University of Calgary

April 2007

 Vol. 3 No. 8

NeuroArm: Navigating the future of surgery

NeuroArm—the world’s first image-guided surgical robot to enhance accuracy and safety of brain surgery—aims to revolutionize neurosurgery and other branches of operative medicine by liberating them from the constraints of the human hand. >>  more

Rotary/Flames partnership reaches out to community

Two Rotary Clubs of Calgary have teamed up with the Flames Foundation for Life, matching a donation the foundation made to Reach! last year, for a total gift of $10 million directed to building a new world standard of health in Alberta. >> more

Safety first in mercury thermometer project

One of the most common accidents in undergraduate labs is the breaking of thermometers. When they are filled with toxic mercury, this can pose environmental health challenges. A joint initiative between Environmental Health and Safety and the University of Calgary’s Department of Chemistry has replaced more than 1,000 mercury thermometers with digital, alcohol, ethanol or other environmentally safe options—affecting about 2,700 chemistry students.  >> more

SEEL funding supports student projects

More than $40,000 has been awarded to students and student clubs from the new University of Calgary-Shell Experiential Energy Learning (SEEL) program, supporting such varied energy-and-environment related projects as the solar car team, the Solar Decathlon solar-powered house project, a field course to the oilsands and trips to Germany and Greece. >> more

Kinesiology “pool hall” gets a facelift

A $20,000 grant from the Student Union’s Quality Money fund for campus improvement—matched by the Faculty of Kinesiology—is breathing new life into a favourite kinesiology study space by providing new study carrels, chairs, lighting, paint and power to a gallery overlooking the pool. >> more

Engineering researcher to lead $2.5 million program

As the newly named Alvin Libin Ingenuity Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Calgary, Dr. Michal Okoniewski will lead an innovative $2.5 million bioengineering research program to turn advances in electrical engineering and biomedical research into practical applications. >> more

Reeve Foundation grant backs spinal cord researcher

University of Calgary spinal cord researcher Dr. Wee Yong has won a highly coveted international grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to continue his work on protecting the spinal cord from undergoing degeneration following an injury. He has recruited two experts, one from B.C. and one from China, to work on his team. >> more

Exploring the politics of logging

Geography prof Dr. Conny Davidsen is working with communities in Latin America to help manage their forests and develop their forestry expertise. In the process, she’s learned that successful forest management depends on a community’s ability to adapt to change.  >> more

Biology students follow their curiosity

Department of Biological Sciences students had a recent chance to share with the university community the results of an eight-month senior project in which they developed programs to answer research questions of their own choosing. The project showed students how to think in an entirely different way, becoming knowledge producers instead of simply knowledge absorbers. >> more

Local knowledge contributed to international design

When the design of EnCana’s new Calgary headquarters was unveiled last fall, Eric Baczuk, BSc’05, was already intimately familiar with the project. After all, the environmental sciences grad worked as an intern architect for the designer in London, England, last summer. >> more

Postcard from Finland

For University of Calgary social work student Karla Cote, feeling like an outsider at the beginning of her study abroad program in Finland was a valuable learning experience. “I think I will be a much more empathetic social worker because of this experience,” she says. >> more

Get ready for Bike to Work Day

Uof C employees who plan to participate in April 20’s Bike to Work Day—or, indeed, any cycling enthusiast—should make sure their bicycle is roadworthy for spring. The Outdoor Centre can provide a basic tune up for $49; do-it-yourselfers can follow these easy maintenance tips. >> more

Pianist paints a portrait of Chopin

It was University of Calgary professor of piano Charles Foreman’s wife—pianist Kathleen van Mourik—who first came up with the notion to perform the complete works for solo piano of composer Frédéric Chopin. Foreman continues the cycle of 153 works in nine concerts on May 5. >> more

Climate change: the end of the world?

Rising greenhouse gases and dwindling supplies of affordable energy could threaten the very survival of our civilization. Dr. Benoit Beauchamp, executive director of the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary and Dr. John Kendall, professor emeritus with the Faculty of Science, will discuss global warming at the next Science Cafe.  >> more

Horse sense: Seminar builds leadership skills

The skills one needs to get a horse to follow directions are not that different from those required to lead teams and organizations. In a unique one-day seminar that is getting national attention, the University of Calgary’s Continuing Education department is helping build better leaders with a little bit of old-fashioned horse sense. >> more