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Professional Development

The Professional Development and Learning (PD&L) Series

The McDonald Institute is pleased to present the (online) Professional Development and Learning Series for affiliated students and fellows. This series aims to enhance the professional skill sets of our highly qualified personnel in support of their diverse career trajectories. Workshops are free to attend and focus on a wide variety of topics including academic and non-academic skills promotion, entrepreneurship, and equity in research. 

Upcoming Sessions

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @2:30PM – 4:00pm EDT

Getting the Most Out of Your PhD Experience

Are you curious about what life is like as a PhD student in Canada? Are you thinking about taking your graduate studies to the next level? Join the Professional Development and Learning Series event featuring current PhD students pursuing their degrees within the McDonald Institute’s national network. You’ll gain insights and lessons learned from panelists and have opportunities to ask your own questions in advance or during the event.
Panelists may discuss topics such as:
    • Degree focus (theoretical astroparticle physics and experimental astroparticle physics)
    • Choosing a supervisor and/or research topic
    • Experiences from domestic and international students studying in Canada
    • Comprehensive exams
    • Skills development
    • Considerations for future career pathways

If you’re finishing your undergrad or Master’s degree in physics or a related discipline, consider attending this session to dive deeper into these important considerations for your future studies.

 

Stay up to date with new sessions

Previous Sessions (in chronological order)

 

Link for Previous Session Pages

Tuesday March 31, 2020 – 1pm – 2pm EDT

Competitive Presentations (online edition): Now that we all need to work online, how do we make our presentations more effective? Ed Thomas has adapted his 2019 seminar on competitive presentation practices to deal with online meetings. Please join in to review basic rules of narration, framing, complexity and visual communications. The 60-minute session will provide ample opportunities for questions and answers.

Presenter: Edward Thomas is the Associate Director of External Relations at the McDonald Institute. He leads partnerships, communications and business development within the Institute, the broader astroparticle physics community, academia, government, business, NGOs and the Canadian public. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology development, research administration, innovation support and business journalism.

 

Tuesday April 7, 2020 – 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT

Skills Development: Individuals will use the new Queen’s Skills Cards to assess their proficiency in and enjoyment of 35 transferable skills, as well as the relevance of these skills to their target roles. Individuals will be invited to brainstorm specific examples of their skills in action, which can then be used in cover letters and in interviews.

Presenter: Carli Fink, Career Counsellor at Queen’s University Career Services, has dedicated her professional life to supporting students’ development, wellness, and success. Carli has served in various student services roles at universities, colleges, and high schools in Canada and the US. Her greatest joy at work lies in helping students realize the personal meaning and professional power of their educational experiences. At Queen’s Career Services, she has the opportunity to do this through career counselling appointments, workshops, and by leading the Queen’s Skills Cards project as well as the Resume Coach program.

 

Tuesday April 14, 2020 - 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

Resumes/CV/Cover letters: Individuals will learn strategies to stand out as an applicant and will begin to revise their own resume/CV to demonstrate maximum “match” with their goals. Individuals will learn strategies to stand out as an applicant and will begin to revise their own cover letter(s) to demonstrate maximum “match” with their goals.

Presenter:  Carli Fink, Career Counsellor at Queen’s University Career Services, has dedicated her professional life to supporting students’ development, wellness, and success. Carli has served in various student services roles at universities, colleges, and high schools in Canada and the US. Her greatest joy at work lies in helping students realize the personal meaning and professional power of their educational experiences. At Queen’s Career Services, she has the opportunity to do this through career counselling appointments, workshops, and by leading the Queen’s Skills Cards project as well as the Resume Coach program.

 

Tuesday April 21, 2020 - 1:30pm 2:30pm

Lean Startups: An Innovation Model that Works for Entrepreneurs AND Scientists: “Innovation” is an overused word. It really means nothing more than using knowledge to create tangible value. Lean Startup was developed to meet the needs of first-time entrepreneurs; those setting out to change with the world with limited money, limited time, and uncertain assumptions. Understanding the Lean model is especially useful for scientists and engineers who imagine beneficial uses for their expertise outside of research, but who rely on outside entrepreneurs and investors to make things happen. This session is also useful for post-graduate researchers thinking of careers in industry, as we borrow heavily from the Lean Management and Agile frameworks employed by leading tech companies.

MOTIVATION: In early March, the Italian researchers of the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration found themselves in the middle of a global COVID-19 hot zone, Prof. Cristiano Galbiati recognized an opportunity to combat the crisis by using the community’s expertise in prototyping precision gas flow equipment to address a dire shortage of clinical ventilators around the world. Several hundred scientists, physicians, engineers, technicians, business developers and regulators from more than 50 organizations in Italy, Canada, the United States and Europe have since joined in the Mechanical Ventilator Milano (MVM) collaboration. The Canadian group, coordinated by Dr. Art McDonald, includes TRIUMF, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, SNOLAB, Queen’s and U of T. In one month, MVM has built and demonstrated its open source design and developed an international partnership of manufacturers preparing to rapidly build and deliver tens of thousands of units. This rapid transfer of knowledge and know-how from the research and medical world to the manufacturing sector is an excellent example of innovation at work.

Presenter: Edward Thomas — a McDonald Institute officer and former startup adviser, engineering researcher and business journalist — is offering this seminar on a widely adopted methodology for scalable innovations that uses scientific methods.

 

Tuesday April 28, 2020:  1:30pm-2:30pm EDT

Interview strategies: Individuals will learn common types of interview questions (i.e., introductions, behavioural questions, and weaknesses) and strategies for answering them effectively, as well as consider what types of questions to ask at the end of an interview. In the 90-minute option, individuals will also gain confidence through practicing common interview scenarios.

Presenter: Jenny Lee Northey is currently a career counsellor at Queen’s Career Services supporting post-secondary students in their career development. With over 10 years of experience working in the education, career, and employment sectors, she has also previously worked internationally in various roles in postsecondary institutions. Jenny integrates her background in intercultural communication, equity, diversity and inclusion, empowering individuals in their next steps forward in their career.

 

Tuesday May 5, 2020: 1:30pm – 2:30pm EDT

LinkedIn Session #1: Building your Profile: Individuals learn about the purpose of LinkedIn and how to make decisions around designing their own online profile so that it is targeted and relevant for their career goals.

Requirements to attend: Participants must register for a LinkedIn account ahead of time.

Presenter: Josh Zettel is a career counsellor at Queen’s University’s Career Services. Two years ago, he completed his Master’s in Counseling from Adler University in Chicago with a specialization in Sport and Health Psychology. He has experience working in a wide variety of work settings, connected with people from diverse backgrounds, and can support you in identifying and achieving career aspirations that are meaningful to you. He is here to help you refine your LinkedIn Profile so that it reflects you, builds your LinkedIn Network, and can be found by relevant recruiters. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn profile to prepare questions about specifics regarding the use of LinkedIn and to find out more about his career story!

 

Tuesday May 12, 2020: 1:30pm – 2:30pm EDT

LinkedIn Session #2: Networking Strategies: Students will explore the capabilities of LinkedIn for researching careers and experience how it can support career decision-making and job search, particularly through networking. Discuss common questions such as: “What do I put in a message when reaching out to someone?” or “How do I find alumni to talk with?” or “How can I get someone to respond to my message without bugging them?”

Requirements to attend: Participants must register for a LinkedIn account ahead of time. You do not need to have attended LinkedIn Session #1, but it is a benefit!

Presenter: Jenny Lee Northey is currently a career counsellor at Queen’s Career Services supporting post-secondary students in their career development. With over 10 years of experience working in the education, career, and employment sectors, she has also previously worked internationally in various roles in postsecondary institutions. Jenny integrates her background in intercultural communication, equity, diversity and inclusion, empowering individuals in their next steps forward in their career.

 

Tuesday May 19, 2020: 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

Managing Complex Research — Tasks, Projects and Portfolio Strategies:

Science is a social enterprise. Its progress depends on the mutual obligation of multiple actors working in coordination towards commonly held goals. This means that as science gets “bigger” the demands for coordination, organization and management know-how increases over time. This talk is organized to introduce post-graduate students to simple project management methods and strategies using a single tool (Trello, with a few add-ons). All of the content of the talk can be easily implemented in a wide range of similar tools (Post-It notes, MS Project, Jira, Wrike, Monday, Favro, etc.). This presentation introduces project organization and planning at three scales: individual tasks, projects (collections of functionally related tasks) and portfolios (collections of projects). At each scale, it identifies essential things you would need to efficiently manage teams and it introduces several ways of securing this knowledge with the least amount of effort, possible.

It is still exceptional in natural sciences education to suggest that business skills like finance, project management and recruiting/marketing are going to be determinant career factors. But much of science, and most of astroparticle physics research, requires large teams of people to collaborate on multifaceted, time-sensitive tasks across multiple and often interdependent projects. Research careers increasingly require us to learn a few things about project management — acquiring these skills is a key step in preparing yourself for leadership positions in scientific research. We need to spend a bit of time developing a mental model of how we should try and organize, as well as gaining practical skill in using organizational tools and methods.

Key Concepts: Task Lists (Binning); Agile Workflows & Kanban; Phase-Gate Workflows & Critical Paths (Gantt Charts); Horizontal, Vertical & Hybrid Project Teams; Task, Project & Portfolio Resources

Presenter: Edward Thomas — a McDonald Institute officer and former startup adviser, engineering researcher and business journalist — is offering this seminar on a widely adopted methodology for scalable innovations that uses scientific methods.

 

Tuesday May 26, 2020: 1:30-3:30pm EDT

Positive Space

The Positive Space program with Jean Pfleiderer (Associate Director, Human Rights Advisory Services): In celebration of 20 years of the Positive Space program at Queen’s University, we are excited to have Jean Pfleiderer join the McDonald Institute for one of the first-ever-delivery of Positive Space online. Participants who complete the program at Queen’s receive a sticker to indicate they have completed the workshop and uphold the program mandate. Positive Space stickers in work, living, or study areas signal that all are welcome. To be welcoming includes not making assumptions about anyone’s gender or sexual orientation, being aware of intersectionalities with other forms of oppression, and working to overcome both overt and subtle forms of discrimination and harassment. Join the McDonald Institute in learning how to make your research group, work space, or lab more inclusive.

Tuesday June 2, 2020: 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT

Teaching Dossiers: An Essential Tool

Developing a Teaching Dossier is a great way to reflect on your teaching views, approaches, experiences, and evaluations. Creating and editing these documents is a great way to assess your own teaching, reflect on your pedagogical processes, and identify where you see room for improvement. Sections of a teaching dossier include a biographical overview, teaching philosophy statement, teaching strategies, experiences, teaching effectiveness (evaluations and feedback), professional development, scholarship, leadership, awards, sample syllabi, and more. A teaching dossier is ever-evolving, similar to a curriculum vitae or resume, however it is distinct as it focuses on current goals and relevant experiences and examples in teaching and learning within its typical 6-12 pages length. Join the McDonald Institute in welcoming members of the Queen’s University Centre for Teaching and Learning as they guide us through the basics of what is needed to complete a Teaching Dossier in preparation for your career.

 

Tuesday June 9, 2020: 1:30pm – 2:30pm EDT

Coffee and Professional Development: Making the most of your degree or fellowship

Why is investing in your professional development key to career success? Why should you make time learning more than what is taught in the lab? Join the McDonald Institute representatives as we share, discuss, and reflect on the importance of professional development and learning during our studies and careers. Bring a hot beverage with you and let’s start a conversation about past sessions, and what you need for the future to support you and your professional growth. Plus, this is an opportunity to meet other people and expand your networks! We want to hear from you – bring your questions, concerns, and ideas!

 

Tuesday June 16, 2020: 1:30pm – 3:30pm EDT

What do you do exactly? A professional development workshop on science communication.

We, as a society, learn through each other. We tend not to pay attention to something until someone we know is doing that thing. Your family, friends, and colleagues all want to see what you do, because they are interested in you and want to be involved in your work! Astroparticle physics as well as other sciences are genuinely fascinating, but others need you to tell them why you’re interested, what you find exciting, and what specific problem you’re trying to solve.

Being met with glazed-over eyes, or zero comments on a post can be difficult and discouraging, but seeing interest develop and having someone following your research is one of the most rewarding aspects of a career in science. As more institutions and research groups recognize the myriad values of communicating science, there is an immense advantage in developing these skills and adding Science Communication to your career toolbox.

In this Professional Development and Learning Series session, we will cover two areas of scientific communication. First, we’ll look at identifying a result that is ready to share, and how to communicate such a result using publicly accessible language. Second, we’ll explore how to augment that language with images or aesthetics to make the most positive and impactful impression. While we will provide some recent scientific results to use, consider coming to the session thinking of your work. During the session, there will be time to practice putting these results into a publicly digestible format that you can use to share your research or something in the field that excites you.

Sharing your work can excite the public and inspire younger audiences, helping to create a culture of science literacy. It is part of the work that we, as scientists, need to do.

Let’s learn together how to be tour guides for our research.

Presenters: Dr. Mark Richardson (Education and Outreach Officer, McDonald Institute). Mark works closely with Zachary Kenny to develop and implement education and outreach programs for the Queen’s and Kingston communities and beyond. Mark previously had research and education roles at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and Oxford University. Mark completed his PhD in Astrophysics at Arizona State University in 2014. Mark earned a BSc in Honours Astrophysics in 2009 from Saint Mary’s University in his hometown of Halifax.

Zachary Kenny (Communications Officer, McDonald Institute). As a professional graphic designer and brand manager, Zachary works to help develop and promote the activities and programs of the McDonald Institute and provides communications support to all areas of operations. He is passionate about science communication and is always looking for new and interesting ways to engage the Canadian public in astroparticle physics and the STEAM fields. Zachary is an abstract artist and art educator and holds a B.F.A from OCAD University and an M.F.A. in Art Education from Concordia University.

 

Tuesday June 23, 2020: 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

Introduction to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB)

 As our campuses become ever more diverse, increasing our knowledge and skills with respect to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) enables us to work respectfully and effectively with all students, staff, and faculty.  Participants will learn the details of legislation, best practices, and language that pertains to diversity in a lab or research group. Participants will be asked to self-reflect on their own social identity, be asked to consider themselves as EDIB practitioners and consider how they might affect change within themselves, their departments, and the institution at large.

Presenter: Heidi Penning (Equity Advisor, Queen’s University Human Rights and Equity Office) – Heidi Penning contributes to the oversight function of the Equity Office regarding the University’s compliance and commitment to achieving equity throughout the Queen’s community. She holds a Professional Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University. Heidi brings with her over a decade of experience about the way that public policy, human behaviour, and community realities intersect to create sustainable and positive change for equity-seeking groups so they can live, work, and play with dignity in their communities.

 

Tuesday June 30, 2020: 1:30pm-2:30pm

Navigating Difficult Conversations

This is a workshop created to encourage participants to understand the importance of actively opposing prejudice, rather than simply inhibiting its expression. During this session, participants will explore the differences between over and covert racism and will gain skills on challenging problematic comments or situations by using one of the most popular models to facilitating difficult conversations.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understanding how exclusion operates in the everyday context;
  • Challenging our complicity in the exclusions that occur;
  • Practicing skills to challenge ‘othering’ (stereotyping and prejudice) whenever it occurs.

Presenter: Vanessa Yzaguirre (Special Projects Advisor, Human Rights and Equity Office, Queen’s University) holds a B.A in Media and Communications from Universidad Central de Venezuela and an M.A in Gender Studies from Queen’s University. She is responsible for working collaboratively with academic and/or administrative units to implement diversity and equity strategies using the Diversity and Equity Assessment and Planning (DEAP) Tool and Cyclical Program Reviews Process. Vanessa also coordinates the Queen’s Human Rights Legislation Group, and delivers training sessions on employment and/or educational equity-informed initiatives and practices.

 

Tuesday July 7, 2020 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

Interview Practice Workshop

In our first interview workshop (April 28), we focused on learning strategies to respond to common questions encountered in interviews.  This workshop will provide more space to practice applying these strategies by focusing on your own relevant skills and experiences. Develop confidence as your hone your stories and messages and become more persuasive in the way you communicate in interviews.

To maximize your time in the workshop, it is encouraged (but not mandatory) for you to:

  • Reflect on your own skills and experiences – what are the stories you would tell in an interview?
  • Reflect on your career goals
  • Review the STAR formula for behavioural questions

If you have particular interview questions you would like to see addressed and discussed, please include them in the registration form.

Presenter: Jenny Lee Northey is currently a career counsellor at Queen’s Career Services supporting post-secondary students in their career development. With over 10 years of experience working in the education, career, and employment sectors, she has also previously worked internationally in various roles in postsecondary institutions. Jenny integrates her background in intercultural communication, equity, diversity and inclusion, empowering individuals in their next steps forward in their career.

 

Tuesday July 14, 2020, 1:30pm – 2:30pm EDT

Introduction to Scientific Publishing

Scientific publishing originated in the late 1600s with the publication of the first two scientific journals, the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and the Journal des sçavans. Today there are tens of thousands of scientific and technical journals, conference proceedings, report series, and other types of publications. This session will provide an overview of the current scientific publishing landscape, the peer review process, and tools that you can use to identify the journals and other publications in your field.

Presenter: Michael White is the librarian for research services in the Engineering & Science Library and the liaison librarian for the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy (Queen’s University). Prior to joining Queen’s in 2005, he worked as a librarian at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an engineering librarian at the University of Maine at Orono, and a science librarian at Loyola University Chicago. He earned an MLIS from the University of Michigan and BAH in history from Boston University. His research interests include bibliometrics, the history of science and engineering libraries, and patent information. He is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Society for Engineering Education, Special Libraries Association, and Association of College and Research Libraries.

 

Tuesday July 21, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) — A Lean Way of Thinking Through Innovation as an Iterative Process

Edward Thomas, Assistant Director (External Relations), is offering a followup to his April 21 seminar on Lean Startup methods for designing and scaling innovations. This session will focus on the interaction between an innovator’s ideas, end-users and the iterative design of new devices, procedures and services that create value. In Lean Startups, we commonly develop a kind of experimental apparatus, called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), that tests our hypothesis that a proposed innovation can actually create value for an end-user. The MVP does not need to be a fully realized product, procedure or service. It only needs to deliver an outcome that its intended end users will find valuable enough to invest their own time, money or effort. This seminar will introduce attendees to time-cost-quality value chain analysis, MVP design, end-user categories and common hypothesis testing methods used to iteratively hone an idea into a real-world innovation that can sustainably create value for many people.

Much of the work of astroparticle physics is developing new/better ways to accomplish signal detections, observations, measurements, data analysis, project management and knowledge distribution. The same innovation pressure is also true for professional life outside of research (projects, products, services, procedures, etc.). Learning about MVP thinking gives us a simple heuristic for working through problems and their potential solutions at minimum risk and maximum reward.

Join the McDonald Institute for a 60-minute overview of MVPs as a Lean technique for innovation (plus time at the end for Q&A).

Presenter: Edward Thomas is the Associate Director of External Relations at the McDonald Institute. He leads partnerships, communications and business development within the Institute, the broader astroparticle physics community, academia, government, business, NGOs and the Canadian public. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology development, research administration, innovation support and business journalism.

 

Tuesday July 28, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

How to Avoid Predatory Publishers (60min + Q&A)

Over the past 10-15 years, so-called predatory publishers have become a major problem for researchers. These unscrupulous publishers take advantage of the open access publishing model in order to collect large fees from authors while providing little, if any, peer review or copy editing. This session will provide tips on how to identify and avoid predatory publishers.

Presenter: Michael White is the librarian for research services in the Engineering & Science Library and the liaison librarian for the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy (Queen’s University). Prior to joining Queen’s in 2005, he worked as a librarian at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an engineering librarian at the University of Maine at Orono, and a science librarian at Loyola University Chicago. He earned an MLIS from the University of Michigan and BAH in history from Boston University. His research interests include bibliometrics, the history of science and engineering libraries, and patent information. He is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Society for Engineering Education, Special Libraries Association, and Association of College and Research Libraries.

 

Tuesday August 4, 2020, 1:30pm-3:00PM EDT

Bring your creations to life: Learn why intellectual property matters (60min session + Q&A)

Innovation starts with an idea—your idea. Are you developing your idea into something tangible such as building a brand for your business or creating a product to sell? If so, then you need to know about intellectual property (IP). This seminar will introduce you to trademarks, patents, trade secrets, industrial designs and copyright, and explain how protecting your creations through IP rights can give you an advantage over your competition.

Presenter: Caroline Lefebvre is an Intellectual property advisor for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) since 2007. As such, she raises awareness, informs and trains various groups, such as entrepreneurs, inventors, professors and students on the importance of an adequate intellectual protection. She is a Political Sciences graduate from the University of Ottawa, and has also worked in various sectors of the federal government. Her experience led her to promote, among other issues, Canadian expertise in sustainable development in emerging countries, foreign investments in Canada or the importance of the quality of web content. Throughout her career, she has developed a strong expertise in project and event management, and also on building strategic partnerships, in marketing and in providing training.

 

Tuesday August 11, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

So, you’re finishing your PhD… Now what? Insights on the process, value, and benefits of a postdoctoral research position.

Nearing the end of your doctoral studies is both exciting and nerve-racking! You’re probably plagued by the ambiguous question: “What are you going to do when you’re done?” To illuminate one pathway you might pursue, we welcome postdoctoral researchers Drs. Yi-Hsuan “Cindy” Lin (SNOLAB), Sarah Schon (Queen’s University), Pietro Giampa (TRIUMF), Alberto Tonero (Carleton University), and Sumanta Pal (University of Alberta) to the Professional Development and Learning Series! Guided by your questions, we’re excited for a lively discussion focused on postdoctoral experiences affiliated with the McDonald Institute across Canada. This panel discussion is geared towards PhD students interested in learning more about postdoctoral researcher experiences, but all are welcome to attend.

Learn more about postdoctoral panelists:

Yi-Hsuan “Cindy” Lin (SNOLAB) – Growing up, my uncle was a high school physics teacher and he would always explain to me and my brother why things are the way they are (e.g. why the sky is blue or why are some rocks shiny but others not). These ‘stories’ were always so fascinating to me. I first decided to pursue physics as a career in high school, inspired by my great physics teacher.  For the first time, science class became more than just memorization and repetitive procedures. Equations can be derived from something as fundamental as distance is the product of velocity and time. I attended undergraduate at The College of New Jersey with the goal of becoming a physics teacher.  I had been exposed to research for the first time, which involved a lot of hands-on experiments, and was able to try my hands-on projects at various institutions and physics subfields.  For the first time, physics became much more than just fascinating concepts in a textbook or a classroom. Throughout my graduate career at Drexel University, I learned so much about programming, particle physics, and neutrinoless double beta decay (0nbb) working on EXO-200. Working on SNO+ now not only allows me to continue my passion for 0nbb search, but also to partake in hardware and operation front of the experiment and become a more well-rounded researcher with more techniques in my toolbox.  Working at SNOLAB also allows me the opportunity to work with students at various education levels and participate in outreach efforts all year-round.  To not only be fascinated by the science that we are doing constantly, but also to pass that fascination on, is very rewarding to me.

Sarah Schon (Queen’s University) – I grew-up in Germany and later in New Zealand. I hold a BA (Philosophy and Mathematics)/BSc Honours (Physics) from University of Auckland, NZ. My PhD was based at the University of Melbourne (working with Katie Mack and Stuart Wyithe). I started my Postdoc at Queen’s University in 2018. I conduct my research at Queen’s as part of the astroparticle theory group and am particularly interested in dark matter phenomenology. Our work looks to constrain dark matter models by searching for the potential impact they have on astrophysical structures, both ‘locally’ within the Milky Way and during various epochs of the Universe.

Pietro Giampa (TRIUMF) – I completed my undergraduate studies at the Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), where I also obtained a Master’s degree in particle physics working with Prof. Jocelyn Monroe on directional detection of Dark Matter with the DMTPC experiment. In 2013, I moved to Canada to start my Ph.D. at Queen’s University, studying Dark Matter with the DEAP-3600 experiment. During those years I spent the vast majority of my time at SNOLAB. Following my Ph.D. defence in July 2017, I moved to TRIUMF where I was awarded the Otto Hausser fellowship. At TRIUMF I built a research program focused on solving the Dark Matter problem (with the SBC experiment) and understanding the origin of the Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry (using Ultra-Cold Neutrons).

Alberto Tonero (Carleton University) – Coming from a working-class family, I grew up in a small town in north-east Italy, mostly known for its wineries and the production of wooden chairs. My passion for Physics started during high school (A. Malignani) in Udine, Italy. Once graduated from high school, I then enrolled into the Physics program of the University of Trieste (Italy) and I got my BS and MS degrees in Physics from the same university. I was always more comfortable in dealing with theoretical subjects and, during my University studies, theoretical Physics started to attract my attention. At the end of my Master I developed a special interest in Particle Physics and then decided to obtain a PhD in this field. I took my PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics from SISSA, Trieste, in 2012.  I started my first postdoc in Particle Physics at ICTP-SAIFR in São Paulo (Brazil) from 2013 to 2016. In 2017 I got a short-term postdoctoral position at Federal University of Alfenas (Brazil) before moving to Canada. From 2018, I am a postdoctoral fellow of the Physics department Theory group at Carleton University in Ottawa. From 2019, I am also the president of the postdoctoral union at Carleton University (PSAC 77000).

Sumanta Pal (University of Alberta)  – I completed my entire education in India. I earned my BSc (Bachelor of Science) and MSc (Master of Science) in Physics from the University of Calcutta. I then joined the INO (India based Neutrino Observatory) graduate training program under the umbrella of the BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) and HBNI (Homi Bhabha National Institute) where I received my PhD (in 2014) in Physical Science. INO is an Indian initiative to build an underground laboratory in India to pursue neutrino and dark matter physics. Research institutes and many universities across India are part of this INO program. During my PhD, I was stationed at TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) and The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc). There, I gained expertise in experimental high energy and nuclear physics and also in neutrino phenomenology. I did my first postdoctoral position at the University of Sheffield, UK where I was working to build a prototype setup of a muon counter for the CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) project. After that I moved to the USA for a year at the Virginia Polytechnic and State University (renowned as Virginia Tech) to work on a short baseline reactor neutrino experiment. I then moved to LIP, Coimbra, Portugal when I started working in the LZ experiment (Lux-Zeplin, a direct dark matter experiment operating at SURF, USA). My main contribution was to study beta decays from 134Xe in the LZ detector. After that, I moved to Canada and joined the University of Alberta/McDonald Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Nov 2018. I am now associated with three direct dark matter experiments, DEAP3600, PICO40L, and SBC. DEAP3600 is a liquid argon based dark matter detector working at SNOLAB. PICO40L is also a dark matter detector based on the bubble chamber principle, and it’s also been operating since this year. SBC (Scintillating Bubble Chamber) project is developing two detectors aiming one will be operated initially at FNAL, USA and later on in a nuclear reactor to study CEvNS (Coherent Elastic neutrino Nucleus Scattering), and another setup will be commissioned in SNOLAB dedicated for low mass WIMP dark matter detections.

 

Tuesday August 18, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

From Academia to Industry – A Need for Complementary Skills in Pursuit of Your New Career.

The pursuit of an academic career in the sciences faces stiff competition. While some aspiring scientists find space in academic settings after their degrees, many others pursue meaningful careers outside of academia. There is a critical need (and desire) for many aspiring scientists to pursue careers in industry. But beyond being talented and trained researchers, what complimentary or transferable skills do you need to accelerate your career outside of academia? Join our panelists, Chelsea Elliot (Director, Corporate Relations, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences/Queen’s), Dr. Martin Smith (Deputy Manager of R&D, Bubble Technology Industries Inc.) and Dr. Cole Van Vlack (Director of Operations and Development, IPG Photonics) as they discuss their unique career experiences and the importance of complementary skills when pursuing non-academic employment.

Panelists:

Chelsea Elliott is the Director of Corporate Relations for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s University. She is an electrical engineer with 20 years of experience managing innovative development projects and leading engineering teams. She has instructed engineering students in design thinking, project management, and professional communication. She led development of the Queen’s Experiential Learning Hub and managed the Queen’s University Internship Program Admin team. She has worked in Canada, the U.S. and Scandinavia, in both engineering industry and academia. Her interdisciplinary background, combined with a passion for developing people and partnerships, has led to her current role developing strategy to support student professional growth and connect employers in all industries with Queen’s engineering and applied science students.

Dr. Martin Smith is the Manager of Research and Development at Bubble Technology Industries (BTI) in Chalk River, ON. He received his PhD in nuclear physics from the University of Liverpool (UK) and subsequently held research positions at the University of Paisley (UK), Rutgers University (USA), and TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. For the past 15 years, he has worked at BTI on radiation-detection instrumentation for applications including space and homeland security. In his current role, he provides direction for a wide range of interdisciplinary research programs that include physics, chemistry, electronics, mechanical design, software, prototyping, and assembly.

Dr. Cole Van Vlack graduated with a PhD in Physics from Queen’s University in 2012, where he studied Quantum Optics and Nano-Photonics. He was the first employee to join Laser Depth Dynamics as the software lead and has been studying software development, product development and business development as the team boot-strapped Laser Depth Dynamics from 3 people to 15 people before it was ultimately acquired by IPG Photonics in 2017. Dr. Van Vlack continues to lead the software team and has helped to double the organization.

 

Tuesday August 25, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT – SPECIAL FINALE SESSION

Leadership in Science: A Conversation with Dr. Art McDonald

Join the McDonald Institute for an exciting talk on Leadership in the Sciences led by Nobel Laureate Dr. Art McDonald (Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University). Learn from Dr. McDonald’s personal journey in astroparticle physics about what characteristics, skills, and traits are essential when inspiring local, national, and international teams to pursue their scientific goals. This special event will be the final session for the pilot Professional Development and Learning (PD&L) series this summer. In celebration, this PD&L session is part of the McDonald Institute’s Annual Meeting hosted online this year. All are welcome to attend!

Presenter: Art McDonald, CC, O. Ont, O. N.S., FRS, FRSC, P. Eng, is a native of Sydney, N.S. Canada. He has degrees in physics from Dalhousie University (BSc, MSc) and Caltech (Ph.D.) and twelve honorary degrees. Following his doctorate, he worked as a Research Officer at AECL Chalk River Laboratories from 1969-1982, then went on to be a Professor at Princeton University from 1982-1989. He returned to Queen’s in 1989 and worked as a Professor until 2013 when he became Professor Emeritus. During this tenure, he held the University Research Chair (2002-2006) and the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics (2006-2013). He was Director of the SNO Institute from 1991-2003 and again from 2006-2009, and Associate Director of the SNOLAB Institute from 2009-2013. Since 1989, he has been Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Scientific Collaboration.

Among the many awards he has received, he is a Companion of the Order of Canada, a Co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics with Dr. Takaaki Kajita of the SuperKamiokande experiment. In addition, with the SNO Collaboration, received the 2006 John. C. Polanyi Prize and the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He continues to be active in basic research in neutrinos and dark matter and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Perimeter Institute.

To read more on Dr. McDonald’s biography, please see the McDonald Institute webpage here.

 

Fall 2020

Wednesday October 21, 2020 – 2:30pm- 4:00pm EDT

Managing References and DocumentsManaging references can be challenging without the proper tools. This session will review various options and software for managing references and documents. For example, citation management software such as Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote and BibTeX. The session will also cover advanced tips for using citation management software with various research databases. 

Presenter: Michael White is the librarian for research services in the Engineering & Science Library and the liaison librarian for the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy (Queen’s University). Prior to joining Queen’s in 2005, he worked as a librarian at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an engineering librarian at the University of Maine at Orono, and a science librarian at Loyola University Chicago. He earned an MLIS from the University of Michigan and BAH in history from Boston University. His research interests include bibliometrics, the history of science and engineering libraries, and patent information. He is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Society for Engineering Education, Special Libraries Association, and Association of College and Research Libraries. 

 

Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 2:30pm -4pm EDT

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS): How CSIS Supports and Protects the Academic Community

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is at the forefront of Canada’s national security system. Their role is to investigate activities suspected of constituting threats to the security of Canada and to report on these to the Government of Canada. The Professional Development and Learning (PD&L) Series welcomes a CSIS expert who will provide an overview of threats of foreign interference and espionage targeting Canada’s research and development community, including within academia. While the life sciences are at significantly high risk at this time, this is not the only research and development being targeted.  Other sectors such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, nano-technology, big data analytics, and other digital and advanced technologies are also attractive targets for foreign espionage. Through this webinar, students, postdocs, and faculty will learn how CSIS supports and protects Canada’s research community, R&D, and investments against threat actors who might choose to exploit Canadian knowledge for national strategic or economic advantage. 

 

Wednesday December 9, 2020 at 2:30pm EDT

Getting Money, Time, and Commitment for Innovation and Commercialization – Pitch Building (at Any Scale)

How does an innovator make their case to a prospective partner, backer or investor to try and solve a problem in a new way? How would we use the tools of startup innovation to build compelling proposals in ways that are optimally convincing without ever compromising our ethics? What processes can help us write effective grants, investment cases, elevator pitches or negotiating terms?

Ed Thomas will review the ways startup innovation strategies and tactics can be coupled to simple narrative structure to develop proposals and pitches that use hypothesis tests and modelling to magnify our ability to engage prospective collaborators, partners and investors. Topics covered will include:

  • Lean canvass models of value creation as a template for pitch building
  • Value chain analyses
  • Narrative structures
  • Audience analysis & rhetorical approaches
  • Decision-making models (generally)
  • Models for investment decision-making

Presenter: Edward Thomas is the Associate Director of External Relations at the McDonald Institute. He supports partnerships, communications and business development between the McDonald Institute and the broader astroparticle physics community, academia, government, business, NGOs and the Canadian public. He is a masters graduate in chemical engineering. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology development, research administration, innovation support and business journalism. He is a part-time scholar of cultural history, dog lover, and avid cyclist.

 
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