Brock Physics student reaches for the stars
BrockNews, Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Stuart Bell has boldly gone where no Brock co-op student has gone
before - to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
The third-year Physics student, whose hometown is Desboro near Owen
Sound, Ont., recently completed two consecutive four-month co-op
placements at the John H. Chapman Space Centre, the agency's
headquarters in Longueuil, Que.
During his internship with the Space Medicine Group of the CSA,
Bell's tasks involved projects related to space radiation and efforts
to protect the astronauts working aboard the International Space
Station (ISS) against the harmful effects of space radiation.
Specifically, his tasks included preparing a research report for
measuring non-ionizing radiation levels aboard the ISS; preparing a
plan for collecting samples for biodosimetry evaluations; analyzing
and summarizing information from scientific research articles on
non-ionizing radiation; assisting with a ionizing radiation research
project (Matroshka-R) being done in collaboration with the Russian
Space Agency; and participating in national and international space
radiation meetings that, besides Canadians, had participants from
NASA, Russia, Japan, and Europe.
"This was the first time our office hired a student from Brock
University," said Leena Tomi, Project Manager, Operational Space
Medicine, CSA, and Bell's supervisor.
"We were very pleased with Stuart's performance. He performed all of
his tasks extremely well, with skill, patience and dedication. I
would not hesitate to hire another student from Brock."
Bell's CSA internship was a natural evolution from his boyhood
fascination with airplanes, rockets, Apollo missions and space
shuttles. His early reading on those subjects was placed on the back
burner when the drive to do well academically became a priority.
"But when I heard there was a placement at the CSA, I became really
excited. So I applied for the position out of the usual co-op
workplace sequence and ended up working at the space agency for two
terms of four months each."
Bell said that his first-year physics and optics classes provided a
solid basis of information on the propagation of electromagnetic
waves, the foundation of non-ionizing radiation.
His placement is another example of the broad diversity of co-op
partnerships that Brock has established with agencies and businesses
at local, national and international levels.
Co-op Education at Brock has expanded from its flagship program in
Accounting to 35 programs across all faculties at both the
undergraduate and graduate levels. The University now boasts one of
the largest co-op programs in Ontario. This phenomenal growth was
fuelled by an increased demand for experiential learning programs
from students and employers, and by the University's goal to expand
Co-op program offerings.
Professor Shyamal Bose, Chair, Department of Physics, Faculty of
Mathematics and Science, said "we know Stuart as a talented sincere
student and look forward to having him back at Brock," he said. "We
are proud of his achievements."
"With Stuart's apprenticeship and a recent appointment of one of our
research associates, Dr. Sudhakar Gunuganti, to work on a contract
for the CSA through a research and development company in Alberta, we
hope this is the start of a long-standing association between the CSA
and Brock University.
Kevin J. Grout, Communications Officer
Office of University Communications
905-688-5550, ext. 4690