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Monday, April 25, 2005

  • Math and engineering professors awarded Canada Research Chairs
  • Students trek the Bruce to help kids
  • Of health, fire alarms, food, and more

Chris Redmond

E-mail announcements to bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Math and engineering professors awarded Canada Research Chairs -- from the UW media Relations office

Four University of Waterloo faculty members doing work in complex risk management, sustainable construction practices, pavement and infrastructure management, and innovative protein production are among the recipients of new Canada Research Chairs announced today by the federal government.

At the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Industry Minister David Emerson announced a total investment of $99 million for 106 new Canada Research Chairs at universities across the country. The funding includes $12.4 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to provide the new chairs with research infrastructure ranging from computer equipment for information databases to housing for laboratory facilities.

The Canada Research Chairs are positions that allow a faculty member to concentrate on doing research and training the next generation of scientists. The federal program plans to award a total of 2,000 chairs by 2005.

Arch show
On the Line: Projects Review, a show of design work by UW School of Architecture students, continues through May 8 in the Design at Riverside gallery at the school’s Cambridge site. The exhibition is free and open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday noon - 8 p.m., Friday noon - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. The gallery is operated by Cambridge Galleries. Mary Misner, Cambridge Galleries director, is seen here with architecture professors John McMinn, centre, and Dereck Revington, the coordinators of the exhibition. -- Photo by Barbara Elve

There are seven-year chairs (Tier 1, valued at $200,000 a year) for experienced researchers widely acknowledged as world leaders in their fields and five-year chairs (Tier 2, valued at $100,000 a year) for researchers considered by their peers as having the most potential to lead in their fields.

Ken Seng Tan, statistics and actuarial science, has a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Quantitative Risk Management. Tan said the award allows his research group to develop sophisticated mathematical tools for many complex applications in the fields of computational finance, risk management and insurance. "These tools will be used by researchers, portfolio managers, and financial institutions to better assess risks, and to make informed decisions based on these assessments."

Carl Haas, civil engineering, has a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Construction and Management of Sustainable Infrastructure. "The award enables me to develop, communicate and implement new ways to construct and manage civil infrastructure in a sustainable manner," Haas says. Specifically, his research zeroes in on the development of effective decision support systems for proactive management; knowledge management tools and systems, including data collection, fusion, storage and mining tools; and technologies that feed the knowledge management and decision support systems.

Susan Tighe, civil engineering, has a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Pavement and Infrastructure Management. Tighe said the award lets her carry out research that will minimize damage to civil engineering infrastructure, focusing on reducing deterioration of assets associated with environmental and loading impacts. "The research will be directed at the use of innovative materials and technologies, improved safety, cost savings and improving the current life of various infrastructure assets. My research will focus on improvements for the Canadian civil engineering community, with particular emphasis on airports, roads and pavements."

Perry Chou, chemical engineering, has a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Novel Strategies for High-Level Recombinant Protein Production. Chou said the award allows him to address technical problems involved in protein production in order to develop technology bridging the gap and facilitating the synergy between fundamental discovery and industrial application. The infrastructure award will result in advanced research in high-level recombinant protein production, as well as in the creation of a specialist research group.

Paul Guild, UW's Vice President, University Research, said: "These four new appointments bring the total number of Canada Research Chairs established at Waterloo to 42. With a total of 53 Chairs available, UW will continue to attract leading researchers, initiating new directions for scholarship that will benefit the entire nation. This is truly an exciting time for university research in Canada."

Students trek the Bruce to help kids

Waterloo students Eric and Kevin Martin will spend the first six weeks of their summer hiking the entire length of the Bruce Trail -- 850 kilometres -- to raise funds for House of Friendship's summer camp sponsorship program. The Martin brothers -- Eric is in first-year arts, Kevin in second-year environment and business -- plan to set off on April 30 and hope to reach Tobermory by mid-June.

"My brother and I have been going to camp since we were little kids, and have continued to be involvedat camp as counsellors," Kevin explains. "We realize how important camp is to kids. It's a place where they can learn and grow, where they can test their limits and make new friendships. We want all kids to be able to have this opportunity." The brothers have already collected more than $4,000 for their cause.

They do have a secondary motivation. Each brother has hiked parts of the trail, but never the whole route. "It has always been a dream of ours to hike the Bruce Trail from end-to-end," Kevin says. "We figured this summer was the perfect time to do it because it was the last free summer we would have together." Kevin, a co-op student, will be either in school or on a co-op work term in future summers.

Along the way they will camp out in a two-man tent and pick up food and supplies that they'd previously mailed to themselves at post offices along the route. Waterloo outdoor store Adventure Guide, the official sponsor of the trek, "is providing technical equipment and expert advice." And after reaching Tobermory, how will they get home? "Well, it's not very exciting," Kevin admits. "My parents will probably just come and pick us up and drive us home."

House of Friendship is a Kitchener-based Christian social service agency. According to development director Brian Hunsberger, the organization sends approximately 100 children from low-income families to camp each year. "Our summer camp sponsorship program relies entirely on donations, so this event will give a big boost to the number of kids we can sponsor this summer,” Hunsberger says. People wishing to support the fundraiser with donations can find directions on the agency's website, http://www.houseoffriendship.org/, or call Brian Hunsberger at 742-8327.

Grad student senate election opens

From the university secretariat:

As announced last week, nominations for the election of two graduate student representatives to

Senate closed at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 30, 2005. There will be an election; the candidates are:

From 8 a.m., Monday, April 25, to 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 27, full-and part-time graduate students will be able to cast their vote at the secretariat website. Brief profiles / statements supplied by the candidates will be posted on this site as well as voting instructions.

Of health, fire alarms, food, and more

"Going the Distance" is the theme of this week's Employee Wellness Fair being held mainly in the Davis Centre today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. You can join a group walk around the Ring Road today (starts in the PAC parking lot at 12:15; rain location in the PAC gym), have your blood pressure checked Tuesday or Wednesday in the Davis Centre fishbowl, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., and generally learn how to make healthy changes in your life. Highlights of the fair include talks and exhibits on such topics as yoga, heart-smart cooking, and neck and back pain--check the event's brochure, which came out mid-April, for pre-registration information or call Linda Brogden, UW's occupational health nurse, for details.

Kevin Stewart, UW's director of safety, sends notice that annual fire alarm drills will take place in academic and administrative buildings across the main campus Tuesday. Bells will ring Tuesday morning between about 8:15 and 11 a.m. in Optometry, Health Services, the PAC, Hagey Hall, the Student Life Centre, Modern Languages, Psychology Anthropology Sociology, Environmental Studies 1 and 2, Needles Hall, the Dana Porter Library, the Tatham Centre, South Campus Hall, the General Services Complex, the Commissary, B.C. Matthews Hall, and Chemistry 2. Tuesday afternoon, from about 1:15 to 3 p.m., alarms will take place in East Campus Hall, Doug Wright Engineering, Engineering 2 and 3, the Physics building, the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology, Earth Sciences & Chemistry, Biology 1 and 2, the Davis Centre, Carl Pollock Hall, and Math & Computer. Wednesday afternoon the test will take place in Architecture.

The UW Staff Association is extending to noon on Thursday, April 28 the nomination period for president-elect for 2005/06. The position represents a three-year commitment first as president-elect, followed by one year as president, and one year as past-president. More about this position's responsibilities, as well as a nomination form, are on the UWSA website.

UW Food Services outlets open this week:

UW's fourth annual Business Start-up Advantage Camp for entrepreneurs starts today and runs all week at the St. Jerome's Conference Centre; Sinclair Stevens will speak on Wednesday at 1 p.m.