Page 1

COMPLETE

THE

SPRING/SUMMER 2013

ENGINEER THE MAGAZINE OF THE FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE AT QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY

INSIDE... our feature looks at

some of our amazing engineering students’ extracurricular activities

PLUS, a special bonus... a Queen’s Engineering year crest poster


SEC TION HEADER

CONTENTS 1  A Message from the Dean  The Faculty is championing innovation on campus and charting a bold course for the future

SPRING/SUMMER 2013

2 Faculty News Two new hires, a major research award and an update on Queen’s Innovation Connector DEAN

4 Engineers Without Borders Acting locally for global issues

Kimberly A. Woodhouse MANAGING EDITOR

Adam Walker CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Jordan Whitehouse GRAPHIC DESIGN

Walker Design & Communications CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Nanci Corrigan Anita Jansman Alec Ross Christine Ward Mark Witten CONTACT INFORMATION

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Queen’s University Beamish-Munro Hall 45 Union Street Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 Tel 613.533.2055 Fax 613.533.6500 Email complete.engineer@queensu.ca

6

Team Ontario Queen’s partners with Algonquin College and Carleton University to compete in U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon

8

Queen’s wins the Canadian Mining Games for the first time in 20 years!

10  OUR SPECIAL FEATURE Our amazing engineering students’ extracurricular activities Jeet Mondal, Master’s in Electrical Engineering, BSc (Engineering) with a minor in Philosophy Alex Cataford, Engineering Physics, 2nd year Alex Cormier, Mechanical Engineering, 3rd year Hank Jien, Mining Engineering, Mechanical option, 5th year Jennifer Routhier, dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Fine Arts (Music) John Slaughter, Chemical Engineering, 4th year Meghan Brunner, Computer Engineering, 3rd year Michelle Sereda, Computer Engineering, 3rd year Mike Tomlinson, Biomedical Engineering, 2nd year Sarah Burton, Electrical Engineering, 4th year Sarah Ingram, Mining Engineering, 3rd year Sean Whitehall, Electrical Engineering, 4th year Stephen Cripps, Computer Engineering, 2nd year Yi Quan, Engineering Chemistry, 3rd year 24 K  eeping the Antarctic Clean Kerry Rowe and Dan Jones are working to clean Antarctic fuel spills 26 Q  ueen’s Coastal Lab A one-of-a-kind facility 28  Alumni Events Dean Woodhouse and the Advancement Team have been visiting with alumni and friends across North America. Here are highlights from a few events.

COMPLETE

THE

SPRING/SUMMER 2013

ENGINEER THE MAGAZINE OF THE FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE AT QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY

INSIDE... our feature looks at

Our some amazing engineering students’ extracurricular activities

PLUS a special bonus... a Queen’s Engineering year crest poster

RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO:

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Office of the Dean Queen’s University 45 Union Street Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6

PM# 41956012

COVER

Master’s student Jeet Mondal busts a few moves in Beamish-Munro Hall. Read his profile and that of other amazing engineering students (page 10).


FACULT Y

Dean’s Message

I

n my message last spring, I told you about the launch of the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative, a collaboration between Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Queen’s School of Business to help students develop innovation and entrepreneurial skills. That pilot project was an exceptional success and has led not just to a second season of the Initiative this summer, but also to a much deeper and broader vision for cultivating ideas and fuelling discovery at Queen’s. Our newly launched Queen’s Innovation Connector (see story, page 3) builds on the existing strengths of the Summer Initiative by extending this incredible opportunity across the campus to all Faculties. We are forging new relationships with alumni, business leaders and entrepreneurs, and exploring exciting degree programs to support our students. The Queen’s Innovation Connector offers great opportunities not only for our students, but also for our country. We are proud and excited to see it coming to realization. It is the generosity of our alumni, parents, corporate partners and friends that allow us to pursue forward-thinking initiatives such as the Queen’s Innovation Connector. We are so very grateful to all those who have committed their support to Inspiring Greatness: The Campaign for Queen’s Engineering. Your generosity and commitment to our future has resulted in an unprecedented funding achievement. To date, we have raised over $67M toward our campaign goal of $85M. Last year, your support for our engineering campaign priorities broke Queen’s records for Faculty giving, with over $26M raised! To find out more, I encourage you to visit our campaign website at www.inspiring.engineering.queensu.ca. The Queen’s Innovation Connector is just one example of what sets our programs and our students apart from others. In this issue of The Complete Engineer, you will also read how our students balance their academic studies with active personal lives—participating in various activities both on and off campus. These are the students that Queen’s attracts—engaged, intelligent and forward-thinking individuals who strive for excellence in every aspect of their lives. This is always an energizing time on campus, as we prepare for a new academic year and welcome the class of 2017. As always, I appreciate your feedback on our programs and wish you a glorious summer!

Kimberly A. Woodhouse PhD, PEng, FCAE, FBSE Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

These are the students

that Queen’s attracts—

engaged, intelligent

and forward-thinking

individuals who strive for

excellence in every aspect of their lives.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 1


FACULT Y NE WS

Queen’s Innovation Connector:

Can innovation be learned?

G

reg Bavington, Sc’85, was pitching the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative to a roomful of Queen’s Arts and Science students when a math undergrad asked about the elephant in the room: Can innovation actually be learned? “I told him there’s no doubt that some people are born with more of an inclination to innovate, but even the best innovators have to learn the skills needed to innovate and need an environment conducive to innovation,” says Bavington, executive director of the Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC). “That’s what the QIC is all about.” The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Queen’s School of Business launched the Queen’s Innovation Connector last year to encourage, enable and support the innovation activities of students, alumni, entrepreneurs and Canadian companies. Led by Bavington, together with Queen’s business and engineering faculty and staff, the QIC offers

joint courses, workshops, internship opportunities, seminar series, conferences and business plan competitions aimed at helping students work together to launch social initiatives and bring innovative ideas, inventions and products to market. The timing couldn’t be better. In April, the Conference Board of Canada released a report on innovation ranking Canada a dismal 13th among 16 worldleading economies. Countries that are more innovative are passing Canada on measures such as income per capita, productivity and the quality of social programs. At two focus groups last year, Queen’s asked alumni what the university could do to help boost Canada’s innovation power. “Everyone agreed that innovation happens best in diverse teams,” says Bavington, who participated in the workshop as the then president and CEO of KN Rubber LLC. “It was clear we needed more formal programming that blends all the faculties together.”

Greg Bavington In May, the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative, the flagship program of the QIC, welcomed 40 students studying everything from kinesiology to film—a first for the two-year-old program that has traditionally involved only engineering and commerce students. Working in teams, the students will spend the summer developing their own companies or contributing to corporate innovations in partnership with industry. “I’m predicting the sparks will fly this summer,” says Bavington. “We’re providing an environment where the risk of failure is an important part of learning. It’s a badge of honour that you took the risk.”

Praveen Jain awarded a 2012 Queen’s Prize for Excellence in Research

P

raveen Jain (Electrical Engineering) is a winner of the 2012 Queen’s Prize for Excellence in Research. He was honoured for his major contributions to advancements of power conversion methods, which have improved the use of power electronics for practical real-life applications. “This is the highest research award at Queen’s and I am very pleased with this accomplishment,” says Jain. Jain heads ePOWER, the Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research at Queen’s, and is the Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics. His research includes developing cost-effective and efficient electronics devices for making alternative energy sources more commercially attractive and deployable on a mass scale. He also conducts research in electric vehicles and more electric aircraft. Recently, Jain and his

2 THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

team developed a revolutionary new compact microinverter that will help encourage the widespread use of solar power generation around the world. Jain credits his students and researchers for their help in investigating and discovering new technology in power electronics. “While advancing technology for practical use, we train some of the best students in Canada in many skill sets to make them ready for real-world experience,” he says. Jain has been at Queen’s for the past 12 years, following a career in the Canadian space and telecommunications industry and a professorship at Concordia. As winner of the Excellence in Research prize, Jain and co-recipient Rena Upitis (Education), presented public lectures on their research in March.


FACULT Y NE WS

Welcome to new faculty Ursula Thorley

T

he Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining welcomed Ursula Thorley, Sc’98, MSc’02, PhD’12, as Assistant Professor in October 2012. Having earned her three degrees at Queen’s, Dr. Thorley is, in a sense, coming home after spending several years as a Senior Engineer (Mining) at Syncrude Canada Ltd. in Fort McMurray, Alberta. There, she worked with the tailings group for Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site. She also has experience in both base and precious metal open-pit mining, and sand and gravel resource development. Thorley holds the distinction of being the first woman in Canada to receive an academic appointment in the male-dominated world of mining. “Certainly there are lots of women with PhDs in mining engineering, but I’m told I am the first to hold an academic appointment,” she says. With her aptitude for science and a

self-declared “pragmatic streak,” Thorley was always drawn to the practical, hands-on discipline of mining. Her interest in tailings—essentially, mine waste— allows her to practice and research engineering in an area she believes is of growing importance. “There’s an opportunity to make a difference,” she says. “Mining produces a tremendous amount of waste, and I want to find ways to deal with that waste more efficiently and effectively.” Thorley enjoys teaching upper-year students open-pit mining courses. She also feels a strong camaraderie with fellow faculty members in the mining department, who are all academic and industry experts. Thorley’s current research involves the cost of reclamation, which historically has not been properly factored into the overall cost of major mining projects. She believes mine design should be “trees

to trees”—in other words, from the time prospecting begins to when the site is restored, as much as possible, to its natural state. Her research reflects this principle, focusing on industry’s needs to respond to challenges posed by the development, management and ultimate closure of modern open-pit mines.

Carlos Escobedo

T

he Department of Chemical Engineering welcomed Assistant Professor Carlos Escobedo in May 2013. Originally from Mexico City, Dr. Escobedo earned a BSc from the National University of Mexico, an MSc from the University of Toronto and his PhD from the University of Victoria. His doctoral research focused on the development of nanostructured optofluidic sensors for biomedical applications, which was accomplished in collaboration with three different departments at the University of Victoria and the Trev & Joyce Deeley BC Cancer Research Centre. Dr. Escobedo spent five years in the research and development biomedical sector in the years between earning his Master’s and PhD, participating in three different projects, most notably a project on designing and developing an artificial

heart. He has also been a lecturer at universities in Canada and Mexico. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Escobedo was the NSERC postdoctoral fellow with

tenure at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. At Queen’s Dr. Escobedo plans to continue his research on sensor applications, using a combination of optics and fluidics on a micro-scale. His focus will be biomedical and energy applications, two areas that he feels are of “significant importance due to increasing demand for new energy sources and the complex medical needs in our world today.” Dr. Escobedo feels honoured to be working with the emerging technology group within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, in addition to the students. In his short time at Queen’s, he has been impressed with the quality and professionalism of engineering students, and he looks forward to teaching his first Queen’s class on fluid mechanics. THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 3


STUDENT LIFE

Engineers Without Borders:

Acting locally for

Last summer’s Junior Fellow, Nicholas Fleming (left), in one of the districts he visited during his internship.

The Youth Outreach team works with local high school students and youth. Their distributed leadership structure allows them to take on a wide range of projects.

In 2009, a group of Queen’s engineering students launched a chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada. Since then, the small grassroots group has been making little waves in the big pond of social justice and change. And although EWB conjures up images of good work being done in developing countries, its philosophy at Queen’s is one of local action and local change.

M

ikhaela Meznaric is a fifth-year student who’s finishing a joint degree in Civil Engineering and Global Development Studies. She’s also the co-president, with Olga Khuskivadze, of EWB at Queen’s, and is working hard, as she says, to “influence those who can enhance global equality” through fundraisers, awareness programs and input into curriculum development. “We act locally for global issues,” says Meznaric. “We want to promote systemic change in Africa, which is the guiding principle of EWB Canada, but we want to do it here in Kingston. When you’re a member of EWB at Queen’s you are forced to ask the hard questions—not just how can we solve the problem, but why there is the problem. We try to get at the root causes of social injustice and poverty.” In addition to selling fair-trade coffee and chocolate on campus, EWB

4 THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

is working with Queen’s food supplier, Sodexo, to have campus cafeterias certified fair-trade. This will ensure that a certain percentage of the food served on campus is purchased from suppliers whose farmers earn fair wages under safe working conditions. Forced child labor, for example, is prohibited. Meznaric says Queen’s is at the leading edge of developing courses and curriculum that account for the need for social change and sustainability in engineering practices. EWB is helping to design specific courses in collaboration with professors. As part of an ongoing awareness program, EWB at Queen’s runs the annual Queen’s Global Initiative Conference in cooperation with the Engineering Society. Held each November, the conference aims to apply an engineering problemsolving mindset to global challenges. Last

year the conference focused on the three I’s: to inspire delegates to care about the most pressing global issues of our time, to innovate solutions to these complex world problems, and to integrate these solutions into their communities. An impressive lineup of speakers, including representatives from EWB Canada, explored pressing world topics such as poverty, access to clean water, resource management and climate change. EWB at Queen’s has grown in its five years of existence and now benefits from the involvement of more than 100 students. “We try to engage first-year students, especially through the first-year design course, APSC100,” says Meznaric. “It’s great to be able to influence students early on, to help them gain an understanding of their capacity for being leaders in global change.”


global issues

EWB Queen’s members at the annual pumpkin smash—an event for raising funds and awareness by dropping a 1000-pound pumpkin from a crane to symbolize smashing poverty.

EWB uses innovative and in-your-face strategies to engage engineers in discussion on their role in promoting social justice.

Amanda Brissenden: Intern for EWB Overseas Amanda Brissenden feels privileged and excited to have been selected to travel to Africa as an intern for EWB Overseas this summer. She’ll be the third such student to be selected for this learning experience, which is sponsored by EWB at Queen’s. During her four-month internship, the third-year biochemical

As engineering students, we are

responsible for thinking globally

and recognizing the many systems and people our work can and does

affect,” says Brissenden. “It’s our

responsibility to look at the whole picture, not just the technical

aspects of any one project. We have to consider the human impact.

engineering student will work in the agriculture sector, conducting market research and project evaluations. Amanda expects to witness first-hand the problems that African farmers face and gain invaluable insight into the realties and complexities of life in Kenya. She hopes her visit will improve her critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Brissenden looks forward to stepping out of her “comfort zone” and meeting new people from a different culture. “EWB is wonderful for the very reason that it opens up our eyes and our opportunities to the world. It keeps us informed on what’s going on in global development, world economics and politics. EWB is giving me a wonderful opportunity.”

> For more: www.queensu.ewb.ca

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 5


STUDENT LIFE

Team Ontario:

for the

Building

future

A rendering showing the southeast facade of ECHO

K

arl Kadwell wants to build a solar home that sets a new standard for energy efficiency and sustainability for the next generation of Canadian homeowners. And he’s doing it as project manager for Team Ontario, one of 20 collegiate teams chosen to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. Kadwell is overseeing the design, testing and construction of ECHO, a 960-square-foot solar home that dares to be different. “We took a couple of risks and came up with some unique concepts and engineering innovations that will make our house stand out from the competition,” says Kadwell, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student from Queen’s who graduated this spring. “It’s fun being in a team environment with like-minded, dedicated people, where everyone is topnotch and giving 100 percent.” Team Ontario brings together about 100 students and faculty advisors from Queen’s, Carleton University and Algonquin College. The students come from a variety of disciplines—including engineering, architecture, advanced

6 THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

housing construction and business—and have worked collaboratively for almost two years to plan, design, test, build and

One of ECHO’s most original and inspired advanced technologies

featured is its integrated mechanical system, designed by mechanical

engineering students from Queen’s and Carleton. It combines heating, cooling, dehumidification and hot

water in a single system. The compact

system includes a hot-water tank, cold-water tank and a heat pump in between that runs off solar energy gathered through an array of flat plate solar collectors.

operate ECHO for the Solar Decathlon, a global competition that takes place from October 3 through 13 at the Orange

Country Great Park in Irvine, California. The goal is to show that net-zero energy, solar-powered homes are affordable, feasible and desirable, and to inspire the world to demand more from the next generation of homes. One of ECHO’s most original and advanced technologies is its integrated mechanical system, designed by mechanical engineering students from Queen’s and Carleton. It combines heating, cooling, dehumidification and hot water in a single system. The compact system includes a hot-water tank, cold-water tank and a heat pump in between that runs off solar energy gathered through an array of flat plate solar collectors. “Most teams use an air-to-air heat pump. The heart of our integrated mechanical system is a liquid-to-liquid to heat pump,” explains mechanical manager Portia Murray, a 2013 mechanical engineering graduate who will focus on green building design systems during her research this summer. “Water is a better heat transfer medium than air, so our system will inherently be more efficient. We can meet our energy loads with nothing


Team Ontario outside the nearly finished exterior in Perth, Ontario.

ECHO is set down on Algonquin College - Woodroffe Campus.

The proposed living space offers a comfort for the modern evolving family.

The interior rendering of ECHO’s kitchen, set to run completely off the energy produced by the home’s solar panels.

but the sun, 90 percent of the time.” ECHO’s airtight thermal envelope is another smartly engineered energy-saving feature. “We integrated vacuum-insulated panels (VIPs) into the floors, walls and the roof so that it takes less energy to heat and cool the house. Our insulation performs about twice as well as [insulation] in the average newly built home,” says Kadwell, noting that VIPs provide about 15 times more insulation R-value per inch than foam insulation. That’s not all. “The wall system is a lot skinnier, so the thermal envelope maximizes interior space and reduces the cost of materials,” adds Jacob Morgan, construction manager and a second-year student in Algonquin College’s Advanced Housing program. ECHO business manager Leia de Guzman is also excited about a user-friendly energy-monitoring mobile app the electrical engineering team is developing for homeowners. The app will replace the typical thermostat and allow residents to easily control temperature, humidity, motorized window openers, lighting and entertainment using a single handheld

device (such as a smartphone). It will also provide live data on weather, electricity usage, and energy consumption. “Our philosophy is that if homeowners can see how much energy they’re using and the impact they have on the environment, they’re more likely to conserve energy,” says de Guzman, who graduated this spring from a five-year dual degree program in Commerce and Environmental Science at Queen’s and was hired by a company that constructs sustainable buildings. De Guzman has worked closely with the business and engineering teams to raise an impressive $800,000 in cash and in-kind sponsorships towards the project’s $950,000 budget. “I’m amazed we’ve come so far. It’s been a shared load across the team,” says de Guzman, who had the business students concentrate on cash contributions and enlisted engineering students to seek out in-kind sponsorships. “Engineering students are excited about the technology, and that translates to engineers in companies that are potential sponsors.” The Solar Decathlon project has given Queen’s engineering students an extraordinary opportunity to develop their

leadership and team-building skills while using their technical knowledge and ingenuity to solve real-world problems. “One of the great advantages of being a manager on this team is that we’re not all just engineers,” says Murray. “We work with architects, business managers and construction managers from different institutions. This prepares you for reallife work experience.” Kadwell sees his project management experience as excellent training for a career in the design and construction of high-performance commercial buildings. “Every building can benefit from requiring less energy to operate, and it’s a huge resumé builder to be part of a multidisciplinary project with a million-dollar budget,” he says. “You develop the soft skills of working with lots of people from different professions and backgrounds. You have to take everyone’s input and ideas, and try to come up with the best final product. It’s satisfying to see the progress, and when I look at what we’ve accomplished in the last two years “it’s mind-boggling.”

> For more: www.ontariosd.ca THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 7


STUDENT LIFE

Fun and games:

Queen’s wins the Canadian

Queen’s team included both new and returning participants: eleven fourth-year students, four third-years and one second-year student.

L

earning the mining profession is hard work. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, too. And combining work with pleasure were twin objectives of the Canadian Mining Games and the International Intercollegiate Mining Games, where students from The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University competed against their peers from other universities across Canada and around the world. On the line: bragging rights for their respective schools. The Canadian Mining Games, a three-day competition held in Montreal in March, was a test of both academic and

technical aptitude. Each team included 16 people, each of whom competed in three of the games’ 24 events—from mineral identification to hands-on skills such as jackleg drilling and mine rescue. (The exceptions to this rule were the four students from each team who took part in only the all-important mine design event.) Queen’s team included both new and returning participants: eleven fourthyear students, four third-years and one second-year student. Five teammates were female, more than any other team in the competition. Jocelyn Dahme, a fourth-year student who co-captained the Queen’s group with her classmate Chris

The competition was tough at the International Intercollegiate Mining Games. 8 THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

Bartley, says the participants were chosen based on their abilities, specialized skill sets and competitiveness. “We made sure we selected a team that wanted to go there to win,” says Bartley. It proved to be a good strategy: Queen’s took first place in five events, including mine design, mine rescue and rock mechanics, areas in which Queen’s academically oriented mining program is strong. In fact, the results of each event tended to reflect the strengths of each particular school. The team members from Laurentian University, for instance, had prior experience working in a number of


SEC TION HEADER

Awards night at the Canadian Mining Games

n Mining Games Sudbury mines, so they tended to do well in the hands-on technical events. “Everyone’s knowledge base is a little different, so it’s always interesting to see how that translates during the Games,” says Dahme. The most mentally-taxing event was mine design, where participants had eight hours to draw up a 100-page report detailing every aspect of a new mine— its property specifications, geology, construction, operation, economics, health and safety features, and so on. It was a massive undertaking that essentially duplicated the final project of Queen’s fourth-year underground mine course. Says Dahme: “At the games the team produced in one day the same document that, at Queen’s, we were expected to produce after eight months.” Queen’s won the event, which was important because it was doubleweighted compared to the other events. Another event where Queen’s triumphed was mine rescue, a simulation in which the competing teams had to use emergency rescue techniques to safely extract a “trapped” miner from a maze of boxes while wearing large goggles taped over with waxed paper to simulate smoky conditions. Dahme says Queen’s benefitted from having taken a weekendlong mine rescue course that earned them first-level mine rescue certification. In the end, all the planning and hard work paid off: for the first time in 20 years, Queen’s walked away with a firstplace overall finish. But the games weren’t all about competition. Meals, evenings and certain parts of the day were dedicated to socializing and networking with students from the other teams and representatives of the various resource companies—such as Goldcorp, Kinross and Imperial Oil—that sponsored and judged the competition. Unfortunately, while they probably enjoyed themselves as much as the students who went to Montreal, the Queen’s team at the International Intercollegiate Mining Games (IIMG), held in Golden, Colorado, from March 12-17, didn’t achieve similar competitive glory. It was an uphill battle even before they arrived. Team leader Calen Beaune, a fourth-year mining engineering student, says Queen’s cobbled together its application at the last minute—they

hadn’t originally planned to go—and struggled to find the sponsorships to cover their travel for its five team members to and from Colorado. In the end, support from the The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining made the trip possible. Once there, the all-male Queen’s team quickly realized they were up against some seriously tough competition from the U.S., Australia, Germany, England and The Netherlands. Unlike the Canadian Mining Games, which emphasizes academic and theoretical knowledge, the IIMG is based almost exclusively on physical prowess and events that employ technical skills—such as the use of the crosscut, or “Swede”, saws that workers used to cut fashion support timbers for mine entrances and shafts—typical of the gold-rush era. This brawn-over-brains focus put Queen’s at a distinct disadvantage. “They were giant guys, just big men, especially the ones from Australia,” says Beaune, who tips the scales at a comparatively lightweight 150 pounds. The physical differences mattered, because most of the seven events required heavy-duty muscle power. One such test was the “ore muck” competition, in which the teams had to fill an ore cart filled with two tons of gravel and then push it back and forth along a 75-foot track. Others, like the jackleg event, where they had to use a heavy pneumatic drill to drill a hole into a concrete block, and the “hand steel” event, which involved using a hammer to pound a chisel-like steel rod as deep as possible into a concrete block, also had the competitors sweating buckets. There’s no way to sugar-coat it: Queen’s came dead last overall. Beaune, however, views the experience as a motivational stepping stone that, he hopes, will lead to better Queen’s performances in the future. “We were going up against teams who had been doing this for years, and practicing often,” he says, “But next year we’re hoping we can put together a very competitive ‘A’ team of our bigger guys and have them just go down and kick butt. We know we can do the events, and we can do them well.”

> For more: www.mine.queensu.ca/ THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 9


Queen’s Engineers: Leaders inside and outside the classroom Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science students are a diverse group of talented young people. But don’t assume that they’re happiest crunching algorithms or solving complex design problems. On the contrary, while they all possess an aptitude for mathematics and science, most also enjoy pursuits surprisingly dissimilar from the world of engineering. From cycling to volleyball, to opera singing and hip-hop dancing, Queen’s engineering students engage in a broad spectrum of activities beyond the classroom. It’s often been observed that high-achieving students shine both inside and outside of school, and Queen’s engineers are no exception. Most will tell you that their drive to excel in their preferred extracurricular activity helps them to be better students. The young men and women featured here prove that claim and serve as examples of what Queen’s strives to nurture: well-rounded individuals who can capably balance academics and community engagement with their personal interests. STUDENT PROFILES

Jeet Mondal

Master’s in Electrical Engineering, BSc (Engineering) with a minor in Philosophy Shrijeet (Jeet) Mondal, Sc’11, has two major goals in mind for his final year of study at Queen’s: to earn a Master’s in Electrical Engineering, and to nurture a hip hop scene in Kingston. Growing up in India and the Bahamas, Jeet wasn’t much involved in physical activity. That changed when he came to Queen’s and joined the Queen’s Recreational Breakdance Club—a decision motivated, he says, more by a wish to enhance his social life than a burning desire to dance. Still, somewhere along the way he developed a keen interest in the urban street-dance form known as hip hop. “Hip hop is not just about dancing,” says Jeet. “It’s a lifestyle. Kingston is ideally located between major dance cities—Toronto, New York and Montreal—so I think we can sustain a hip hop scene here.” According to Jeet, the hip hop culture is represented by four pillars: break dancing, graffiti art, emceeing and deejaying. Within these pillars lies social outreach, which for Jeet includes teaching dance to the Kingston community through KinetiQ, a recreational break dance club he founded with his friend Charles Gao (Commerce) in 2009. Jeet says his involvement with dance has made him a better student by making him “more patient with school.” His dance teaching has also transferred nicely to his role as a Teaching Assistant (TA)—so well, in fact, that last year he was named TA of the year. Jeet will complete his degree later this year and plans to go to a bigger city where hip hop is more established. His fondness for Kingston, however, will remain. So, too, he hopes, will the hip hop scene he helped start.

10

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


STUDENT PROFILES

Alex Cataford Engineering Physics, 2nd year

As an elite athlete, Alex Cataford knows it’s important to balance his studies in engineering physics with his cycling career. It’s difficult to say which occupation he’s more passionate about, but it’s clear he’s equally committed to both. The Ottawa native has been cycling since high school, and his determination and talent has taken him around the world to compete with Canada’s National Junior Cycling team. The awards have stacked up: so far he’s won one Ontario cycling championship and been Junior Canadian National Champion seven times. “For me cycling is a lifestyle, not just a sport,” says Alex. “My teammates are my family.” At Queen’s, Alex is fully engaged in the demanding discipline of engineering physics and says cycling makes him a better student, since engineering requires the same mindset of focus and determination required of top-level cyclists. As an aspiring engineer, Alex understands the physics of cycling and technical aspects of the equipment he relies on for a successful race. Additionally, being so busy with cycling forces him to manage his schedule and to sharpen his time-management skills. Alex has a couple of years to figure out what course his engineering career will take—he’s thinking aircraft engineering, or possibly medicine. His cycling career, however, is in top gear and he expects to be on the road this summer. Travelling is an integral part of world-class cycling, and Alex expects to be visiting cities in the United States and Europe for the next few years at least.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

11


STUDENT PROFILES

Alex Cormier

Mechanical Engineering, 3rd year Alex Cormier’s path to Queen’s Engineering was circuitous and coincided almost entirely with the discovery of his sport of choice. “After graduating from high school in Orangeville, I was kind of drifting around. I didn’t have the marks to get into a good engineering program,” recalls Alex. “Then I started to play squash. That changed everything for me.” His talent for the fast, fiercely competitive sport acted as a catalyst to pull his life together and coincided with his desire to attend university. Soon he was upgrading his high school marks in the hope of being accepted to Queen’s. Now in his third year of Mechanical Engineering, Alex is captain of Queen’s Squash. He has a busy academic schedule, but somehow he manages to fit in several tournaments—including the Ontario University Athletics competition, in which Queen’s placed second overall. Alex’s competitive spirit drives him both on and off the squash court. He thrives on it, and believes it’s what makes him the ambitious student that he is. “Squash is a great motivator, and a lot of successful people play it,” he says. “It’s a very cool sport that energizes me in school, and I know it will when I’m a practicing engineer too.”

12

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


STUDENT PROFILES

Hank Jien

Mining Engineering, Mechanical option, 5th year As a three-year-old, Hank Jien took great pleasure in ripping around on his tricycle. That activity sparked a passion for cycling that burned brighter as he grew up in Surrey, B.C. Hank began bicycle racing when he was in high school and surrounded himself with like-minded cycling enthusiasts. At two different summer jobs, his managers encouraged him in his sport. Later, at Queen’s, Hank joined the cycling team, an activity that helps to keep him focused in his engineering studies. “Cycling gives me energy in different ways and certainly helps me be a successful student,” he says. In addition to cycling, Hank is active with Shad Valley, a fourweek summer enrichment program in which students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 live and learn at university campuses across Canada. As outreach coordinator for the Shad Valley Alumni Club, Hank promotes the program to potential attendees. Hank is a valued member on the MINE 471 Design Project, a mining/mechanical engineering course, and also served as a delegate at last year’s Conference on Industry and Resources: Queen’s University Engineering (CIRQUE). After graduating this spring, Hank secured a position with Cementation Canada. He expects his new job will involve travelling—but wherever he goes, his bike will go with him.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

13


STUDENT PROFILES

Jennifer Routhier Dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Fine Arts (Music), 5th year Jennifer Routhier must be one of the few people in Canada pursuing a combined degree in Chemical Engineering and Opera. It’s an unusual combination that makes demands on the left and right sides of her brain, but Jennifer thrives on the challenge. She’s been singing and playing piano since she was a child in St. Thomas, Ontario. At a young age, Jennifer’s aptitude for science became apparent, and she decided to combine her academic interest and her artistic passion when she came to Queen’s. As a performer, Jennifer is comfortable with getting up on stage and singing in front of people. This skill has helped her in her studies by giving her the confidence to publically present her findings and to contribute as a team member. At Queen’s, Jennifer dedicated some of her time to performances on campus and in the broader Kingston community. This year she was richly rewarded for her efforts: she won the Queen’s Concerto/Aria Competition in January, a distinction that earned her a chance to sing with the Kingston Symphony next season. Jennifer’s other community work includes launching the Queen’s University ALS Society, in honour of a cousin of hers who is living with the illness (which is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Having graduated this spring, Jennifer feels she’s at the proverbial fork in the road. Will her career be in music or engineering? It’s a tough decision, but, being a creative soul, she’s considering ways to honour the two things she’s worked so hard to learn. “I love engineering, but my real passion is music,” she says. “I’d like to find a way to combine these two aspects of my life and do both.”

14

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


STUDENT PROFILES

John Slaughter Chemical Engineering, 4th year

Years before Jon came to Queen’s to study chemical engineering, he’d been a keen cyclist in his hometown of Bracebridge, Ontario. By the time he got to Queen’s, mountain biking and road racing had developed into a passion. Although his studies demanded much of his time and energy, he knew he couldn’t excel as a student without being able to get outdoors and ride his bike. “Riding eases the stress of school,” he says. “When I ride, I focus on the moment, paying attention to the physical act of the sport. I’m always a lot more motivated to do my school work after I ride.” In fact, Jon sees a lot of similarities in the discipline of cycling and the rigours of engineering. Just as he analyzes his riding—by tracking his heart rate, speed and power output—he must apply analytical skills to his studies in engineering. Jon competes with the Queen’s Cycling Club, focusing primarily on mountain biking. This past year his team participated in a number of races throughout Ontario and the northeastern U.S. This summer Jon plans to compete in the Canadian nationals at Hardwood Hills, near Barrie, Ontario. Now that he has graduated, Jon has set a clear path for his career in chemical engineering, starting with a graduate engineering position at Megtec Turbosonic Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario. Don’t be surprised if he rides his bike to work.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

15


STUDENT PROFILES

Meghan Brunner Computer Engineering, 3rd year

Meghan Brunner is one busy young woman. In addition to being a part-time employee for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science—where she does photography, videography and other communications-related activities—she’s also the webmaster for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). If you add to that her role as senator for the Engineering Society, her seat on the International Centre Council and the Senate Committee to Review the Principalship, and her role as president and co-founder of the Queen’s American Students Association, you might wonder if she has any time left to turn up for class. Somehow she finds the time to do well in her studies in computer engineering. Meghan obviously thrives on the busy life that leadership roles bring and her extracurricular work. “I’ve gained valuable insight into the university and met all kinds of interesting and diverse people,” says the New Jersey native. Meghan credits her enthusiasm for getting involved in the community to her hometown of Fairfield. There, she participated in a travelling church choir that took her to cities across the United States. Her fondness for Queen’s stems from her mother and sister, both of whom are Queen’s alumni. In September, when Meghan begins her fourth year, she is looking forward to her new role as the Vice Chair for the Student Senate Caucus and serving on the Scholarships and Student Aid Committee. Meghan’s determination to help make the lives of Queen’s students better through her various levels of involvement will certainly serve her well as she launches her engineering career. She is a true leader.

16

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


STUDENT PROFILES

Michelle Sereda Computer Engineering, 3rd year Michelle Sereda found a way to turn misfortune into opportunity. When an ankle injury ended her days on the basketball court, the Calgary native found solace and inspiration by getting involved in tutoring and mentoring. These days she loves passing on her knowledge to first-year students and seeing them blossom into enthusiastic engineering students. Michelle is definitely one herself: she’s a research assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a key player on the Mostly Autonomous Sailboat Team (MAST), a student team that is building a fully robotic sailboat capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. As team captain, Michelle’s role involves project management and programming. She’s thrilled by the group work that the project demands. “That’s what engineering is,” she says. “It’s putting heads together and creating something useful as a team.” It’s likely Michelle will be in Halifax in August with her teammates when they participate in the Microtransat Challenge. This international event promotes the development of autonomous sailboats through friendly competition. MAST will launch Queen’s boat from the rocky Nova Scotia shoreline and set it on a bearing for the coastal town of Cascais, Portugal. Many have tried to pilot a remote-controlled sailboat across an ocean, but no one has succeeded. Michelle hopes her team will change that.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

17


STUDENT PROFILES

Mike Tomlinson

Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical option, 2nd year Growing up in Stratford, Ontario, Mike Tomlinson discovered sport at a young age—and particularly volleyball, which he’s been playing since Grade 8. Mike’s experience on high school and club teams in Stratford and London, and his talent and enthusiasm for the game have paid off: for the past three years he’s earned himself a spot on Team Ontario. Unfortunately, a persistent injury will keep him from competing at the provincial level this year. The setback, however, hasn’t kept him entirely off the court. During his two years at Queen’s, Mike has played the right side position for the Queen’s Volleyball team. He helped the Tricolor squad bring home the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship in 2012. Mike says his involvement in a competitive sport while studying biomedical engineering is a winning combination. He gains a lot from the team environment that playing volleyball offers. Moreover, he’s forced to manage his time both on and off the court, which makes him a more focused and disciplined student. “I’m more productive when I’m busy and when I have a schedule,” says Mike. “After I’ve played or practiced volleyball, I’m better able to concentrate on school. It’s a good release and a great way to blow off some steam when I get tired of homework.” Mike will spend his summer rehabilitating a torn ACL in an attempt to return to the team next season. He’ll also work in the Human Mobility Research Lab at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston as a member of a team studying the biomechanics of movement in sport and everyday life.

18

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


STUDENT PROFILES

Sarah Burton Electrical Engineering, 4th year

Since both her parents have science-based careers, it’s not surprising that Sarah Burton chose to study engineering at Queen’s. But her love for performing and the fine arts might have led her in another direction. “I have a wide array of interests,” says the Calgaryborn engineering student and longtime dancer. “I enjoy drawing and dance. But I also realized I have an aptitude for the sciences, and knew I was capable of pursuing both.” In studying engineering and in dancing both recreationally and competitively, Sarah reaps benefits from the worlds of science and art. She’s an active member of Queen’s Dance Club, the largest student-run club on campus. Its members participate in all forms of dance, from ballet to cardiofunk, and showcase their art in annual recitals. The performance aspect of dance helps Sarah in her school work. In addition to boosting her self-confidence and making it easier to deliver school presentations, dance also helps her enhance the creativity she needs to be flexible in her studies. “Dance gives me confidence and selfdiscipline, and teaches me how to compete with grace. I’ve learned how to handle winning and losing. These are all valuable traits in engineering,” says Sarah. After graduating this spring, Sarah will pursue a graduate degree in Power Electronics. Naturally, she’ll keep on dancing.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

19


STUDENT PROFILES

Sarah Ingram Mining Engineering, 3rd year When Sarah Ingram needs to take her mind off her demanding schoolwork, she grabs her golf clubs and heads for the course or a driving range. As a third-year student, Sarah believes golfing helps her stay focused at school. “When I’m playing golf, that’s all I’m thinking about. It takes my mind off the classroom. I go back to school with a clear head,” says Sarah. Sarah began driving, chipping and putting when she was a 15-yearold in Newmarket, Ontario. Since then she has played in tournaments across Ontario. As a member of Queen’s Golf, she competes at the Ontario University Athletics competitions. (This year the Queen’s squad failed to make the nationals, but they hope to qualify next year.) With her keen scientific mind, Sarah sees the physics behind golf, appreciates the engineering that goes into manufacturing clubs and balls, and is aware that she’ll only improve her game through practice. She also knows that to be done well, both golf and studying engineering require serious concentration. “Golf if a very focused game,” she says. “Losing focus can completely throw off your game. It’s the same with school. I have to stay focused on my studies.” Sarah has taken on more extracurricular activities this year. In addition to golfing, she’s the art director for the Queen’s Science Formal and sits on the Mining Club executive. This summer she’ll be engaged as an engineering intern at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold in Arizona. Luckily for Sarah, Arizona has plenty of excellent golf courses.

20

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


STUDENT PROFILES

Sean Whitehall Electrical Engineering, 4th year

Queen’s Rowing team was a big reason why Sean Whitehall chose to study engineering at Queen’s. The slightly built young man first became aware of rowing and his talent as a coxswain while growing up in Wainfleet, Ontario. When he began to consider postsecondary education, he looked to universities with a solid varsity rowing program and an excellent engineering school. Queen’s fit the bill. As “cox” of Queen’s Rowing team, Sean sits at the stern of the boat and is responsible for navigating and leading the scullers as they haul mightily on the oars. Rowers rely on him to maintain their timing, cohesion and fluidity. It’s a vital role, and Sean loves it. “The crew counts on me. I’ve found a niche that I happen to be good at,” says Sean, adding that rowing is something of an addiction. “Once you start, it’s hard to stop.” Sean got a taste for international competition in 2009 with the Canadian Junior National Rowing team, which placed 6th at the World Junior Championship in France. Sean says rowing makes him a better student because it forces him to be more productive with his time. His strong competitive spirit also plays a role in school, since he likes to overachieve at whatever he is doing. Sean graduated from his undergraduate studies this spring. After a summer of work and rowing, he’ll begin working on his Master’s in Electrical Engineering.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

21


STUDENT PROFILES

Stephen Cripps Computer Engineering, 2nd year

Stephen Cripps has found his home on the Mostly Autonomous Sailboat Team (MAST). The second-year computer engineering student brings his skills, talent and enthusiasm to a team determined to create a fully robotic sailboat capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Although many have attempted to make the passage, no team has yet succeeded. Stephen is hoping his will be the first. MAST consists of a number of groups, each with their own role, all with the end goal of creating a self-sufficient, autonomous boat that requires no humans on board. Mechanical engineers design and build the boat. Electronic engineers create the devices and design schematics that will enable communication and navigation. Stephen works with the software group, designing and writing the programs that will facilitate communication with people back home. “With a satellite link, we’ll know where the boat is, if it’s upright and in good shape, or whether it’s in trouble,” says Stephen. This extracurricular activity is both exciting and rewarding for Stephen. What he learns in the classroom, he takes with him to the team, and vice versa. He enjoys bringing new people onto the team and teaching them as well. “I like helping new students to the team and watching how they take away what they’ve learned to their personal studies,” he says. This summer Stephen will be eager to see if his teammates will successfully launch the boat in the Microtransat Challenge. MAST will launch the Queen’s boat from Halifax, with lots of hope and promise for a safe landing in Cascais, Portugal. 22

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


STUDENT PROFILES

Yi Quan

Engineering Chemistry, 3rd year “Wrestling is an addiction. Once you start, it’s hard to stop,” says Yi Quan. It’s something of a surprise to hear this soft-spoken young woman sing the praises of an extremely physical and competitive sport. Hailing from Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, where she began competitive wrestling in high school, Yi relies on wrestling to “get the stress out.” The sport also provides a great balance between school and recreation, and teaches her discipline. She sees a direct link to wrestling and doing well in school. Yi competes with the Queen’s Wrestling Club and last year was her most successful yet. Her team placed fourth in the Ontario University Athletics competition. She was rewarded for her community service from Canadian Interuniversity Sport and was named Most Valuable Player. It’s easy to see why Yi was recognized for community service. In addition to her wrestling, Yi is the business manager for the Solar Design Team, the chief returning officer for the Engineering Society and the class representative for Engineering Chemistry. She is committed and dedicated to both her sport and her community. This summer Yi will be training with her former high school coach to stay in shape for her fourth and last year at Queen’s.

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

23


RESEARCH

Keeping the Antarctic D

clean

r. Kerry Rowe is a renowned civil engineer whose research on landfill design—and particularly on geomembranes that stop toxic runoff from seeping into and contaminating the surrounding soil and groundwater— has influenced the construction of environmentally sound waste disposal sites across Canada and internationally. One of Rowe’s current research efforts is posing one of the more intriguing technical challenges of the longtime Queen’s professor’s career. The project involves testing a recently developed type of geomembrane, or “liner”, to contain the aftermath of a pair of diesel fuel spills at Casey, a remote Australian Antarctic research station approximately

3,700 kilometres southwest of Australia. Sixty years ago, cleaning up fuel spills in isolated sites like Casey wasn’t a major priority. Later, when it became clear that toxic leachate from spills and landfills could be hazardous to terrestrial and aquatic life, disposal sites such as landfills began to be lined with a millimeter-thin sheet of high-density polyethylene, a plastic that when used with a clay liner has proven very effective at keeping contaminants within the landfill for collection, via drainage tubes placed at the bottom of the landfill, and treatment for safe disposal. However, while plastic geomembranes typically used in landfills are good at containing many chemicals, they allow

Kerry Rowe and Dan Jones are working to clean Antarctic fuel spills hydrocarbons (such as petrochemicals, which are composed of carbon and hydrogen) to pass through, since polyethylene plastic is derived from oil and is a hydrocarbon itself. As a result, a landfill with a plastic-only liner is insufficient to contain leachate that includes hydrocarbons. Rowe and researchers from Queen’s, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD)—which operates Casey—and Monash University in Melbourne are currently testing an ingenious solution to this problem at Casey, which in 1999 and 2011 suffered spills of the diesel fuel that provides a source of power and heat for the base. After both accidents, most of the liquid fuel was cleaned up but residues

Each of these geomembrane materials has

strengths and weaknesses, but by putting them

together we can take advantage of the strengths of

24 THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

both and get away from

the weaknesses of both. —Dr. Kerry Rowe


Installing moisture and temperature sensors in the geosynthetic clay liner

Monitoring tubes on top of a geomembrane layer before soil is placed

Welding gemembrane panels in the field during construction of a seventh biopile

that had bonded to the soil threatened to contaminate groundwater. To prevent this, the polluted soil was recently dug up and heaped into “biopiles”—above-ground containment areas bounded by soil berms—lined with polyethylene geomembranes to keep the contaminants from migrating outside the containment berms. Backhoes turn the soil in the biopiles (or cells) to aerate it and spur bacterial action that gradually breaks down the unwanted hydrocarbon residues by natural processes. Recently, a biopile was lined with a new type of geomembrane that, prior to this project, had only been tested in the lab by Rebecca McWatters, a former PhD student of Rowe’s who for the past three years has divided her time between constructing biopiles at Casey and working out of the AAD base in Tasmania. The new geomembrane has a layer of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) “co-extruded”, or “sandwiched”, between layers of regular high-density polyethylene. The advantage of this

material is that EVOH is essentially impermeable to hydrocarbons, while the polyethylene is impervious to water. The hope is that combining these materials in a single product will prove to be an ideal barrier for cleanup or remediation situations involving hydrocarbons—like Casey’s. “Each of these geomembrane materials has strengths and weaknesses,” says Rowe, “but by putting them together we can take advantage of the strengths of both and get away from the weaknesses of both.” As an extra precaution at Casey, another waterproof liner, this one composed of a thin layer of bentonite (a type of clay) sandwiched between sheets of fabric, was placed beneath the polyethylene-EVOH liner. Earlier this year, Dan Jones, a PhD student of Rowe’s, spent three months at Casey as part of the remediation team and assisted in building a biopile for soil from the 2011 diesel spill. Part of Jones’s work was to conduct diffusion

tests that measure the rate at which the hydrocarbons move—if they move at all—through geomembranes in both the new and older biopiles. Though it’s too early to draw final conclusions, the early tests indicate that the new EVOH geomembranes shows promise as an effective barrier to hydrocarbons. “We’re hoping that this new geomembrane will become a useful new tool in developing the remediation strategy in all parts of the world where there is hydrocarbon contamination, but especially that the techniques being pioneered by AAD at Casey can become a model to help other countries with stations in Antarctica clean up similar problems,” says Rowe. “I’m very pleased to see Rebecca and Dan’s work playing such an important role in this exciting study and to see this strong link between Queen’s and AAD addressing challenges in the Antarctic.”

> For more: www.geoeng.ca

www.antarctica.gov.au

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 25

Photos: Dr. Rebecca McWatters

Uncovered biopiles containing hydrocarbon-contaminated soil. Note the leachate recirculation hoses on top, as well as the large vaccum pumps sitting next to each pile.


RESEARCH

Queen’s

Coastal Lab

Nadira Mathura (left) is visiting Queen’s to do her PhD research at the Coastal lab. She is from from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. Neville Berard (right) is doing her Master’s in Civil Engineering at Queen’s.

A

low, nondescript building on Queen’s west campus houses a unique laboratory for civil engineering students. Walk inside and you’ll see a large basin of water and sand surrounded by complex equipment designed to simulate wave action and water movement. Several long flumes line the perimeter of the basin, which is used to study the motion of waves, water and sand by mimicking the natural conditions of oceans, lakes and rivers under controlled, scaled-down conditions. Another large structure, resembling an escalator lined with glass, tests the movement of soil during a landslide. This is the Coastal Lab, the only hydraulic lab of its size in all Canadian universities. A fixture on the

26 THE COMPLETE ENGINEER

Queen’s campus since the 1960s, it has offered generations of civil engineering

We have to understand coastal

processes in our ever-changing

environment. The risk to human

population increases as we see more natural disasters like hurricanes, as the climate changes and as sea ice melts. This is especially critical in

Canada, a country surrounded by three oceans and Great Lakes. —Ryan Mulligan

students hands-on, practical insight into the complex world of coastal research. Today, five scholars conduct specialized research at the Coastal Lab with the help of graduate students. Dr. Ryan Mulligan, Sc’97, is a coastal engineer and oceanographer with an interest in surface waves and the physical forces that cause coastal changes and the ways in which coastal systems respond to those changes. Dr. Andy Take’s specialty is geotechnical engineering, which involves the study of embankment and dam erosion, landslides, and ground movement. Dr. Ana da Silva, MSc’91, PhD’95, studies the mechanics of turbulent river flows, sediment transport and river morphodynamics. Dr. Yves Filion is an expert


Wave probe calibration

Laser bathymetry scanning

Computer control of the wave paddle

Landslide test facility

Wave basin beach experiment

Wave basin paddle

in water distribution systems, with an emphasis on how water systems in rural and urban areas can be designed, rehabilitated and optimized to have the least impact on the natural environment and to pose the least risk to human health. Dr. Leon Boegman’s research involves lakes and examines aspects such as water quality, internal waves, fluid dynamics

and physical limnology. Hydraulics research continues to be of great importance, especially at a time when our waters are threatened by environmental forces such as pollution, melting of polar ice, climate change and increasing human population along coastlines. “We have to understand coastal

processes in our ever-changing environment,” says Mulligan. “The risk to human population increases as we see more natural disasters like hurricanes, as the climate changes and as sea ice melts. This is especially critical in Canada, a country surrounded by three oceans and Great Lakes.”

On a clear April morning, Master’s student Neville Berard is inside the Coastal Lab, suitably dressed in work clothes and hip waders, conducting the last stage of her research. It’s an exciting day for her as she operates a paddle-like mechanism that simulates waves that cause beach erosion. Assisting her is Nadira Mathura, a visiting PhD student from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. As the waves gain momentum, the students witness the effects of waves crashing against the beach. Using wave probes, laser-surveying sensors and computer software, they will analyze how the waves affect the beach. The lab is an invaluable learning tool. “Engineers are sometimes accused of being too intent on theory, that we spend too much time in the office and not enough time in the real world,” says Berard. “In a lab like this, we get a more accurate idea of the effects of what really happens. We are also forced to improve our problem-solving skills. Problems always arise in the lab that simply do not

happen in the classroom when you’re reading a textbook or working out a theory on the blackboard. Here we’re faced with real challenges that need to be solved as we advance through the experiment.”

Coastal Lab. Graham Frank, MSc’02, is one of them. Frank is now the principal hands-on physical modeller at Baird and Associates in Ottawa. He says his research at the Coastal Lab served as a springboard for his coastal engineering career. His research included using innovative techniques involving stone and other materials to stabilize and protect eroding shorelines. “The Coastal Lab was certainly significant in my time at Queen’s. There aren’t a lot of facilities like it in the world, and it really enhanced my learning experience,” says Frank. “The lab made the difference in me getting real-life, handson experience in addition to what I got in the classroom.” A true gem amongst the many learning facilities in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Coastal Lab remains a significant and relevant resource for future engineers.

The Coastal Lab was certainly

significant in my time at Queen’s.

There aren’t a lot of facilities like it in

the world and it really enhanced my learning experience. The lab made

the difference in me getting real-life, hands-on experience in addition to what I got in the classroom. —Graham Frank

Many coastal engineers working in consulting and government jobs in Canada are Queen’s graduates who have spent time conducting experiments at the

> For more: www.civil.queensu.ca/Research/ Hydrotechnical/Ryan-Mulligan/

THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 27


ALUMNI NE WS

Alumni News November 2012: Queen’s Engineering & Applied Science partnered with the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto for the Moving Up: Women Engineers of Ontario mentoring breakfast. Melanee Short, Sc’00, and Heather Black, Sc’81

On January 25th and 26th, speakers and alumni from across Canada descended on Queen’s to share their experience, insight and knowledge of the oil and gas industry. This year’s theme was Innovation and Sustainability.

Mike Rose, Arts ‘79, Chair/President & CEO Tourmaline Oil, speaks with students during a break

Rob Sturgess, Sc’88, Vice President Matrix Solutions

Chris Seasons, Sc’82, President of Devon Canada Corporation opened the weekend with his introductory remarks on “The Canadian Oilpatch: Reflections and Perceptions”.

On April 25th, Dean Woodhouse, Michelle Lalonde, Sc’95, and Damien McCotter, Sc’98, hosted 1990’s alumni at Stratus Restaurant in Toronto. Dean Woodhouse addresses the crowd

Marilyn Spink, Sc’92, and Chris Bilz, Sc’92 28 THE COMPLETE ENGINEER


The Queen’s Startup Summit took place March 1-3 in partnership with the Queen’s Innovation Connector, The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Queen’s School of Business. The event brought together designers, developers, product managers and startup enthusiasts from all over Canada to share innovative ideas, form teams and build startups in 54 hours. Team Drip

The Judges (seated l-r): Malcolm Eylot, TD Wealth Management; Paul Goddard, Sc’90, CEO Pizza Pizza Ltd; Mark Hanley, KEDCO; Greg Bavington, Sc’85, Executive Director Queen’s Innovation Connector; Kamal Hassan, Sc’88, CEO VentureLynx; Bruce Dean, Sc’83, Director Business Network Assurance Bell Canada

Dr. Peter Gallant, Sc’91, MSc’93, PhD’01, Vice President ENDETEC volunteered as a mentor for the weekend

New York City and area Engineering alumni gathered at Papillon Bistro in Manhattan on April 4th to hear the latest on the Faculty from Dean Woodhouse.

Dean Woodhouse and Geoffrey Broadhurst, Sc’60, discuss plans for the new Engineering building in support of innovative teaching and research spaces.

Engineering alumni Mark Higgins, Sc’92, Paul Harvey, Sc’83, and Rick Brook, Sc’84, share stories from Queen’s days. In the background are Arthur Graham, Sc’83, and Peter Woodhouse.

Mark Higgins, Sc’92, and his spouse, Angeline Huang, chat with Dean Woodhouse about updates to the Engineering programs at Queen’s.

Damien McCotter, Sc’98, thanks Dean Woodhouse

Host Michelle Lalonde, Sc’95, and Damien McCotter, Sc’98, introduce Dean Woodhouse THE COMPLETE ENGINEER 29


INSPIRING GREATNESS CAMPAIGN

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE

Beamish-Munro Hall, Queen’s Universtiy, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

inspiring.engineering.queensu.ca

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Development Team Jane McMillan Director of Development jane.mcmillan@queensu.ca Extension 32160

Pat Smith Senior Development Officer pat.smith@queensu.ca Extension 79513

Beth Wylie Development Officer beth.wylie@queensu.ca Extension 74594

Michelle Miatello Associate Director of Development michelle.miatello@queensu.ca Extension 75804

Heather McMartin Senior Development Officer heather.mcmartin@queensu.ca Direct Line 416-525-3923

Maura Doyle Development Coordinator maura.doyle@queensu.ca Extension 79533

Contact us at 613.533.6000 or 1.800.267.7837

Joanne Grills, Faculty Advancement Coordinator joanne.grills@queensu.ca Extension 75248


The complete engineer spring summer 2013 online  

The Complete Engineer is the magazine of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you