomimetic Scaffolds - Dupuis Hall, Queen’s University, Fei Chen (Staff, Chemical Engineering)
    People’s Choice - Biomimetic Scaffolds - Dupuis Hall, Queen’s University, Fei Chen (Staff, Chemical Engineering): The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) of the knee joint, one of the strongest ligaments of the body, is also the target of traumatic injuries. Once injured, its healing potential is limited. The ACL mainly consists of packed and thick collagen fibres oriented along the long axis in a wavy pattern, and this unique wavy pattern is essential for providing load-bearing protection to the knee joint. This SEM image shows a bioengineered fibrous scaffold made from synthetic biomaterials with a wavy pattern, with amplitudes and wavelengths similar to the collagen fibers present in a native ACL.

If you take a quiet stroll across the Queen’s campus, you might find it hard to visualize what’s going on inside our many buildings when it comes to research. And this is where the Art of Research photo contest comes in. The annual contest invites researchers in all faculties to submit striking images of their research in action. This year’s contest had dozens of submissions, each capturing a unique aspect of the researcher’s work. From a Mars rover to a moment of resistance, the winners of the photo contest showcased their research in creative and interesting images, demonstrating the importance of their work at the local, national and international levels.

The 2017-2018 contest had a slightly different format, allowing entries from faculty, staff, students and alumni. Images were submitted to four categories: Community Collaborations, Invisible Discoveries, Out in the Field, and Art in Action. Prizes were awarded to the top photo in each category, as well as in two other categories: Best Description and People’s Choice. Winners were selected by a panel of judges, and the People’s Choice winner was determined by an online vote from the Queen’s community.

“Each year we are excited and often surprised by the images that are submitted. Each photo captures a unique perspective and together they contribute to peoples’ overall understanding and appreciation of the scope and the quality of the research being carried out here at Queen’s and around the world,” says Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives.

Please visit the Research page for more information on this year’s contest and the winning images.

New Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies appointed

Dr. Fahim Quadir joins Queen’s from York University.

Queen’s University announced today the appointment of Fahim Quadir as Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for a five-year term effective July 1, 2018.

[Fahim Quadir]
Fahim Quadir has been appointed as the next Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, effective July 1, 2018.

Dr. Quadir joins Queen’s from York University where he is currently Interim Dean and Associate Vice-President Graduate in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and a professor of Development Studies and Social Science. He was enthusiastically recommended for the position by the Principal’s Advisory Committee, chaired by Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Quadir has accepted my invitation to lead the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Promoting and supporting the graduate mission is one of Queen’s highest priorities, and Dr. Quadir will work to provide strategic direction, academic planning leadership, and administrative oversight to achieve the highest possible standards in graduate education and research.”

Previously, Dr. Quadir has held academic positions at St. Lawrence University in New York, Dalhousie University in Halifax, and the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh. He also taught Political Studies here at Queen’s for 18 months from 1999 to 2000. Dr. Quadir then joined York University in 2001 and in 2006 he became the founding director of the Graduate Program in Development Studies and its undergraduate program in International Development Studies, both of which aimed to trans-nationalize the process of knowledge production.

Over the past several years, he has championed a variety of innovations to enhance the graduate student experience at York, including new online tools, improved student complaint processes, strengthened supervisory policies and education, and more supports for international graduate students.

“Dr. Quadir brings both broad expertise in graduate education and passion for the graduate student experience. I am delighted that he is coming back to Queen’s to take on this very important leadership role,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).

As a researcher, Dr. Quadir specializes in International Development, International Relations and International Political Economy. His current work focuses on South-South cooperation, democratic cosmopolis, emerging donors, aid effectiveness, good governance, civil society, and human development. He has edited/co-edited five books and published extensively in various international peer reviewed journals.

He was the recipient of several SSHRC grants, the Fulbright Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, International Development Research Centre ‘Canada in the World’ Fellowship, and Killam Memorial Scholarship, among others. In 2007, he was presented with the York University-Wide Teaching Award for teaching excellence in the full-time faculty category.

“I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across all faculties at Queen’s to ensure the university’s continued reputation for excellence and leadership in the nexus of graduate teaching, learning and research,” says Dr. Quadir.

The principal and provost wish to extend their most sincere thanks to Brenda Brouwer for her exceptional tenure as vice-provost and dean, and to the members of the Principal’s Advisory Committee for their commitment and sound advice.

Principal’s Advisory Committee

• Benoit-Antoine Bacon (Chair) – Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
• Lori Stewart (Secretary) – Director, Office of the Provost & Vice-Principal (Academic)
• Adam Ali – Teaching Fellow, School of Kinesiology & Health Studies
• Monica Corbett – Director, Admissions & Student Services, School of Graduate Studies
• Ann Deer – Indigenous Recruitment & Support Coordinator
• John Fisher – Interim Vice-Principal (Research)
• Il Yong Kim – Associate Professor, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
• Ceren Kolsarici – Associate Professor of Marketing, Smith School of Business
• Palmer Lockridge – Vice-President (University Affairs), Alma Mater Society
• Rebecca Luce-Kapler – Dean, Faculty of Education
• Stefy McKnight – Vice-President (Graduate), Society of Graduate & Professional Students
• Cherie Metcalf – Associate Dean (Academic), Queen's Law
• Kathy O'Brien – Associate Vice-Principal (International)
• Stephanie Simpson – Executive Director (Human Rights and Equity Offices) and University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights
• Denise Stockley – Office of the Provost (Teaching & Learning Portfolio) and the Faculty of Health Sciences
• Stéfanie von Hlatky – Associate Professor of Political Studies and Director, Centre for International & Defence Policy

Educational Downlink a stellar success

  • Alex da Silva and Cam Yung
    A pair of students listen to Drew Feustel's answer after asking a question during the Ask An Astronaut: Educational Downlink event, alongside Alex da Silva, left, and Cam Yung, right. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • [Drew Feustel]
    Drew Feustel (PhD’95) rotates as he answers a question from the International Space Station during Friday's Ask An Astronaut: Educational Downlink event.
  • [Ask An Astronaut Cutout]
    Una D'Elia (Art History) poses in the astronaut cutouts with her daughter Zoe during the Ask An Astronaut: Educational Downlink event on Friday at Grant Hall
  • [NASA Postdoctoral Fellow and Planetary Scientist Michelle Thompson (Artsci’11, Sc’11)]
    NASA Postdoctoral Fellow and Planetary Scientist Michelle Thompson (Artsci'11, Sc'11) talks about her experiences in trying to qualify as an astronaut.
  • [Cam Yung, the 35th rector of Queen's, and Alex da Silva, the 36th rector]
    Cam Yung, the 35th rector of Queen's, and Alex da Silva, the 36th rector, open the Ask An Astronaut: Educational Downlink festivities at Grant Hall.
  • [Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Art McDonald speaks with a pair of elementary school students]
    Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Art McDonald speaks with a pair of elementary school students who attended Friday's Ask An Astronaut: Educational Downlink event. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • [Nandini Deshpande from the School of Rehabilitation Therapy]
    Nandini Deshpande (School of Rehabilitation Therapy) talks about the effects of microgravity on humans as well as her experience as a visiting scholar at NASA.
  • [Indira Feustel and Daniel Woolf]
    Indira Feustel talks with Principal Daniel Woolf as people fill Grant Hall for the Ask An Astronaut: Educational Downlink event held in Grant Hall.

Projected onto the same stage that he graduated on 23 years ago, Andrew (Drew) Feustel (PhD’95) shared his expertise from 408 km above the Earth in the International Space Station (ISS) during Ask an Astronaut: a NASA Education Downlink event in Grant Hall.

A stellar lineup of speakers who took to the stage before the downlink began included NASA Postdoctoral Fellow and Planetary Scientist Michelle Thompson (Artsci’11, Sc’11) as well as Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald, Nathalie Ouellette (MSc’12, PhD’16) of the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC), and Nandini Deshpande from the School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

Dr. Thompson shared her experience applying to NASA and the Canadian Space Agency and about her research as a planetary scientist. Dr. McDonald explained how the SNOLAB and ISS have a lot in common as extreme environments for research. Dr. Ouellette shared her research in astrophysics, and how she works collaboratively with other research teams to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Dr. Deshpande walked through the research she conducts on astronauts to understand muscle atrophy and cardiovascular issues that affect astronauts in space.

The 20-minute video feed began just after noon when NASA connected Grant Hall to the ISS. Indira Feustel, Dr. Feustel’s wife, greeted her husband and thanked Queen’s for the warm welcome after travelling from Houston for the event. She also shared a video from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who congratulated Dr. Feustel for his work and for inspiring the next generation of researchers.

Dr. Feustel answered 24 questions from the Queen’s and Kingston community, ranging from local elementary and high school student to Queen’s students, professors, and alumni.

“One of the greatest impacts of my life has been how my perspective has changed on Earth, from up here on the space station. There’s only one home for us now, and it’s fragile,” said Dr. Feustel, answering Dr. Thompson’s question about how his perspective on Earth and humanity’s place in the universe has changed. ”We would be in a different world if folks could see how I see it from the ISS; no borders, one Earth.”

Other participants asked questions about how astronauts sleep in space, what to study to become an astronaut, and if astronauts play tag on the ISS.

The event wrapped up with a sign off from Dr. Feustel, thanking Queen’s for the chance to participate in the first Educational Downlink from NASA hosted by a Canadian university.

Grant Hall was decorated festively for the event, featuring life sized cutouts of Dr. Feustel for photos, big banners to sign to wish Dr. Feustel luck, and tables featuring displays from Graduate Studies and the Queen’s Reduced Gravity group.

In case you missed the event, check out the live video available on the Queen's Facebook feed. 

Feustel ready to phone home

The Ask an Astronaut: NASA Educational Downlink event on Friday will feature a live chat with an astronaut alumnus in space and on-Earth expert speakers.

The Queen’s and Kingston community is invited to a one-of-a-kind event in Canada.

The Ask an Astronaut: Educational Downlink event set to launch on Friday, April 6, will feature a 20-minute NASA Educational Downlink with astronaut and Queen’s alumnus Andrew (Drew) Feustel (PhD’95), live from the International Space Station. The space-to-Queen’s conversation will last 20 minutes, during which selected members of the Queen’s and Kingston community will ask their questions about space, researching aboard the International Space Station, and the journey to become an astronaut.

Astronaut and alumnus Andrew Feustel (PhD’95) poses above the Earth. (Photo: @Andrew_Feustel on Twitter)
Astronaut and alumnus Andrew Feustel (PhD’95) poses above the Earth. (Photo: @Andrew_Feustel on Twitter)

There will be plenty of action before the downlink, featuring presentations from experts across a wide range of space-related specialties, including Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow and Planetary Scientist Michelle Thompson (Artsci’11, Sc’11), Nathalie Ouellette (MSc’12, PhD’16) of the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC), and Nandini Deshpande from the School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

Other festivities include astronaut cut-outs to take a photo with Dr. Feustel or as an astronaut in space, signing banners to wish Dr. Feustel luck, and tables featuring displays from Graduate Studies and the Queen’s Reduced Gravity group.

Doors open at Grant Hall at 10:30 am and seats will be limited. There are three additional locations that will offer a livestream of the event when Grant Hall fills to capacity at the Athletics and Recreation Centre Student Lounge, Goodes Hall Commons, and in the Faculty of Education on west campus.

The event will be broadcasted on NASA TV and streamed on the Queen’s website and on Facebook live. To view the livestream on your computer or phone, register through the Queen’s Research page.

Check out the Queen’s Facebook page for more information about the event.

Panel to highlight research excellence and impact

Five recipients of Prizes for Excellence in Research to engage in panel discussion with Scott White, editor of The Conversation Canada.

[2017 Prizes for Excellence in Research]
 In Conversation with the Prizes for Excellence in Research Recipients will feature 2017 awardees, from left, Denis O’Donnell (Medicine), Cathy Crudden (Chemistry), Liying Cheng (Education), Sam McKegney (English Language and Literature), and Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering).

The five recipients of the 2017 Prizes for Excellence in Research (PER) will be sharing their research stories during an exciting panel discussion on Tuesday, April 3.

Trading stories and knowledge during “In Conversation with the Prizes for Excellence in Research Recipients” will be Denis O’Donnell (Medicine), Cathy Crudden (Chemistry), Liying Cheng (Education), Sam McKegney (English Language and Literature), and Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering).

[Scott White]
Scott White, editor of The Conversation Canada, is the moderator for In Conversation with the Prizes for Excellence in Research Recipients. 

The panel will be moderated by Scott White, editor of The Conversation Canada. With more than 30 years of journalism experience, Mr. White has previously served as editor-in-chief of The Canadian Press and vice-president, content strategy and business development, at Postmedia Network.

“This should be a fascinating evening,” says Mr. White. “These five Queen's professors bring a unique perspective to important issues facing our communities and the country as a whole. I look forward to discussing their research with them and learning more about the projects they’re currently working on.”

This year’s panel discussion is a new format, adapted from previous years where recipients would give short lectures. Instead, each researcher will give a brief overview of their work, and Mr. White will engage the group in a discussion about pressing topics in research today. Audience members will also be able to ask questions. The discussion is intended to demonstrate the connections between research and the world at large, as well as between different disciplines.

The event will take place in the BioSciences Complex Atrium (116 Barrie St.) on Tuesday, April 3. There will be a reception beginning at 6:30 pm, and the event will start at 7 pm. Refreshments will be available, and this discussion is open to the public.

Awarded annually in five areas (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and health sciences), the Prizes for Excellence in Research have been the signature internal research prize since 1980, and represent an important investment by Queen’s in recognizing research and scholarship.

More information about the prize winners and their research accomplishments can be found in the original announcement.

For further information, visit the website for the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research).

World-class sex researcher joins Queen’s

Leading human sexuality and gender scholar, Sari van Anders, named Canada 150 Research Chair.

 

Renowned sex researcher Sari van Anders is joining Queen’s University as the Canada 150 Research (C150) Chair in Social Neuroendocrinology, Sexuality, and Gender/Sex, an appointment that grants her $2.45 million in research funding over the next seven years. She is one of only 26 C150 research chairs appointed nationwide by this competitive, one-time federal government initiative designed to recruit top-tier academic talent from around the world to conduct their work at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

“Being selected as a Canada 150 Research Chair is an incredible honour and a very personal one as a Canadian. I’m so excited to be able to come back to do my research, and to join Queen’s University to do so,” says Dr. van Anders. “Queen’s is such a vibrant university, and it’s a privilege to be able to join one of Canada’s leading research institutions.”

Dr. van Anders is a Torontonian who has been a professor in Psychology, Women’s Studies, and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan for the past decade.

“It's truly remarkable that Canada highlighted research as one of its priorities for celebrating and nation-building,” she says. “To be included in that national celebration with a research program focusing on feminist and queer science as well as gender and sexuality is an honor that seems uniquely Canadian. Canada is an international leader on gender equity and sexual diversity and I'm excited to be a part of this.”

“To be included in that national celebration with a research program focusing on feminist and queer science as well as gender and sexuality is an honor that seems uniquely Canadian.”

Dr. van Anders’ own research involves an interdisciplinary study of human sexuality, gender, and sex. She has created sexual configurations theory  a new way to conceptualize, measure, and explore how people experience their genders, sexes, and sexualities. She also is a leader in social neuroendocrinology, which seeks to understand how social behaviours influence hormones in social context – such as how sexual behaviours, erotic thoughts, or gender socialization change testosterone levels in the body, for instance.

Dr. van Anders is also a sex researcher and explains: “I see my research contributing to our understandings of sexual phenomena like orgasm, fantasy, desire, and pornography – as well as larger related constructs like gender and sexual diversity. Some of this research connects to hormones like testosterone, and some of it is to understand sexuality on its own as important phenomena in people’s lives and our culture.”

The Canada 150 Research Chair funding will bolster understanding of these and many more areas of Dr. van Anders' interdisciplinary work, including how social norms, gender roles, and power dynamics affect the body’s physiology, and how laypeople and scientists can conceptualize gender and sexuality.

“Dr. van Anders is a world-class scholar whose work, including her role as editor of the esteemed Annual Review of Sex Research, has continually expanded and shaped our understanding of human sexuality,” says Barbara Crow, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. “Joining Queen’s as part of the prestigious C150 program, she will significantly bolster an already-impressive sex and gender research portfolio at the university.”

Dr. van Anders’ move to Queen’s will see her join other leading international sex researchers, including female sexuality expert Meredith Chivers and sexual function/dysfunction expert Caroline Pukall.

“As part of our academic evolution, Queen’s will see its faculty grow, diversify, and strengthen over the next five years,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf. “Dr. van Anders’ expertise will lend significantly to our institution’s research capabilities, and many aspects of her work exemplify the diversity, equity, and inclusion we value. The Canada 150 Research Chair project is certainly bringing the world’s brightest to our country.”

Dr. van Anders’ appointment as a Canada 150 Research Chair was made official at a ceremony in Ottawa on March 29, 2018. She assumes her new role at Queen’s University in the Department of Psychology with cross appointments to the Department of Gender Studies and the Centre for Neuroscience Studies in July 2018.

Live from space

[Feustel in space (Photo: NASA)]
Drew Feustel (PhD’95) is a Queen’s alumnus and astronaut, currently living on the International Space Station. (Photo credit: NASA)

Drew Feustel (PhD’95), Queen’s graduate and NASA astronaut, has been hard at work since his arrival at the International Space Station (ISS) on March 23. But coming soon, Dr. Feustel will be taking a break from his space walks and zero gravity experiments to talk to a live audience right here at Queen’s.

The Ask an Astronaut: NASA Educational Downlink event on Friday, April 6, will include a 20-minute conversation with Dr. Feustel, featuring questions gathered earlier in the month from the Queen’s and Kingston community. During this unique event, the audience will hear directly from the astronaut himself about the challenges of researching in zero gravity, day-to-day life aboard the ISS, and what it’s like to perform a spacewalk. This is the first time NASA has granted a Canadian school the opportunity to hold an educational downlink live from space.

“The research work we are doing about the International Space Station is truly expanding the boundaries of our knowledge of space and I’m very excited to be able to speak to students and the entire Queen’s community about what we are learning and what life is like aboard the station,” says Dr. Feustel. “I’m also looking forward to talking about my own path and how it brought me to where I am now so the next generation can see that no goal is too great for them to achieve.”

Along with Dr. Feustel, the Ask and Astronaut event will also feature stellar talks about the many aspects of space research from special guests, including Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow and Planetary Scientist Michelle Thompson (Artsci’11, Sc’11), Nathalie Ouellette (MSc’12, PhD’16) of the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC), and Nandini Deshpande from the School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

“This is a rare opportunity for people to gather and interact with a scientist who is helping to carry out an impressive number of research projects each day aboard an international space station,” says John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research). “As an exciting complement to Dr. Feustel’s downlink, the event will also be a chance for people to hear from some top space experts who come from a range of backgrounds and are based here at Queen’s and at NASA.”

Everyone from the Queen’s and Kingston communities is welcome to attend. Doors open at 10:30 am in Grant Hall and seats will fill fast. Admission is free.

Learn more about Dr. Feustel’s journey to the ISS, from his time at Queen’s to the launch of his third mission to space, and the research he and his team will perform while on the ISS here.

You can find more information about the NASA Educational Downlink on the event page.

Creating Royal connections

For academics in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, being elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) is one of the highest honours they can achieve.

Continuing an annual tradition, Queen’s University is once again hosting the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada on Saturday, April 14.

Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada
Presenting at this year's Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada are, clockwise from top left: Anne Croy; Peter Milliken; Stephanie Belanger; and Craig Walker.

The seminar is an opportunity to hear interesting talks from a range of disciplines and to meet Fellows and Members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists elected to the Royal Society of Canada from Queen’s and around Eastern Ontario.

This year’s bill offers speakers from Queen’s and the Royal Military College of Canada presenting on a range of topics.

The schedule of presentation includes:

10 am: Peter Milliken, School of Policy Studies – The Role of the Speaker of the House of Commons
11 am: Stéphanie Bélanger, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, Royal Military College – War Trauma, Culture of War and Soldier Identity
• 1 pm: Anne Croy, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences – Immunological Enigmas of Pregnancy
2 pm: Craig Walker, Dan School of Drama and Music – Evolution as Dramatic Metaphor at the Second Millennium

This event is the first under the guidance of co-chairs John Burge (Dan School of Drama and Music), a Fellow of the RSC, and Amir Fam (Civil Engineering), a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, who have taken up the reins from Professor Emeritus Pierre du Prey (Art History) and Professor Emeritus Mike Sayer (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy).

“For 12 years the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar has brought together leading researchers and community members to foster fascinating discussions and lasting connections,” says Dr Burge. “This tradition, started by Dr. Du Prey and Dr. Sayer, will continue to highlight some of the great research being done at Queen’s and around Eastern Ontario.”

“Our presenters will be speaking on an array of interesting topics, from performing arts and molecular science to the health of military members and an inside view of Parliament from Canada’s longest-serving Speaker of the House,” adds Dr. Fam.

All events take place at the Queen’s University Club (168 Stuart St.) and talks are open and free to the public. Following the first two presentations a luncheon is being hosted by Principal Daniel Woolf. Registration is required for the luncheon, which costs $30. RSVP by contacting Jessica Youles (jessica.youles@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 x78797).

2018 Strategic Research Plan goes to Senate

The Senate Advisory Research Committee (SARC) has reviewed the newly-drafted 2018 Strategic Research Plan and has recommended it for approval to Senate. ​The recommendation will be included as a Notice of Motion on the March 27, 2018 Senate agenda for approval at the April 17, 2018 Senate meeting.

“This has truly been a collaborative effort, through consultation with the community over the past 12 months and the inclusion of their extensive feedback ,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research).   “In addition to guiding the future of Queen’s research by outlining areas of strength and priority, the SRP will set the tone for a positive and productive environment through its emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the broadest sense.  I am very pleased with the document, and the way in which it was shaped.”

The SRP is a component of broader integrated institutional planning that includes the Academic Plan, the Strategic Framework, as well as a variety of strategic documents that emerge from individual faculties and elsewhere. It identifies our institutional strength and excellence for further success through engagement with government, industry, and with regional, national and international partners.  It also fulfills the requirements for a variety of funding programs including the federal Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF).

Please visit the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) for information about how to provide feedback.  

Alumnus astronaut safely arrives at International Space Station

[Expedition 55 blasts off]
Drew Feustel and the rest of the Expedition 55 crew launch from Kazahkstan on Wednesday afternoon for a two day journey to the International Space Station. (Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

 

March 23, 2018 update: Drew Feustel and the crew of Expedition 55 have arrived at the International Space Station (ISS). The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft docked onto the ISS at 3:43 pm EST after a two day journey from Earth. This was a flawless docking executed by the teams, according to the NASA live feed. Check out footage of the ISS capturing the Soyuz MS-08 below, and other details about the mission, and Dr. Feustel’s many connections to his alma mater.
 

March 21, 2018 update: Drew Feustel and the crew of Expedition 55 have safely launched into low-Earth orbit and are en route to the International Space Station. They will arrive at the ISS on Friday, March 23, at 3:41 pm EST. Check out the photos below of the launch and the Queen's viewing party, hosted by the Department of Geological Science and Geological Engineering.

  • [Expedition 55 crew prepare for launch]
    Expedition 55 flight engineer Drew Feustel of NASA, top, flight engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, middle, and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos, bottom, wave farewell prior to boarding the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft for launch, Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)
  • [Astronauts keep track of vital systems during launch]
    The Expedition 55 crew keep track of the ship's vital systems during launch. (Photo credit: NASA live feed)
  • [Department of Geological Science and Geological Engineering hosts launch viewing party]
    Students from the Department of Geological Science and Geological Engineering watch the launch of Expedition 55. (University Communications)
  • [Students watch the launch]
    Geological Science and Geological Engineering students got to witness Drew Feustel, an alumnus of their program, launch into low-orbit over Earth. (University Communications)
  • [Alex Braun shows students model shuttle]
    Alex Braun (Geophysics) shows Geological Science and Geological Engineering students a model of the shuttle, with a scale replica astronaut to show the immense size of the spaceship. (University Communications)
  • [Closeup of spaceship and lander model]
    A closeup of the model ship and lander that Alex Braun (Geophysics) brought to demonstrate the scale of the spaceship. (University Communications)

Blasting off to the International Space Station

On Wednesday, Drew Feustel (PhD’95, DSc’16) left Earth and began his journey into orbit as the next Canadian to live and work aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The Queen’s alumnus and astronaut is the Flight Engineer for Expedition 55 and will stay on the ISS for six months, taking over as Commander of the ISS in June for Expedition 56.

“We’re excited for Dr. Feustel’s third mission to space, on an expedition overseeing hundreds of experiments over six months,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “From astroparticle physics to clean tech, many of the tests he and his team will perform will contribute to research here on Earth and align with many areas of research excellence here at Queen’s.  We wish him the best for his expedition.” 

Students will get the chance to ask Dr. Feustel questions during a Queen’s-hosted Education Downlink event, Ask an Astronaut, on April 6. More details about this special event will be available soon.

Dr. Feustel’s journey to Queen’s and beyond

Dr. Feustel grew up in Michigan, and came to Kingston to complete a PhD in Geological Sciences at Queen’s in the nineties. He and his wife Indira, a speech-language pathologist from Ontario, met while both were studying at Purdue University. Dr. Feustel attained his Canadian citizenship while in Kingston, and moved to Houston after his PhD to pursue a career in geoscience. Their children, Ari and Aden, were born in Kingston and the family is still closely connected to the area through family and friends.

Dr. Feustel dreamt of becoming an astronaut since childhood, and became interested in the opportunity after watching the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) astronaut search in 1992. He then reached out to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield while in Houston who encouraged him to pursue his dream. Dr. Feustel applied to become an astronaut with NASA in 2000, and was selected on his first try. Expedition 55 will be his third mission to space.

Back on Earth, Dr. Feustel enjoys auto restoration, car and motorcycle racing, guitar, tennis, and water and snow skiing. It’s still unknown if he’ll bring any of his favourite hobbies with him to the ISS.

About the mission

At least two spacewalks are planned during the mission. Some of the planned experiments during Expedition 55 include:

  • studying thunder and lightning to learn more about the role of severe thunderstorms in Earth’s atmosphere and climate,
  • studying materials, coatings, and components in the harsh environment of space,
  • testing microgravity’s impact on bone marrow, and
  • simulating gravity aboard the ISS and testing on samples such as fruit flies, flatworms, plants, fish, cells, and protein crystals.

An alumni connection through music

Dr. Feustel has another connection with Queen’s: Rob Baker (Artsci’86), lead guitarist with The Tragically Hip.

“About 12 years ago, we were touring in the States and had an upcoming gig in Houston, and we got the call from Drew Feustel, asking if we’d be interested in having a tour of NASA’s facilities,” says Mr. Baker. “It was out of the blue to us, but we grew up in a certain time when the Apollo missions were front and centre in our childhoods growing up, so we were all excited to check it out. We rode the shuttle simulator, got to ask questions and saw them training in this gigantic pool, got a tour of the space arm – it was fantastic, and Drew was amazing with us.”

The two bonded over a shared love for music, and have stayed close friends since.

“He was in a band with a bunch of astronauts at NASA, playing in the same bar that we were. He said they played the greatest hits of the sixties, seventies, and the Tragically Hip,” says Mr. Baker. “I think he gets excited around musicians, but we get pretty excited around an astronaut.”

Mr. Baker wished his friend well on the voyage, and couldn’t wait to hear about everything he’ll get up to on the ISS.

“He’s not just a Canadian in space – he’ll be the Commander of the space station. He’s the king of space! It’s special, and a great connection for Queen’s.”

[Drew Feustel]
Dr. Feustel listens to a reporter’s question during the crew’s final day of qualification exams for Expedition 55 on Feb. 21, 2018, in Star City, Russia.
(Photo credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/Andrey Shelepin and Irina Spektor)
[Drew Feustel with googles]
The Virtual Reality Laboratory at Johnson Space Center is an immersive training facility that provides real time graphics and motion simulators integrated with a tendon-driven robotic device to provide the kinesthetic sensation of the mass and inertia characteristics of any large object being handled.

Follow the journey

Keep this page bookmarked for updates as the launch approaches, and read more at:

Follow Dr. Feustel’s journey on social media:

[Drew Feustel]
Drew is picured here at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, an astronaut training facility located near the Johnson Space Center. Its main feature is a large indoor pool in which astronauts can perform extravehicular activity (EVA).

 

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