Science and academic building

An Eye on Southern Alberta’s Potato Industry

By | Uncategorized

In 2019, the University of Lethbridge will experience a shift that will launch us into the future of transdisciplinary research, enhanced by the supportive environment of the Science and Academic Building. However, this campus won’t be isolated in the ripple effect the addition of this transformational space for learning and research will cause. Nestled in the centre of Alberta’s agriculture industry, this building and its activities will strengthen the connection to the local industries that are making an impact nationwide.

Local potato growers and processors tour the Science and Academic Building

Our local potato growers and processors represent one such industry, and 45 of them were on campus for the Potato Research Laboratory Open House. As part of the Open House, they toured the Science and Academic Building and witnessed the spaces where their research needs will come to life.

Thomas McDade, Agricultural Director with Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA), was impacted by the building’s innovative use of space.

“I was quite impressed by how usable, workable and collaborative the space is intended to be. It appears to be a really great place to work and it’s definitely state of the art.”

One of the largest investments into research the PGA and local potato processors (Cavendish Farms, Lamb Weston and McCain Foods) are making into the local potato industry is sponsoring the Potato Chair at the University, Dr. Dmytro Yevtushenko. McDade says moving into the building will expand his ability to collaborate with Dmytro and other scientists in a transdisciplinary environment.

“Because the work is spilling into other spaces, I see the collaboration in this building happening more easily. I think the types of relationships this building will facilitate will be terrific. “

David Hill, Director of Development, Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program at the University and participant in the potato grower and processor’s tour, says for those stakeholders, it highlights that the impact of the building goes far beyond this campus.

“It’s an exciting thing to allow them to see the new building because that’s where the research is going. They have a high interest in the fact that the U of L will be graduating students who have knowledge of the area and industry.”

And as the building is becoming part of the southern Alberta landscape, the work that it’s capable of facilitating has great potential to shape the local agricultural landscape as well.

Eye-popping donation epitomizes science on display

By | Community, Science on Display

In celebration of National Periodic Table day, the University of Lethbridge is pleased to announce a donation of a special kind for the Destination Project. A group of former staff and faculty members and current faculty members has generously donated a periodic table to be displayed in the new science and academic building.

Dr. Peter Dibble, Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, says the addition of a periodic table of the calibre that is being donated will really put science on display for southern Alberta.

The new periodic table will be an interactive focal point of the science and academic building.

“I know of other institutions that have these tables and they are magnets to members of the public because they are so interesting and beautiful to look at,” says Dibble. “I think this display will become a regular stop for elementary and high school classes and I intend to develop programs, such as element days, that will feed into such visits and offer members of the public and students to learn about specific elements, how they are used and why they are so important.”

For retired faculty member, Dr. Douglas Dolman, seeing the progress of the new science and academic building has been quite thrilling. Dolman and his wife Theresa met at the University and both worked for a number of years in the sciences. Dolman says they’re looking forward to seeing how their donation and the new building will inspire the future scientists in the area.

“The new science and academic building will be such a wonderful investment for the future of science in southern Alberta. I hope that by seeing the many extraordinary elements on display in the periodic table, it sparks something special in the young minds of those who visit the building,” says Douglas Dolman.

The periodic table is quite a unique piece of science within itself. Some elements can be made to be interactive and while it’s sized at three meters (10 feet) across and 1.8 meters (6 feet) in height, they make an impressive feature in any science building.

The periodic table contains museum-grade samples of the elements themselves that are individually illuminated in cubes. The elements in the periodic table are shown with examples of how it is used in everyday life as well as some cubes having the ability to be interactive too.

For Dibble, he believes that there is something special in the moment when you first lay your eyes on exactly what an element looks and feels like. Dibble says the feeling ignited by seeing this piece of science is perhaps best summarized by British neurologist, naturalist and author Oliver Sacks.

“In this first, sensuous glance, I saw the table as a gorgeous banquet, a huge table set with eighty-odd different dishes.” (Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sachs, Alfred A Knopf, Toronto, 2001)


The donations to date will go towards the purchase of the periodic table. If you’re interested in supporting this project, please contact University Advancement at 403-329-2582.