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At a ceremony in Ottawa on Feb. 19, McGill alumnus Capt. Derek Prohar (BA98 Political Science and Economics) received the Medal of Military Valour for the exceptional courage he displayed during a clash with Taliban forces in Afghanistan in September. Prohar was serving as a machine gunner with United States Special Forces when, during a Taliban ambush, he was wounded by shrapnel from an improvised explosive device. Despite his injuries, Prohar continued returning fire and assisted the commander with control of the attack, which resulted in the seizure of key terrain. He was among six Canadian soldiers decorated by Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier at the ceremony.
Architecture professor Pieter Sijpkes and Jorge Angeles of the Faculty of Engineering have received a $173,000 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for their project "The New Architecture of Phase Change: Computer Assisted Ice Construction." During their three-year study, the grant will allow them to collaborate with colleagues in the School of Architecture and students from robotics in the application of digital fabrication techniques to the construction of ice buildings.