3 Days at AUPAC 2021

The Atlantic Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Conference (AUPAC) took place last weekend, Feb. 5-7. Over 100 attendees participated in three days of student presentations, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. 

Thank you to Dalhousie University, the conference organizers, and all who attended!

Here are some highlights from the conference: 

There were 18 oral presentations and 5 poster presentations. 9 students went home with awards.

It wouldn’t be a conference without recognizing students for their hard work. Please take a look at the top award winners below: 

  • Tindall/Steinitz: Desiree Rehel, UPEI
  • Science Communication: Peter Smith, SMU
  • AUPAC 2021 Top Poster: Maggie Lawrence, UNB
  • Best oral talk in experimental/applied physics: Jenna Chisholm, MtA
  • Best oral talk in computational/modelling physics: Mathieu Perron-Cormier, UdeM
  • Best oral talk in theoretical/mathematical physics: Daniel Winters, StFX


For a complete list with photos and presentation names, visit the AUPAC 2021 award winner page. 

The conference had two panel discussions and a grad fair. 

“What to do with a physics degree beyond research” panel was hosted on Saturday. It featured Tina Simpkin, morning meteorology broadcaster for the CBC, Emily Conover, a science journalist at Science News, and Gavin Manning, partner at Oyen Wiggs Law Firm. 

“Who belongs in physics and who doesn’t? A discussion about inclusion, outreach and teaching practice” panel took place on Sunday. This panel featured Laura Stiles-Clark, high school physics teacher for over a decade, Kevin Hewitt, professor in the Department of Physics Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University, and John Lincoln, a graduate student at Dalhousie University in the medical physics department. 

Attendees also had the opportunity to join a Graduate School Fair and to network with university representatives from 13 universities and institutions. 

Attendees had the chance to listen to four note-worthy key speakers. 

  • Themos Kellos is the co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Metamaterial Inc.
  • Jeff Dahn is a Dalhousie University professor. He’s currently partnered with Tesla Motor/Energy as an NSERC/Tesla Canada Industrial Research Chair.  
  • John Dutcher is a professor at the University of Guelph. Dr. Dutcher currently holds the position of Canada Research Chair in Soft Matter and Biological Physics. 
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell. She is best known for her discovery of pulsars in 1967. Currently, she is a visiting professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford. 


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