Record Graduate Scholarships Awarded for 2021/22
August 16, 2021, Toronto, Canada: The Directors of the KEGS Foundation are very pleased to announce the awarding of a record 15 scholarships totalling $19,500 (plus travel bursaries) to seven M.Sc. and eight Ph.D. graduate students in geophysics at twelve Canadian universities for the forthcoming academic year (2021/22).
These awards, complementing scholarships awarded to twelve undergraduates announced earlier, mark the twenty-second year of the KEGS Foundation’s scholarship program directed at fostering the education of future geophysicists in Canada. The large number of recipients and the record level of total scholarship funding ($38,000) reflect the number of well-qualified applicants and evident financial need, exacerbated by significant complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected many students’ studies, research, internships and jobs. The Foundation has endeavoured to respond positively to the applicants’ circumstances in order to sustain students’ focus on their geophysical education and research, redeploying income from the Collett legacy endowment that was not required for other programs in 2020/21.
Remarkably, despite the severe and diverse impacts of the now-receding pandemic, thanks to notable donations, continued support by sustaining donors and collective initiatives, the Foundation also succeeded in establishing three new scholarships in the past year:
- SKGS Scholarship, primarily directed to supporting students in or from Saskatchewan
- Bourse des pionniers de la géophysique québecoise, principally supporting students in or from Québec
- Michael and Patricia Carson Geophysics Scholarship for Indigenous Students (just announced), for Indigenous students studying geophysics or geophysical technology.
See the Foundation’s website for specific announcements on the establishment of each of these scholarships. We thank the individual donors and companies who stepped forward with large donations to initiate the endowments.
It is with profound regret and sadness that we learned of Michael Carson’s recent passing, so soon after he and Patricia established the above-mentioned scholarship. We extend our condolences to Mike’s family and friends, and thank them for the many donations in his memory.
The seven M.Sc. students awarded KEGS Foundation scholarships for 2021/22 include the following two awardees who received named scholarships supported by specific endowments* in recognition of their particular achievements and career focus:
Stephanie Bringeland ® – Queen’s University: KEGS Pioneers Scholarship
Mark Lepitzki – University of Saskatchewan: SKGS Scholarship
The other five M.Sc. recipients of KEGS Foundation Scholarships are:
Moslem Azarpour – University of Saskatchewan
Marziah Arshian – Memorial University
Dimitri Danchenko – University of New Brunswick
Taylor Kyryliuk – University of Ottawa
Benjamin Saadia – Queen’s University
The renewals of prior award indicated by ®.
The eight Ph.D. candidates who received scholarship support to assist in completing their significant research include the fourth award of the premier Collett Graduate Scholarship, the thirteenth award of the GSC Pioneers Scholarship and the inaugural award of the new Bourse des pionniers de la géophysique québecoise. They were selected after careful consideration of a roster of impressively talented candidates. The outstanding awardees, are:
Tianshi Liu, University of Toronto, the recipient of the Collett Graduate Scholarship, is developing advances in full-wave seismic tomography applied to mantle and core characterization;
Gang Hui, University of Calgary, who received the GSC Pioneers Scholarship, is undertaking a very ambitious effort to integrate petrophysical characterization of fracture propagation for hydrocarbon exploitation and other applications;
Adrien Dimech, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, is the inaugural recipient of the Bourse des pionniers de la géophysique québecoise. He is investigating and developing advanced ERT methods for monitoring and characterizing mine waste and tailings dumps;
Fatemeh Nemati, University of Victoria, recipient of the second BCGS Scholarship, is modelling tsunami generation and potential impacts on communities along coastal BC.
The other four Ph.D. candidates awarded scholarships intended to complement departmental funding are:
Jefferson Restrepo, Polytechnique Montréal, who is investigating specialized processing of marine seismic data to delineate permafrost;
Megan Caston, University of Alberta, who is beginning her Ph.D. studies focused on utilizing MT to delineate crustal properties on southern Vancouver Island;
Eric Lenhart, Western University, who is commencing research focused on determining the electrical conductivity of the Fe-Ni system under ultra-high pressure and temperature related to the earth’s core and geodynamics;
Erkan Gun, University of Toronto, who is undertaking numerical modeling of the tectonics of earthquake-prone zones, particularly in Turkey.
The amount of each scholarship award, intended to complement other funding, ranges from $500 to $3,000, determined by the recipient’s merit and need and available financial resources, while maintaining the Foundation’s principal objective of supporting undergraduate education.
In addition, thanks to continuing generous support by KEGS, all of the above awardees will also receive free membership in KEGS and will be eligible for fully subsidized participation at the annual KEGS Symposium in March. All recipients are also be strongly encouraged to participate in meetings of KEGS, BCGS or other local professional societies, and in other relevant geophysical meetings or symposia. Depending on need, circumstances and the Foundation’s resources, additional assistance with travel expenses up to $400 are tentatively allocated to facilitate participation of recipients and other applicants at relevant meetings, including KEGS or BCGS events, during the coming academic year. Networking opportunities will be offered where possible. Additionally, to assist awardees seeking to pursue further studies, research or employment, their CVs will be posted on the Foundation’s website.
Presentation of the scholarship awards will be arranged during the fall semester, preferably at professional meetings or in conjunction with KEGS Special Lectures on relevant geophysical topics hosted by university departments, or at equivalent virtual events, depending on the extent to which complications and restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic are relaxed.
The Directors extend their best wishes to all the above recipients for further success in their studies and future careers. We also offer our gratitude for the continuing support of the Foundation and its scholarship program by the Canadian exploration and geophysical community, including renewed major support by KEGS and the BCGS, a recent very generous donation by Lamontagne Geophysics, and to Phoenix Geophysics for its continuing support of the matching donation program (see website for further details).
We look forward to meeting the latest KEGS Foundation awardees at various upcoming meetings, symposia and KEGS Special Lectures, once current restrictions end.
Avec nos meilleurs souhaits à tous les lauréats**.
Stephen Reford, Chair Jerry Roth, Director
Tel: (416) 368-2888 (416) 449-2226
*NB: KEGS is the well-known acronym for the Canadian Exploration Geophysical Society, the leading mining geophysics organization established in 1953 and based in Toronto. The KEGS Foundation was established as a federally chartered charitable organization in 1999 with the objective of fostering geophysical education and has provided approximately 300 scholarships to Canadian students since inception. BCGS is the abbreviation for the BC Geophysical Society, a long-established professional organization based in Vancouver and focused on utilization of geophysics for mineral exploration, which has generously supported the BCGS Scholarship Fund. SKGS is the abbreviation for the Saskatchewan Geophysical Society. Details of the named scholarships and the underlying endowments and donors can be found on the Foundation’s website.