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Thursday, June 9, 2005

  • Keystone celebrates in the sun
  • Fuel cell team competes in Detroit
  • PhD oral defences are listed
  • Pixels in the big picture
Chris Redmond

Smog alert in southern Ontario

[Happy face graph shows $4.5 million reached]

Keystone celebrates in the sun

The Keystone Campaign's annual celebration is back, "and this year's festivities are certain to be better than ever," writes John Larsen of the development office, one of the Keystone organizers. "With the campaign's original goal of $4.5 million already surpassed (a whopping two and a half years early), organizers are ecstatic and are planning another exciting theme: a New Year's Eve Party. Be sure to join the Happy 'U' Year Masquerade to celebrate the Keystone Campaign's incredible success to date. The new focus for the campaign will also be unveiled."

Today's the day. A highlight, says Larsen, will be a parade to get the festivities underway. "Participants can show their UW pride by dressing in party gear and joining the parade along Ring Road to the Matthews Hall green. Participants are asked to meet outside their building on the ring road. The parade will commence at 11:30 a.m., with participants moving up both sides of the ring road simultaneously.

"Unique to this year's event is the 'Contributions Countdown Clapathon' to recognize the contributions of staff, faculty, and retirees to UW. Applause will rise in an increasing swell as we ring in the 'U' year counting down the thousands of collective years of service. As always, there will be good food and drink, as well as games, music, and entertainment.

"Bring the door prize coupon from your invitation for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Participate in the games and get your mask/invitation stamped to win additional prizes.

"In achieving its goal of $4.5 million, the Keystone Campaign has progressed significantly from last year. At the time of the 2004 Keystone event, $3.89 million had been raised. As of May 2005, with 1,600 donors contributing in excess of $4.6 million, the campaign continues to reach new heights.

"The success of the Keystone Campaign is a reflection of the more than 200 volunteers and the support of more than 60 sponsors. The hard work and effort that these individuals continue to put forth keeps the campaign striving forward. Volunteer achievements include the past three summer Keystone celebrations, monthly donor profiles, semi-annual newsletters, the June and year-end appeals, liaison work by departmental reps, recruiting sponsors, treat-a-grams, creating departmental donor participation certificates, and organizing monthly donor draws.

"Campaign gifts continue to have a huge impact at UW. Student aid, at 57 per cent, is the area where the greatest proportion of donations is concentrated. Of the remainder of the donations, 21 per cent are put towards supporting academic programs, 9 per cent support the library, 9 per cent support buildings and equipment, 2 per cent support research, and 2 per cent support other initiatives."

The Keystone Campaign is the staff, faculty and retiree portion of Campaign Waterloo: Building a Talent Trust, with an overall $260 million goal.

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  • Fuel cell team competes in Detroit

    Waterloo is among 17 universities sending teams this week as engineering students compete to design the vehicles of the future. The Waterloo entry, with a fuel-cell-powered vehicle design, comes from the UW Alternative Fuels Team and is the only Canadian entry in the Challenge X competition, being held in Detroit.

    John Efford, federal minister of natural resources, said his department is "thrilled" to be sponsoring the UW team under the federal government's program to cut greenhouse gas emissions -- half of them, across Canada, the result of driving.

    Also sponsoring the team is Hydrogenics Corporation. "This innovative competition promotes awareness and education of the benefits of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies among an important demographic -- the leaders and consumers of tomorrow," says Hydrogenics president Pierre Rivard.

    Challenge X is a three-year competition sponsored by General Motors Corporation and the U.S. department of energy. It focuses on the re-engineering of a GM crossover sport utility vehicle. The competition helps hundreds of highly skilled engineers develop a greater awareness of more energy-efficient and "greener" automotive technologies -- preparing them to lead the automotive industry in the 21st century.

    The four-day event at GM University marks the end of the first year of the competition, which was announced a year ago. It was to wind up with awards last night and a vehicle donation ceremony today at GM's Milford Proving Ground, where teams will "earn their keys" to the new 2005 Chevrolet Equinox.

    Years two and three of the competition will be held at the end of the 2006 and 2007 academic years to showcase the teams' learning and vehicle development from year to year.

    "This competition gives students hands-on design and engineering experience," said Roydon Fraser, advisor for the University of Waterloo team and a professor of mechanical engineering. "Our students have worked hard this past year exploring vehicle solutions that will reduce energy consumption and decrease emissions. Now our team must prepare to apply what they've designed on paper and in simulation programs to the actual vehicle."

    The UW vehicle is unique in that it is the only one to use fuel cells for propulsion. Two other entrants are using fuel cells for auxiliary systems.

    Initiatives such as Challenge X are important because they help reduce emissions and ensure that the actions taken today produce long-term results, while maintaining a strong and growing economy.

    PhD oral defences are listed

    Here's the latest of graduate students who have completed their theses and will defend them on the way to ancient distinction of Doctor of Philosophy.

    Electrical and computer engineering. Guillermo Bautista, "Alternative Models to Analyze Market Power and Financial Transmission Rights in Electricity Markets." Change of location for oral defence: Friday, June 10, 10 a.m., CEIT room 3141.

    Systems design engineering. Abdul-Rahim Ahmad, "Intelligent Expert System for Decision Analysis and Support in Multi-Attribute Layout Optimization." Supervisors, O. Basir and K. Hassanien. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Thursday, June 16, 1 p.m., Davis Centre room 1331.

    Psychology. Wilma Stern Cavalcante, "Self-Concept and Social Anxiety in Late Childhood and Early Adolescence Stages of Development." Supervisor, Jonathan Oakman. On display in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Wednesday, June 22, 9:30 a.m., PAS building room 3026.

    Electrical and computer engineering. Henghua Deng, "Design and Characterization of Silicon-on-Insulator Passive Polarization Converter with Finite-Element Analysis." Supervisors, D. Yevick and S. K. Chaudhuri. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Wednesday, June 22, 10:30 a.m., CEIT room 3151/3.

    Physics. Richard Clarkson, "Taub-NUT Spacetime in the (A)dS/CFT and M-Theory." Supervisor, R. B. Mann. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, June 30, 10 a.m., Physics room 352.

    Chemistry. Owen Peter Clements, "Solid State Structures and Properties of Thiazyl-Based Neutral Radicals." Supervisor, R. T. Oakley. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, July 12, 2 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

    Chemistry. Shenhui Lang, "Functional Characterization of Streptococcus agalactiae CAMP Factor, and Dual Target Labeling of Proteins Using Cysteine and Selenomethionine Residues." Supervisor, M. Palmer. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Monday, July 18, 2 p.m., Chemistry II room 261.

    Pixels in the big picture

    Okay, yep, I made the classic mistake in yesterday's Daily Bulletin, describing the new Sharcnet building as "a $3.5 project", leaving out the key word "million". But you knew what I meant, didn't you? More substantially, I'm reminded by a reader that the new square footage (actually more of an addition to the Physics building than a building in its own right) won't be all devoted to Sharcnet research equipment -- much of it will provide space for science and engineering, in particular the computing facilities for both faculties.

    Waterloo Regional Police are looking for two women, possibly students, who were witnesses to a "serious incident" in downtown Kitchener early Sunday morning. Apparently a woman walking on King Street was accosted by a man posing as a police officer, who forced her into a car, took her a short distance away and sexually assaulted her. "The victim," a police memo says, "walked to a bus shelter on King Street, where she was met by two unknown females who walked her home. Police were called and the victim was taken to hospital and treated for injuries." The police would like to hear from the two women who helped the victim, and of course other information is also wanted. Details and a drawing of the suspect are on the police web site. The number to call is 653-7700 ext. 8674.

    Vegetarian barbecue sponsored by UW Sustainability Program, 11:30 to 12:30, Student Life Centre (veggieburgers $2). Lug-a-mug giveaway, 1:30 at SLC Tim Horton's. Screening of documentary "Being Caribou", 2:00, SLC multipurpose room.

    Career development workshop: "Career Decision-Making" 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

    Carol Vogt, information systems and technology, retirement reception 3:30 to 5:00, University Club. Computing Help and Information Place (CHIP) closed from 4 p.m.

    Forum for Independent Thought meets 5:00, Student Life Centre room 2134 -- discussion of current project, child poverty in Kitchener-Waterloo.

    Math Grad Committee information sessions for graduating mathematics students: today 5:00, Tuesday 5:00, both in Math and Computer room 2066.

    'East Meets West' business breakfast seminar on doing business with East Asia, Friday 7 a.m., Renison College, information 884-4404 ext. 657.

    Annual child care celebration held by UW's day care centres, with kids' musician Erick Traplin, Friday 9:30 to 11:00, green space outside Student Life Centre.

    Shirley Thomson, faculty of mathematics, retirement reception Friday 3:30 to 5:30, University Club.

    Garage sale at Columbia Lake Village, Saturday 8:00 to 11:00. Tables available -- e-mail lmhollan@uwaterloo.ca.

    Printmakers Fair Saturday 10:00 to 4:30, Renison College.

    Spring ACM programming contest Saturday, details online.

    R&T Park Accelerator Centre first annual general meeting Monday 5:30, 57 Erb Street West, reservations and information ext.7887.

    Two events of possible interest to staff are planned in the coming days, says Neil Murray of UW's human resources department. First, an "orientation" session is happening on the morning of June 15, which is next Wednesday. Recently-hired staff members have been specifically invited, but there's plenty of room for other staff as well. Things start at 8:30 in CEIT room 1015. Then on June 23, a noon-hour session on "front desk security" is planned, with advice by experts from counselling services and the UW police. That one starts at 12:00 in Davis Centre room 1304, and again all staff are welcome.

    Warrior men's hockey coach Karl Taylor is feeling good about the team for next fall and winter, with announcements of three players who have been recruited for Waterloo. Joining the Warriors will be defenceman Devon Lafreniere, transferring to UW from Concordia University College of Alberta (who formerly played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League); Shane Harat, a forward who's entering UW's arts faculty (and has played for the Guelph Storm and, this season, the Hamilton Red Wings of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League); and Sean Moir, a defenceman from Calgary who's entering applied health sciences (and played this season in the Alberta JHL). "I am excited to be part of the rebuilding process the coaching staff has started," Moir is reported as saying. "I was looking at other offers, but in the end Waterloo was the best fit, both academically and the hockey program."

    A cyberspace production of Samuel Beckett's one-act play "Catastrophe", organized in April by drama professor Gerd Hauck, is described in the new issue of the Arts Research Update issued by UW's faculty of arts. "One of Hauck's core research interests in relation to multipoint theatre," says the newsletter, "is the extent to which these technologies can be used to open up new spaces and media for creative expression and collaboration in theatre. . . . . What has traditionally defined live theatre is the proximity between the actors and the audience and the simultaneity of the experience. Both of these traditional features of theatre are being challenged when people are meeting in a virtual space."

    The research office sends a reminder that June 15, next Wednesday, is the deadline for nominations for this year's Awards for Excellence in Research. The awards recognize "distinguished research achievements" and provide a $1,500 grant for research to four recipients annually. Nominations can come from deans, department chairs, or individual faculty members, and are to be sent to the vice-president (research). Last-minute information: ext. 3432.


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