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2017-2018 Art of Research Photo Contest

The 2017-2018 Art of Research photo contest was an enormous success! We received dozens of high-quality entries from students, faculty, staff, and alumni spanning the disciplines. Prizes were awarded in the following categories: Community Collaborations, Invisible Discoveries, Out in the Field, Art in Action, Best Description and People’s Choice.

Thank you to all who participated. Your images were creative, thought-provoking, and proved that research is an artistic endeavour!

Highlighted below are the contest winners (click on any image to view a larger version).

The 2019 Art of Research Contest is now open for submission. Find details...

Community Collaborations

Exploring Worlds at Home

Exploring Worlds at Home by James Xie

James Xie
Undergraduate student, Engineering Chemistry

Location: Mars Desert Research Station, Utah

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

Platinum Surface Electrochemistry by Derek Esau

Derek Esau
PhD student, Chemistry

Location: Queen’s Department of 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

Landscapes of Resistance by Alexandra Pedersen

Alexandra Pedersen
PhD student, Geography and Planning

Location: Lote Ocho, Izabal, Guatemala

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

Unspooling Vermeer by Stephanie Dickey

Stephanie Dickey
Faculty, Art History and Art Conservation

Location: Kimmel Center, Philadelphia PA, USA

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

Inside Concord Floral by Naseem Loloie

Naseem Loloie
Undergraduate student, Dan School of Drama and Music

Location: Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, ON

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

Biomimetic Scaffolds by Fei Chen

Fei Chen
Staff, Chemical Engineering

Location: Dupuis Hall, Queen’s University

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.