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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Friday, June 5, 1998

  • Ethanol car wins award
  • UW's research strengths, #1
  • 'Knights' mark Catholic education
  • Research misconduct rules remain
  • And these coming events, briefly
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Ethanol car wins award

"I'm sounding like a proud dean again," says David Burns from engineering, after student triumphs in two North American competitions within a week.

First it was the Formula SAE car, built by mechanical engineering students, which took seventh place in a 69-car race last weekend, placed 5th in the design competition among 110 institutions, and won a special award for safety and crash-worthiness.

And now comes news of success in the "Ethanol Vehicle Challenge", sponsored by General Motors and a group of agencies interested in reducing pollution through the use of alternate fuels. The UW Alternative Fuels Team was the only Canadian team in the competition this year, says its faculty advisor, Roydon Fraser of mechanical engineering.

"UWAFT took home the auxiliary award for lowest emissions," he reports. "This award, valued at $1,000 US, is noteworthy because the major driving force behind alternative fuelled vehicles is to reduce urban emission pollution. The lowest emissions award is one of two major auxiliary awards. The other is for best fuel economy, won by Wayne State.

"Second, UWAFT managed a 2nd place finish in the competition overall. This award is valued at $2,500 US. The team was definitely surprised because on Friday, the team was in a distant 5th. The only results that remained unknown were the written report and the emissions results. Like last year, the team placed its emphasis on emissions (worth one-fifth of the points). The team also focused on cold start, a serious problem for ethanol vehicles, placing 3rd in cold start. This meant sacrificing power that would be useful in the drivability, handling, and acceleration events. If the judging was on the basis of performance-to-cost ratio, Waterloo would win hands down."

He notes that while "several teams' budgets were in the six-digit range", UW had $23,000 in cash and $15,000 in parts and other supplies, not counting the car that was provided by General Motors to each team. "The only team with a smaller budget than ours," he says, came from the University of Texas at Austin, in an oil-producing state where "ethanol is not a favoured fuel."

UW's research strengths, #1

A document submitted to the Canada Foundation for Innovation a few days ago emphasizes "four broad themes within Waterloo's research which fall under the CFI mandate", and says a little about each of them. Here's what the document has to say about the first of the four, information technology.

Strategic Objectives:


"The study and application of computing covers a wide spectrum at Waterloo, from exploring fundamental questions about the intrinsic difficulty of solving certain problems, to the use of computers as a tool with which to study models in science, engineering, finance, health and many other areas. The immense size and complexity of these models make it increasingly necessary to organize the computation so that many computers can work on a problem in concert if the problem is to be solved in a timely manner. The increasing availability of inexpensive parallel computers and very high-speed networks opens the way to significant advances in the effective employment of parallel computation.

Today: information technology
Monday: environment
Tuesday: health
Wednesday: materials and manufacturing
"Waterloo has the full complement of expertise required to make major advances in the enabling algorithms and software, of benefit for the numerous and varied research applications. Extensive expertise is available in the basic computer technologies of parallel and distributed computation. Equally important, there are numerous leading researchers on campus engaged in solving very large problems that are important to the economic health of Ontario and Canada."

'Knights' mark Catholic education

More than a hundred members of the Knights of Columbus will gather at St. Jerome's University tomorrow to celebrate Catholic education. John Sweeney, former Ontario cabinet minister and current chancellor of St. Jerome's, will speak on the importance of Catholic education. (In May, 1997, the women's residence at St. Jerome's was renamed "Sweeney Hall" to honour John Sweeney and his wife, Kay.) Says a news release from St. Jerome's:
At 9:40 am, Sir Knight Pat Casey and the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus will lead a procession of representatives of Diocesan Knights of Columbus Councils, of youth from Squires Circles, of the Diocesan Catholic Women's League, and of the Daughters of Isabella. (The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus wear special uniforms -- tuxedos, capes, chapeaux, and swords -- and provide an honour guard for religious and civic ceremonies.)

At 10:00 am, Chancellor John Sweeney, former Ontario cabinet minister with a reputation of being skilled, caring, compassionate, and informed, will address the congregation regarding the importance of Catholic education. "Our society so desperately needs individuals who have had the kind of education that our Catholic schools and universities offer. Those of us who have had the privilege of this kind of intellectual experience come out of it fuller people, better people, and more sensitive people," says Sweeney.

Following the address, the Knights of Columbus will present a special donation to St. Jerome's University. "The decision to support St. Jerome's was accepted and adopted by all councils in order to show unity among Knights of Columbus in our Diocese, and to work together for our youth -- the hope and future of the Church -- by supporting the only Catholic university in our Diocese," says Fr. Don Wilhelm, Hamilton Diocesan Chaplain, Knights of Columbus.

Immediately following the presentation, Fr. Wilhelm will celebrate a Roman Catholic mass. Later, during the 12:00 noon lunch, several representatives will make presentations. . . . The celebration of Catholic education will conclude with tours of the university campus by students of St. Jerome's University.

It notes that the Knights of Columbus is "the world's largest Catholic family fraternal service organization, with nearly 1.6 million members and their families in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines and the Caribbean".

Research misconduct rules remain

Wednesday's Gazette, reporting on the new Memorandum of Agreement between UW and the faculty association, mentioned some documents that have been repealed as a result, and said that the Administrative Guidelines on Misconduct in Research were among them. Provost Jim Kalbfleisch hastened to make clear that that's not right. "The Administrative Guidelines remain in place," he says in a memo. "All that changes is the final appeal process.

"Previously, if there were a case of misconduct in research, a decision made by the Vice-President, University Research, could be appealed to the Vice-President Academic & Provost. That appeal route is no longer available. However, any disciplinary action resulting from misconduct in research can now be grieved through the faculty, staff or student grievance process. . . .

"The change with respect to the appeal process in Policy 73 (Intellectual Property Rights) is similar. Previously, a decision made by the Vice-President, University Research, could be appealed to the Chair of the Ethics Committee, who would establish a special hearing committee. That appeal route is no longer available. However, any disciplinary action resulting from a violation of Policy 73 can now be grieved under the faculty, staff or student grievance process."

A key paragraph from the Administrative Guidelines on Misconduct in Research says this: "The University will take seriously any allegation of misconduct or charge of unethical behaviour in research; it does not, however, encourage frivolous complaints. Charges should be examined expeditiously, with impartiality and confidentiality, to protect the reputations of those concerned. Normal administrative channels will be used to investigate complaints. Accordingly, complaints should be reported to the immediate academic supervisor (normally, the Chair) of the person against whom the charge is levelled."

And these coming events, briefly

Preregistration for winter 1999 courses winds up today.

UW's four child care centres are getting together on the Village Green this morning for their "second annual fun morning" -- games, face-painting, songs and all the happy things that little kids do in the open air.

Meanwhile, serious folks from government, industry and academe are spending the morning indoors at Ron Eydt Village, for the first of four Innovation Summit sessions sponsored by the provincial ministry of energy, science and technology.

Today and tomorrow, Wilfrid Laurier University will hold its spring convocation at the Waterloo Recreation Complex. Among those receiving honorary degrees from WLU is Maureen Kempston Darkes, president of General Motors of Canada and a member of UW's board of governors.

An ACM-style programming contest is scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Math and Computer room 3006; it's sponsored by the Computer Science Club. "A warmup contest will be held, followed by a break for lunch and then the practice contest," says Michael Van Biesbrouck of the CSC. "The contest involves answering five questions in three hours. Solutions are written in Pascal, C or C++. Six years in a row, Waterloo's teams have been in the top ten at the world finals." Anybody interested should sign up, today or early tomorrow, at the CSC office in MC.

Yet another dance school, "Dimensions", has the Humanities Theatre rented for its spring recital -- two performances on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Volunteers are still wanted for the Manulife Ride for Heart, a fund-raiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, which takes place Sunday morning at 9, starting in Waterloo Park and cycling through much of Waterloo and Kitchener. The turnkey desk in the Student Life Centre has information, or call 884-3278.

The career development seminar series continues Monday, with a session on "Critical Incidents in the Workplace" -- how to deal with situations that just might come up on the job. It starts at 1:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 1020.

And looking ahead just a few days, UW will host the annual congress of the Canadian Association of Physicists, June 14-17. Among its highlights will be a public lecture by Nobel Prize winner Stephen Chu of Stanford University; he'll speak Sunday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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