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Financial Sustainability

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.

Vacation policy updated, ready for review

Queen’s University is revising its vacation policy and procedures to reflect recent administrative changes.

“Uninterrupted time away from work-related duties supports a work-life balance, which is a key component of a healthy workplace that we seek to foster at Queen’s,” says Dan Bradshaw, Interim Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources). “The revised policy and related procedures set standards for the transparent, fair and consistent accrual and usage of paid vacation time.”

The policy and procedures simplify how staff earn and take vacation. Previously, staff would earn vacation from July 1 to June 30, and take that vacation from January 1 to December 31. Under the new system, vacation will be both earned and taken in the same calendar year.

Human Resources reminds managers and staff that the goal is for all staff to have a zero vacation balance by Dec. 31, 2016. If operational requirements don’t allow for vacation to be used by the end of 2016, carryover may be approved if a transition plan is in place that outlines how and when outstanding vacation balances will be eliminated.

Vacation Transition Explained
Human Resources has posted on its website a list of commonly asked questions regarding the vacation time transition plan.

As always, staff are required to schedule their vacation in consultation with their manager, to ensure that departmental operations are not negatively affected. Managers have discretion as to how and when vacation balances are used, and how this transition period will be managed.

Importance of tracking vacation

The draft procedures also clearly outline management responsibilities for administering and scheduling vacation. A key aspect is that department heads or designates must ensure that vacation taken by staff is entered into the PeopleSoft system on a monthly basis by the departmental timekeeper, prior to payroll cut-off dates.

“This draft procedure reflects current practice, and reinforces that department heads or designates play an important role ensuring the maintenance of current and accurate timekeeping records,” says Heather Shields, Director and Counsel, Employee and Labour Relations.”

Department heads or designates must also make reasonable efforts to schedule staff vacations as requested, considering the applicable collective agreements and the operational requirements of the department.

Feedback welcome

The draft policy and procedures have been posted on the Queen’s Secretariat and Legal Counsel website. Members of the Queen’s community can submit their comments to policies@queensu.ca by Wednesday, June 15.

Queen’s says CAPit to emissions

The most important energy conservation project in Queen’s history is moving forward under the banner of CAPit, with the desire to cap emissions, cap utility consumption and cap costs.

CAPit is a $10.7-million energy performance contract with Honeywell, an international energy services company. The project aims to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 2800 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“The new name reflects the importance of this project to the university’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), and,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “CAPit will make a significant contribution toward reducing the university’s carbon emissions, helping to achieve the goal of a 35 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, over the 2008 baseline.”

CAPit BY THE NUMBERS
1,147 toilet retrofits
61 urinal retrofits
353 shower head replacements
1,523 faucet moderators installed
1,666 LED retrofits
1,364 upgraded ballasts
9,216 fluorescent tube replacements

The project will implement more than 170 individual energy conservation measures in 66 campus buildings. These include the installation of low-flow fixtures to reduce water usage, upgraded lighting and building climate controls to reduce energy consumption, as well as heat recovery systems and improvements to building envelopes.

“Work on the CAPit project is now underway, and personnel from Honeywell and Physical Plant Services will be visiting buildings across campus,” says Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager. “They are starting the first phase of work, which will target water conservation measures, building envelope enhancements and lighting upgrades.”

The water conservation measures will include work in a majority of bathrooms across campus and involve combinations of toilet replacements, urinal and/or flush valve replacements, low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators.

The initial phase of the lighting work includes a series of lamp replacements targeting compact fluorescent lamps retrofitted to LED lamps and T12 and T8 lamps retrofitted to more efficient T8 lamps.  More than 10,000 lamps will be replaced in this phase.

Work will focus on the residence buildings during the summer season while students are away, however other campus buildings will be addressed during this time as the schedule progresses.  Advance notice of affected buildings will be forwarded via Fixit.

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

Queen's launches employee benefits plan review

Queen’s is embarking on a comprehensive review of its employee benefits plan.

“The university last conducted a Request for Proposals (RFP) regarding the benefits plan in the mid-1990s, and so it has had an interest in reviewing the plan and going to market for some time,” Caroline Davis VP (Finance and Administration) says. “Prior to initiating the RFP, we also want to review our plan to determine if it provides best value to meet the needs of our employees, and to explore what other possibilities may exist.”

“Both the need to review and to tender our current plan were reinforced during 2015 collective bargaining,” Dan Bradshaw, Interim AVP (Human Resources) notes.

At that time, the university signed letters of agreement regarding the employee benefits plan with the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) and with all three Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) locals, 229, 254 and 1302. This resulted in the formation of an Employee Benefits Committee involving the participation of unionized and non-unionized groups. The committee met for the first time on Thursday, May 12. In addition to reviewing the plan, a key role for the committee will be to make recommendations for the criteria to be used to evaluate benefits providers who participate in the RFP process.

Throughout the course of the next year, employees will be updated on the benefits plan review and on opportunities to learn more about their benefits as Queen’s employees.

For more information, please contact Diane Pointer, Director, Total Compensation, diane.pointer@queensu.ca, ext. 74173.

Those with questions about the project may submit them to benefits.project@queensu.ca

Changes to improve efficiency of credit card program

The Queen’s Credit Card Program will be revamped in the coming months as the university transitions to a new service provider.

After a lengthy review of available procurement card programs, Strategic Procurement Services (SPS) decided to join the Ontario University Procurement Management Association (OUMPA) collaborative agreement. The SPS team renegotiated several elements of this agreement in support of the university’s current and future requirements.

“With our current credit card service agreement expiring, there was the opportunity to evaluate and make improvements to the program,” says Donna Janiec, Associate Vice-Principal (Finance). “We are confident the revised program will offer better user experience for both card holders and financial administrators.”

We are committed to offering multiple in-person training sessions so that all card holders and administrators are familiar and comfortable with the new program, policies and processes.
— Donna Janiec, Associate Vice-Principal (Finance)

Scotiabank will become the full service provider for the Queen’s University Credit Card Program. This service includes procurement cards (P-Cards) and Visa Payable Automation (VPA/ghost card), as well as corporate travel cards, which will be transitioned at a future date.

The revamped program will include easy-to-use software that will make reconciliation more efficient and give cardholders and departments more detailed reporting information. Furthermore, card holders should expect more user friendly tax-related processes under the system.

Strategic Procurement Services (SPS), which is responsible for administering the program, is working with Scotiabank and a number of units on campus to develop and implement the program. SPS is also updating its P-Card policies and procedures to bring them in line with the new program and software.

SPS will begin testing the system later this month. Multiple in-person training for all P-Card holders will take place over the summer with full implementation expected in August.

“We recognize that training will be essential for a successful implementation of the new Queen’s University Credit Card Program,” Ms. Janiec says. “We are committed to offering multiple in-person training sessions so that all card holders and administrators are familiar and comfortable with the new program, policies and processes.”

Any questions about the changes can be directed to Shirley Romain, Credit Card Program Manager, via email or at ext. 33104.

Promoting science to young Canadians

NSERC funds engineering outreach to Aboriginal students, Science Rendezvous event. 

Two Queen’s University projects will promote engineering and mathematics to young Canadians – including Aboriginal students – with support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

“Both of these programs deserve applause for their work fostering an interest in and instilling a passion for engineering and mathematics in youth,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “Congratulations to both the Aboriginal Access to Engineering program and Dr. Colgan on their continued efforts and leadership to champion STEM education.”

Melanie Howard, Director of Aboriginal Access to Engineering (AAE).

Aboriginal Access to Engineering (AAE) within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has received $228,900 over three years from the NSERC PromoScience program. The outreach initiatives of AAE aim to get more Aboriginal youth excited about science and mathematics and encourage them to consider engineering as a potential career path.

“We are thrilled that NSERC has recognized the opportunities and potential that Aboriginal Access to Engineering opens up for Indigenous youth,” says AAE Director Melanie Howard (Artsci’95, Ed’98). “We look forward to engaging more frequently with Indigenous youth through culturally relevant and exciting STEM enrichment experiences, and inspiring youth in Indigenous communities to see themselves as future engineers.”

One of only three undergraduate support programs for Aboriginal engineering students in Canada, AAE is also the only program with a corresponding K-12 outreach component. AAE sets up interactive displays at various community events throughout the summer, engaging youth through storytelling, games and activities to help them learn about the importance of engineering within an Indigenous context.

The program also works extensively with teachers and schools in First Nations to inspire linkages between culture and technology in the elementary science curriculum. Aboriginal youth also have opportunities to visit Queen’s each year and learn more about engineering through in-person meetings.

AAE will use the funding from PromoScience to extend its long-term, reciprocal relationships with proximate Indigenous communities and to strengthen the quality of its outreach and educational efforts.

"I thought, ‘that sounds like so much fun!’"

- Lynda Colgan (Education) on the Mathematics Midway

Lynda Colgan (Education) received PromoScience program funding from NSERC to host the Mathematics Midway at Science Rendezvous Kingston.

Lynda Colgan (Education) is spearheading the other Queen’s project that received NSERC funding. With the $20,000 PromoScience grant, Dr. Colgan is bringing the Mathematics Midway to this year’s Science Rendezvous Kingston. The attraction features mathematics-related puzzles and games.

“Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to place a student for a practicum at the Museum of Mathematics in New York City,” Dr. Colgan says. “As part of a street festival in Manhattan, they ran a Math Midway, which was an opportunity to play games with math and experience the more artistic, whimsical side of math. I thought, ‘that sounds like so much fun!’”

The highlight of the Mathematics Midway at Science Rendezvous Kingston will be the square-wheeled tricycles. Participants will have the opportunity to ride these seemingly impossible vehicles along a specially designed roadway while learning about the math behind what makes them work.

NSERC's PromoScience Program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering (including mathematics and technology). For more information on the PromoScience program, please visit the website.

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