Monday, June 1, 2009

  • $50 million for Waterloo building projects
  • Funded: math/eng and environment
  • UW engineers launch their own competition
  • Keystone video invitation; other notices
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

wisteria on pergola, Peter Russell Rock Garden, May 29/09

The wisteria in the Peter Russell Rock Garden was in full bloom on Friday.

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$50 million for Waterloo building projects

from a joint federal-provincial news release

Peter Braid, MP for Kitchener–Waterloo, and Leeanna Pendergast, MPP for Kitchener–Conestoga, announced a joint investment of $50 million in two projects at the University of Waterloo on Friday. The federal and provincial governments are contributing $25 million each toward the funding of UW's Engineering and Math Project and Faculty of Environment Project.

"Our federal and provincial leaders are to be commended for their joint support of these two important projects," said president David Johnston. "The university's engineering and mathematics project will ultimately increase Canada's advantage in key areas that include ICT, health and energy. Our proposed environmental research cluster will help produce the intellectual capital and research needed to ensure that growth in Ontario is driven in an intelligent and sustainable fashion."

The federal investment is part of the second and final round of funding under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, the federal government’s two-year, $2-billion plan to repair and expand research and educational facilities at colleges and universities across Canada. The provincial funding comes under the Ontario Budget 2009 commitment to invest in Ontario’s colleges and universities over two years.

On Monday, May 25, the first round of funding under these two programs was announced, including the investment of $50 million in the Balsillie Centre for Excellence in Global Policy.

The complete news release is here.

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Funded: math/eng and environment

from text by Brandon Sweet, CPA

Mathematics and engineering cluster expansion

To expand UW ’s Information and Communications Technology research capability, the faculties of engineering and mathematics will gain 180,000 square feet for work in bio-chemical and bio-processing, tissue engineering, green energy, environmental systems, computational intelligence, health informatics and new media technologies.

This new infrastructure will accommodate 35 new faculty members and 310 new graduate students, with 58 new research labs and other facilities, allowing Waterloo to strengthen industry relationships and increase graduate training capacity. In addition, three professional masters teaching spaces, three 80-seat classrooms, and two 30-seat classrooms will alleviate pressure on math teaching space campus-wide.

Estimated budget: $36 million. Federal contribution: $18.25 million; provincial contribution: $17.75 million.

Environment faculty expansion and renovation

Two interrelated projects to support applied research, teaching and training include a 40,000-square-foot expansion to house laboratory, teaching, computer workspace, study space and offices, and renovations to a contiguous 40-year-old multi-use building to upgrade and expand climate change and ecology labs, teaching facilities, and project development space.

The faculty has experienced very high rates of growth in student numbers, faculty complement and research productivity. Insufficient facilities have constrained our ability to meet Canada’s needs for basic and applied research, education and training. These investments would allow us to contribute effectively and efficiently to national environmental solutions and capacity-building efforts.

Estimated budget: $14 million. Federal contribution: $6.75 million; provincial contribution: $7.25 million.

For both projects the building site has been approved in the university’s campus master plan. Preliminary floor plans, concept designs and building specifications are available, and the university is ready to advertise for builders and contractors. Construction is to begin this year and be substantially completed in March 2011.

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UW engineers launch their own competition

from an article by Chris Togeretz and Kevin Liu, WEC

UW engineers at OEC 2009, GuelphThe UW Engineering Society and the Sandford Fleming Foundation are working together to organize the first-ever Waterloo Engineering Competition (WEC), as a way to select teams to represent the University of Waterloo at the Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC).

Kevin Liu has served as EngSoc director of competitions for three consecutive terms, since September 2008, because he wanted to see more school spirit at the OEC. (The photo above shows the UW team at the 2009 OEC in Guelph.) “I made all the Waterloo competitors sit together," Liu said, "and I told them, when you hear our school name in the award ceremony, you stand up and you cheer as loud as you can!” Waterloo was one of the loudest schools at OEC 2009, and was able to win four third-places awards.

Now we’re on a new quest: we don’t want to settle for third-place finishes, and with UW being the host of OEC 2010, we want to prepare our competitors to win!

We’re going to do it right. We’ve formed a committee, we’ve created a website, we’ve talked to past competitors and identified our weaknesses. The design competitions this year will feature a hands-on component, allowing competitors to actually build and test their designs.

The WEC will be held twice a year, in June and October. There are five categories: Junior Team Design, Senior Team Design, Consulting Engineering, SFF Debates, and SFF Technical Speaking. The first WEC takes place June 22 to 27, with registration from now until June 12. More details here.

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Keystone video invitation; other notices

A reminder of this Wednesday's Keystone Karnival goes out today by email to all faculty, staff, and retirees. It includes this special video invitation from President David Johnston. Among other things, he announces “some wonderful news on our Keystone Campaign, [which] began in May of 2000, and currently we are closing in on the $10-million mark and coming close to 2,500 donors. That’s a remarkable commitment by our family, and remarkable for the cause of higher education and research here at the University of Waterloo....”

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” This quote by Peter F. Drucker introduces June's featured Continuing Education course, Getting More Life Out of Your Time. “Make time for time management and it will be the best time you’ve ever spent. You’ll not only increase your personal productivity, you’ll get more life out of your time.” It’s one of a roster of classroom courses designed to help you improve your working life – including tools and techniques for project management, effective recruitment, team building, dealing with difficult people, managerial accounting, and stress. Classroom courses, for which all full-time staff may receive a 50 per cent discount, are held in the Continuing Education Training Room at 335 Gage Avenue, Kitchener.

“As of today, all University of Waterloo residences, including the Federated University and Affiliated Colleges, are full for September 2009,” writes Chris Read, University Housing Officer, in a memo circulated across campus on Friday. “All first-year students who submitted applications and deposits by our published first-year guarantee deadline of May 28th will be offered residence accommodation in one of our communities (UW Residences, St. Jerome’s, Renison, St. Paul’s, or Conrad Grebel,” and will be contacted shortly. Anyone who applies for housing from this point on will be referred to the university’s Off-campus Housing Office, which is “committed to working with any student in this position to assist in their search for suitable accommodation.”

Farm Market logo“The first taste of asparagus and spring greens have arrived at the grocers and it's time to organize our own UW Farm Market,” says Heather Kelly, UW’s event and marketing co-ordinator. Because the market depends on volunteers, “we are holding our first UW Farm Market meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 and again on Wednesday, June 3, on the second level of the Student Life Centre, just outside the WPIRG office. This meeting will be the starting place to determine how much interest there is, how the market will run, who will help with marketing, volunteer lists, etc.... The proposed market schedule for this summer is June 25, July 9, 16 and 23, based on Elmira Produce Auction Cooperative dates. And the proposed location is the ES Courtyard.”

Finally, this reassuring note from Human Resources to all staff, faculty and CUPE 793 employees participating in UW's benefit plans: “UW'S Health, Dental, Life Insurance and Long Term Disability (LTD) contracts are renewed May 1st each year. Our claims experience over the past year has resulted in unchanged or lower rates for our plans.” More information here.

CPA staff

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Link of the day


When and where

Commuter Challenge 2009 encourages any mode of travel except driving a car alone to work. Register here as an individual or as part of the university. Challenge takes place May 31 - June 6.

Co-op employer interviews (main group) June 1-18.

President’s Golf Tournament in support of athletic scholarships today, Westmount Golf and Country Club, is SOLD OUT. Details.

Math alumni in Vancouver: lunch at Sage Bistro, University of British Columbia today. Details.

Career workshop: “Work Search Strategies for International Students” 3 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Co-op pharmacy students job ranking opens 4:30 p.m., match results June 5, 4 p.m.

‘Social Work Practice in an International Context’ information session held by Renison UC School of Social Work, 4:30, Renison chapel lounge. Free. Details.

Procurement Trade Show 2009, showcasing products available to the university community. June 2 and 3, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301. Win an iPod touch! Details.

Career workshops Tuesday: “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” 10:30, “Working Effectively in Another Culture” 3:00, both in Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

IYA lecture series. Award-winning scientist Brian Schmidt on "The Universe From Beginning to End." Tuesday, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building. Free, all welcome. Details.

UW board of governors meets Tuesday, 2:30 p.m., Research Advancement Centre (475 Wes Graham Way) room 2009.

Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute Distinguished Lecture: Brian Schmidt, “Observational Evidence for Dark Energy” Tuesday 4:00, Perimeter Institute.

Career workshop: “Career Exploration and Decision Making” Wednesday, 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1112. Details.

Wilfrid Laurier University spring convocation ceremonies: June 3 to 5 and June 10. Details.

Research projects workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday, 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Lectures in Quantum Information series by Anthony Leggett: "The physics of topological quantum computing: selected topics." June 4, 2-3 p.m., 475 Wes Graham Way, Research Advancement Centre room 2009. All welcome.

Sound in the Lands, conference exploring Mennonite music, June 4-8, Conrad Grebel University College. Concerts: Mennofolk (free), Thursday 4:00 to midnight, Grebel great hall; Chamber music ($10, students $5) Friday 8:00, Grebel chapel; World Music Collaborative Concert ($10 and $5) Saturday 8:30, Grebel great hall; Choral concert ($10 and $5) Sunday 8:00, First United Church, Waterloo. Details.

Career workshop: “Entrepreneurship, a Student’s Perspective” Thursday, 12:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

WPIRG and the UW Women's Centre present: Alternative Menstrual Products Workshop, Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2105b (above the Bomber pub).

School of Optometry continuing education weekend June 5-7; Woodruff Lecture by Judith West-Mays, McMaster University; Clair Bobier lecture by William Bobier, UW optometry; reunion dinner; optometric assistants’ program; official opening of Optometry building expansion, Friday 11:30 a.m., by invitation. Details.

‘Canada 3.0: Defining Canada’s Digital Future’ conference for industry leaders, policy-makers and researchers, sponsored by UW Stratford Institute, Open Text, and Canadian Digital Media Network, June 8-9, Rotary Complex, Stratford. Details.

UW's Ninety-Eighth Convocation and installation of Chancellor, Wednesday, June 10, to Saturday, June 13; all ceremonies in Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Graham Medal Seminar: Craig Eisler, Microsoft, “Software and Innovation: A 20-Year Perspective” Thursday June 11, 2 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Register by email or phone 519-888-4567, ext. 37747.

ACM-style programming contest to help select UW’s teams for next year’s international competition, Saturday, June 13. Details.

UW Book Club. Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Wednesday, June 17, 12:05 p.m., Dana Porter Library room 407. Details on UWRC webpage.

QPR for suicide prevention. Open session for all staff and faculty, Friday, June 26, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Math and Computer Building, room 4068. To register phone ext. 33528 or email.

Canada Day holiday Wednesday, July 1, UW offices and most services closed; classes cancelled; annual celebrations and fireworks on the north campus 2:00 to 11:00.


Friday's Daily Bulletin