By: Savanah Tillberg, Staff Writer
As students of Lakehead University, we are extremely fortunate to attend one of the number one institutions for undergraduate research in Canada. In celebration of this, once a year Lakehead hosts Research and Innovation Week for students and staff to applaud their achievements. In an interview with The Argus, Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation, said, “Teaching and research are what universities are all about and this week allows everyone to see that Lakehead University is a leading research university with lots of diversity.” This weeklong event provides students with the opportunity to present their research and interact with their peers and professors.
This year’s theme is sustainability, and the organizers of the event have put together a superb lineup of researchers to give lectures relevant to the theme, as well as to student life. Research and Innovation Week will be held at the Lakehead University Orillia campus from Monday, February 27th until Wednesday, March 1st, and the Thunder Bay campus from Friday, March 3rd until Thursday, March 9th. The organizers have created an exciting schedule on both campuses, featuring events including:
- Opening Ceremonies
For the Orillia campus, this will be taking place on Monday, February 27th. The events of the week will be announced and explained and faculty will have an opportunity to display their research thus far in the New Sun Gallery in Simcoe Hall.
The Thunder Bay opening ceremony will take place on Friday, March 3rd in the Agora. A keynote speaker who is yet to be announced will speak about the goals of the week and the opportunities being presented to students and faculty.
- Round Table Discussions
A discussion regarding sustainability will take place at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery on March 6th from 7 until 9 p.m. The organizers of this event define sustainability as research and teaching that explores or responds to one or more aspects of existence and civilization in the context of community, cultural, and global change. Topics that may come up during this open discussion include, but are not limited to: environmental and economic justice, human and civil rights, indigenous rights, and ecological learning. Dr. Dean stated, “Every year we bring in excellent speakers and the panel discussions are great, [but] this will be the first time we’ve held a sustainability panel.”
- Café Lunch
Thunder Bay students have the opportunity to attend a free Entrepreneurship Café Lunch at The Study on March 8th from noon until 2 p.m. Students will be able to interact with Kevin Belluz from Belluz Farms, a local “U-Pick it” farm. In order to attend this event, students will have to register in advance; this can be done by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/grkw9d2
4. Student Research Conference
According to Dr. Dean, if there’s an event you don’t want miss it should be this one. On Tuesday, March 7th in the Agora, students will be participating in oral and poster presentations of their research. This event will involve many interesting and interactive displays that have been carefully constructed by hard working Lakehead Students. In addition to the student displays there will be several panels and talks being held that “will be of interest.” A particularly interesting portion of the day includes the “three Minute Thesis” competition that is taking place in the Lakehead University Faculty Lounge at 10am. The various events of the day will give both students and faculty a wonderful opportunity to present their research to the community to demonstrate all the incredible work being done at Lakehead University.
- NASA Lecture: The Search for Life Beyond Earth in Space and Time
A lecture by Dr. James Green, NASA’s Director of Planetary Science, that will discuss “the past and future chances for life on Mars and Venus” is being given on Wednesday March 8th at 7:30pm in ATAC 1003. Dr. Green is a well-established scientist and researcher that, along with other members of NASA, contributed to the film The Martian. Dr. Dean told The Argus, “it’s not every year that we bring someone from NASA to speak,” so this is most definitely a lecture you do not want to miss.
The listed events are just some of the highlights students can look forward to. There are well over a dozen events on either campus for students to attend. According to Dr. Dean, “Research and Innovation Week is a great opportunity for students to meet with the public, their classmates and professors to talk in great length about their research and about research that they may want to get involved in.” This event also provides an opportunity for Lakehead students to practice and hone their public speaking and presenting skills through oral and poster presentations during the undergraduate and graduate student conferences. By attending various events throughout the week students will be exposed to a wide array of professors and researchers presenting their projects and could quite possibly find some career inspirations.
The organizers of Research and Innovation Week have been hard at work for months planning this event and are very excited to commend the faculty and students of both Lakehead University campuses on their phenomenal research achievements. The event is sure to be a huge success and will provide limitless opportunities for staff and students who attend. As stated by Dr. Dean, who was instrumental in the organization of this event, “the week involves a lot of planning, and the staff in Research and Innovation deserve tremendous credit for making it such a fun time. Lots of effort, but worth it.”
If students wish to know more about Research and Innovation Week, a full schedule of events can be found here: lakeheadu.ca/ri.