News in brief

The Bombardier test track in Mill Haven is testing fibre-reinforced polymer bars.
The Bombardier test track in Mill Haven is testing fibre-reinforced polymer bars.
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Plans in place for AMS fee increase

At the March 15 AMS Board of Directors meeting, the $68.80 mandatory AMS specific fee was called into question.

Discussions surrounded the need to increase the fee to support future AMS initiatives and rising salaries for the AMS full-time staff.

Ashley Eagan, AMS vice-president of operations, said an increase in the fee would fund AMS operational budgets and allow further growth of AMS services.

“The fee would cover operational increases to the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 budgets including IT infrastructure, market, the new SMART service under the Municipal Affairs Commission,” Eagan, BFA ’11 told the Journal via email.

It’s estimated that the fee will need to increase by approximately $10 to $16 to cover the growth within the AMS over the past several years. In order for the fee increase to pass, it would have to be brought to AMS Assembly. The report wasn’t brought to AMS Assembly on March 22 due to time constraints.

“Waiting until next year will allow for more financial forecasting in order to best assess how much of an increase is necessary,” Eagan said.

— Kate Shao

Queen’s partners with Bombardier

The Queen’s department of civil engineering has partnered with Bombardier Inc. to build and evaluate monorail train track in Kingston.

The project involves a test track in Mill Haven, 21 kilometres outside of Kingston. Bombardier is testing a new technology — fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) bars and rods which reinforce the concrete beams used for monorail tracks.

Made from tiny fibres of glass and bound together with a resin, the technology will replace the steel found in concrete supports, which is prone to rust and lacks longevity.

Engineering professors Amir Fam and Mark Green have helped develop the technology and are project leaders in the partnership.

Bombardier chose Queen’s as its partner university because of a pre-existing relationship between the company and the department of civil engineering, Fam said.

“The opportunity came when they decided to build a new test track in their Mill Haven plant here near Kingston,” he said.

Currently only one Queen’s graduate student is involved in the project, but in the future, the project could involve more students from Queen’s as well as St. Lawrence College.

The funding for the project is provided for the most part by Bombardier, according to the terms of their research contract with Queen’s. Fam is currently applying for a collaborative research and development grant for additional funding from the Canadian government.

Queen’s administration has been instrumental in making the project happen, Fam said.

“Vice-Principal Steven Liss, along with the Director of Innovation Park Janice Mady should take a large credit in that they facilitated the opportunity and they have been involved in putting significant resources at our disposal to help with communication and documentation with Bombardier,” Fam said.

The agreement has been in planning for a year and a half. In a year’s time, Bombardier will bring in their latest monorail trains to test the track in Mill Haven.

— Jordan Ray

Requirement for Dean’s List lowered

The Dean’s Honour List now includes students with a 3.5 GPA or above, lowering the minimum from 3.8.

The change was made at Tuesday’s Senate meeting due to student concerns over the fairness of the current system.

On March 22, concerns were raised at a Town Hall meeting organized by Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science Alistair MacLean.

“The purpose behind the Town Hall meeting was to be sure that all students were given a chance to have their say,” MacLean said.

There were approximately 50 students present at the meeting from all faculties. Students also raised concerns about scholarship requirements and the appearance academic standings on transcripts when applying to graduate schools and jobs.

Jeff Galbraith, ArtSci ’14 and Sci ’14, attended the Town Hall meeting. He said the switch to the GPA system last year has affected his grades.

“My percentage grades are good enough to renew my scholarship but my GPA doesn’t reflect that,” Galbraith said.

— Kate Shao

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