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Year in Review | October

Historian Natalie Zemon Davis and former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton were awarded honorary degrees from Memorial University at convocation ceremonies Oct. 17. Over 600 graduate and undergraduate degrees were also awarded during two sessions of convocation and six faculty members were named professor emeritus.

EnerSea Canada Inc., in partnership with Memorial University of Newfoundland, will lead the establishment of the world’s first research and development centre for large-scale marine transport of compressed natural gas (CNG). The centre will be a federally incorporated not-for-profit entity located on Memorial’s St. John’s campus. The company will receive $4 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund to establish a large-scale, dynamic R&D test facility dedicated to CNG marine transport. This technology is especially targeted at “stranded gas” (no existing transportation system exists) offshore Atlantic Canada and worldwide. The total value of the project is $8.05 million. Other funds will come from industry and government sources.

The SafetyNet Conference 2003, From Research to Practice: Partnering for Occupational Health and Safety, took place Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the Fairmont Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s. The conference focused on a wide range of issues in research and its applications, including health and safety in rural/remote, marine or resource-based sectors, community university partnerships in research and questions of privacy and ethics in this type of research. The conference also began the dissemination of preliminary results from SafetyNet’s first three years of work.

Dr. Peter Haggett, professor emeritus, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, England, delivered the Henrietta Harvey lecture in October. The lecture was titled Future Geographies of World Epidemic Diseases.

Just 10 days after being named commander of the NATO-led troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, Memorial University alumnus Lt.-Gen. Rick Hillier (B.Sc. '76) visited the St. John's campus to pick up an Alumni Tribute Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement. Lt.-Gen. Hillier's appointment was announced on Oct. 6; Memorial recognized him for his achievements (along with four other outstanding alumni) at a gala dinner at R. Gushue Hall on Oct.16. The Alumni Tribute Awards gala is part of Celebrate Memorial 2003, an annual festival of events celebrating Memorial's significant community presence and contribution. Other recipients of this year's Alumni Tribute Awards include: Lifetime Achievement Award: Former Chief Justice T. Alec Hickman, OC, QC, LLD (Memorial University College '44); Horizon Award: Stephen Kent, BBA'01; Outstanding Community Service Award: Maj. Dr. G. Dawn Howse, B.Med.Sci.'76, MD'78; J. D. Eaton Award: Wayne Thistle, QC, B.Ed.'68, B.Sc.(Hons)'68, MA'71.

Science historian, author and television writer/producer James Burke attracted some very devoted fans on Oct. 2 for the 2003 F. W. Angel Memorial Lecture. He spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about 175 people, some of whom requested autographs as Mr. Burke mingled with the crowd during a reception afterwards. The topic of the lecture, which was held by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, was Innovation and Change and Mr. Burke managed to deliver his theories on the complicated and chaotic patterns of history while frequently making the audience laugh with his eclectic approach.

Memorial University’s campus in Harlow, England, was honoured with the Highly Commended Award at the 2003 Harlow Business Awards, an annual black-tie gala organized by the Harlow and District Chamber of Commerce. The Harlow Business Awards is the key business event in the district, attracting entries from small, medium and large businesses both from Harlow and other towns in West Essex, UK. Harlow campus management entered itself in the awards’ Training and Staff Development category, and placed second. Judges in that category subsequently nominated Harlow campus for the Highly Commended Award; the campus bested over 30 entries to win the special judges' citation. “The management of Harlow Campus have truly excelled themselves over the past year and highly deserve a winning accolade,” the judges said.

ACOA contributed $400,000 towards the expansion and development of offshore oil and gas structural testing facilities at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The announcement was made Oct. 30 by Gerry Byrne, minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Newfoundland and Labrador’s representative in the Federal Cabinet. The Structural Test Facility is a three-pronged project of the Ocean Engineering Research Centre (OERC) in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. OERC will design and construct a structural test frame that will enable researchers to test load levels on marine structures at pressures several times larger than current capacity.


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