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Research Prominence

Breathing new life into the PEC

Queen’s University recently has made progress in its plans to revitalize the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) as a centre for health, wellness and innovation. Jasmine Toor, Communications Specialist, spoke with Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), to learn what the plan will mean for the university.

The revitalization plan for the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) sees the building transformed into a health, wellness and innovation centre.
Construction of the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) was completed in 1931, offering gymnasiums as well as swimming, diving and water polo facilities.

Jasmine Toor: What progress has been made on the university’s plan to revitalize the former PEC building?

Alan Harrison: The university has made significant progress. Queen’s retained CS&P Architects in fall 2015 to produce a functional program and conceptual design for the revitalized building. The preliminary business case for the project is complete and we have initiated the work that will yield a more reliable cost estimate (known as a class B estimate). Our hope is that the first phase of the project, the demolition of much of the interior, will commence early in 2017. Queen’s has raised a significant portion of the total cost of the project, the class D estimate for which is $87 million.   

JT: What was the impetus that led to the decision to redevelop the building?

AH: A structural assessment by an external consultant found that the building was in excellent shape and thus could provide a considerable amount of additional space at a relatively low cost per square foot, if renovated, in comparison to a newly constructed building. The Queen's Health, Wellness and Innovation Centre affords us a wonderful opportunity to utilize and revitalize valuable space in the heart of campus.

JT: What will the revitalized building be used for?

AH: The major constituent parts of this project are engineering, innovation and health and wellness. The revitalized building will enhance both the quality of our student experience and the quality of our research facilities by aligning academic and non-academic uses for the building.  Queen’s has a longstanding reputation of offering our students an exceptional educational and extra-curricular learning experience. When completed, the project will be a prominent symbol of Queen’s as the quintessential balanced academy, the Canadian research-intensive university with a transformative learning experience.

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will be a major occupant of the revitalized building. Undergraduate learning in engineering will be supported by an interactive Learning Commons that will allow more than 500 mechanical and materials engineering students to work individually or collaboratively on projects and assignments in an environment that offers state-of-the-art information and computing technology. Additionally, a number of high-technology, leading-edge teaching and design studios will each support between 75 and 150 undergraduate students.

Interdisciplinary laboratory space will support more than 20 faculty researchers working on bioengineering, environmental and biomedical research. This laboratory space will allow considerable expansion of interdisciplinary research, primarily but not exclusively in the areas of chemical and civil engineering. The benefits of this laboratory space will accrue not only to the researchers but also to their graduate students.

The Queen’s Health, Wellness and Innovation Centre affords us a wonderful opportunity to utilize and revitalize valuable space in the heart of campus.

— Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

JT: How does this plan align with Queen’s commitment to enhanced health and wellness related facilities?

AH: The Wellness Centre is an integral part of the revitalization project. The new Wellness Centre will allow us to co-locate services, so anyone seeking counselling is assured of privacy.  By combining health, counselling and accessibility services together in one centrally located and visible location, along with three gymnasia and other athletic and recreation facilities, the revitalized building will provide opportunities to integrate physical and mental health, connecting them with the student experience.

Furthermore, the new Wellness Centre will be able to provide us with the increased capacity and flexibility to meet the rising demand across the spectrum of wellness services and expand in response to the evolving needs of our student population. This was acknowledged by the 2012 report of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health, which recommended a new and centralized location for student wellness services.

The completion of Queen’s Gymnasium in 1931:
“It is modern in every respect; we can hold up our heads and boast of one of the finest gymnasiums in Dominion. The undergraduates will reap the benefits and it behooves them to carry on and bring more athletic honors to Queen’s. Swimming and diving and water-polo facilities are now open for the Queen’s natatorialartists and soon graduates should hear that Queen’s is once more carrying off championships in this new athletic field.”

JT: How does the revitalization project align with Queen’s commitment to innovation?

AH: Queen’s has committed to increasing the number of new opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning, improving intra-university collaboration through new programs and curriculum innovation, and creating new and innovative ways for students to develop fundamental academic skills. The new engineering space of the building will include an Innovation Hub. This and other space in the refurbished building dedicated to innovation will result in a considerable expansion of the Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC), which will support and allow the development of a core strength of the QIC, which is its interdisciplinary nature.

Students from across the university will have access to the resources, the networks and the mentors that will help transform their ideas into products and services. They will work in diverse teams to address important problems and identify the solutions that will yield benefits not only for our region, but nationally and globally too. The innovation component of the redevelopment plan also aligns with the federal government’s focus on innovation as an important component of university research.

Opening the door to customer analytics

  • Michael Zerbs, Scotiabank Executive Vice President and Co-Head, Information Technology, Enterprise Technology, and Yuri Levin, Chaired Professor of Operations Management and Director of the Master of Management Analytics program at the Smith School of Business were on hand for the opening of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics. (Photo by Alix Martin)
    Michael Zerbs, Scotiabank Executive Vice President and Co-Head, Information Technology, Enterprise Technology, and Yuri Levin, Chaired Professor of Operations Management and Director of the Master of Management Analytics program at the Smith School of Business were on hand for the opening of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics. (Photo by Alix Martin)
  • Director of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics Yuri Levin, left, and Dean of Smith School of Business David Saunders, right, presented Scotiabank executives Michael Zerbs and Mike Durland with a plaque at the opening ceremony of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics.
    Director of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics Yuri Levin, left, and Dean of Smith School of Business David Saunders presented Scotiabank executives Michael Zerbs and Mike Durland with a plaque at the opening ceremony of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics.
  • Queen's Principal Daniel Woolf, second from left, attended the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics opening ceremony at the Smith School of Business where he met with Yuri Levin, left, and Michael Zerbs, Scotiabank Executive Vice President and Co-Head, Information Technology, Enterprise Technology.
    Queen's Principal Daniel Woolf, second from left, attended the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics opening ceremony at the Smith School of Business where he met with Yuri Levin, left, and Michael Zerbs, Scotiabank Executive Vice President and Co-Head, Information Technology, Enterprise Technology.

Executives from Scotiabank and members of the Queen’s community gathered at Goodes Hall on Monday, Feb. 22 to officially open the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics at the Smith School of Business.

The research centre, created with $2.2 million provided by Scotiabank, will bring together professors and students to collaborate with Scotiabank teams on applied research in customer analytics to provide data-driven solutions.

The centre is led by two faculty members of the Smith School of Business – Yuri Levin, Chaired Professor of Operations Management and Director of the Master of Management Analytics program; and Mikhail Nediak, Associate Professor and Toller Family Fellow of Operations Management – with participation from faculty members in Management Science, Operations Management, Marketing, and Business Economics, as well as from the Queen’s School of Computing.

The collaboration will also include community building efforts that bring together analytics practitioners and innovators across industries. Scotiabank will also provide internship opportunities for Queen’s PhD, MSc, Master of Management Analytics and MBA students.

Three minutes to connect

Distilling years of research and study into a three-minute presentation is no easy task. However, it can be immensely beneficial for graduate students as they work toward their master’s degree or doctorate.

[Mary Chaktsiris]
Mary Chaktsiris was the runner-up in the 2014 Three Minute Thesis competition at Queen's University. (Supplied Photo)

In the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, participants have a mere three minutes and one static slide to convey their research to the judges and audience.

As a result, the 3MT helps graduate students hone skills they will need in the workplace after leaving university, such as presentation skills and decision making. And there is prize money for the winners.

“With only three minutes to spare, decisions need to be made about what information is most important for the audience to know in that short timeframe,” says Mary Chaktsiris, runner-up in 2014. “The ability to summarize complex information, provide a balanced point of view, and present evidenced-based conclusions are showcased by the 3MT format. Whether it’s presenting during a meeting or writing documents such as briefing notes, the ability to concisely present complex information in a way that resonates with the audience at hand is an important part of my day-to-day work.

Dr. Chaktsiris went on to complete her PhD and is currently working as a policy analyst with the Council of Ontario Universities.

This year’s competition starts with the opening heats on March 22-24 followed by the finals on March 30. Registration is now open and can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.<

SCHEDULE
Heat 1
Tuesday, March 22, Start – Noon B176
Mackintosh Corry Hall
Heat 2
Wednesday, March 23, Start – 9:30 am
B176 Mackintosh Corry Hall
Heat 3
Thursday, March 24, Start – Noon
B176 Mackintosh Corry Hall
Queen’s Final
Wednesday, March 30, Start – 4:45 pm
Biosciences

Dr. Chaktsiris, whose research about the First World War explored connections between wartime expectations and ideas of masculinity in Toronto, says that she got involved in the 3MT because there was little representation from the humanities and liberal arts. She says that researchers in these fields need to share their findings “across the disciplines and to new audiences through the university-wide conversations that occur at the 3MT competition.”

She hopes that more graduate students from the humanities and liberal arts will get involved.

“If we don't speak up for our research, if we don't put our questions and conclusions under the spotlight, who will?” she asks.

Founded at the University of Queensland in Australia in 2008, 3MT competitions are held at the university, provincial and national levels in Canada. In 2015, Chenman (Cara) Yin, a master’s student in physics, claimed Queen’s first award at the national level, winning the People’s Choice Award.

Everyone is welcome to attend the upcoming events.

For more information visit the 3MT website or contact Colette Steer at the SGS office.

A SparQ for innovation

  • SparQ Studios, previously located in the Integrated Learning Centre and known as SparQ Labs, officially opened its doors in Carruthers Hall in December.
    SparQ Studios, previously located in the Integrated Learning Centre and known as SparQ Labs, officially opened its doors in Carruthers Hall in December.
  • As Queen’s Innovation Connector’s makerspace and design studio, SparQ Studios provides students many of the tools they need to develop their projects and prototypes.
    As Queen’s Innovation Connector’s makerspace and design studio, SparQ Studios provides students many of the tools they need to develop their projects and prototypes.
  • SparQ Studios offers a wide array of tools and equipment such as 3D printers, CNC milling machines and laser cutters as well as a co-working space with tables and chairs where students can gather and work together.
    SparQ Studios offers a wide array of tools and equipment such as 3D printers, CNC milling machines and laser cutters as well as a co-working space with tables and chairs where students can gather and work together.

Queen’s students have a bright and welcoming new space on campus to innovate, collaborate and bring their ideas to life.

SparQ Studios, previously located in the Integrated Learning Centre and known as SparQ Labs, officially opened its doors in Carruthers Hall in December. As Queen’s Innovation Connector’s makerspace and design studio, SparQ Studios gives students from all disciplines access to the space and many of the tools they need to develop their projects and prototypes.

Francis Campbell (Artsci’17), director of SparQ Studios, says more space is the greatest benefit of the new location, which occupies the former Gordon Vogt Studio Theatre. The School of Drama and Music no longer required the theatre with the opening of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

“We’ve kept the core of the makerspace, which is what SparQ Labs really started out as,” he says. “But now we have the capacity to nurture a community that is interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.”

The main area of SparQ Studios houses a wide array of tools and equipment such as 3D printers, CNC milling machines and laser cutters as well as a co-working space with tables and chairs where students can gather and work together on their projects.

SparQ Studios is equipping a room where students can work on software development. There’s also a conference room where project teams can hold more formal meetings and a lounge that can accommodate guest speakers and other public events.

The makerspace and design studio has been open for just a couple of months, but already students and campus groups are exploring the possibilities of the space. Innovate Queen’s has held meetings there and computer science students have hosted coding nights as well. SparQ Studios has expanded its program offerings to include more workshops and pitch competitions.

“We want to bring in all of these groups and people and foster a really creative atmosphere,” Mr. Campbell says. “Now that we are located right in the middle of campus, students can happen upon the space and get exposed to the ideas of entrepreneurship and innovation.”

SparQ began in 2014 when several Queen’s students pitched the idea to QIC, who agreed to partner with the students and create the first makerspace on a Canadian university campus. QIC has supported the purchase of equipment thanks to the funding it has received from the Government of Ontario’s Campus-Linked Accelerator program.

Growing entrepreneurship on-campus and in the community is a key pillar of Queen’s strategic mandate. QIC builds on existing strengths to give students access to the resources, networks and mentors they need to transform their ideas into products and services.  QIC’s core strength is its interdisciplinary nature, providing students from across the university with the opportunity to work in diverse teams to address important problems and identify the solutions that will yield benefits not only for the region, but nationally and globally too.

 

Youth engaged in health research

Youth panel is speaking out about overprotection and parents trying to keep them too safe.

The children are speaking out. A panel of young people recently completed a documentary called “Overprotection and Safe Risk,” under the supervision of Queen’s University researchers Colleen Davison and Will Pickett (Public Health Sciences) and Valerie Michaelson (School of Religion). The group has one simple message – let them play, let them be kids.

The video grew out of Child Health 2.0, a Queen’s-based research program that brings together researchers, practitioners, children and their families from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. The aim of the work is to support child health.

The panel explored their own boundries on the rope course at the RKY Camp.

"Our youth advisory committee works with us to provide input and advice on the activities of the project and on the research questions we are studying, and they have become a valuable part of the research team. This documentary was one of the projects that we worked on together in 2015.

“First we asked the group to brainstorm together to come up with what thought were the most important health issues facing young people today ” explains Dr. Michaelson. “They had a lot of great ideas, but the one they decided to work with was overprotection.”

The group started off discussing a number of issues facing young people including not being able to fail a test, not being allowed balls on the playground, not keeping score in soccer for fear one team will lose and banning tobogganing. They questioned the rules that were supposed to keep them safe. The idea morphed into a video discussing overprotection, risks and safe play.

“We all want to keep our kids safe but the panel discussion revealed youth are concerned about certain rules and that their parents – and society – are sometimes trying too hard to keep them safe,” says Dr. Michaelson. “They want to be able to explore, be free without the fear of getting hurt or failing.  And they also recognized that sometimes falling down, or losing a game, or doing something that stretches you even though it has risks is part of how you grow strong.”

As part of the video, the youth organized a panel discussion featuring elementary school teacher Chris Davison, Kingston General Hospital (KGH) emergency doctors Heather Murray and Susan Bartels, and child psychologist Sian Phillips. They also visited RKY Camp to challenge themselves on the high rope course and talk about protection and risky play.

The young panel took away some key messages from the research. "Kids need to learn that it's okay to make mistakes," says Cameron. "You have to take risks to learn successfully."

The research and video were presented Sunday, Feb. 21 at the Tett Centre during a research showcase hosted by the Child Health 2.0 team.

Feeling the buzz

Queen’s Human Media Lab unveils world’s first wireless flexible smartphone.

For most users, bending their smartphone means opening their wallets for expensive repairs. Queen’s University computing professor Roel Vertegaal, on the other hand, sees a bendable smartphone as opening new ways for consumers to interact with their devices and apps.

A user bends the ReFlex phone to flip through the pages of a document. The device uses bend input for applications and provides haptic feedback, simulating the feeling of pages flipping through the user's fingers. (Supplied photo: Human Media Lab/Queen's University) 

Researchers at the Human Media Lab have developed the world’s first full-colour, high-resolution and wireless flexible smartphone. The phone, which they have named ReFlex, allows users to experience physical tactile feedback when interacting with their apps through bend gestures. The device measures the degree of bend and adjusts the input accordingly – creating a whole new way of interacting with your smartphone.

“This represents a completely new way of physical interaction with flexible smartphones” says Roel Vertegaal (School of Computing), director of the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University.

“When this smartphone is bent down on the right, pages flip through the fingers from right to left, just like they would in a book. More extreme bends speed up the page flips. Users can feel the sensation of the page moving through their fingertips via a detailed vibration of the phone. This allows eyes-free navigation, making it easier for users to keep track of where they are in a document.”

The ReFlex is no slouch in the technical specs department. It runs on a high definition 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touch screen, and is powered by an Android 4.4 “KitKat” board mounted to the side of the display. Bend sensors behind the display sense the force with which a user bends the screen, which can be used by apps as feedback and input.

ReFlex also features a voice coil that allows the phone to simulate forces and friction through highly detailed vibrations of the display. When changing pages in an ebook, for example, it will simulate the feeling of pages flipping through the user’s fingertips. Combined with the passive force feedback felt when bending the display, this allows for a highly realistic simulation of physical forces when interacting with virtual objects.

A user demonstrates how bending the ReFlex phone could be used in gaming applications. While playing the popular game "Angry Birds," the user sees the band stretched backwards as the phone is bent, while voice coils simulate the feeling of the rubber band being stretched. (Supplied Photo: Human Media Lab/Queen's University)

“This allows for the most accurate physical simulation of interacting with virtual data possible on a smartphone today,” says Dr. Vertegaal. “When a user plays the ‘Angry Birds’ game with ReFlex, they bend the screen to stretch the sling shot. As the rubber band expands, users experience vibrations that simulate those of a real stretching rubber band. When released, the band snaps, sending a jolt through the phone and sending the bird flying across the screen.”

Dr. Vertegaal thinks bendable, flexible smartphones will be in the hands of consumers within five years.  Queen’s researchers will unveil the ReFlex prototype at the 10th anniversary Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) in Eindhoven, The Netherlands on Wednesday, Feb. 17. The annual forum is the world’s premier conference on tangible human-computer interaction.

This research was supported by Immersion Canada Inc. and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). For more information on ReFlex, visit the Human Media Lab website.

Business jumping for cricket food company

[QIC logo]
Queen's Innovation Connector

A company created at Queen’s University last summer is one step closer to launching its line of cricket-infused food products.

Gryllies recently won UPstart, a pitch competition held in Toronto by Queen’s Venture Network in Smith School of Business. The victory comes four months after the company was judged the most promising venture to emerge from the 2015 Queen’s Innovation Connector Summer Initiative (QICSI).

Natasha Baziuk (Sc’15), president and co-founder of Gryllies, says the team felt excited and fortunate to win the pitch competition, especially given the company’s infancy.

“Winning this recent pitch competition helped us realize that our vision – creating future-friendly protein that is good for you and the planet – continues to resonate with others,” she says. “That validation motivates us to keep working hard to get our product to market so that we can start making an impact on global food security.”

[Gryllies president and directors]
Gryllies director Esther Jiang, president Natasha Baziuk and director Adam Beaudoin (left to right) give their presentation during the UPstart pitch competition hosted by Queen's Venture Network. The panel of judges, which included David Wizinsky, Paul Jackson (Com'00), Peter Carrescia, and Marcus Daniels (AMBA'05), awarded Gryllies the top prize. (Photo by David Wile)

During QICSI, the team of students identified the need for more sustainable and environmentally friendly sources of protein. They decided to create a dry mix composed of cricket flour, spices and other protein-rich ingredients that can be used to replace meat in recipes. Less water, feed and land are required to produce the same amount of edible cricket product, compared with traditional meats such as beef, pork and poultry.

Gryllies relocated to Innovation Park at Queen’s University following QICSI. Ms. Baziuk and company directors Adam Beaudoin (Kin’15) and Esther Jiang (Artsci’15) consulted with local chefs and food scientists to further develop the products. Gryllies is currently finalizing its packaging and branding and hopes to go to market in May.

The $15,000 prize will support Gryllies as it embarks on a 12-month program at Food Starter, a Toronto-based food business accelerator. The program will give Gryllies access to a range of services that will help the company commercialize and sell its product.

The benefits of UPstart pitch competition extend beyond the prize money, Ms. Baziuk says.

“We were able to connect with many amazing Queen’s alumni and faculty as well as other entrepreneurs who have already reached out to us and offered their help,” she says. “The feedback from the panel of judges, who are extremely experienced in the entrepreneurial space, also adds immense value to the continued development of our business.”

Another QICSI venture, Lumos Energy Strips, took home the second prize of $10,000 at the pitch competition.

Growing entrepreneurship on-campus and in the community is a key pillar of Queen’s strategic mandate. The Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC) builds on existing strengths to give students access to the resources, networks and mentors they need to transform their ideas into products and services.  QIC’s core strength is its interdisciplinary nature, providing students from across the university with the opportunity to work in diverse teams to address important problems and identify the solutions that will yield benefits not only for the region, but nationally and globally too.

Research highlighted in (e)AFFECT

[(e)AFFECT
Read (e)AFFECT online.

The latest issue of (e)AFFECT, the magazine highlighting the amazing research and researchers at Queen's University, is out.

The issue features the work of the newly-rebranded Canadian Cancer Trials Group, the winning submissions from the Art of Research photo contest, and a feature piece on Nobel laureate Art McDonald.

(e)AFFECT is published twice a year by the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research). The mission of the office is to stimulate, enhance and facilitate ethical research and scholarship at Queen’s by providing leadership, support and services to advance Queen’s position as a research-intensive university, while raising awareness of the excellence of Queen’s research and providing accountability to stakeholders. 

Partnering for palliative care

Philanthropic support allows Queen’s and Lakeridge Health in Durham Region to create unique academic chair.

Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences and Lakeridge Health in Durham Region have partnered to create the first academic chair in palliative care based at a community hospital in Canada. The chair will serve to attract a palliative care physician who will manage a clinical practice at Lakeridge Health, one of Ontario’s largest community hospitals while conducting research at Queen’s.

Queen's University and Lakeridge Health have partnered to create the Gilian Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care Research. The Chair, once selected, The chair will manage a clinical practice at Lakeridge Health, one of Ontario’s largest community hospitals while conducting research at Queen’s.

“By partnering together, Queen’s and Lakeridge Health will be able to pioneer new and important areas of research, improving how tomorrow’s patients receive care,” says Dr. Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences.

The new chair was made possible by a $2.5 million donation from Oshawa residents Hak-Ming Chiu and Deborah Chiu. Lakeridge Health CEO Kevin Empey encouraged Dr. Chiu, a medical oncologist at Lakeridge Health, and Deborah Chiu, a former emergency room nurse, to collaborate with Queen’s to create the position. Queen’s and Lakeridge Health have a long-standing partnership, with Queen’s offering a family medicine residency program in Oshawa, as well as ongoing plans for an integrated clerkship.

“There are great expectations for the academic chair over the years, into the future and long after us,” Dr. Chiu says.

The Gilchrist Chair is named in honour of Gillian Gilchrist. Dr. Gilchrist was the medical director of the palliative care team at Oshawa General Hospital (now known as Lakeridge Health Oshawa) from its creation in 1981 until her retirement in the mid 90s. A pioneer in providing palliative hospice care in Durham Region, she was integral in recruiting clinicians and volunteers to the field and nurtured its development and fostered its growth in the community.

A team has been formed to identify possible candidates for the chair position. More information will be made available once a decision is made and a successful candidate is chosen.

Prestigious honour for groundbreaking work

Queen’s professor Kerry Rowe elected to National Academy of Engineering in the United States.

Queen’s University professor Kerry Rowe’s research has garnered him countless awards and recognition over the past 30 years, but a few honours stand out for him. Included in that group is his recent election to the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Kerry Rowe has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

“This is one of the biggest deals in my professional career,” says Dr. Rowe. “It ranks up there with election to the Royal Society (UK) in terms of importance.”

He was elected to The Royal Society in 2013 as the only Canadian civil engineer. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Of the more than 2,200 elected NAE members, only 231 come from outside the United States, including about 20 Canadians. Dr. Rowe is one of only two civil engineers listed as foreign members.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest international honours for an engineer, says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). The most distinguished Canadian civil engineer of his generation, this honour is a testament to the fundamental importance and impact of Dr. Rowe’s research.

Dr. Rowe is a pioneer in geosynthetics (synthetic products used to stabilize terrain). One area of his research focuses on assessing the effectiveness of plastic liners and geosynthetic clay liners in limiting contamination from mining operations and waste disposal facilities.

His work ranges from computer modelling to small-scale laboratory tests to examining a full-scale system under controlled conditions and full-scale field monitoring from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

“My initial work was in landfills and the research we have done has affected regulations and the design and construction of landfills around the world,” says Dr. Rowe. “This work, conducted by a team which includes colleagues and students past and present, has made a difference and this is what is being recognized by my election as a foreign member of NAE; it is recognition of the entire team.”

Now he is turning his research focus to mining, an area where liners are being widely used in the extraction of minerals by the “heap leach” process and increasingly being used to minimize the environmental impact in tailings storage facilities.

“Mining generates a large amount of waste that needs to be disposed of properly and improving our ability to provide better environmental protection in a cost effective manner is our next challenge,” he says.

To learn more about the US National Academy of Engineering visit the website.

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