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Wednesday, June 5, 2002

  • Vision of an innovation building
  • Six firms seek architecture job
  • A little of this and that
  • Staff positions this week
Chris Redmond

2002 is the Year of the Rose

[Kicking up dust]

There's off-road racing, and then there's virtual racing, and it was the latter that brought a trophy over the weekend for the Waterloo Off-road Mini-Baja Team. The UW team got home from Milwaukee as winners of an award for " the most effective use of virtual prototyping tools", from the makers of the ADAMS computer-aided engineering program. Team members -- engineering students Mark Cesana, Paul Kolk, Caleb van Sligtenhorst, Rob Yost, Adam White, Timothy Auger and Kevin Richardson -- reported that their WOMBAT performed well in Saturday's events, including manoeuvrability, acceleration, braking and design evaluations, and that gave them a good starting position for the endurance race on Sunday. Alas, a collision early in the race damaged the drive train, and the team lost valuable time trying to make repairs and eventually had to withdraw. "We are extremely proud of the team's achievement," says faculty advisor John McPhee of the systems design engineering department, noting that it's the first time UW has even built and entered a car since 1997.

Vision of an innovation building

Imagine . . . a building like a series of "lanterns" glowing in the night, linked to UW's campus by the University Avenue overpass and connected on the other side to a 300-student residence.

It could be the home for "the best entrepreneurship centre in the country", UW vice-president (university research) Paul Guild told the board of governors last night. The board gave a solid round of applause to Guild and the two high-energy architecture students, Taymoore Balbaa and Farid Noufaily, who came up with the concept and helped him sketch it out for last night's meeting.

It's a long way from being a reality. Among other challenges, UW would have to find the money, several million dollars, probably through contributions from alumni or companies with an interest in nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, that might not be so difficult. Guild has already presented the general idea to one friend of the university, the board meeting was told, and practically had him reaching for his chequebook.

The idea is "bringing under one roof a number of entrepreneurship-related activities" that UW already has or is committed to starting -- including Innovate Inc. and the planned Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology.

The two students described the showpiece of the project as an "Entrepreneurship Atrium" in which the various sponsoring companies could show off their ideas and interact with students (and others) to get them involved. With the residence right there (as well as a cafeteria that could also serve people living in UW Place), students could sleep, eat and breathe innovation.

A first look at the possible project was just part of Guild's presentation to the board of governors last night. He also briefed the board on other ways the university might contribute to the "national innovation agenda" through a response to the federal government's pair of innovation white papers.

UW president David Johnston said Guild is in charge of submitting an official UW response to the white papers. The vice-president said he's hoping it can be finished by the end of the summer, and noted that "we have the opportunity to put forth a visionary response" to the federal proposals for a more skilled, productive and risk-taking Canada.

Six firms seek architecture job -- from the UW news bureau

Six architectural firms and groups of firms have been selected to interview for the job of designing the new University of Waterloo school of architecture in Cambridge:

Architecture achievement

Six Waterloo students currently on exchange at the University G. D'Annunzio in Pescara, Italy, have won second prize in an international student design competition for the renewal of the waterfront in Francavilla, a seaside city just north of Pescara. There were 17 entries from Italy (Venice, Naples, Rome, Palermo, Turin, Genoa, Pescara and Ascoli) plus two from Germany, one from Portugal, and one from France. The work was presented earlier this week to an international jury, and the Waterloo group came second for a prize of 3,000 euros (around $4,000). "Their project was great and they received outstanding support," says Eric Haldenby, director of UW's architecture school. "I am very happy and so are the students. Working in collaboration with good leadership (in this case Cristiano Luchetti) gets the results."
The six groups were selected from 46 submissions, including many of the most respected firms in Canada, the United States and abroad.

The interviews will be conducted on June 17 in Cambridge by a committee representing the City of Cambridge, Cambridge Consortium, University of Waterloo and the School of Architecture.

The project will involve the complete renovation of the former Tiger Brands building on Melville Street. The 84,000-square-foot structure will house studios, classrooms, workshops, labs and public facilities such as an exhibition gallery, auditorium and design library. The school is to open in fall 2003.

"Though the project is not large, the national and international stature of the firms competing gives an indication of the profile of the school and its relocation to Cambridge," said Rick Haldenby, director of the school of architecture.

Sybase CEO coming

Tomorrow will bring a talk by John Chen, chief executive of Sybase Inc.: "The Journey of a Successful High-Tech Businessman". Invited by the Entrepreneurs' Association and any number of other UW groups and branches, Chen will speak at 4:00 Thursday afternoon in Davis Centre room 1350. Admission is free, but they're taking reservations at 888-4973.


How did you get to campus on this second day of the Commuter Challenge?

  Bicycle or rollerblades
  Got a ride (car or bus)
  My own car
  I didn't need to -- I live here


A little of this and that

The 2002-03 undergraduate calendar, which has been out on the web for several weeks, is available in print now, sleek with its black cover and racing-stripe W, and slimmed down with even less general information than last year. The listings of faculty members are gone this year, and the calendar is pretty much just course descriptions and academic program regulations. Students can pick up a calendar in the registrar's office in Needles Hall -- it's one to a customer, so bring your WatCard.

Some happenings on campus today:

And the Gus Bakos Observatory sends welcome word that it's resuming its monthly "public observing nights", on the first Wednesday of every month. That would be today, so starting at 9 p.m., weather permitting, visitors are welcome to "look through the telescope at stars, planets and other objects of interest. Follow the stairs to the roof from room 306 of the Physics building."

As UW fund-raisers bring in the money in the early stages of Campaign Waterloo, the amount they'd really like to raise is also growing, vice-president (university relations) Laura Talbot-Allan told the UW board of governors last night. She said the "A list of projects", originally priced at $260 million, is now looking more like $310 million. "This is something that the provost and the deans are going to have to go back and look at," she said, noting that some projects are easier than others to sell to donors. "There will continue to be change," she said. At last count, some $92 million had been promised, and the intent is to bring in another $90 million before the Campaign begins its high-profile public phase in the fall of 2003.

UW's second annual President's Golf Tournament ("presented by Descartes Systems Group of Waterloo") was held Monday at Blue Springs Golf Club in Acton, Ontario. The tournament is a collaborative fund-raising effort among the department of athletics, the office of alumni affairs, and the president's office. The sold-out event hosted 144 golfers for 18 holes of golf, a silent auction and dinner. The organizing committee, chaired by UW alumnus Peter Paleczny (president of Able-One Systems) "is pleased to announce", a message yesterday said, that the tournament tournament raised more than $50,000 for the Athletics Excellence Fund. The highlight of the day came of Alan Chalmers from Forbes Motors. On the par 3, 152-yard 11th hole, Chalmers used a 6 iron and ended up with a hole-in-one. For this remarkable shot, he is now the proud owner of a Lexus from Heffner Lexus Toyota. (At the other extreme, UW president David Johnston was joking at yesterday's board of governors meeting that his own style on the course had looked more like hockey than golf.)

The Librarians' Association of UW, representing the professional librarians, elected new officers the other day: Christine Jewell as president, Shabiran Rahman as chair of the compensation committee, Jane Forgay as chair of the program committee, Jackie Stapleton as treasurer and secretary.

A warning has arrived from UW's neighbours on the Phillip Street side, Research in Motion: "RIM will be implementing a new parking permit program in all of its parking lots effective June 17. . . . Any vehicle parked in any RIM parking lot without a valid displayed RIM issued parking permit will be issued a warning ticket on the first offence. On the second and any subsequent offence, any violator's vehicle will be either issued a parking ticket in the amount of $15, or towed at the owner's expense."

The department of Germanic and Slavic studies is looking for a language lab instructor for Dutch 101 this fall, "preferably with Dutch as the mother tongue, and who would work closely with the Dutch instructor. The lab is scheduled Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m." Anybody interested should get in touch with the GSS department at ext. 2428.


And here's an advance note of a one-day workshop in "issues in community re-entry" for brain injury patients, to be held June 13, sponsored by the Centre for Applied Health Research and others. Registration is $125; Beverley Brookes in CAHR, phone ext. 6884, has more information.

Staff positions this week

The Gazette is publishing on an every-other-week schedule now, and on the off weeks, I'll at least summarize the "Positions Available" list issued by the human resources department. The list, with fuller descriptions of each job than the Daily Bulletin usually has room for, is always posted on the HR web site.

Today's list, effective for a week, includes these staff positions:

There are also two positions at Conrad Grebel University College: More information is available from the HR department at ext. 2524.



June 5, 1990: The university's ethical behaviour policy, Policy 33, becomes effective.

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