Tuesday, June 10, 2008

  • Shovels begin $160 million project
  • 'Outstanding' status for 69 profs
  • Researchers seeking to 'heritagize'
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis][Premier, shirtsleeves, outstretched hand]

Donors and dignitaries helped break ground yesterday for the Quantum-Nano Centre. A tent on the building's site, north of Biology II, sheltered the audience from afternoon showers as brief speeches were made. And then the silver shovels swung into action to make the first tentative holes for the massive building, which will take more than two years to complete. Donors Mike (of Research In Motion) and Ophelia Lazaridis beamed; Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, who spoke for the cameras in both English and French about the importance of innovation to the province's economic future, shook many hands.

Shovels begin $160 million project

a news release issued yesterday by the UW media relations office

The University of Waterloo is breaking ground on a $160 million investment designed to propel the university and the country to the forefront of the science of the very small. The university is beginning construction of the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC).

The new centre will be home to not one but two forefront areas of science and engineering — quantum information technology and nanotechnology. Quantum deals with the atomic and sub-atomic levels, where the usual laws of physics do not apply; things can, for instance, exist in two places at the same time. Nanotechnology deals with the fabrication and behaviour of materials, devices and systems in the size range of atoms or molecules, generally 100 nanometres or smaller.

The genius and beauty of the quantum-nano concept lies in the unique combination of strengths that result. The potential synergies produced by nano and quantum researchers working side by side will be unique and groundbreaking. No other quantum group in the world has a direct in-house bridge to a major nanotech institute and no nanotech centre has the opportunity to partner in developments at the leading edge of quantum information technologies.

"This is an exciting time for science and the University of Waterloo," says UW chancellor Mike Lazaridis. "In addition to housing state-of-the-art research labs, this new building will provide a unique and cutting-edge environment that will bring together the brightest minds in basic and applied research to explore and advance quantum computing and nanotechnology."

The facility will be home to the Institute for Quantum Computing, the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and UW's undergraduate program in nanotechnology engineering. It will be able to accommodate the needs of up to 400 academics, equally split between the quantum and nano sides, with most coming from the faculties of engineering, mathematics and science.

"The Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre will be the first research facility of its kind in the world," says Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty. "That kind of innovation is the cornerstone of the economy we are building in Ontario in the 21st century."

The five-storey facility will be the most complex scientific building on campus. Significant features include a 10,000-square-foot class 100 and 1000 clean room with state-of-the-art fabrication facilities for quantum and nano devices, an advanced metrology suite, extensive teaching and research laboratories, seminar rooms and offices.

Mechanical and electrical systems account for close to 50 per cent of the construction costs. The building will feature low vibration, low electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference environments employing advanced structural, mechanical and electrical designs.

"This is a significant investment, not just in the University of Waterloo, but in Ontario and Canada," says David Johnston, president of the university. "The provincial government, Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis, and all other supporters of this project should be commended for helping UW researchers excel at the forefront of quantum information and nanotechnology."

The Government of Ontario is providing $50 million for construction of QNC. Another $22 million is coming from a $50 million donation from the Lazaridis family. The remaining funding involves federal funding, private donations and university funds.

The Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre is scheduled to open late in 2010 or early 2011.

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'Outstanding' status for 69 profs

"Outstanding performance awards" have been given to 69 professors in the fifth year of the program, which recognizes “the top 10 per cent of the faculty”.

A fund for such increases was created as part of UW’s annual faculty salary process in 2004. It provides permanent salary increases for the individuals selected, based on performance ratings for the previous year (in this case, spring 2008 ratings, with the increases effective May 1, 2008). A faculty member can’t receive one of the awards any oftener than every third year.

"I am very pleased to announce the award recipients," provost Amit Chakma says in a memo listing them, "and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to the University of Waterloo."

Award winners include 4 faculty in applied health sciences, 14 in arts, 18 in engineering, 4 in environmental studies, 15 in mathematics and 14 in science. Last year a total of 75 faculty members received the awards, with increases that were effective in May 2007.

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Researchers seeking to 'heritagize'

from the web site of the faculty of environmental studies

Planning professor Robert Shipley, director of UW’s Heritage Resources Centre, is part of a group of 12 researchers from across Canada awarded a $2 million SSHRC Strategic Cluster grant to develop a Canadian Forum on Public Research in Heritage.

The intent is to mobilize divergent groups with an interest in heritage to create synergistic networks, a broader understanding of the subject and to “heritagize” resources. Other goals include attracting young researchers to heritage research, making new connections between researchers, professionals and citizens through the use of resources such as teleconferences, blogs, wiki-style online databases and more traditional means such as conferences and publications.

While heritage is an increasingly important economic asset the difficulty of integrating such a transdisciplinary topic has often left it isolated within universities and divided by provincial and municipal jurisdictional boundaries. The CFPRH aims to foster a truly pan-Canadian vision and make Canada a hub of global research in the field of heritage.

The team, which includes five Canada Research Chairs, is led by two professors at the University of Quebec at Montreal. Shipley brings his international expertise on the economics of heritage, governance of heritage institutions and evaluation of conservation led urban regeneration. Shipley’s skills will complement the expertise of architectural historians, heritage building specialists and designers that make up the rest of the group.

Shipley is the chair person of a National Round Table on Heritage Education founded last year at the annual conference of the Heritage Canada Foundation in Edmonton and has been assisting the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and Community Heritage Ontario in their formation of a strategy to improve the public understanding of heritage issues in this province.


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Link of the day


When and where

Lectures in quantum information: Anthony Leggett, Institute for Quantum Computing, “Prospects for Topological Quantum Computing” June 10, 17, 19, 24, 26, July 3, 8, 10, all at 2:00 p.m., Research Advancement Centre, 475 Wes Graham Way, room 2009.

Career workshop: “Interview skills, preparing for questions” 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

UW Debate Society meets Tuesdays 5:15, Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

Alumni in Kelowna networking reception 5:30 to 8:30, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, information online.

Spring Convocation: applied health sciences and environmental studies, Wednesday 10:00; science, Wednesday 2:30; arts (some programs), Thursday 10:00; arts (some programs), Thursday 2:30; mathematics, Friday 10:00; computer science, Friday 2:30; engineering (some programs), Saturday 10:00; engineering (some programs), Saturday 2:30, details online.

School of Planning graduation reception and Ring Ceremony Wednesday, lunch 12:00, ceremony 1:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, information slknisch@uwaterloo.ca.

‘Magic: Frontiers and Boundaries’ international conference hosted by department of classical studies, June 11-15, details online.

Wilfrid Laurier University convocation ceremonies in Brantford June 11, details online.

Career workshop: “Interview skills, selling your skills” Wednesday 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Lifestyle Learnings session at Columbia Lake Health Club, boardroom, 340 Hagey Boulevard: “20 essentials in the grocery store” Wednesday 5:30 p.m.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment Thursday 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., Central Stores, East Campus Hall.

International spouses group: “Card-making” using stamping and embossing, Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre, children welcome, e-mail lighthousenm@gmail.com if attending.

J. W. Graham Medal Seminar by this year’s winner: Eric Veach, Google Inc., “Searching the World with Google Maps”, Thursday 2:00, Davis Centre room 1302, reception follows, details online.

Distinguished lecture: Alan Kay, Viewpoints Research Institute, inventor Smalltalk, “Steps Toward the Reinvention of Programming”, Thursday 4:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Canadian Mathematical Society awards banquet, honours to high school students placing highest in the 40th Canadian Mathematical Olympiad, Thursday 5:30, South Campus Hall.

Late night picture show (“bike-in theatre”) sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group: “The Yes Men”, documentary about World Trade Organization pranksters, Thursday 9:00 p.m., Matthews Hall green.

Matthews Golf Classic for students, staff, faculty, retirees and friends, Monday, Grand Valley Golf Course, details online.

Canadian Mental Health Association, Grand River Branch, “Leading a National Mental Health Strategy” presentation, discussion and annual meeting, June 16, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, information 519-766-4450 ext. 371.

25-Year Club annual reception June 17, 6:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex, by invitation, information ext. 32078.

Zonta Club dinner meeting, guest speaker Louise Fréchette, former deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, June 18, 6:00, South Campus Hall, tickets $20, e-mail diane@trainerstogoinc.on.ca.

Spiritual Heritage Education Network presents the video “Changing from Inside”, about Vipassana meditation program as used at a minimum security prison near Seattle, June 18, 7:30 p.m., CEIT room 1015.

R&T Park charity barbecue in support of the K-W Community Foundation, June 19, 11:30 to 1:30, TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard, burger and salad $6, rain date June 24.

Pre-enrolment for winter 2009 undergraduate courses, June 23-29 on Quest: choose courses now so preferences can be used in preparing the timetable, information online.

Bill Pudifin, faculty of engineering, retirement reception June 25, 3:00 to 5:00, Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

Canada Day celebrations Tuesday, July 1, on the north campus: children’s fun-fest, arts and crafts fair, food, stage performances and other activities, 2 p.m. until evening; fireworks 10 p.m.; details and volunteer information online.

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