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Queen’s wins 3 out of 10 new Killam Research Fellowships


Wednesday March 01, 2006, (Kingston, ON) - Three Queen’s professors are among 10 outstanding Canadian researchers to be named new Killam Research Fellows for 2006 - the most received by a single university. Eleven continuing Killam Research Fellows have also been renewed for a second year, including one from Queen’s.

Stan Brown (Chemistry), Kurt Kyser (Geological Sciences and Engineering) and Roland Speicher (Mathematics and Statistics) are first-time recipients of the prestigious award, while Axel Becke (Chemistry) has had his fellowship renewed.

One of the country’s most prestigious research awards, Killam Fellowships are administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. These awards are funded through lifetime and testamentary gifts to the Canada Council from Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam, and this year total more than $1.5 million.

“These three Killam Fellowships, plus one renewal, are a strong confirmation of the depth of research expertise here at Queen’s,” says Vice-Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe. “The Fellowships will allow our faculty members time to pursue research projects that will generate new knowledge and potentially exciting breakthroughs.”

A Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, Dr. Brown is an expert in physical organic chemistry, reaction mechanisms, bio-organic chemistry and military chemical weapons. He will focus on the development of practical methods for controlled decomposition of pesticides and chemical warfare agents.

Renowned for his research in isotope geochemistry, the origin and chemical evolution of the earth and mass spectroscopy, Dr. Kyser is the founder of Queen’s Facility for Isotope Research, which houses some of the most technologically advanced equipment in Canada. His work as a Killam Fellow will involve tracing element migration in the near-surface environment.

Dr. Speicher’s research focuses on relations between free probability theory and the quite different fields of mathematics and physics. In particular he is studying the combinatorial and probabilistic aspects of free probability, as well as its application to problems in quantum statistical physics.

Dr. Becke is a leader in the development of a relatively new approach to computational chemistry known as density-functional theory. This theory allows scientists to perform computer simulations on much larger problems than are possible with other approaches, opening the way to exciting new applications in chemistry, physics, materials science, and biology.

Killam Research Fellowships allow outstanding scholars engaged in research projects in the humanities, the social, natural and health sciences, engineering, and interdisciplinary studies within these fields to devote two years to full-time research and writing. Queen’s has received a total of 41 Fellowships since the program’s inception in 1968.

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