[University of Waterloo]


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Monday, December 6, 2004

  • 'Young engineer' medal for civil prof
  • 'Transforming a silk mill'
  • On the last day of classes
Chris Redmond

Who is St. Nicholas?

[Tighe at roadside]

'Young engineer' medal for civil prof

Pavement expert Susan Tighe (right, in warmer weather) of UW's department of civil engineering was presented with the Engineering Medal for a Young Engineer late last month at the annual Ontario Professional Engineers Awards Gala.

Says a citation from Professional Engineers Ontario: "As a researcher, teacher and practitioner who has achieved international recognition, Susan Tighe is a beacon for women in engineering and a leader in civil engineering.

"Tighe is an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Waterloo who has written over 50 technical publications in the areas of infrastructure, pavements and transportation. Her involvement in the engineering and transportation sectors range from professional awareness and education activities to active leadership roles in engineering associations, such as the Transportation Association of Canada and various Transportation Research Board committees.

"She has demonstrated her support of women in engineering as co-chair of the University of Waterloo's Women in Engineering Committee. She has provided several leadership roles in this capacity in both professional and community activities. She is a sought-after speaker at international conferences and in academe in the U.S. and Europe.

"Tighe has been honoured with a prestigious Premier's Research Excellence Award to recognize her work in infrastructure management, pavement and transportation engineering management."

Presented since 1947, the Ontario Professional Engineers Awards recognize outstanding individuals for engineering excellence and community service. The Engineering Medal for a Young Engineer recognizes "outstanding engineers under the age of 35, who have made exceptional achievements in their chosen fields," says PEO. "This award is given to those who have demonstrated excellence not only in their engineering careers, but also in community and professional participation."

UW's faculty of engineering was among the "corporate table hosts" at the PEO event, held at the DoubleTree International Plaza Hotel in Toronto.

'Transforming a silk mill' -- from an article by Linda Kenyon in the UW Magazine, fall 2004

The last time David Warne appeared in the pages of this magazine he was "unbuilding" a classic Ontario cottage in downtown Toronto, the last of a row of workers' houses built on Ways Lane in the late 1800s. It was 1995, and jobs for young architects were scarce, so he and Paul Raff, who both graduated from UW with degrees in architecture in 1992, decided to continue their education -- their way. "We figured the best way to learn how to do architecture was to figure out how to do things yourself," says Warne. The pair convinced the owners of the cottage, which was already slated for demolition, to let them take it down slowly, photographing and videotaping every stage of the project. . . .

This excerpt from the magazine's article on the creation of the UW Architecture building in Cambridge, Ontario, tells what happened after Stanley Saitowitz was chosen as architect for the project.
It wasn't long before commissions began to come their way. Levitt Goodman hired the pair to design the floor of Strachan House in downtown Toronto, an old brick warehouse that was being converted into living space for the previously homeless. Then the firm offered Warne a full-time job. Today, the unemployed grad who was unbuilding the cottage on Ways Lane is the project architect in charge of design of the new School of Architecture in Cambridge.

Many others at Levitt Goodman who are involved in the project also have strong Waterloo connections. Janna Levitt, the partner in charge of the project, is an adjunct faculty member at Waterloo. UW grads Danny Bartman, Veronica Del Giudice, Kris Payne, and Christie Pearson have all contributed to the development of the design. UW grad Neil Kaye at Stanley Saitowitz's office was a key designer at the earliest stages.

"There are over 300 architects on this project," says Warne, with a weary smile. In addition to the design team architects, students and faculty at the school have all had a chance to provide input into the design of the new facility. Contractors, engineers, construction workers, city employees -- everyone had ideas about how things could be done. "It really is a collaboration," says Warne. "Good ideas come from the most unusual places. You've got to be open to them."

The design team began by generating four sets of schematic drawings, which the main contractor, Alberici Constructors, priced. "We determined that what we really wanted was just way too expensive and would take too long, so we went through the painful process of cutting back, of synthesizing the design to the bare minimum.

"We had to pick our battles. We looked for the beauty in the old building and made interventions--clear, modern interventions--to make it work. So you get this lovely juxtaposition of the old and the new, steel and glass next to the old brick. . . .

"On the second floor of the new atrium, solid steel panels fill the openings between brick piers," says Warne, "making clear what was old and what is new. The details of the connections into the pier are exposed, so that students can see and understand how things are put together. Guard rails are pulled back to show how the steel dowel supporting them penetrates the brick. Students begin to see that buildings are made up of a whole bunch of details that come together to create this larger object. In new buildings, the distinctions are less clear."

United Way campaign volunteers' thank-you lunch, noon, South Campus Hall.

'Mandatory pre-departure session' for co-op students taking international jobs or exchanges (except USA) in the winter term, 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

WatITis (Waterloo Information Technology and Information Systems Conference) for computing support staff, all day Tuesday, Rod Coutts Hall.

Federal-provincial conference simulation for high school students, Tuesday and Wednesday, arts buildings.

Ontario Ballet Theatre "The Nutcracker" Tuesday 10 and 12:30, Wednesday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre, information 888-4908.

Faculty association fall general meeting, Tuesday 3 p.m., CEIT room 1015.

Regional Teaching and Learning Event involving 3M Teaching Fellows, Wednesday, information online.

Davis Centre great hall noon-hour concert, Wednesday, 12:15.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents Peter Kelly, Helsinki University of Technology, "The Financing Food Chain", Wednesday 12 noon, Rod Coutts Hall room 105, reservations by today to ext. 7167.

'Bioinformatics in the Health Sciences', talk by Brendan McConkey, biology, Wednesday 3:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

English Language Proficiency Exam Wednesday 7 p.m., Physical Activities Complex.

Holocaust presentation: the story behind "Hana's Suitcase", Thursday 7:30, Humanities Theatre, free.

Christmas carols in Modern Languages foyer, led by Jake Willms, everyone welcome, December 15, 12:15 p.m.

On the last day of classes

There's a definite winter look to the day, as classes wind up for the fall term, which began on a drizzly autumn morning not quite three months ago. A number of end-of-term celebrations will no doubt be happening (I see flyers announcing a get-together at 5:30 sponsored by the student Economics Society, for instance), but they won't last long, because exams are on the horizon. The official exam season begins on Thursday and runs through December 22.

This afternoon will also bring a candle-lighting event to mark the national day of remembrance, anniversary of the 1989 "Montréal Massacre" that killed 14 women engineering students at Ecole Polytechnique. The memorial will run from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. and is scheduled to be held in the arts quad just outside the Modern Languages building (I don't know whether snow, wind and rain might force it indoors so the candles will keep burning). Donations will be accepted for Mary's Place shelter. The event is organized by Engineering Society, Women in Mathematics, and the women's studies program.

Two faculty members in electrical and computer engineering have been named Fellows of the IEEE (it's usually just called that, though the initials stand for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Newly honoured are Mohamed Kamel (formerly of systems design engineering, but now in E&CE) and Ravi Mazumdar (new to UW this fall after a career at Purdue University).

Today's the first day for the traditional Christmas lunch buffet at the University Club, running through December 23 (call ext. 3801 for details). . . . The UW-based Network for Environmental Risk Assessment and Management is organizing a conference on "International Perspectives on Air Quality Management" January 31 and February 1 in Cuernavaca, Mexico. . . . The continuing education office has a course on "Juggling Multiple Projects" that will run for two full days, this Thursday and Friday, at its Gage Avenue training room. . . .


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