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Research Prominence

Bringing Queen’s to Parliament Hill

  • The delegation to the first Queen's on the Hill Day
    The delegation to the first Queen's on the Hill Day gather for a team photo as the day's events get underway on Wednesday, April 18.
  • Queen's alumnus Senator Joseph Day leads a tour of the Senate
    Queen's alumnus Senator Joseph Day leads a tour of the Senate for delegation members on Queen's on the Hill Day.
  • Navdeep Bains meets Queen's delegation
    Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains met with, from left, John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research), Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Art McDonald, PhD student and Vanier Scholar Hannah Dies, and Principal Daniel Woolf.
  • Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science
    Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, speaks during the Queen's on the Hill reception on Wednesday.
  • Rector Cam Yung, Jasmit Kaur, and Richard Hebert
    Rector Cam Yung and Jasmit Kaur, former president of the Queen's Student Alumni Association and a current parliamentary assistant, speak with Richard Hebert, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean.Jasmit Kaur
  • A number of posters highlighting research at Queen's have been placed in bus shelters around Ottawa
    A number of posters highlighting research at Queen's have been placed in bus shelters around downtown Ottawa, including this one near Parliament Hill featuring Queen's alumnus and astronaut Drew Feustel.

The nation’s capital had a little more Tricolour in it on Wednesday thanks to the first-ever Queen’s on Parliament Hill Day.

The event was hosted to highlight the university’s areas of strength in research and innovation while demonstrating support for the federal government’s recent investments in fundamental research.

A total of 35 researchers made the trip to Ottawa, along with senior administrators and staff members.

A reception, hosted by Senator Joseph Day, a Queen’s alumnus, featured seven key themes: Skills for tomorrow. Today; Embracing Reconciliation; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; A Cleaner Future; Finding Insights in Data; Building Blocks of the Universe; Advancing Health and Wellness.

Speakers at the event included Principal Daniel Woolf, Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Art McDonald, as well as a number of political figures including Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, Senator Day, Kingston and the Islands Member of Parliament Mark Gerretsen, and opposition Members Brian Masse and Matt Jeneroux

“This was an eye-opening day at Parliament Hill for the Queen’s team and, I hope, for the MPs, Senators and staff who met with us,” Principal Woolf says. “With this being the first Queen’s on Parliament Hill Day event in recent memory, I believe we have created a solid foundation upon which we can continue to build the important relationships and connections that exist between Kingston and Ottawa. I’m grateful to the faculty, staff and students who took the time to participate, even during spring exam time.”

Approximately 80 parliamentarians and staff visited the reception to meet with the Queen’s delegation.

Colour us impressed

Queen’s University researchers invent new class of paints that could revolutionize water-based paints.

When it comes to paint, there are two main types people can chose from, latex or oil-based. But now, a new option has been developed at Queen’s University that promises a more environmentally-friendly choice.

[Paint Strips]
The new paint (lower test strip) is more resistant to water than a commercial latex paint (upper strip). This shows what happens when both paints are painted onto a piece of unprimed aluminum metal, allowed to dry, and then exposed to water for a week.

Philip Jessop, the Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry, Michael Cunningham (Chemical Engineering), and graduate student Jaddie Ho have developed a water-based paint that behaves more like a solvent-based paint (also known as oil-based paint) – except the solvent in this case is not an organic solvent, but carbonated water.

Due to its increased toughness and very low environmental impact, this paint might be suitable for a broader range of applications compared with traditional latex paints, including appliances and office furniture.

“Most consumers already use water-based paints, because high performance isn’t needed when you paint your living room,” Dr. Jessop explains. “However, industry still uses oil-based paints when they paint something they just manufactured, because they need the paint to be hard, glossy, scratch-resistant, and incredibly smooth. By giving industry a water-based paint that works the same way as an oil-based paint, we hope to reduce organic solvent emissions from industrial operations and thereby reduce harm to the environment and health risks to workers.”

Why do oil-based paints work so well? Dr. Jessop explains all paints consist of a liquid, a polymer and additives like pigments. In oil-based paints, the liquid is an organic solvent and the polymer is dissolved in it, which ensures the polymer is effective but when you spray or brush an oil-based paint onto a surface, the solvent evaporates, causing environmental harm, and the polymer is left behind as a smooth film on the wall.

[Paint on fire]
Normal oil-based paints are flammable and smog-forming, left, but the new paints, right, work the same way as oil-based paints without using any organic solvent. This shows what happens if the wet paint is brought near to a candle. The oil-based paint catches fire but Dr Jessop's paint doesn’t.

In water-based paints, the liquid is water and the polymer isn’t dissolved, it’s tiny balls of plastic suspended in the water. When you apply a water-based paint to a surface, those little balls are supposed to merge with each other to make a layer of plastic on your wall, but that often doesn’t work very well.

The new formula which uses carbonated water (club soda) will dissolve some basic polymers and makes water-based paint behave like oil-based paint. Regular water cannot achieve this.

“If you use our paint,” says Dr. Jessop, “you’ll brush or spray our mixture of carbonated water and dissolved polymer onto a surface and the club soda will evaporate, leaving behind a smooth, water-repelling polymer film in just the same way as an oil-based paint but without the same risk to your health or the environment.”

The new paint is also more resistant to water than a commercial latex paint, is non-flammable and also works well at lower temperatures, such as outside in the fall or spring.

Dr. Jessop and his research team are currently working with GreenCentre Canada and a paint and coating company to refine the technology.

“Paints and coatings are complicated mixtures of polymer, liquid, pigment, preservatives, opacity agents, and other components. Finding the best recipe using these ingredients is a complex and time-consuming task but necessary before a technology like this can be sold,” he says.

The paper was published in Green Chemistry.

Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics awarded $1.8M in funding

Faculty at Smith School of Business to develop leading-edge tools for Canada’s financial industry.

A financial services project at Smith School of Business’ Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics (SCCA) has received a $900,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant program. This funding has been matched by Scotiabank for a total $1.8 million.

Michael Zerbs and Yuri Levin
Michael Zerbs, Chief Technology Officer at Scotiabank, and Yuri Levin, Executive director and Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business.

The multi-phase project will look at several areas of technology in financial services, including large-scale customer behaviour analysis, risk evaluation, price and resource optimization, big data and online algorithms.

This funding will enable researchers to develop tools and models to ensure Canada’s financial industry continues to be a technological leader, creating innovative products to help customers.

“This project is an incredible example of government, the private sector, and professors and students collaborating on important applied research in the financial industry,” says Yuri Levin, Executive Director and Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business.

“We are pleased to enhance the important, customer-focused research coming out of Smith and the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics,” says Michael Zerbs, Chief Technology Officer at Scotiabank. “The collaboration between the students and professors at the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics is helping Scotiabank to reshape and enhance the customer experience. These students are our future leaders and Scotiabank’s goal is to help ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources they need to support their success.”

Intended to foster mutually beneficial collaborations expected to result in industrial and economic benefits to Canada, CRD Grants give companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise, and educational resources available at Canadian postsecondary institutions.

“NSERC’s Research Partnerships program supports strong R&D collaborations and dynamic interchange between academia and partners,” says Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC. “We are proud to support this collaboration that will help Canadian banks remain innovative and competitive by incorporating the best analytics practices in their operations. They will tackle various emerging issues in the banking industry which will provide many tangible and intangible benefits to Canada, like better customer satisfaction and better risk management.”

The Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics opened at Smith in January 2016. Scotiabank pledged $2.2 million in support of the centre, with some of the funding tied to various NSERC research grant programs. The centre builds on Queen’s research leadership in big data and advanced research computing.

Distinguished University Professor program to recognize exceptional faculty

The Queen’s community is invited to help create a list of potential honorific names to go with the new title.

Queen’s University has created a new program to celebrate some of its top internationally recognized researchers. The Distinguished University Professor program was recently approved by the Senate and it will be open to all individuals holding a full-time academic appointment at Queen’s.

“The Distinguished University Professor designation is the highest research-related honour the university can bestow on a faculty member whose pre-eminent contributions to research in a particular field of knowledge are recognized both nationally and internationally,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “As a reflection of the highly prestigious nature of the program, the number of awards shall normally be limited to approximately one percent of those holding academic appointments at Queen’s.”

A call for nominations will be issued each fall to the university community and a special advisory committee will meet to consider all nominations put forward in the winter. It will then make a recommendation to the Principal on which nominees, if any, should be designated as a Distinguished University Professor.

Once a professor has been chosen for the designation, they will then have the opportunity to select from a list of approved honorific names to form part of their official title, which will be styled as “[Honorific Name] Distinguished University Professor.” As an example, the professor could then be known as the “Jane Smith Distinguished University Professor.”

“The creation of this list of honorific names also creates an opportunity for the university to celebrate people who have made significant and lasting contributions to Queen’s and to Canadian society,” says Principal Woolf. “Along with being incredible researchers and educators, many of those up for consideration were also trailblazers who through their work at Queen’s and beyond promoted the rights of women, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized people.”

A small working group has been created to develop a long list of honorific names and everyone in the Queen’s community is invited to submit suggestions, keeping the following criteria in mind:

  • Names are intended to reflect a wide variety of academic and personal backgrounds of individuals with a connection to Queen’s;
  • The individuals should have had a significant impact nationally or internationally in their field of study or work;
  • Names shall normally be those of persons who are deceased or who otherwise are at such a stage in their life and career such that their legacy is well-established; and
  • Individuals who have already been honoured with the naming of a building on campus will not normally be considered, as the working group feels that the program is an opportunity to recognize those whose contributions have not yet been acknowledged in a prominent way at the university.

Once the list of honorific names is finalized, names can be added or removed over time as it will be reviewed every three to five years. To suggest possible names for the program, email the senate@queensu.ca email account.

The terms of reference for the program, and the membership of the working group, are available here .

Major program grant INSPIREs better health care

Queen's researcher receives $2 million for ongoing review of primary health care in Ontario.

Queen’s clinician-researcher Michael Green and his collaborator, Rick Glazier at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), have received more than $2 million from Ontario’s Health System Research Fund (HSRF) to support their ongoing study of health system challenges and equitable access to primary health care in the province.

The INSPIRE-PHC2 research program (Innovations Supporting Primary Care Through Research Phase 2) is one of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s HSRF Program Awards.

“We are very pleased to be receiving this support from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” says Dr. Green, Head of the Queen’s Department of Family Medicine and the grant’s Nominated Principal Investigator. “This three-year funding will allow us to continue to provide up-to-date evidence on the state of primary health services in Ontario on an ongoing basis, and to provide strong, innovative recommendations to the province so gaps in service can be improved.”

The funded project is a continuation of an earlier three-year HSRF Program Award (2013-2016), helmed by Western University’s Moira Stewart. With this renewed funding, Drs. Green and Glazier will lead a team of more than 30 primary care researchers from across Ontario, with a focus on continued evaluation of innovations in the delivery of primary health care, and the successes and challenges faced by Ontario’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.

“We meet frequently with stakeholders in the primary care sector to hone the targeting of our analysis and to identify needs,” says Dr. Green. “This approach allows us to continually address new challenges as they arise and make ongoing recommendations for service improvement. “

As a continual analysis of the primary care landscape, the program has already looked at things like the distribution and effectiveness of family health teams across Ontario. Geographic analysis revealed where in the province the gaps in access to family health teams were largest, allowing Dr. Green and his collaborators to advise the provincial government where they could prioritize for improved or increased service. This data helped inform the Government of Ontario when it was determining where to locate recently funded new family health teams.

“Dr. Green and his collaborators are making invaluable contributions to the future health of people across Ontario,” says John Fisher, Vice-Principal (Research). “On behalf of Queen’s, I want to congratulate him on securing new funding that will allow his team to continue this patient-oriented program that will continue to improve the province’s primary health care system.”

Visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s website for the announcement about this award and further details.

Learn more about the INSPIRE program here.

Remembering the neutrino

Nobel Prize-winning science was celebrated at a special event. 

  • [Photo of John Fisher, Daniel Woolf, George Ewan, Art McDonald, and Jan Allen]
    VIPs pose with the Nobel medal display at the Agnes. L-R: Marc Dignam, Head of the Physics Department; John Fisher, Interim VP (Research); Daniel Woolf, Principal; George Ewan, Professor Emeritus; Art McDonald, Nobel laureate; and Jan Allen, Director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • [Nobel Medal Replica]
    A replica of the Nobel Prize medal won by Art McDonald is now permanently on display at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • [Past and present Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) employees and their family members]
    Proving that research is a team effort, past and present Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) employees and their family members gather around the plinth. (University Communications)
  • [Janet McDonald and other attendees]
    Janet McDonald (foreground), wife of Art McDonald, and other spectators flip through the plinth's pages. (University Communications)
  • [George Ewan, Art McDonald, and Daniel Woolf]
    George Ewan, Art McDonald, and Daniel Woolf pose with chocolates resembling the three 'flavours' of neutrinos. (University Communications)

On Monday, representatives from across the Queen’s community gathered to celebrate two new installations that will commemorate the Nobel Prize-winning research discoveries of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) scientific collaboration led by Dr. Art McDonald, Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics Emeritus in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy at Queen’s.

Dr. McDonald was the co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of neutrino oscillations, a phenomenon which proved that neutrinos have mass. He shared the prize with Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo, whose research made similar detections possible.

Neutrinos, which are sometimes referred to as the ‘building blocks of the universe’, are tiny subatomic particles with almost no mass and no charge. The SNO Collaboration’s discovery increased human understanding of these particles, which ultimately helps scientists understand how stars, galaxies, and the universe itself has evolved since the Big Bang.

To celebrate the discovery, the university has unveiled a monument between Ontario Hall and Grant Hall to share the fascinating story of the neutrino breakthrough with visitors to campus. This plinth is part of the Queen’s Remembers series, an initiative that commemorates those who have made significant and noteworthy contributions to Queen's University.

“Queen’s University has been wonderfully supportive of the SNO research work and continues to support strongly the ongoing work at the SNOLAB underground laboratory,” says Dr. McDonald. “Those of us who have worked on SNO are very appreciative of this commemoration of the important contributions of many Queen’s students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty that led to this scientific success.”

Additionally, a replica of Dr. McDonald’s Nobel Prize medal will be permanently displayed at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. The display will be located in a busy hallway between the gallery and Etherington House, and will include details about the experiment.

“The research conducted by the incredible team at SNO, under the leadership of Dr. Art McDonald, has an impact that goes far beyond Queen’s University,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The vision of those who started the collaboration, including Dr. George Ewan, Professor Emeritus of the Physics Department at Queen’s, and the late Dr. Herb Chen, and the dedication of all who have worked on it since, have helped Canada become a leader in the field of particle astrophysics. We are delighted to recognize and celebrate their achievement with these two inspirational displays.”

Previous Queen’s Remembers plinths have recognized the traditional inhabitants of the Kingston area—the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples—and the 5th Field Company, a group of soldiers primarily comprised of Queen’s students and faculty who served and gave their lives in both World Wars. To learn more about the Queen’s Remembers initiative, visit the Queen’s Encyclopedia.

New lecture series honours chemistry professor

Queen's alumnus and Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart delivers inaugural Walter A. Szarek Lecture.

  • [Mario Pinto, Walter Szarek, Sir Fraser Stoddart]
    The inaugural Walter A. Szarek Lecture was delivered by Sir Fraser Stoddart at Queen's on Friday, April 13. From left, Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Dr. Szarek, and Sir Fraser.
  • [Sir Fraser Stoddart, Walter Szarek]
    Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart speaks with Walter Szarek after delivering the inaugural Walter A. Szarek Lecture in Chernoff Hall.
  • [A member of the crowd raises his hand]
    A member of the crowd raises his hand to ask a question of Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart as he delivers the inaugural Walter A. Szarek Lecture.
  • Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart speaks with Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry)
    Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart speaks with Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) during a reception held at Chernoff Hall following the Walter A. Szarek Lecture.

Sir Fraser Stoddart, the 2016 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, delivered the inaugural Walter A. Szarek Lecture on Friday, April 13, honouring a researcher he considers one of the most significant influences in his career.

From 1967 to 1970, Sir Fraser, who received the Nobel Prize for his work in the design and synthesis of molecular machines, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Queen’s Department of Chemistry, working in the research group led by J.K. Jones. However, with Dr. Jones working abroad, Sir Fraser was effectively supervised by Dr. Szarek.

It was Dr. Szarek who directed Sir Fraser’s research interests from carbohydrate chemistry to the then brand-new area of macrocycle synthesis and chemistry.

“It is a moment full of nostalgia,” Sir Fraser said. “The period of post-doctoral work was one of the sweetest and most significant parts of my academic career. The fact that my journey started here at Queen’s with Walter has stood me in good stead as I have moved around, from country to country, and from lab to lab.”

During his time at Queen’s, Dr. Walter Szarek has been a professor, supervisor, mentor, and friend to many. On the occasion of his 80th birthday, the Department of Chemistry honoured his many contributions with the announcement of a new lecture series in his name. Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), introduced the distinguished speaker. A Queen’s alumnus, Dr. Pinto also studied chemistry at Queen’s as an undergraduate and later completed his PhD under the supervision of Dr. Szarek.

Dr. Szarek’s research lies at the interface of chemistry and medicine, with a particular focus on drug discovery and development. He played a leading role in the establishment of Neurochem (now Bellus Health, Inc.) and successful drug candidates such as KIACTA for the treatment of Amyloid A Amyloidosis, Alzhemed for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, and the nutraceutical VIVIMIND for the protection of memory function. Each of these drug candidates were synthesized in the Szarek Laboratory at Queen’s.

Dr. Pinto highlighted the important role a supervisor plays for graduate students, pointing to his personal experience with Dr. Szarek as a perfect example.

“Graduate work is life-changing. It’s important to remember that a PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy, not a Doctor of Chemistry. The lessons you learn teach you to how to approach life and how to learn,” he said. "That time of my life was made even more special and transformative because I had Walter as my mentor.”

When asked what advice they would pass on to current students, the distinguished chemists emphasized the importance of mentorship.

“Mentorship is the most important part of a professor’s activities,” Sir Fraser commented. “I get asked all the time: What is my legacy? It is not my research. I will be remembered by my students and by my extended family of scientists that started here at Queen’s with Walter and that has grown over the past half-century.”

Dr. Szarek was admittedly “overwhelmed” by the opportunity to be reunited with Sir Fraser and Dr. Pinto and grateful for their return to the university to present the inaugural lecture.

“They are world-renowned scientists – a Nobel Prize winner and the president of NSERC,” he said. “This is a fantastic moment for our department and for Queen’s.”

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. 


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