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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

  • Formula SAE car hits the track
  • Province promises some funding
  • 'Ulympics' celebrate campaign June 9
  • Feds and UW fund environment projects
Chris Redmond

New moon: Muslim, Jewish

Formula SAE car hits the track

UW's student-built Formula SAE car goes into competition today at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, against some 140 other university teams.

Goal of the Waterloo team, according to its website, is "to design, fabricate, and race a brand-new small formula-style open wheeled race car every year. It is our goal to create a world-class race car that is second-to-none, and to give all of our members the experiences, knowledge, and skills that cannot be obtained elsewhere."

This week's experience will come in a contest that's part of the Collegiate Design Series sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It's an annual event, and the UW car often comes home with awards, including a first place showing last year in the powertrain category.

[Strapping the driver in] This year's car -- the team's 18th annual product -- was given its first public outing on May 6 (left). There are some 30 students on the team this year, headed by Joe Bilton and Joey Ranger and advised by mechanical engineering professor Steve Lambert.

Says a news release: "After many long months, the team has managed to complete a very well integrated and dynamically sound Formula SAE racecar. The car has progressed from the design stage through the manufacturing process, materializing into something the entire team can be proud of. With the new design of the front chassis many changes have been adopted and fresh approaches taken, and these together have created a car that is unique in a number of ways."

The car has a mild steel tube-frame chassis throughout. "It has allowed many of the frontward systems to be integrated in a way that was not possible with the previous carbon composite monocoque, including the steering, front anti-roll, bell-cranks, and dampers," the designers explain.

It uses a Honda F4i CBR 600 motorcycle engine: "Many modifications have been made to the stock engine to better suit the Formula application, to put the torque in a usable RPM band. Intake ports were reduced in size to increase air velocity into the cylinders, and the valve seating was adjusted. A higher compression piston of 13.5:1 (rather than the stock 12:1) has also been tested with the engine on a dynamometer. The engine has a custom carbon-fibre intake, which curves and faces rearward in an attempt to keep the weight as low as possible."

The last few weeks have been geared towards car setup and testing, "and the car has proven itself to be very dynamically stable and reliable," the team boasts. "Waterloo expects to do very well in design, and with any luck, on the track as well. It has been a long year, but Waterloo's 2004 FSAE car can most definitely be considered a smashing success."

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  • Province promises some funding

    Yesterday's provincial budget promised some additional money for universities and colleges in 2004-05, said there would continue to be "compensation" for the money institutions are losing because of the tuition fee freeze, and promised improvements to the Ontario Student Assistance Program.

    It's not enough, was the overnight reaction from the Council of Ontario Universities, which said the budget will "present difficulties for Ontario universities and students.

    "Some universities will need to introduce further austerity measures that will affect the number of courses available to students and the range of academic and administrative services that support the quality of their learning experiences.

    "We are pleased that the government will enhance the Ontario Student Assistance Program and will provide funding for enrolment growth and compensation for the second year of the tuition freeze. However, the lack of certainty about how these funds will be incorporated into a longer-term funding framework creates problems for universities in budgeting for future years."

    Richard Van Loon, chair of COU and president of Carleton University, said universities "are disappointed that the government has not increased the Quality Assurance Fund, as anticipated in the 2003 budget announcement. This will further delay our moving from 10th out of 10 in provincial funding per student."

    Says a budget backgrounder issued by the government yesterday: "Ontario's post-secondary education institutions and apprenticeship and training system play a unique, critical role in driving the province's economic growth. To support these sectors, the government will increase the operating budget of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities by $260 million to $4.2 billion in 2004-05. The ministry's funding will increase by $470 million, or 12 per cent, by 2007-08, compared to 2003-04."

    The government also confirmed that former premier Bob Rae will conduct "a comprehensive review designed to transform the post-secondary education system and recommend ways to make it high-quality, accountable and affordable. . . .

    "The government will also enhance accountability in the sector by implementing the first annual accountability and funding agreements with post-secondary institutions beginning in 2005-06. These agreements will include multi-year funding and enrolment targets and will link funding to government objectives."

    'Ulympics' celebrate campaign June 9 -- by Amy Bald, development and alumni affairs

    To mark the second anniversary of the Keystone Campaign launch, and the success of the campaign to date, organizers are planning an extraordinary "Ulympics" (themed after the Olympics) celebration on June 9. Organizers are certain that the event will outdo the Keystone events of the past two years.


    See the ad in today's Gazette for more information

    Personalized invitations will go out during the last week of May.

    The June 9 event will start with a parade of gold: participants can show their UW pride by wearing their gold clothing and joining the parade along the ring road to the Columbia Icefield playing fields. The parade will start at South Campus Hall at 11:30 a.m. and will move in both directions up the ring road. A torch or flag will be passed through each group that joins the parade. Traffic will be stopped on Columbia Street so the parade can cross easily.

    Unique to this year's event is the "Try"athlon. This "sport" is meant to be a lot of fun as it is not like a regular triathlon in any way, and is incredibly short. Enter a team of four for a chance to win a gold, silver, or bronze team prize. Contact Alison Boyd at ext. 5734 or e-mail arboyd@uwaterloo.ca by Friday, May 28, to enter a team.

    The picnic promises good food, drink, games, music, and entertainment, plus door prizes based on coupons that will go out with the individual invitations.

    The Keystone Campaign -- the staff, faculty and retiree section of Campaign Waterloo -- has come a great distance over the past year. At the time of the 2003 Keystone event, $2.2 million had been raised (49 per cent of the campaign goal). The campaign has now reached 86 percent of its $4.5 million goal, with 1,500 donors pledging $3.89 million.

    More than 200 volunteers continue to keep the campaign in motion. Volunteer achievements include the past two summer Keystone celebrations, monthly donor profiles, semi-annual newsletters, the June and year-end appeals, liaison work of departmental reps, recruiting sponsors, treat-a-grams, creating departmental donor participations certificates, organizing monthly donor draws, and so on.

    As for the money raised by Keystone, 55 per cent of donations are now supporting student aid, 21 per cent are supporting academic programs, nine per cent are supporting the library, nine per cent are supporting buildings and equipment, four per cent are supporting research, and two percent are supporting other initiatives.

    More information on the Keystone Campaign was printed in the "It's Our Waterloo" spring newsletter mailed across campus May 3. The semi-annual newsletter highlights Keystone volunteers, scholarship recipients, and some of the faculty, staff, and retirees who make a difference. There's also up-to-date information on the Keystone Campaign, its donors, and its progress on the campaign web site.

    Hurt Penguin book sale, South Campus Hall concourse, today and tomorrow, 9 to 4.

    'Cultural biology' distinguished speaker series, department of philosophy: Steven Quartz, CalTech, continuing today and tomorrow, 3 p.m., Humanities room 334. Symposium Friday and Saturday. More information online.

    Career workshops: "Interview Skills, the Basics", 3:30; "Preparing for Questions", 4:30; "Starting Your Own Business", 4:30; "Becoming an Intrapreneur", 5:30. Details online.

    WatCHI, Computer-Human Interaction group, presents a documentary on "Deep Dive," innovative brainstorming method, 6 p.m., multipurpose room, Student Life Centre.

    'Editing for Wordiness', talk by English professor Judi Jewinski, Renison College, 7 p.m., Kitchener Public Library main branch.

    East coast alternative band "Madhat" at the Graduate House, from 9:00 tonight, joined by "Masters and Moderns".

    Germanic and Slavic studies, second Departmental Conference, Thursday, program online.

    'Writing Advantage', one-day continuing education course, Thursday, last-minute details 888-4002.

    Quilt festival juried exhibit in UW art gallery, East Campus Hall, May 20-27, opening reception Thursday 7 p.m.

    Feds and UW fund environment projects

    The Federation of Students says UW and the Feds have signed an Environmental Projects Memorandum of Understanding, "creating a pool of funding designed to take environmentally minded ideas off the shelves and into practice. UW has committed to matching the Federation of Students dollar for dollar in funding chosen initiatives up to a maximum of $25,000 a year."

    UW Sustainability Project general meeting and project launch, Thursday 5:30, Student Life Centre multipurpose room
    It's an outgrowth of work already done under such efforts as the student-run Sustainability Project. The Feds' announcement says an Environmental Projects Committee will oversee the distribution of funds. It consists of UW's provost, the waste management coordinator, the Fed president, a member of students' council and the Sustainability Project coordinator.

    Says the announcement: "The Federation is planning to draw upon its Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation endowment fund to finance these projects. . . . The EOI fund was created out of the proceeds that the Federation received from the de-mutualization of Clarica. Its current terms of reference were created by Council in the winter of 2003; however, the fund has not yet commenced paying out."

    Said Chris Edey, who finished his term as Fed president on April 30: "UW students Sandy Kiang and Yaacov Iland are congratulated for the impetus that led to this agreement and the hard work that saw it through to completion. The Federation would also like to extend its thanks to UW's Provost Amit Chakma for his commitment to environmental issues and his help in making this agreement possible.

    "It is hoped that this agreement and the resources that it will make available will allow more student projects and ideas, such as the solar panels atop Federation Hall and UWSP's natural landscaping efforts, to leap from reports to reality."

    Today's Gazette tells more about Kiang and her final project as an environmental studies student, "The Path to Institutionalizing Campus Sustainability". She wrote: "If UW is to regain leadership of campus sustainability in Canada, we must gain the commitment from senior-level administrators to ensure the necessary climate is created." The new agreement is a big step in that direction.

    The Gazette article also reports on work by ES student Elizabeth Nguyen, whose final project was a detailed proposal for "indoor landscaping" in the Student Life Centre. Her study looked at light, furniture, colours, traffic patterns and other factors, and recommended a "tropical-jungle theme" for plants in the SLC, with such species as weeping figs, ferns and philodendrons.


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