Student Success

Young historians shine at Provincial Heritage Fair

The future of history is in great hands, if the Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair is any indication.

Eighty students from across the province showcased their excellent and informative history projects on June 6 and 7, in the McNally Theatre Auditorium at Saint Mary’s University. Ranging from Grades 4 to 9, the students researched everything from local theatre and Louisbourg to maple syrup and “Canadian stereotypes, eh?”

With a new award this year for military heritage, some projects reflected Nova Scotian involvement in the Second World War, particularly poignant as the fair coincided with 75th anniversary commemorations for D-Day. Other new awards recognized student research in African heritage topics, environmental history, equity and justice, immigration studies, the history of science and technology, and more.

Cultural heritage also had a strong showing, with detailed projects about Viola Desmond, the ‘60s Scoop, an Inuit family tree, the Underground Railroad, Portuguese and Dutch immigration to Canada, Celtic fiddles and Acadian culture.

Many students found inspiration in their own families, including a Grade 6 girl from Bridgewater researched Portia White, “whose brother Lorne was my great grandfather”. A Grade 6 boy from Albert Bridge, Cape Breton, chronicled the history of Sydney Steel, where his grandfather and great grandfather both worked. “It was definitely a tough job,” he said.

The projects were winners at regional fairs across the province before coming to SMU. The Provincial Fair judges are all professionals active in the fields of culture, history and heritage – professors from the SMU Faculty of Arts, archivists, librarians, museum curators, museum interpreters and more.

The student delegates and their chaperones stayed overnight on campus in residence. They also took part in workshops at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, creating their own folk art inspired by Maud Lewis, who was the theme for this year’s event. Africville will be the focus for next year’s Nova Scotia Heritage Day and the Provincial Fair.

Follow the Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Fair on its website, on Facebook at @novascotiaheritagefairs, and on Instagram at nsprovincialheritagefair.

Saint Mary's engineering team wins major industry prize


A team of engineering students and the Laboratory of Control Systems and Mechatronics (LCSM) research lab led by Dr. Adel Merabet, has won a Typhoon HIL402 lab, one of only 10 available to educational institutions in North America and 50 worldwide.

 “The students enrolled in an online course to obtain the HIL Specialist Certification,” said Dr. Merabet. “The team consisted of four graduate students from my LCSM research lab and 18 undergraduate students from my Circuit Analysis (EGNE 2311) course.”

 The prize includes a free HIL402 hardware unit and a lifetime Typhoon software license.

“The hardware and the software will be used in the LCSM research lab in the Division of Engineering to conduct research on renewable energy and microgrids,” said Dr. Merabet.

The Typhoon Awards 10 for 10 program, celebrating 10 years in business, recognizes academic institutions and research groups that use the company’s technologies, which include an online learning hub for professionals and students. The master model and simulation-based systems engineering tools are designed for future power electronic and power systems engineers.

Universities and research groups who focus on disciplines such as electrical engineering, power electronics, and power systems were eligible to submit a nomination for a 10 for 10 program Award. With these awards, Typhoon HIL recognizes academic institutions that utilize their products in academia and share their work with the Typhoon academic community. 

Typhoon HIL Inc. is the market and technology leader in the rapidly-growing field of ultra-high-fidelity controller-Hardware-in-the-Loop (C-HIL) simulation for power electronics, microgrids, and distribution networks.

MassChallenge Picks Ashored

Ashored co-founders and Saint Mary’s alumni Aaron Stevenson, Ross Arsenault and Maxwell Poole .

Ashored co-founders and Saint Mary’s alumni Aaron Stevenson, Ross Arsenault and Maxwell Poole.

After fielding 3,000 applications, MassChallenge this month accepted 100 startups into its international accelerator for 2019, and it included only one Canadian company – Ashored Innovations of Dartmouth.

In an interview after the announcement, Ashored CEO Aaron Stevenson said he was thrilled to be accepted into the Boston-based program and spoke about the doors it will open for the company. But he was more eager to discuss another aspect of his company’s experience – the opportunity to join the global discussion on protecting marine environments.

Ashored is developing commercial fishing equipment that aims to avoid harm to sea life and the marine environment. Stevenson said the company is still “firmly in research and development mode”, but as it develops the product Stevenson and his five colleagues have been involved in events around the world discussing how to better protect our oceans.

“In so much of the commercial fishery, there’s a gap between where they are today and . . . and where the public would like to see the wild fishery,” said Stevenson. “The whole idea of sustainably caught wild fish . . . that’s where people want to go. It’s clear that the old ways of doing things are not going to be tolerated for much longer.”

Read more about Ashored Innovations, the MassChallenge and more at