{President's Report 2003}
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    ...new learning experiences for our students and strengthening our university infrastructure. This past year saw many important developments on Memorial's campuses, many of them aimed at creating an exciting learning environment for students and helping them enrich their career opportunities. We also improved our existing facilities and we built new ones needed for a future dedicated to innovation in teaching and research.

    Students study Europe up close

    Memorial's campus in England recently reopened after extensive renovations. The refurbished campus, located in Harlow, Essex, midway between London and Cambridge, is designed to meet the needs of today's university students and is also ideal for executive programs, retreats and conferences. More than 40 students arrived in September 2002 to use the modernized campus to study War, Reconstruction and the European Union with Drs. Steve Wolinetz and Jim Hiller of Memorial's Political Science and History departments, respectively. These courses formed part of Memorial's new European studies minor, which is an umbrella academic program offered in part at the Harlow campus. Dr. Wolinetz noted that Harlow provided a valuable opportunity to live and study in England and observe daily developments in British politics, while travel also broadened students' perspectives on European life. Harlow campus also hosted a partnership program in business studies with the International University of Germany in 2003. Students from each institution studied collaboratively for a semester with professors from their home universities.

    Student career horizons expanded with infusion of high-tech equipment

    An investment of more than $1 million in technology is providing expanded opportunities for both students and recruiters at Memorial's Centre for Career Development. New state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment has already provided employers in Western Canada an opportunity to span the huge distance and cost of interviewing students in person for work placements. Drop-down screens and surround-sound capability provide visiting recruiters an excellent platform for presentations to students. The infusion of technology and support services was made possible this past year by the Counselling Foundation of Canada, a private organization operated by the Lawson family in Toronto. The funding will flow over a five-year period. Members of the Lawson family were on hand in June to officially open the new Hi-Tech Career Centre and Video Conferencing Suite in the Department of Career Development and Experiential Learning.

    Marine station provides unique learning, research possibilities

    Memorial opened the Bonne Bay Marine Station in September 2002. The station is a $3.2-million facility featuring laboratories, aquariums, meeting rooms, dock and boat and other key resources for students, researchers, local communities and tourists interested in learning about the marine ecosystem of the area. The station's modern accommodations wing is wheelchair accessible and can house up to 31 people in double, triple or quadruple occupancy rooms for academic or non-academic programs such as retreats, institutes or workshops. Since the facility opened to the general public in June 2003, some 8,000 people from school and community groups have passed through its doors.

    The station is developing an observatory located on the ocean bottom aimed at helping scientists understand the influence of the physical environment on the temporal variability of marine ecosystems. State-of-the-art instrumentation which will be deployed in fall of 2003 will measure water properties and include innovative video and acoustic technologies. This audiovisual capability will permit the study of organisms that were previously poorly observed and scientifically neglected. The data collected will also be transmitted through a communications cable to the marine station and broadcast in real-time on the internet for interested researchers.

    Innovation Centre will be at the heart of the campus

    Planning moved ahead for the Inco Innovation Centre, to be built on Memorial's St. John's campus. Inco will donate $13 million to the facility and provide operating support of $7 million. The federal government is investing over $13 million (including $4.4 million for capital) over a five-year period through the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF). This funding will support the hiring of 40 new researchers at Memorial and build new R&D capacity for mining innovation and technology commercialization in the Atlantic region. It will also help create a new process engineering program. The program, the first of its kind in North America, will be a hybrid of chemical, mechanical, computer and civil engineering to serve industry needs in the metallurgical sector as well as the petroleum and food processing sectors. The centre will also house other innovative initiatives such as the new Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies which will address not only the scientific and technical issues important to Newfoundland and Labrador's Aboriginal people but also their social and cultural needs. The Inco Innovation Centre will provide space for graduate students, and it will house a first-rate 300-seat lecture theatre equipped with telecommunications technology to serve students elsewhere. The building - over 8,361 sq. metres in floor space - is designed to symbolize the vastness of Labrador and will incorporate materials characteristic of the Voisey's Bay Project such as nickel and copper cladding, Labradorite in the foyer, and art from Labrador.

    The construction of the centre is expected to be complete by 2004.