Queen's University

McGeachy legacy lives on at Queen's

 
2011-10-14
[A celebration recognizing the generous contributions of Don and Joan McGeachy was held recently for the McGeachy family.]A celebration recognizing the generous contributions of Don and Joan McGeachy was held recently for the McGeachy family.

An endowed chair in biomedical engineering and a world-class facility that measures how people function during their daily activities are among the latest additions to the legacy to Queen’s of the late Donald McGeachy, Sc’40.

The engineering alumnus and long-time benefactor died in November 2009.

“The McGeachy name is well connected to Queen’s and we are proud of this longstanding association,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “These generous gifts will have an enormous impact on our students, faculty and staff, and on the many people who will live fuller, more mobile lives through the development of innovative and effective treatment strategies for bone and joint disorders.”

Established from an estate gift to Queen’s, the $2.5-million Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering will enhance the discipline within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and contribute to the national and international growth of research at the frontiers of this field.

The inaugural holder of the Chair is Mechanical and Materials Engineering professor Tim Bryant, an internationally-renowned expert in biomechanics of the knee and biomechanical design. Dr. Bryant is involved in a broad range of projects at the Human Mobility Research Centre, including work with a global research team that has been developing a prosthetic foot now being tested in many areas around the world.  

“I’m honoured to be the first holder of this Chair,” says Dr. Bryant. “I look forward to building on the collaborative biomedical engineering research developed at Queen’s over the past 40 years, and to fostering our undergraduate and graduate programs across campus. These approaches will be extended to include international exchanges with institutions in developing and post-conflict regions.”

An additional $500,000 from the McGeachy estate has been directed to set up the Donald McGeachy Laboratory for Human Motion Performance at Queen’s. Under the direction of Mechanical and Materials engineering professor Kevin Deluzio, Sc’88, MSc’90 and PhD’98, the lab will have a motion capture system as its core technology. A set of specialized cameras will be used to track people’s movements to see how bone motion is affected by diseases like knee osteoarthritis. The lab will be housed in Hotel Dieu Hospital and is scheduled to open in Spring 2012.

Well known for having built several London, Ontario companies into successful businesses, Mr. McGeachy served on a number of boards of directors and was renowned for his philanthropy. He established the Takla Charitable Foundation which, for many years, has given generously to organizations across Canada.

At Queen’s Mr. McGeachy was active in creating the Integrated Learning Centre at Beamish-Munro Hall. He also established the Joan Macdonald McGeachy Entrance Scholarships in Nursing, the D.D.C. McGeachy Distinguished Alumni Entrance Scholarships in Engineering and Applied Science and the McGeachy Family Equipment Fund for the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The McGeachys also made a generous contribution to establish a lecture room in the new School of Medicine building.
 

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