Simon Fraser University

New space to highlight Open House

Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.3210;

May 16, 2011

Sumo wrestling robots, clothes that respond to danger, digital vandalism and a wearable storytelling system - the ‘reading’ glove – all are among more than 100 displays to be featured at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus later this month.

In addition to the attractions, including music, games and entertainment for all ages, SFU Surrey is also preparing to showcase its new expansion – Podium 2 –at its community open house on Saturday, May 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Researchers and instructors are settling into the more than 50,000 square feet of new space developed as part of the $10 million project, funded by the federal and provincial governments.

The space includes new specialized classrooms and wet labs for science programs, as well as physical support for research labs in such areas as biomedical physiology and kinesiology, criminology, interactive arts and technology, and gerontology. Among highlights:

  • New science wet labs will now enable first-and second-year science students to do their lab work and course work under the same roof instead of making the trek to labs in Burnaby.
  • The International Centre for Cybercrime Research now has a base in Podium 2, where researchers will focus on studying criminal networking online. ICRC researcher Bryce Westlake is also working with the RCMP's Integrated Child Exploitation Unit to identify child exploitation online. Westlake is using a web-crawler program developed at the centre that can provide statistics and other comparative data on the content being analyzed by researchers.
    (He’ll talk about the research during the open house. Among other featured speakers: SFU criminologist Rick Parent on community policing).
  • Researcher Diane Gromala is developing new computerized therapies that will give chronic pain sufferers ways to express, visualize and keep track of their pain. An associate professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Gromala heads the Transforming Pain Research Group. Researchers in the virtual reality lab, now based in Podium 2, have developed a sensory deprivation chamber they call the Cyclosonic Cradle, which combines biofeedback, music, meditation and art therapy to reduce the stress of participants (to be featured at the open house).
  • A new gerontology lab in Podium 2 will strengthen SFU’s role in a national aging study. The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) involves half a dozen SFU researchers, including chair Andrew Wister, and more than 150 others across Canada, and has the ambitious task of following 50,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 over the next two decades. Participants within a 25-50 km radius of the Surrey campus will be contacted this spring as the project gets underway.
  • Studies involving nutrition and obesity are being set up at the SFU Surrey campus in the new biomedical physiology and kinesiology space, where teaching and research labs will facilitate testing and data collection. Researchers Diane Finegood and Scott Lear are among those bringing research into the new facility, including Lear’s study on obesity in children in India and Canada.

Terms & Conditions
Copyright © 2008. Simon Fraser University. All Rights Reserved.
Questions and comments contact