Carleton Science, Then and Now

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Carleton College was created in 1942 to provide needed part-time post-secondary education during the evening to wartime workers. 

By the end of WWII, however, there was a strong demand for university education and Carleton's founders were determined to meet this demand. In 1945, the Faculty of Arts and Science was established and the College was able to offer day classes and had both full-time faculty and students.

Over the next eighteen years, Carleton had become a university and the science programs had grown to the point where a Faculty of Science was created in 1963.

Today, the Faculty of Science is comprised of 12 academic units housed primarily in six buildings. Over 3,300 undergraduate and 500 graduate students enrol each year in the Faculty's 34 undergraduate and 19 graduate degree programs.

Milestones

  • The Ottawa Association for the Advancement of Learning was incorporated and the Institute for Public Administration was established.

  • The Ottawa Association for the Advancement of Learning was established to develop Carleton College. The College offered only evening classes in introductory university subjects.

    On April 13, 1942, courses in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, and Mathematics were given. At that time Grade XII was also first year university so many of these courses were taught in the evening by high school teachers but the more advanced courses were given by persons employed by the government in the various scientific labs in Ottawa. An example of this was Dr. F. J. Alcock of the Geological Survey of Canada. Holder of doctorate from the University of Wisconsin he later became Chief Curator of the Natural Museum of Canada. He maintained an association with Carleton for many years.

  • Beginning of day classes and full-time teaching in arts, science, journalism, and first-year engineering. Establishment of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

  • Professor Lorne Richardson was hired in Mathematics and he became the first Director of Science Studies at Carleton.

    A graduate of McGill and Toronto he started teaching at the Royal Naval College in Victoria in 1911 and then went on to teach at RMC from 1922 to 1940 where in his latter years he was Director of Studies. During WWII he was Director of Naval Education at Naval HQ in Ottawa. He Joined Carleton as full Professor in 1946 at the age of 59. He remained on staff until he was 70 and was appointed as Carleton's first Professor Emeritus. Although retired he continued teaching until his death a year later. He was honoured by the students of his time as the faculty member who first organized the athletic program at the University.

  • The College committed itself to developing pass and four-year honours programs

  • The first undergraduate pass degrees in science were awarded.

  • The first honours degrees in arts and science were awarded.

  • The Carleton College Act, 1952 was passed by the Ontario Legislature.

    This changed the corporate name to Carleton College and confirmed the college's power to grant degrees. The property for the Rideau River campus acquired

  • The Carleton University Act, 1957 was passed

  • First Master of Science degree awarded

  • First Ph.D. degree in Science awarded

  • The Faculty of Science was created and made distinct from the previous Faculty of Arts and Science

  • The E.W.R. Steacie Building (chemistry) is completed

  • The Physics Building completed (designated in 1972 as the Herzberg Laboratories for Physics).

  • Controlled Environmental Facility (biology) completed

  • Establishment of Gerhard Herzberg Lecture Series in Science

  • Institute of Biochemistry established

  • Establishment of the School of Computer Science

  • Establishment of the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Graduate Studies and Research in Chemistry, a joint program with the University of Ottawa

  • Establishment of the Ottawa-Carleton Centre for Geoscience Studies

    Establishment of the Ottawa-Carleton Centre for Geoscience Studies, representing the combined research strengths of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, with programs leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in most areas of geology. Establishment of a joint master's program in computer science with the University of Ottawa.

  • Establishment of three joint graduate programs with the University of Ottawa

    Establishment of three joint graduate programs with the University of Ottawa: the Ottawa-Carleton Centre for Graduate Studies and Research in Biology; the Ottawa-Carleton Centre for Graduate Studies and Research in Physics; and the Ottawa-Carleton Graduate Specialization in Neuroscience.

  • Establishment of one joint graduate program with the University of Ottawa in the area of mathematics and statistics

  • An additional floor on one wing of the Herzberg Laboratories for Physics is constructed to house the School of Computer Science

  • The Faculty of Science introduces cooperative education programs in computer science and biochemistry/biotechnology.

  • The University launches its first major program of construction and renovation in more than 20 years and the Life Sciences Research Building, is completed in 1989

  • A new Ph.D. program in computer science, offered jointly with the University of Ottawa, is established. The Centre for Research in Particle Physics is established to carry on the work of the National Research Council's large-scale physics projects

  • Establishment of the Centre for Analytical and Environmental Chemistry. Establishment of the School of Comparative Literary Studies.

  • Centre for Memory Assessment and Research established

  • Research Facility for Electron Microscopy opened. New Ph.D. program in Public Policy established

  • Faculty of Science realigned its departments into the College of Natural Sciences and the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

  • School of Computer Science established a computer retraining certificate program.

    New programs established in Computational Chemistry, Engineering Physics and Software Engineering. Master of Science in Information and Systems Science (M.Sc.I.S.S.) program expanded

  • The Texas Instruments and Nortel Networks DSP Lab for Advanced Communications Research and Education opens in September, making Carleton the first university in Canada to become a Texas Instruments (TI) digital signal processing (DSP) "elite" laboratory.

    The Nortel Networks-Carleton University Laboratory for Advanced Materials Research at Carleton University opens, allowing researchers to create the next wave of information technology products.

    Two new computational science programs are introduced - Computational Biology and Computational Biochemistry

  • New University-wide regulations for academic standing, promotion, and graduation are approved

  • Construction begins on several new campus initiatives including a Biology building.

    The Faculty of Science introduces a new Seminar in Science to support first-year students entering Science at Carleton. Computational Geophysics is added to the Computational Sciences programs. A Minor in Technology, Society, and Environmental Studies is introduced

  • Carleton is awarded $40 million by the provincial government for extra classroom and lab space, improved Science facilities, and enhanced research and private sector partnerships

  • Carleton's first Canada Research Chair (CRC) appointment was made in the Science Faculty: Professor of Chemistry Zhi Yuan (Wayne) Wang was appointed in December 2000 as the Canada Research Chair in Emerging Organic Materials

  • Over $120 million in building projects are undertaken on campus. These include new state-of-the-art biology teaching facilities

    The School of Computer Science becomes the first in Canada to make the Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) designation an integral part of the Bachelor of Computer Science degree program

  • New minors are introduced in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Physics

    H.H.J. Nesbitt Biology Building Grand Opening

    Carleton opens the H.H.J. Nesbitt Biology Building, a state-of-the-art biology facility named in honour of one of Carleton's longest-serving faculty members. The National Wildlife Research Centre opens, bringing 50 federal scientists to the Carleton campus for research and teaching.

  • C.F.I. funding was awarded to Carleton for the construction of SNOLAB

    $38.9M in C.F.I. funding was awarded to Carleton for the construction of SNOLAB (for underground astro-particle research) in Sudbury.

  • University secured $5.6 million in external funding for ten new research labs

    The University secured $5.6 million in external funding for ten new research labs. Two labs opened in the fall: the Carleton Laboratory for Laser Induced Photonic Structures (CLLIPS) and the Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Laboratory (GLEL). The other eight labs include a new graduate computer laboratory, the Facility for Kinetics and Gene Regulation Studies Investigating Sulfur Amino Acid Metabolism, facilities for Precursor Development and Thin Film Deposition, the Altera Digital Hardware Design Laboratory, the 3D Printer Lab, the Plasma Spray Lab, the Gas Turbine Lab and the Carleton University Happiness Lab.

    Department of Earth Sciences

    The Department of Earth Sciences changes its program name from Geology to Earth Sciences, and introduces a new concentration in Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoecology.

  • Bachelor of Computer Science offers two new Concentrations

    The Bachelor of Computer Science offers two new Concentrations: Bioinformatics and Psychology. The Bachelor of Science offers two new honours programs in Physics: Experimental and Theory. The Master of Science in Physical Geography is now available.

  • Chemistry introduces a concentration in Nanotechnology

  • College of Natural Sciences was dissolved and replaced with five individual departmental offices

    The College of Natural Sciences was dissolved and replaced with five individual departmental offices for Biology and Biochemistry, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics, Environmental Science and Integrated Science.

  • New Undergraduate Program Streams Added

    New programs in Bioinformatics offered by the Department of Biology, Biostatistics by the School of Mathematics and Statistics. The School of Computer Science renames its Bioinformatics stream as Biomedical Computing.

  • The Department of Chemistry celebrated its 60th anniversary

  • Dr. George Iwama began his term as dean in the Faculty of Science, taking over from Jean-Guy Godin, who completed a successful five-year term as dean

  • The Science Student Success Centre was established to provide one-on-one mentoring to science students

  • The Chemistry Superlab – a $5 million, 6,500 square foot state-of-the-art lab opened in the Steacie Building

  • The Department of Neuroscience was established and officially joined the Faculty of Science

  • Dr. Malcolm Butler named the new Dean of the Faculty of Science.

  • A new Honours program in Nanoscience was introduced.

  • The Bachelor of Computer Science program added a new stream in Mobile and Social Networking Applications

  • New Streams for Undergrad Science Programs

    Concentrations in Physiology; Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour; Molecular and Cellular Biology; and Health Science now added to the undergraduate Biology program. Bachelor of Computer Science added a new stream in Robotics.

  • The Institute of Health: Science, Technology, Policy was established to administer the new graduate program in Health: Science, Technology, Policy.