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September 13, 2001 AcademicBriefs



Deans Esmail, Singer renewed

On the recommendation of evaluation committees, the Board of Governors has renewed the terms of Dean of Engineering and Computer Science Nabil Esmail and Dean of Arts and Science Martin Singer, from June 1, 2002, until May 31, 2007.

It will be a second five-year term for each of these able academic administrators. We congratulate them and wish them well.

Composites are a hot field

Elite researchers in a hot field came to Concordia in late August for CANCOM 2001, the Canadian Composites Conference, chaired by Mechanical Engineering Professor V.S. Hoa. Composites, as the name suggests, are a combination of two or more materials, and are distinguished by their lightness, durability and versatility.

Following the conference, which heard 110 speakers from 17 countries, Hoa discussed some of the highlights. He said that nanotechnology in the composites field is starting to reach its potential.

“Researchers can now roll composite material into nanotubes with a diameter of one or two nanometers (a nanometer is about the size of three atoms). These are excellent for conducting heat and electricity, so they can be used in micro-electronics, for example, to make next generation computer chips.”

Another nanocomposite innovation involves mixing clay into the epoxy that is used to glue the components of composite materials to achieve a new level of flame or water resistance.

“Nothing can burn without oxygen; nanocomposites can seal oxygen out, at the nanometer level, for flame-retardent materials. They can also seal out water, preventing erosion in many kinds of materials.”

The conference also heard from researchers with automotive giants Ford and GM, who promised that use of composite materials in cars and trucks will curb the appetite of the worst gas-guzzlers, simply because the vehicles will finally be shedding some pounds.

“Composites are much lighter than steel, while still being much more durable,” Hoa affirmed.

The conference was held at the Holiday Inn Midtown, August 21-24, and was sponsored by Concordia Mechanical Engineering.

—Sylvain Comeau

Top statisticians on global issues

Statistics 2001 Canada, the Fourth Canadian Conference in Applied Statistics, was held at Concordia July 6 to 8.

The event attracted approximately 250 participants, representing governments all over the globe. They discussed problems associated with genomics, the environment, health and the internet, as well as theoretical development.

This conference is part of a tradition started by Professor T. D. Dwivedi, of holding an international conference in applied statistics every 10 years. Dr. Dwivedi chaired the previous three conferences, held in 1971, 1981 and 1991; he retired in 1997. Dwivedi was honoured for his contribution to the development of the discipline of statistics at Concordia.

The conference was organized by the members of the Departments of Mathematics/Statistics and Decision Sciences/MIS, with Dr. Y.P. Chaubey (Mathematics and Statistics) as chair and Fassil Nebebe (Decision Sciences and MIS) as co-chair. Dr. Y.P. Chaubey, of Concordia’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics was chair of the organizing committee.

It was sponsored by Bell Canada, Centre de Recherches Mathématique, Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science and John Molson School of Business, Hydro-Québec, Statistical Society of Canada, Statistical Society of Montreal, and Nelson-Thomson Learning.

The 12th annual Concordia Actuarial Day was also held during the conference, with Dr. José Garrido, Director of Actuarial Mathematics, as its co-ordinator and Vincent Goulet as the web-master.

—Barbara Black

Farewell to David Eley, SJ

David Eley, SJ, has left Concordia to become president of Campion College, a Roman Catholic institution in Regina, effective July 1.

Rev. Eley taught in the Communication Studies Department, in Theological Studies, and at Lonergan College.

He had been part of Campus Ministry since 1966, first at Loyola College, and then at Concordia, and at one time was director of the now-defunct Jesuit-sponsored Loyola Peace Institute.

We wish him all the best in the West!