2017 Atlantic Universities Physics and Astronomy Conference a smashing success

Student-led conference brought together scientists from across region
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Samantha MacDougall, Patrick Strongman, Deanna Kerry, Aidan Tremblett, Phoenix McCloud, Dayna Brown, Willow M'Cloud, Eduardo Egger, Andrew Cameron, and Patrick Connolly

Students from UPEI’s Department of Physics organized and hosted the 2017 Atlantic Universities Physics and Astronomy Conference (AUPAC). This annual conference brings together undergraduate physics students and university faculty from across Atlantic Canada to share research findings and stimulate new collaborations. Conference co-chairs Phoenix McCloud and Andrew Cameron, along with their organizing team, worked through the school year to make this year’s conference a smashing success.

“I congratulate our physics students for organizing and delivering an engaging scientific program, for hosting conference participants at UPEI and for being exceptional UPEI ambassadors,” said Dr. William Whelan, chair of the Department of Physics. “It is impressive to see students, many in their graduating year, take on the responsibility of organizing and hosting an Atlantic Canadian Conference. This is exactly the type of student-led initiative UPEI should encourage and support.”

AUPAC drew together more than 70 participants from across the region. The conference featured 40 research presentations by undergraduate physics students, including presentations by UPEI’s own Patrick Connolly, Patrick Strongman, Andrew Cameron, David Heckbert, Deanna Kerry, Phoenix McCloud and Aidan Tremblett. Dr. Whelan reports each gave an excellent presentation and congratulates Patrick Connolly for winning the Student Choice Award.

The conference included a presentation by Dr. Shohini Ghose (Wilfred Laurier University and a TED Fellow) on sexism in science. Dr. Ghose also moderated a panel discussion on Women in Science, which included local physicists and engineers, Megan Glover (UPEI), Kelly Galloway (Engineering Technologies Canada), Reina Lamothe (PEI Cancer Treatment Centre), and Li-Hong Xu (UNB). 

Plenary talks at AUPAC included “What's the matter with our universe,” by Dr. Stephane Courteau (Queen's University), “Asteroseismology: dissecting stars,” by Dr. Catherine Lovekin (Saint Mary's University), “Lightning and thunder in tissues,” by UPEI’s Dr. Whelan, and “How to make a career from counting, floating, melting and black tape,” by Dr. Jeff Dahn (Dalhousie University).

Congratulations to all involved!

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.

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