Sept. 19, 2014

The 2nd Annual HPI Research and Curling Day 2014

Article by Brad van Paridon (PhD student, Gilleard lab, University of Calgary)

September 26th marked the annual HPI curling and social event held at the Calgary Curling Club. As has been our experience the Curling Club was again an excellent host for this event. Although it seems most of us have not vastly improved our curling skills from last year, we did have less spills on the ice and we were able to welcome new lab members and catch up with old ones after a busy summer.

The HPI group puts a strong emphasis on social activities and teamwork and they use the framework of some organized social events to promote this spirit of teamwork. They also recognize the need to relax and take a step back from research projects once in a while. The annual curling event is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

This year saw the majority of the participants from last year returning, along with the new HPI members starting the semester at the University of Calgary. I would reckon that most of us have not curled much since our last outing but none the less the teams took to the ice with the spirit of friendly competition in the air. It is also in that spirit of “friendly” competition that we won’t announce the winners here, safe to say it was not my team despite our best efforts. For some this was their first experience with the sport and being on ice. There were no major falls though and everyone walked away having enjoyed the games and with a better appreciation for the skill involved in curling also.

After curling we made our way to the lounge for food, drinks, laughs and conversations. The summer months can be a busy time for HPI researchers. Many of us are away from the labs attending conferences and workshops or doing field work, check out the HPI blog to hear about some of these September is the start of the academic year and generally sees most of us return from summer trips refreshed and ready to start another semester of graduate studies and research. This event is a great chance to catch up with returning HPI members, share stories of the summer and get excited about upcoming projects and HPI events. It also allows the new members a chance to meet the extended group and interact with everyone outside the labs.

A huge thanks must go out to all those who participated and especially Ale Aleuy, the Trainee Operations Committee (TOC) social events coordinator. Also, our Program Manager Teresa Emmett and the rest of the TOC deserve thanks for helping to put together this event.

Throughout the upcoming school year the HPI group will be participating in a number of activities such as our weekly seminar series, Tuesdays at 4:30pm and career development workshops on the Foothills campus. We will also be continuing our public engagement activities by once again participating in the Telus Spark Science Centres Monster Mash Up, the 25th and 26th of October. Follow us on twitter @HPI_UofC and check the website to keep up with all of the planned HPI events or to contact us about joining the group or planning an event.