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Friday, June 27, 2003

  • Canada Day party climaxes long weekend
  • Midnight Sun and a sleepy Friday
  • Canada Research Chair for chemist
  • 48 Shads hit campus Sunday
Chris Redmond

Freedom Festival under way at the border

[Red shirt, red posters]

Dana Evans is working more than full-time these days as administrative coordinator for the Canada Day event. Posters announce the attractions.

Canada Day party climaxes long weekend

Fireworks over Columbia Lake will again mark Canada Day at UW, as the 19th annual north campus holiday celebration is just about ready to go.

Tuesday, July 1, is the day, with attractions on tap that range from an ethanol-powered car (decked out as a Canadian flag) to the music of Uncle Heavy's Pork Chop Revue.

Everybody's welcome, and it's free. Organizers say they're expecting some 60,000 people.

The Canada Day celebrations will wind up a four-day holiday weekend, as UW marks both Monday (June 30) and Tuesday as holidays. On those days, offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held.

But some people will be busy, ranging from Nancy Heide and her colleagues in the UW public affairs office to the hundreds of volunteers involved with entertainment, food and other aspects of the Tuesday party. And a full complement of UW police will be on duty Tuesday to help with crowds, parking and traffic. (Expect Columbia Street to be closed for the day. There will be free parking in most UW lots -- enter from University Avenue.)

Most Canada Day events start at 2:00 at the Columbia Lake fields on UW's north campus (off Columbia Street West) and continue to the grand finale fireworks over the lake at 10 p.m.

As the day goes on, activities include a professional kite flying demonstration at noon, the Engineering Society's Mini-Olympics, the Math Society's Fun Fest, and face-painting for children provided by staff from the alumni affairs office.

The arts and crafts fair also starts at 2:00, and so do "mini-stage" and main stage stage performances that will include swing, hip hop, Tae Kwon Do, Ukrainian dancing, a puppet show, drum circle and more. There's free birthday cake at 4:45 p.m. to celebrate Canada's 136th and UW's 46th birthdays.

Additional on-campus clubs and groups are joining in the fun this year, including the UW Hip Hop Club and performers from the FASS Theatre Company. On display will be works of art, from finger painting and photographs to painting and sculpture, by area elementary and secondary school students.

There will be student projects such as the Engineering Formula SAE car, the ethanol-powered car decked out as a flag, and a display from Engineers Without Borders. Student societies will be displaying personalized Canada Day wishing wells in an attempt to raise money to support this non-profit, free-for-the-community annual event.

UW mascots Pounce (the Lion) and King Warrior will make an appearance and there will be a fire truck and police cruiser to inspect, along with food for sale. And a key note: yes, washroom facilities are available on the field.

[Shepherd in office]

UW's library staff held a reception yesterday afternoon to honour Murray Shepherd, who served thirty years as university librarian (the department's director). A new university librarian took office May 1, and Shepherd officially retires June 30.

Midnight Sun and a sleepy Friday

After two years of intensive work, UW's Solar Race Team "is extremely proud" to unveil its new vehicle, Midnight Sun VII, today at 3:00 at the Tatham Centre. Everyone is welcome to come and see the car, which is just about ready for the American Solar Challenge next month.

The team has competed in every major North American solar vehicle race since 1990 and is the largest student-run project at UW. Midnight Sun VI placed third overall at the 2001 American Solar Challenge and 15th overall in the 2001 World Solar Challenge in Australia.

"Midnight Sun VII will be our fastest car to date," says Calli Citron of the solar car team. For example, Waterloo solar cars have traditionally been known for capturing cross-winds with their tall wheel fairings -- but the fairings were designed to be fixed in location and take advantage of the wind only in certain conditions. "With Midnight Sun VII," says team member Greg Thompson, "we have taken this concept to an entirely new level. For the first time, Midnight Sun VII will feature fairings that adapt to the wind! In the past we have heard other teams commenting, 'Waterloo will sail today!' However, that only occurred when the conditions were right. It is our goal to make the conditions right all the time."

Last weekend, the project web site reveals, the team took Midnight Sun VII out for a drive. "We headed out on Erb St. and kept going until we got to Stratford. Once there, the kind people at the Stratford Municipal Airport allowed us to use their runway to perform coast-down tests of our solar car. . . . So, we get the solar car up to 75km/h and cut the power. We time the whole event for the end purpose of characterising the solar car with regards to aerodynamic and mechanical drag. By the end of the runway, the solar car was still coasting at 50km/h!"

Also today: The registrar's office will be closed to the public today, "to enable staff to regroup after the rush of the last few weeks", says registrar Ken Lavigne. "We'll reopen to the public on Wednesday."

Co-op students whose work reports (on winter term jobs) were marked by coordinators can pick them up in the Tatham Centre today. . . . Architecture students in search of fall term jobs will head to Toronto by bus today for on-the-spot interviews with architectural firms. . . . Water and air conditioning will be shut off in the Optometry building from 6:00 to midnight tonight because of Columbia Street construction work. . . . The Bojangles Art of Dance school has recitals in the Humanities Theatre tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon. . . .

The Computer Science Club is promising "Friday flicks" today, but don't look for Cameron Diaz or Eddie Murphy. The "flicks" come from Siggraph -- the Special Interest Group for Graphics in the Association for Computing Machinery, and the world's largest graphics conference and exhibition, "where the cutting edge of graphics research is presented every year. With support from UW's Computer Graphics Lab, the CSC invites you to capture a glimpse of Siggraph 2002. We will be presenting the Electronic Theatre showings from 2002, demonstrating the best of the animated, CG-produced movies presented at Siggraph." The showing is free and starts at 2:30 in Davis Centre room 1302.

[Skyline view] UW will have a presence at "Digital Moose Canada Day" on Sunday in San Jose, California. The Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation and Waterloo Region's Communitech are major sponsors -- taking along, among other things, "large quantities of milk chocolate BlackBerries" -- and UW's alumni office is keeping in touch since many of the digital folks in the San Jose area are Waterloo alumni.

And . . . it's off to Montréal and Ottawa over the long weekend for a busload of folks from the International Student Association and Graduate Student Association. They'll experience the jazz festival on the isle riverain and Canada Day in the nation's capital, and get back on Wednesday. (Pictured at right: last fall's Montréal trip.)

[Pawliszyn in lab]

Canada Research Chair for chemist -- from the UW media relations office

A UW chemistry professor is among the recipients of new Canada Research Chairs announced this week by the federal government.

Janusz Pawliszyn (left), an internationally recognized inventor of solid phase micro-extraction, has been named the holder of a Canada Research Chair in New Analytical Methods and Technologies.

Allan Rock, federal minister of industry, announced 80 new Canada Research Chairs at 31 universities across the country. Pawliszyn's award brings the number of Canada Research Chairs at UW to 23. The Canada Research Chairs Program plans to award a total of 2,000 chairs by 2005.

As holder of a "Tier I" CRC, a category intended to recognize some of the top researchers in the world, he'll have his salary, lab staff and expenses funded at $200,000 a year for seven years (renewable indefinitely). As well, Pawliszyn received a grant of $124,295 from CFI's infrastructure fund for research titled "New Analytical Methods and Technologies".

His work involves the development of integrated and automated analytical methods and instrumentation for on-site analysis and monitoring of biological and environmental systems. On-site technologies will reduce errors and shorten the time taken up with sample transport and storage, resulting in more accurate and timely analytical data.

Pawliszyn's work will have wide ramifications in both the health and environment sectors. For example, when characterizing the blood composition of patients, it would no longer be necessary to withdraw a blood sample. Instead, a micro-probe could be used for selective intravenous extraction of target analyses in minute quantities sufficient for the test. This would save time and eliminate the sometimes difficult and potentially harmful sample collections that occur in today's medical practices.

According to a statement from Rock, "The Government of Canada's investment in university researchers allows them to advance their careers among world-class colleagues, mentor and train top graduate students and gain access to state-of-the-art research facilities."

48 Shads hit campus Sunday

"The Shads are back!" writes Linda Carson, in charge of publicity for this year's Shad Valley program at UW. Says Carson: "For the month of July (which, for Shad Valley purposes begins on June 29), the UW population increases by 48. High-achieving teens from across Canada (and, this year, Barbados), converge on Shad Valley Waterloo to find out just what amazing innovations they can create when challenged.

"Shad's an engineering and entrepreneurship program, and UW is the longest-running campus host of all. This will be the 21st Shad Valley Waterloo. So if you see someone wandering about who looks like a frosh out of season, they're likely a Shad student."

She provides some background to what's expected to be "an intense, exhilarating month":

"Shad Valley is a unique, award-winning educational experience in science and technology. Students come together from across the country for the challenge of a lifetime: living and learning together in a university setting, studying engineering and entrepreneurship. It's more than theory: the Shads also work in design teams to imagine and implement original inventions of their own.

"Shad Valley is a Canadian innovation, and this year there are ten programs running coast to coast, from UBC to Memorial University in Newfoundland.

"Small groups of Shads get hands-on in the classroom, the lab, the studio and the field." For example? "Designing robots and circuits, testing software and cell samples, studying shape memory alloys or human memory and cognition.

"We're especially excited about our sweat equity day Saturday, July 19, when the Shad Valley Waterloo community dons work gloves and sunscreen to make a contribution to the greater local community. The Shads will volunteer at the new Cruickston Charitable Research Reserve, working on trail maintenance. The Cruickston Reserve is an ecologically sensitive tract of 900 acres of land, including bald eagle habitat and old-growth Carolinian forest, recently entrusted to a charitable organization to study, protect and enjoy. This is a lively outdoor activity (and hard work!)."

Shads will hold the end-of-season Open Day on Thursday, July 24, showing off their work all afternoon in the great hall at Conrad Grebel College, where they'll be based during their Waterloo stay.


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