NTCO AGM  July 19, 2022


The fifth NTCO Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in conjunction with SPIE in Montreal, Quebec from July 17-22, 2022.  SPIE is an annual international conference and it gave our students an excellent opportunity to network with people from around the world.  Our AGM was held in person on July 19th but we also had an online component for those individuals that were unable to travel to Montreal.  The NTCO AGM included 20 NTCO student poster sessions and several presentations by a research institute, an industry partner, a former NTCO student, and 20 Flash Talks (given by current NTCO students).  We also hosted a group dinner with NTCO students, university faculty members and industry partners.



Research Institute Presentation:
The Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) is a renowned scientific institution dedicated to the study of exoplanets.  Established in 2011, the institute is based at the Université de Montréal.  The institute’s primary focus is on observational and theoretical studies, as well as the development of innovative technologies and techniques for detecting and characterizing exoplanets.

Industry Partner presentation:
ABB Space and Defence Systems is a prominent company specializing in advanced technologies and systems for space and defence applications.  They place a strong emphasis on research and development, collaborating closely with universities and research institutions to drive technological advancements. 

Student Perspective presentation:
Alicia Anderson, a former NTCO graduate student, gave a talk about her experience in the NTCO program.

Flash talks:
Current NTCO students gave 2-3 minute presentations about their internships.

Professional Skills Development Opportunities

Lunch and Learn sessions:  

Introduction to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI): 
This session consisted of a panel of four women in astronomy who shared their experiences of gender and sexuality issues in their careers. Panel members were: Alison Peck (Gemini Observatory), Alison Barto (Director at Ball Aerospace, SPIE Board of Directors), Alysha Shubert (Vera C. Rubin Observatory), and Shelley Wright (Associate Professor, UC San Diego).

Beaded Privilege:
 In this session, participants constructed bracelets using sets of statements related to ability, class, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexuality privileges.  The different coloured beads on the bracelets illustrated different amounts of privilege in the attendees.

Inequitable Monopoly: 
This session used a game to simulate advantages and disadvantages that could affect people’s lives.

Systematic Change: 
This session was presented by Danielle Rowland (Broadening Participation Programs Manager at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory) and was a discussion on how barriers can be addressed.

SPIE Courses:

Introduction to Visible and NIR Spectrograph Design and Development for Astronomy
Systems Engineering and Large Telescope Observatories
Adaptive Optics
Cryo-vacuum Design for Ground-based Astronomy
Modern Optical Testing

MITACS Edge Courses:

Boost your career 
High-performing leadership and teams
Mitacs Research and Development Management
Spur up your project management and time management skills


Student Posters

Poster Title Student University
Efficiency of a Cryogenic Far-Infrared Diffraction Grating Spectrometer used as a Post-Dispersing Module Alicia Anderson University of Lethbridge
Development of a Shearing Interferometer for Testing Optical Communications Terminals Courtney Bashnick Carleton University
Calibrating Radio Telescopes with the Global Navigation Satellite System Sabrina Berger McGill University
Software Adaptive Optics Spenser Bialek  University of Victoria
Development of a Large Volume 4 Kelvin Closed-Cycle Cryostat Matthew Buchan University of Lethbridge
Evaluation of optical fibre and components at cryogenic temperatures Adam Christiansen University of Lethbridge
Exploration of Supernovae Yields in the Formation of the Old, Metal-poor, Globular Cluster M15 Lina D'Aoust University of Victoria
Can deep learning help us create better Point Spread Functions, faster? Ashley Ferreira University of Waterloo
FORECASTOR: An Exposure Time Calculator and Web Tool for the CASTOR space mission Jennifer Glover University of Victoria
Identifying “fat” cosmic ray tracks in CCDs Theodore Grosson University of Victoria
Tracking ALMASystem Temperature Using WVR Data Hao He McMaster University
Blinking the fringes, development and results of the Ultra-Low Speed Optical Chopper for the Self-Coherent Camera Adam Johnson University of Victoria
Designing Large-scale Active Galactic Nuclei Variability Surveys Viraja Khatu Western University
Hicibas-II: A Balloon Platform To Probe Turbulence at 40km

Ophélie Légaré and Koichi Watanabe-Brouilette

Université Laval 
Cosmic Ray Simulations for JWST FGS Dia Martinez Gracey McMaster University
Cryogenic Testing of Heaters and Thermal Cut-off Switches for the GIRMOS detector Brian Muhwezi-Banyweine Carleton University
Injecting Starlight into a Single-Mode Fiber Daniel Muhwezi-Banyweine Carleton University
Gemini Automated Scheduler: Historical Analysis of Queue Plans Lowell Peltier University of Victoria
A Monte-Carlo Approach For The ADP Maxime Royer Université Laval
The Gemini-south High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph(GHOST) data reduction system​ Fletcher Waller University of Victoria