Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics


Applied Math Student in Gold-Medal Winning Queen's Team

November 24th, 2017

The Queen's Genetically Engineered Machine Team (QGEM) is a multidisciplinary undergraduate student team in synthetic biology. Students comprising this team study biology, biochemistry, life sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science. This past summer, QGEM worked to create a novel E. coli strain, with the capabilities to both bind to ice, and degrade hydrocarbons – a new method of Arctic oil spill remediation. Thus, this method works to combat hindrances and limitations surrounding the current methods of oil spill remediation.

Math and Engineering student Sarah Babbitt is a member of QGEM. She received funding support from the Department of Math and Statistics to travel to Boston, where QGEM had the opportunity to present their project at the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) hosted by MIT, in early November. Here, QGEM received a highly coveted gold medal, based on innovative work, mathematic modelling, human practices, and the creation of new parts. Extensive mathematical modelling was completed to simulate the application of the E. coli strain in the environment, and ensure its practicality.

Congratulations to the team! You can read more about QGEM’s success in the Queen’s Journal. Please note the article wrongly states that Sarah is a Computer Science student; she is in fact in Math and Engineering.