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Financial Sustainability

Frozen in time no more

More than 50 important deferred maintenance projects are currently underway in Queen’s facilities. 

  • [View from atop Grant Hall tower]
    A bird's-eye view of Lake Ontario is made possible with the removal of the Grant Hall clock hands.
  • [Plaque inside Grant Hall tower]
    A plaque inside Grant Hall tower recognizes Professor Nathan Dupuis for designing the original tower clock.
  • [Larry Pattison]
    Larry Pattison, Director, Engineering and Operations, PPS, explains how the Grant Hall clock will be repaired.
  • [Workers repairing stones]
    A mason repairs the stonework on the south side of Grant Hall.
  • [Grant Hall repairs]
    Masons are hard at work repairing the stonework on Grant Hall.

What’s up with the clock on Grant Hall tower?

It’s a timeless question asked by many who look up only to see the clock’s hands frozen in time.

Now, the university is taking action to ensure the Grant Hall clock is right more than twice a day.

“Because Grant Hall and its tower are such iconic Queen’s landmarks, we believe it’s important that the clock functions properly,” says John Witjes, Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities). “That’s why we’ve made the clock-tower restoration a priority during this summer’s deferred maintenance work.”  

And work has already begun. Local company Elderhorst Bell Canada has removed the original clock hands that date back to 1905. After they are restored, the clock hands will be reinstalled and powered by a new electrical mechanism.

The Grant Hall Tower Clock
♦ Nathan Dupuis, a Queen’s professor of mathematics and other sciences, and dean of practical science in the early 20th century, designed the original tower clock.
♦ The university replaced the original clock in 1993 with an electrical mechanism designed in England.
♦ Students paid for the mechanism, continuing a tradition of supporting Grant Hall that began in 1901 when students raised $35,000 so that construction of the building could move ahead.
♦ The original clock mechanism designed by Professor Dupuis is on display in Stirling Hall. A plaque inside the Grant Hall tower also recognizes Professor Dupuis’ contribution to the original clock.
♦ Learn more about Grant Hall in the Queen’s Encyclopedia.

The new electronic mechanism is expected to have a longer lifespan and offer new functionality such as automatically updating for time changes and resetting after power outages.

In addition to the clock, the university is also repairing the stonework on Grant Hall and several other buildings including Ontario Hall. Physical Plant Services (PPS) is working with a heritage preservation specialist to ensure that reinforcing the structural integrity of the buildings is done in a historically sensitive manner.

“We want to be good stewards of these assets and, as such, we are using the best and most historically appropriate methods and materials,” says Larry Pattison, Director, Engineering and Operations, PPS.

Masons are removing stones that are badly weathered, damaged or broken. They are replacing them with stones from locations nearby the quarries of the original stones. This will ensure the new stones blend in as they weather. Masons are also repointing, which involves replacing the mortar between the stones that has become fragile. The workers are also re-grouting so that the mortar between the inner and outer layers of stones is solid.

Just up University Avenue, PPS is carrying out another restoration project on the John Deutsch University Centre. Crews are removing windows and sending them off to be repaired and restored.

Deferred maintenance work across campus

More than 50 important deferred maintenance projects are currently underway in Queen’s facilities. These include modernizing Mackintosh-Corry Hall and MacArthur Hall elevators, structural and wall repair at Victoria Hall, power supply modernization at Harrison-LeCaine Hall and Mackintosh-Corry Hall, various roof repairs and replacement and modernization of five fire alarm systems. 

While the bulk of the work will take place over the summer months, according to Mr. Pattison, PPS will continue with deferred maintenance projects through the fall and winter, as long as it doesn’t disrupt building occupants.

Campus electricity demand reduction — July 7

In order to reduce electricity costs and contribute to the sustainability of the province’s energy system, Queen's is once again participating in an electricity peak demand management program this summer. With temperatures and humidity levels remaining high across the province, today (Thursday, July 7) will be the university's fifth Electricity Demand Response Day of the summer. A complete list of buildings that will be participating in today’s response is posted on the sustainability website

If you are interested in helping with the response, please turn off non-essential lighting during the day and shutdown your computers and other non-essential equipment before you leave at the end of the day. 

More information about the electricity peak demand management program is available on the sustainability website. Those with questions may also contact Fixit at extension 77301 (internal), 613-533-6757 (external) or email.

Campus electricity demand reduction — July 6

In order to reduce electricity costs and contribute to the sustainability of the province’s energy system, Queen's University is once again participating in an electricity peak demand management program this summer. With temperatures and humidity levels remaining high across the province, today (Wednesday, July 6) will be the university's fourth Electricity Demand Response Day of the summer.

If you are interested in helping with the response, please turn off non-essential lighting during the day and shutdown your computers and other non-essential equipment before you leave at the end of the day. 

Please note, Thursday, July 7 has just been identified as a potential response day. A separate notification will be issued tomorrow to either confirm or cancel the response. 

More information about the electricity peak demand management program is available on the sustainability website. Those with questions may also contact Fixit at extension 77301 (internal), 613-533-6757 (external) or email.

Campus electricity demand reduction — July 5

In order to reduce electricity costs and contribute to the sustainability of the province’s energy system, Queen’s University is once again participating in an electricity peak demand management program this summer. With temperatures and humidity levels remaining high across the province, today (Tuesday, July 5) will be our third Electricity Demand Response Day of the summer.

If you are interested in helping with the response, please turn off non-essential lighting during the day and shutdown your computers and other non-essential equipment before you leave at the end of the day.

Wednesday, July 6 has the potential to be a response day; however, a separate notification will be issued tomorrow to either confirm or cancel the response.

More information about the electricity peak demand management program is available on the sustainability website. Those with questions may also contact Fixit at extension 77301 (internal), 613-533-6757 (external) or email.

Campus electricity demand reduction – June 27

In order to reduce electricity costs and contribute to the sustainability of the province’s energy system, Queen's University is once again participating in an electricity peak demand management program this summer. With temperatures and humidity levels remaining high across the province, today (Monday, June 27) will be our second Electricity Demand Response Day of the summer. There are no additional responses forecasted for this week.

If you are interested in helping with the response, please turn off non-essential lighting during the day and shutdown your computers and other non-essential equipment before you leave at the end of the day.

More information about the electricity peak demand management program is available on the sustainability website. Those with questions may also contact Fixit at extension 77301 (internal), 613-533-6757 (external) or email.

CAPit building envelope measures continue

As part of the ongoing energy conservation project under the banner of CAPit, crews from Honeywell will be completing work relating to building envelope measures (installation of sealing such as caulking and/or weather stripping) in the following buildings June 27-30:

Continuing over from June 24 into week of June 27
- Sir John A MacDonald Hall – Windows
- Old Medical Building – Windows

New work starting week of June 27
- Douglas Library – Windows, Level 7 - Third Floor
- Theological Hall – Windows, First Floor
- MacGillivray-Brown Hall (Doors: Exterior entrances, stairways and mechanical room spaces)
- Kingston Hall (Doors: Exterior entrances, stairways and mechanical room spaces)
- Gordon Hall (Doors: Exterior entrances, stairways and mechanical room spaces)
- McLaughlin Hall (Doors: Exterior entrances, stairways and mechanical room spaces)
- Clark Hall (Doors: Exterior entrances, stairways and mechanical room spaces)
- Richardson Hall (Doors: Exterior entrances, stairways and mechanical room spaces)

The crew typically goes through a building assessing spaces/offices that are not occupied and uses that opportunity to communicate with those in occupied offices regarding the scope and scheduling of this work. Occupants should remove all personal belongings from window ledges in advance of crews arriving to their buildings.

If there are any concerns about the schedules proposed above or if security personnel need to be present while crews access any of the affected areas, please contact Joe Furo, Honeywell Site Coordinator, by phone at 613-978-6070.

More information about CAPit can be found on the Queen’s Sustainability Office website.

Finance staff invest in professional development

Graduating students weren’t the only people applauded for their accomplishments at Queen’s this past spring.

[Certificate presentation]
Heather Woermke (left), Controller at Financial Services, and Donna Janiec (middle), Associate Vice-Principal (Finance), present the certificate to Angela Lees, Administrative and Financial Assistant, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, one of 42 staff members to complete the new Financial Services certificate program.

At a recent ceremony in Goodes Hall with colleagues cheering on, Financial Services handed out certificates to 42 staff members who completed the new online training program.

“I am proud of these employees who carved out time in their busy schedules to complete this certificate program,” says Donna Janiec, Associate Vice-Principal (Finance). “Ongoing professional development in this area is important for strengthening the university’s financial controls and improving the quality and efficiency of financial transactions processed by staff members.”

Heather Drouillard was among the group of employees who recently received their certificates. When she first learned of the program last year, she was relatively new to the university, having only worked six months as the departmental manager in the Department of Chemistry. She saw the program as an opportunity to better understand the big picture of Queen’s financial system.

“Oh yeah, it was an eye-opener,” she says with a laugh when asked if the certificate program met her expectations. “The program definitely provided clarity on a lot of little issues that I wasn’t quite sure about. And it also helped with some of the more Queen’s-specific issues. I had worked in a financial role at the University of Toronto for 15 years before coming to Queen’s, and obviously things are a little bit different here compared to Toronto.”

Ms. Drouillard and the other participants completed 27 core and two elective sessions. The sessions fell into different groups: introduction, accounting basics, procurement, managing specific funds and systems training.

All of the sessions were offered online and developed with input from business officers to ensure the learning material met the needs of participants.

“I liked that the program was entirely online. I found I could do the program at my own pace,” says Maggie Black, the departmental administrative assistant for the Department of Ophthalmology. “The sessions included videos and PowerPoint presentations, which accommodated different learning styles.”

Ms. Drouillard says she anticipates that the certificate program will have a long-lasting impact on her work at Queen’s.

More Information
Visit the Queen’s Financial Services website to learn more about the certificate program and to view the complete list of graduates.
Questions or comments can be sent to 
finance@queensu.ca

“This certificate program will allow me to provide correct information and financial guidance to people within my department,” she says. “If I don’t have the answer, I know where I can go and who I can talk to for assistance.”

Heather Woermke, Controller at Financial Services, says she and Ms. Janiec are thrilled by the positive interest in the certificate program.

“It was a great pleasure to attend the graduation ceremony and see the pride the participants took in their accomplishment,” Ms. Woermke says. “We look forward to offering this program in the future and we would welcome any feedback as we continue to update existing modules and add new ones.”

Supporting research and discovery

Sixty-eight research programs to receive support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that will enable them to carry out innovative research projects over the next one to five years.

Discovery Grants

Mark Chen (Physics)
Anthony Noble (Physics)
Tomas Babak (Biology)
Leda Raptis (DBMS)
Graham Cote (DBMS)
Inka Brockhausen (DBMS)
Peter Davies (DBMS)
Chandrakant Tayade (DBMS)
Tom Hollenstein (Psychology)
Meredith Chivers (Psychology)
Jacqueline Monaghan (Biology)
Brendon Gurd (Kinesiology & Health Studies)
Michael Tschakovsky, (Kinesiology & Health Studies)
Mark Sabbagh (Psychology)
Robert Colautti (Biology)
David Zechel (Chemistry)
Michael Baird (Chemistry)
Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry)
Richard Oleschuk (Chemistry)
Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry)
Gang Wu (Chemistry)
Judith Irwin (Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy)
Kayll Lake (Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy)
Heather Jamieson (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering)
Brian Cumming (Biology)
Kent Novakowski (Civil Engineering)
David Skillicorn (Computing)
Francesco Cellarosi (Mathematics and Statistics)
Michael McIsaac (Public Health Sciences)
Anthony Geramita (Mathematics and Statistics)
Boris Levit (Mathematics and Statistics)
Dongsheng Tu (Public Health Sciences)
Abdol-Reza Mansouri (Mathematics and Statistics)
Neil Hoult (Civil Engineering)
Mark Diederichs (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering)
Kevin Mumford (Civil Engineering)
Paresh Sen (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Wai-Yip Chan (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Theresa Davies (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
Carlos Saavedra (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Evelyn Morin (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Gabor Fichtinger (Computing)
Ahmad Afsahi (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Alireza Bakhshai (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Marianna Kontopoulou (Chemical Engineering)
Dominik Barz (Chemical Engineering)
Zhongwen Yao (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
Alan Giacomin (Chemical Engineering)
David Rival (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
Ugo Piomelli (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
Jacob Jeswiet (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)

Research Tools and Instruments Grants

Diane Beauchemin (Chemistry)
Richard Beninger (Psychology)
Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering)
Robert Colautti (Biology)
Gabor Fichtinger (Computing)
Ahmad Ghahremaninezhad (Mining Engineering)
D. Jean Hutchinson (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering)
Marianna Kontopoulou (Chemical Engineering)
Hans-Peter Loock (Chemistry)
Michael Rainbow (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
David Rival (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
Zhongwen Yao (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
Shetuan Zhang (DBMS)

Discovery Accelerator Supplements

Neil Hoult (Civil Engineering)
Jacqueline Monaghan (Biology)
David Rival (Mechanical Engineering)
David Zechel (Chemistry)

Sixty-eight Queen’s research projects, from a variety of disciplines, have received more than $13.5 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). A total of 72.1 per cent of Queen’s Discovery Grant applications were successful in receiving funding, which represents an increase of nearly four per cent over 2015, and exceeds the national success rate of 66 per cent. The funding received will enable researchers to carry out innovative research projects over the next one to five years.

“A cornerstone program of NSERC, the Discovery Grants suite is a vital investment which recognizes the leading-edge work of new and emerging researchers as well as established leaders in the natural sciences and engineering,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal, Research at Queen’s University. “This support has the ability to have a transformative impact on their research programs – laying the foundation for new knowledge and providing a platform for new innovations and collaborations – which focus on finding solutions for some of society’s most pressing issues.”

Notable recipients include Mark Chen, Anthony Noble and Judith Irwin (Physics), Heather Jamieson (Geological Engineering) and Meredith Chivers (Psychology). 

 

Dr. Chen received a $1.38 million grant to run the SNO+ project at SNOLAB.

 

 

Dr. Noble received a three-year grant valued at $1.25 million to fund the PICO project and the search for dark matter.

 

 

Dr. Irwin received a five-year, $100,000 grant to study the evolution of galaxies.

 

 

Dr. Jamieson received $225,000 over five years to study means of reducing the environmental impact of mining for rare earth metals.

 

 

Dr. Chivers received $203,600 over five years to study how men and women differently experience sexual response.

 

In addition, four Queen’s researchers were awarded Discovery Accelerator Supplements. Valued at $120,000 over three years, these grants are awarded to researchers whose projects explore high-risk, novel or potentially transformative subjects that could lead to groundbreaking advances in their fields.

Five researchers also received an Early Career Research Supplement as part of their grant. Valued at $5,000 per year, the supplement is awarded to researchers who are in the first two years of an NSERC eligible position and who have no previous independent research experience.

(NSERC) invests in people, discovery and innovation to increase Canada’s scientific and technological capabilities for the benefit of all Canadians. NSERC serves to support post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies, promotes discovery by funding research conducted by post-secondary professors and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research and training. Over the last 10 years, NSERC has invested more than $7 billion in basic research, projects involving partnerships between post-secondary institutions and industry, and the training of Canada’s next generation of scientists and engineers.

For the full list of Discovery Grant recipients, or to learn more about the NSERC Discovery Grant, please visit the website.
 

Update on CAPit project schedule

As part of the ongoing energy conservation project under the banner of CAPit, crews from Honeywell will be completing work relating to building envelope measures (installation of sealing such as caulking and/or weather stripping) in the following buildings June 20-29:

  • Jackson Hall – June 20-21 (windows and doors, offices)
  • Old Medical Building – June 21-23 (windows and doors)
  • Bruce Wing - June 21-24 (doors only)
  • Sir John A. Macdonald Hall – June 21-29 (windows and doors, a few offices, mostly classes, corridors and conference spaces)
  • Mackintosh-Corry Hall – June 21-24 (windows and doors)
  • Nicol Hall – June 27-29 (windows and doors)

The work crew typically goes through a building assessing spaces/offices that are not occupied and uses that opportunity to communicate with those in occupied offices regarding the scope and scheduling of this work. Occupants should remove all personal belongings from window ledges in advance of crews arriving to their buildings.

If there are any concerns about the schedules proposed above or if security personnel need to be present while crews access any of the affected areas, please contact Joe Furo, Honeywell Site Coordinator, by phone at 613-978-6070.

More information about CAPit can be found on the Queen’s Sustainability Office website.

Queen's reducing peak electricity use

The arrival of summer also marks the return of Queen’s participation in the electricity peak demand management program.

The program, part of the university’s commitment to financial and environmental sustainability, involves the shutdown of air conditioning systems in a number of campus buildings on afternoons when electricity demand is at its highest.

Ahead of the implementation of the program this summer, Physical Plant Services will conduct a test of the chiller shutdown process on Tuesday, June 14, from 3- 6 pm, affecting: Beamish-Munro Hall; Gordon Hall; Jeffery Hall; John Deutsch University Centre (north retail space); Richardson Hall; Rideau Building; Stauffer Library; Dunning Hall; and Macdonald Hall. The chiller will remain running with a reduced load for: BioSciences - Atrium and Lecture Theatres; Chernoff Hall - Administration Wing and Theatres; and Douglas Library - except Special Collections; and Watson Hall. The hours for the Queen’s Centre and School of Kinesiology are 4-6 pm only.

“This type of program is common in both the public and private sectors across the province, and our participation can potentially reduce the university’s electricity bill by $2.5 million, while at the same time supporting a sustainable energy system,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration).

During the summer program air conditioner shutdowns will occur between noon and 8 pm and affect 15 campus buildings. The shutdowns will occur on days in July, August and early September when provincial electricity demand is at its highest. Building occupants will notice temperature increases, but where possible Physical Plant Services (PPS) will mitigate this effect by cooling buildings before the shutdown. PPS will issue weekly notices to inform building occupants of the timing of the shutdowns and coordinate with Event Services to minimize the effects on conferences that are being held on campus.

“Our participation in this program also helps promote a sustainable energy system in Ontario by reducing the need for the province to purchase additional power or build new generation facilities, which can have both financial and environmental costs,” says Vice-Principal Davis.

In the 2015-16 fiscal year, about 50 per cent of the university’s nearly $10 million yearly electricity bill is a charge called the “global adjustment,” which is calculated based on Queen’s share of the total provincial electricity demand during the five peak hours from the previous year. Queen’s efforts last summer saved the university $1.6 million. This summer the program is being expanded and will also involve feeding energy back into the grid from the university’s cogeneration facility.

Created in 2005, the global adjustment offsets the costs of renewable power generation and provides an incentive for large electricity users to cut their usage during provincial peaks. This reduces or delays the need to purchase electricity or increase power generation capacity in the province, both of which carry financial and environmental costs.

More information about the program, including which buildings will be affected, is available on the sustainability website. Anybody with questions about the program may contact FIXIT at ext. 77301, 613-533-6757 or by email.

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