Articles tagged with: Physics

  • STEAM trend gaining traction at Brock

    While science and art may seem worlds apart, one enthusiast of the two fields has found a new place to combine them — at Brock University.

    Brock Science Mentorship Program participant Lauren Kelly is passionate about science and discovery, but also has a love for art. Finding a university program that allows her to combine these interests has been a top priority for the 17-year-old Chippawa native as her high school graduation draws near. Her time in Brock’s mentorship program helped Kelly to find her future path — a double major in Physics and Visual Arts at the University.

    The unique combination is an example of a growing trend known as STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

    Brock’s long-running Science Mentorship Program is designed for students who are highly interested in science, demonstrate significant scientific curiosity and are capable of working independently. Along with on-campus orientations and workshops, participants are paired with mentors who conduct research in a subject area of interest to the student. The partnership offers the unique opportunity to pursue a real-life scientific investigation in a university environment.

    Knowledge of her artistic background led Kelly to be paired with Physics Professor Edward Sternin, who helped her to work on a project that incorporated creative elements. She designed a new web page for the Physics department to visually highlight professors’ research.


    The experience gave Kelly the opportunity to learn more about video editing and coding. The result is a more dynamic, realistic and approachable view on graduate student life that seamlessly combines both scientific and artistic elements.

    On a more personal level, the experience led to Kelly’s decision to come to Brock.

    “Before, university seemed very foreign, but now a lot of my old fears and uncertainties have vanished,” she said. “I am familiar and comfortable with the university setting. I have also been introduced to many great opportunities and have learned about the facilities and resources here at Brock.”


    Read the full story here

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  • March 22: Physics Seminar – Silvia Scorza

    Department of Physics – Seminar Series

    Silvia Scorza

    DATE: Thursday, March 22

    TIME: 1 p.m.

    LOCATION: H313

    Physics Seminar – March 22

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  • March 13: Physics Seminar – Robert Schurko

    Department of Physics – Seminar Series

    Robert Schurko
    Department of Chemistry
    University of Windsor

    DATE: Tuesday, March 13

    TIME: 1 p.m.

    LOCATION: H313

    Physics Seminar – March 13

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  • FMS celebrates best in teaching, research and experiential learning

    Faculty and staff members who have set positive examples for their colleagues were honoured by the Faculty of Mathematics and Science during Wednesday’s Celebration of Excellence. The fourth annual event, held Jan. 24 in Pond Inlet, saw awards of distinction presented for research, teaching, student experience and experiential learning.

    “This awards ceremony provides us with an opportunity to gather together and acknowledge the accomplishments of our faculty and staff in front of their Math and Science family, as well as our larger Brock family,” Dean Ejaz Ahmed told the group during his remarks at the Jan. 24 event in Pond Inlet.

    “Once again, we have much to celebrate and recognize. From research excellence and distinguished teachers and scholars to those who provide our students with exceptional experiential learning opportunities that further the Faculty’s mission, vision and values. I am proud of your dedication and commitment and I look forward to continuing to celebrate your accomplishments at this great event.”

    Following remarks from Gary Comerford, Board of Trustees Chair, and Thomas Dunk, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, the awards portion of the event began with Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies Cheryl McCormick serving as Master of Ceremonies.

    Department of Chemistry Professor Jeffrey Atkinson received this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award – Faculty for his long and successful record of supervising students, mentoring high school seniors through Brock’s Science Mentorship Program, his involvement in the design and implementation of Brock’s first PhD program in Biotechnology as well as his outreach teaching activities through BioTalent Canada.

    “During his career at Brock, Dr. Atkinson has earned a reputation for being one of our most gifted teachers,” said McCormick. “His teaching evaluations are outstanding and he routinely receives comments from students calling him an excellent professor, the best professor they’ve ever had and more equally enthusiastic and complimentary praise.”

    Atkinson’s dedication to his students and their education has helped create an environment of teaching excellence within the Faculty, she said.

    The Distinguished Teaching Award for Staff was captured by full-time instructor Paul Zelisko, also from the Department of Chemistry. Zelisko was recognized for his untiring dedication to education and graduate student recruitment.

    McCormick noted that Zelisko has been a consistent representative of the Faculty, organizing Brock representation every year for a number of events including the McMaster University Graduate Fair, undergraduate trips to the east coast and, most notably, last year’s Graduate Studies Open House. This event, created for undergraduate students at Brock thinking of transitioning to graduate research, helped increase student engagement and was well received.

    This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award – Faculty was awarded to professor Jon Radue from the Department of Computer Science, who has earned a reputation for caring deeply about many aspects of teaching and education.

    A true innovator, he incorporated technology such as clickers into the classroom to further student engagement long before it was commonplace. He has been actively involved with the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation as a faculty associate and member of the Teaching Council and his work on academic integrity extends beyond the department and throughout the University.

    “In the Department of Computer Science, Radue spearheaded the development of the Applied Computing minor along with many of its courses. His knowledge and dedication made him an easy choice for teaching large first-year context courses taken by a wide variety of students from all disciplines,” said McCormick.

    “His passion for education, combined with his knowledge and dedication have become part of his legacy at Brock.”

    The Distinguished Research Award for Faculty was presented to Henryk Fuks from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for his excellent record of accomplishment in research, focused in the areas of mathematical modelling, complex networks as well as the history of mathematics and numismatics, the study of currency.

    Along with serving on editorial boards for several prestigious journals and on scientific program committees for international conferences, Fuks also regularly receives international recognition for his research. Last August, the Royal Canadian Numismatic Society honoured him with the Guy Potter Literary Award, recognizing two of his articles which popularized the history of mathematics in the area of numismatics.

    Gaynor Spencer from the Department of Biological Sciences also received the Distinguished Research Award for Faculty. Promoted to Full Professor in July, she is currently supervising three graduate students and two undergraduate thesis students in her lab.

    “Gaynor has maintained high quality research productivity while providing great service to the University and research community,” said McCormick. Her longstanding history of research excellence is evidenced in part by her strong record of NSERC Discovery Grant funding, an Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award as well as quality, peer-reviewed publications; 38 papers, five invited reviews and four book chapters.

    Additional awards distributed at the Jan. 24 celebration included:

    •  Dean’s Distinguished Scholar Award — Faculty awarded to Mei-Ling Huang (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) and Fereidoon Razavi (Department of Physics) for their contributions to research, teaching and service.
    •  Distinguished Staff Award won by Jacinta Dano (Department of Biological Sciences) for the creation and implementation of the highly successful LabSkills+ program, which recognizes the importance of experiential learning and provides students with the laboratory skills they need to market themselves in an increasingly competitive industry.
    •  Earth Sciences Professor Frank Fueten received the Student Experience, Recruitment and Outreach Award for Faculty. For more than 20 years, he has devoted countless hours to high school students through Brock’s Science Mentorship Program. Fueten has also been particularly active in experiential learning both in the classroom and in the field, lending his experience and expertise to hundreds of geology students.
    •  Daniel Lonergan received the Student Experience, Recruitment and Outreach Award for Staff. During his time as the Experiential Education Co-ordinator for the Faculty, he played a significant role in enhancing the student experience through experiential education. He also represented the Faculty at several key events including the Ontario University Fair, Open House and Fall Preview Day.
    •  The new Experiential Education Leadership Award was given to Earth Sciences Professor Uwe Brand, who received the Distinguished Research Award last year. For nearly 30 years, Brand has provided students with unique, high-quality, hands-on learning experiences. His approach to experiential education links in-class learning with practical applications designed to help prepare students for the real world.

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  • Brock physicist Thad Harroun on the hunt for neutron beam source

    A team of Canadian scientists, headed up by Brock University Associate Professor of Physics Thad Harroun, is travelling to Sweden next week in hopes of striking up a partnership to access the European Spallation Source (ESS), a neutron beam source facility being built there.

    The meetings are meant to prepare for next year’s closure of Canada’s National Research Universal nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ont.The 60-year-old reactor — the world’s oldest operating research reactor — is slated to shut down in March 2018, after which Canadian and other scientists will no longer be able to use the highly specialized equipment in their experiments.

    “We understand the decision, but we’re a casualty of that decision,” says Harroun, who is President of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering and a working group leader within the Canadian Neutron Initiative (CNI).

    Harroun says until another Canadian nuclear research facility is built, “We’d like to press the Canadian government to put in a stop-gap emergency measure so that we can continue our research elsewhere.” That could mean the government purchasing ‘beam time’ at a foreign facility, as well providing upgrades to the nuclear reactor at McMaster University, says Harroun.

    The CNI has its eye on Sweden’s European Spallation Source, a highly sophisticated facility under construction in the southern Swedish city of Lund that is expected to “both greatly exceed and complement today’s leading neutron sources,” says the ESS website.

    Read the full story here


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  • November 10: Master of Science thesis defence

    Samin Tajik, a candidate in the Department of Physics, will present her Master of Science thesis defence on Friday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in Welch Hall 147.

    Her thesis is titled Effect of Rattling Phonon on Superconductivity of KOs2O6.

    Her examination committee members are Dr. Michael Bidochka, Chair; Dr. Frank Marsiglio, External Examiner (University of Alberta); Dr. Božidar Mitrovi?, Supervisor; Dr. Kirill Samokhin and Dr. Shayamal Bose, Committee Members.

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  • Physics undergrad’s research aims to increase efficiency of radiation therapy

    Fourth-year Brock University physics student, Alicia Martin wants to help improve cancer treatment.

    She has been working closely with Dr. Ranjini Tolakanahalli, Manager of the NHS’s Department of Medical Physics at the Walker Family Cancer Centre conducting research to improve the effectiveness of external beam therapy, a common cancer treatment.

    Martin runs her simulations on the super-computing facilities of Compute Canada and the Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network, or SHARCNET, of which Brock is a member. She is working under the direction of Tolakanahalli, medical physicist Dr. Josef Dubicki and Brock University Associate Professor of Physics Thad Harroun.

    Read the full story here

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  • October 20: Master of Science thesis defence

    Dan Xu, a candidate in the Department of Physics, will present her Master of Science thesis defence on Friday, Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. in Cairns 207.

    Her thesis is titled Magnetic and Dielectric Properties of Cu3-xNixWO6 and Cu3W1-xMoxO6.

    Her examination committee members are Dr. Michael Bidochka, Chair; Dr. Martin Lemaire, External Examiner, (Brock University); Dr. Fereidoon Razavi, Supervisor; Dr. Maureen Reedyk and Dr. David Crandles, Committee Members.

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  • Brock researchers awarded $3.8 million NSERC funding, up $1.4 million from last year

    Almost two dozen Brock researchers – the majority from the Faculty of Mathematics & Science – received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The $3.8 million in funding under NSERC’s 2017 competition for the Discovery research programs, is more than $1.4 million over last year’s results.

    Brock’s funding includes Discovery Grants, Discovery Development Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements and the Northern Research Supplement, as well as master’s and doctoral student awards. Read the full story and the names of all recipients here

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  • Childhood Passion Becomes Reality Through STEM Degree

    Combining her love of weather with a degree in physics from Brock University helped CBC North’s on-camera meteorologist achieve her life-long dream. Read Ashley Brauweiler’s full story here


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