Thursday, May 3, 2007

  • New foursome leads grad students
  • Renison's Confucius Institute opens
  • Funding comes to fuel-cell researchers
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

The tulips are out in Ottawa

When and where

Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations badminton championships in UW athletic facilities and elsewhere in Waterloo, Thursday-Saturday; ceremonies today 9 a.m., Humanities Theatre.

International spouses group meets 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre; walk to UW games museum to experience "Games of 1957"; children welcome; questions e-mail

Arts alumni gathering at Grad House to meet dean Ken Coates, 1:30 to 3:30, register by e-mail allipper@watarts.

Alternatives Journal presents the "Before the End of the World Tour" with "pop, rock and stories", doors open 9 p.m., Princess Cinema, ticket information online.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Sean Van Koughnett on the Media and Mobility Network Project, to redesign the student communications environment, Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

UW Accounting Conference (second annual) Friday-Sunday, details online.

Counselling workshop: Canadian University and College Counselling Association presents Jonathan Robison, Michigan State University, "Towards a New Science of Health and Wellness", Friday all day, fee $85 (students $50), information and registration e-mail

DaCapo Chamber Choir concert, "Daybreak", Saturday 8 p.m., St. John's Anglican Church, Kitchener, admission $20 (students and seniors $15).

Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery "green garden party" with experts including Larry Lamb of UW's environmental studies, Sunday 1:30 to 4:30, 25 Caroline Street North, details online.

UW Retirees Association spring luncheon Tuesday, May 8, 11:30 a.m., great hall, Luther Village, speaker is UW historian Ken McLaughlin, tickets $24, information 519-886-0138.

UW Blooms garden exchange and flower arranging competition, organized by UW Recreation Committee, Tuesday, May 8, 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre.

Mathematics and Society Lecture, sponsored by Fields Institute: Joel E. Cohen, Rockefeller University, "How Many People Can the Earth Support?" Tuesday, May 8, 6:00 p.m., Koffler Institute, 569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto.

Communitech Tech Leadership Conference: "The Evolution of Innovation", Thursday, May 10, all day, Bingemans, details online.

Office of Organizational and Human Development open house, Humanities room 161, Wednesday, May 9, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

'Spring gardening' presentation by DAvid Hobson, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, Thursday, May 10, 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302, no preregistration needed.

Staff association barbecue Tuesday, May 15, 11:30 to 1:30, outside Federation Hall; registration has officially closed.

Victoria Day holiday Monday, May 21, classes cancelled, UW offices closed.

You @ Waterloo Day open house for future students Saturday, May 26, details online.

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• Administrative support assistant, kinesiology, USG 4
• Recruitment coordinator, applied health sciences, USG 8
• Web course developer, distance and continuing education, USG 8/9
• Sharcnet systems administrator, dean of science office, USG 11
• Undergraduate advisor/ program coordinator, pharmacy, USG 6
• Intellectual property management officer (quantum physics), office of research, USG 13/14
• Swimming coach, athletics, USG 8-11
• Patrol officer, police services, USG 7

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

[Faces around Graduate House sign]

GSA executive members, south to north: Ian MacKinnon, Christina Boucher, Maria Trainer, Craig Sloss.

New foursome leads grad students

New leaders for the Graduate Student Association took office on May 1, the GSA has announced, as the executive team elected in March officially began their one-year terms of office. The executive — three newcomers and a vice-president who will serve a second term — "are excited to have an opportunity to serve the graduate students of the University of Waterloo," a statement said, introducing the four:

Ian MacKinnon, president: "Currently a Master's student in Computer Science specializing in Information Retrieval, Ian has served on the GSA Board of Directors and Council, and has served as Council speaker. Ian completed his BMath at Waterloo, and while an undergrad was mathNEWS editor, Math Society Vice President, Academic, and a Federation of Students Councillor. In his spare time, Ian can be found at the Columbia Icefield gym, skiing at Bechtel Park, or sailing on Lake Ontario."

Christina Boucher, vice-president (student affairs): "Christina is in the second year of her PhD in Bioinformatics and is returning to the University of Waterloo after receiving her Master's degree from McGill University. She has been the Computer Science Graduate Student Representative since May 2006 and was the co-founder of the Gender Equality Task Force, a committee dedicated to the recruitment and retention of female students and faculty in the School of Computer Science. She's involved in the artistic community in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and can be often seen at the Waterloo Potter's Workshop, knitting and hanging out at the Graduate House on Fridays, and seeing local bands around Uptown Waterloo."

Maria Trainer, VP (operations and finance): "Maria came to the University of Waterloo in September 2004 to study for a PhD in Bacterial Molecular Genetics. She received her MSc in Biochemistry from Washington State University and BSc degrees in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Idaho. Maria was Chair of the Biology Graduate Student Association from 2005-2007, and is returning for a second term as VPOF of the GSA. Maria is originally from Cornwall, England, and spent 6 years in the USA before moving to Canada in 2004. Maria enjoys hiking, cycling, backpacking, geocaching, curling and rock climbing in her (albeit limited) free time."

Craig Sloss, VP (communications and organization): Craig is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, specializing in Algebraic and Enumerative Combinatorics. He received his BMath in 2003 and his MMath in 2005, both from the University of Waterloo. His previous experience includes service on the GSA Board of Directors, the UW Senate, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Graduate and Research Council. In his free time, Craig enjoys discussing politics, often over a pint of locally-brewed beer."

And for those who aren't too sure: "The Graduate Student Association is a student-run not-for-profit corporation whose membership consists of the graduate students of the University of Waterloo. In addition to representing graduate student concerns to UW administration, the GSA provides numerous services to its members, including health and dental insurance, legal aid, tax aid, and social events. The GSA operates the Graduate House, a multi-use facility featuring restaurant and bar service, for the benefit of its members."

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Renison's Confucius Institute opens

a news release from Renison College

The University of Waterloo, Renison College, and Nanjing University, a highly rated Chinese research university, signed a letter of intent on June 13, 2006, to establish a Confucius Institute at Renison. The Institute is the second in Canada and one of approximately 100 planned worldwide. The official opening will take place at Renison today at 11:00 a.m.

This historic event will include special guests Vice-President Yibin Zhang from Nanjing University, Consul General Taoying Zhu from the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Toronto, David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo, and John Crossley, Principal of Renison College. Traditional Chinese music, dance and light refreshments are included in the program.

Confucius Institutes are established through the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing and are designed to strengthen relations between China and other countries by offering opportunities for students outside China to study Chinese language and culture.

“A Confucius Institute at Renison offers tremendous advantages for teaching, research exchange, and collaboration as we build our East Asian Studies Centre and academic program,” says Crossley. “The Institute represents an important step forward in our internationalization strategies and will greatly strengthen Renison’s ability to meet the needs of both UW students and members of Waterloo region who wish to acquire a deeper understanding of Chinese language and culture. This is an excellent opportunity and one that will greatly benefit the college, the university and our community.”

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Funding comes to fuel-cell researchers

from the UW media relations office

Fuel-cell power holds the key to a more sustainable energy future in Ontario, says a Waterloo engineering professor involved in a new multi-disciplinary university-industry network developing the innovative technology.

Michael Fowler, a professor of chemical engineering, is one of 17 researchers from eight universities in the Ontario Fuel Cell Research and Innovation Network. It recently received $5.4 million in funding from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The network's budget this year totals $16.4 million, including additional contributions from industry and other partners. More than 20 researchers from 12 private sector partners are also involved.

"Fuel cells represent the future in power generation of vehicles where their high efficiency and zero emissions will improve urban air quality, and allow for the use of carbon dioxide-free energy sources such as wind, solar and nuclear energy," Fowler says. "Even now fuel cells are starting to penetrate early markets for lift trucks and back-up power where they offer real performance and efficiency advantages, as well as harmful emission-free operation in Ontario's factories and warehouses."

Fuel cells are a clean energy technology producing electrical power from such fuels as hydrogen. They are considered essential for the so-called 'hydrogen economy.' This economy will make the implementation of clean energy sources easier by providing an energy vector (carrier) for the storage and transfer of energy.

Working in advanced laboratories, the network will train highly skilled staff to support the growth of the fuel-cell industry. Also, its work will provide the answers needed by the industry to move forward to commercialization.

Fowler's research focuses on the design and performance of fuel-cell stacks and systems. He models fuel-cell system reliability and studies potential failures in fuel-cell stacks. "Reliability techniques are needed to understand the life-cycle costs and performance of green-power generation systems," he says.

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[Band across a wide stage]

Classic rock is the game, and The Lost Faculties is the name. Off stage, they're UW optometry instructors; on stage, they've helped raise more than $50,000 through performances at charity and professional events. "They recently broke onto the international scene," Lyndon Jones of optometry advises, "when they were invited to perform at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry in Denver. The large dance floor was packed from start to finish as over 800 optometrists and guests from all over the world danced and partied enthusiastically. The Lost Faculties' next major event is at the gala dinner for the British Contact Lens Association in Manchester, England, on June 2. But before they leave for the UK, you can catch them at the UW/Lutherwood event at Fed Hall." That's the dance scheduled for tomorrow night, 8:00 to 12:30 — tickets $10 at the door or call 519-884-1470 ext. 123. It incorporates the UW 50th anniversary dance originally scheduled for Saturday; proceeds go to the Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation.


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