Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Richard Cunningham Engineering Internship providing StFX student opportunity to spend summer researching methane emissions 

July 6th, 2021
StFX student Angus Kennedy

StFX student Angus Kennedy of Antigonish County, NS will spend the summer gaining valuable research experience as he works on a project surveying Nova Scotia’s composting facilities for methane emissions as the recipient of the Richard Cunningham Engineering Internship, a new award at the university. 

The award is valued at $7,000 and provides 16 weeks of research employment. 

“This summer I'm looking into the methane to carbon dioxide release ratio from compost facilities in Nova Scotia to see if the compost method they use is related to their Green House Gas emissions,” says Mr. Kennedy, who is pursuing concurrent degrees, taking a BSc in biology and a diploma in engineering.  

Mr. Kennedy, who is supervised by Dr. Dave Risk, says he has been concerned about climate change and the environment since he was a kid, and he has always wanted to work in a job where he can directly contribute positively to the issues society faces regarding them. 

“With the research I am doing this summer I am helping to contribute knowledge in the fight to reduce Green House Gas emissions and that is something that I feel proud of,” he says. 

“The opportunity that being granted this award has given me is to pursue this research while not having to work a second job.”

The award is named in honour of Richard Joseph Cunningham '39, who followed his brother John to StFX, studying engineering, the field that intrigued John before he found chemistry.  

Niece, Isabel Cunningham, says the brothers’ parents, immigrants from Ireland with limited formal education, encouraged their sons toward the best education they could obtain. “Richard went on from StFX to run a plating business for many years until he was severely injured in an auto accident that impaired his vision. He then was a teacher of teachers in industry. He was a cheerful, thoughtful, and kind modest man who, without his own children, passed his dedication to education to his nieces and nephews,” she says. 

“Though retired and on limited income, he sent a surprise cheque when I was in medical school. It is an honour to pass educational opportunity back to a current StFX engineering student in Richard's name. He would just love this.”  

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