Tuesday, March 17, 2009

  • 7,000 visitors; in memoriam; and more
  • Visit strengthens UW's Brazil links
  • Other achievements and notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

7,000 visitors; in memoriam; and more

Big crowds are expected today for the March break open house that brings future students and their parents to have a first-hand look at Waterloo. The weather could hardly be better, and as of yesterday "close to 7,000" people had registered to attend, up from the typical figure of about 5,000, according to Kim McKee of the visitors centre in South Campus Hall. "We will have to have more staff on hand to help with crowd control," she said. Waterloo Regional Police have been asked to post extra officers on Columbia Street and University Avenue at peak traffic times. Visitors to the main campus will be directed to parking lots on the periphery: at UW Place, in parking lot E on Seagram Drive, in whatever space is available in A and C lots at University and Seagram, and in lots W and X on the north campus. Headquarters for the day is at South Campus Hall, where visitors can stop at information booths before taking a walking tour of the campus. Residences and other student services departments are offering tours or drop-in visits all day. Most activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m.

[Sitler]John Sitler (right), a well known staff member in UW's library since 1980, died Sunday. He was 55. Until going on leave to battle his final illness, he was working on the third floor of the Dana Porter Library on the "responding" side of the interlibrary loan and document delivery office — helping to provide UW library materials to other universities and libraries around the world on request. Sitler was also involved in community activities ranging from Scouting to the Waterloo Cycling Club. He is survived by his spouse, Michael Holmes, of the library's systems department. Visitation is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday at the Henry Walser Funeral Home on Frederick Street in Kitchener; details of a memorial service are to be announced later. Memorial donations to the UW library are invited by the family.

An announcement that comes at this season every year deals with the annual Friends of the Library lecture and the exhibition that accompanies it. Here's the word, from the UW library office: "The Library’s annual Friends of the Library lecture is scheduled for noon on April 20 in the Theatre of the Arts and will feature the first campus talk by UW’s Chancellor-elect, Mr. Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. As part of the event’s celebrations, the Library will be honouring members of the university community who, in 2008, have authored a book, composed a musical score, mounted an art show, or were recognized for their design or photography work. Works will be publicly recognized and displayed during the event. If you would like your work included, or would like to register to attend this lecture, please contact Cheryl Kieswetter, ext. 32281."

Check tomorrow's Daily Bulletin for background on Bruce Cox, executive director of Greenpeace, who will be speaking at 5:30 Wednesday afternoon in Rod Coutts Hall. • Tonight's preview performance of the drama department's "Mad Forest", for an invitation-only audience, starts at 7:00 instead of the regular 8:00 time, in the Theatre of the Arts. • It's three weeks until the Jewish festival of Passover, and Linda Safran of the University of Toronto speaks on "The Arts of Passover from Antiquity to Today" tonight at 7:30 in Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

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Visit strengthens UW's Brazil links

by John Morris, communications and public affairs

Several specialist journalists from Brazil visited last week as part of a cross-Canada tour to find out about some of the university's research successes along with innovation throughout Waterloo Region.

They learned about the use of sustainable materials in the automotive industry in a talk hosted by Brazilian-born Leonardo Simon, associate professor of chemical engineering. Simon, an expert in polymer nanocomposites, discussed the use of wheat straw and soybeans in making interior plastic parts for cars.

Earlier, they heard from managing director Ross McKenzie about diverse studies undertaken by the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research. They also found out about fuel cell research, in a presentation by professors Michael Fowler and Zhongwei Chen. Later, they were given a demonstration of the Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team's EcoCAR, led by team captain Alex Koch.

The Brazilian news media representatives were Afra Balazina, science reporter for Folha de São Paulo, Brazil's largest daily newspaper; Luis Gustavo Poloni, science writer for the Terra multi-media website; Adriana Bittar, reporter and anchor for TV Record and her cameraman Fábio Ribeiro; André Borges, reporter for Valor Econômico, a respected business newspaper.
Accompanying the delegation were Marilia Serra, media relations officer for the Canadian Embassy in Brazil, and Catherine Genois, of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

John Thompson, associate vice-president (university research), told them about UW's research capacities tied to the new Brazil-Canada science and technology agreement, signed recently by both countries. Arthur Carty, executive director, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, delivered a presentation on nanotech research at UW.

Bill Elliott, director of business development for Canada's Technology Triangle, provided an overview of Waterloo Region's innovative economy and entrepreneurship.

The visitors met Donald Cowan, UW distinguished professor emeritus of computer science, a recipient of the Grand Cross, National Order of Scientific Merit — the highest civilian honour in Brazil. The award, presented in 2006 by the Brazilian government, recognized Cowan for his many years of collaboration with Brazilian scientists and students including a long association with Carlos José Pereira de Lucena, a UW adjunct professor of computer science and a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Several Brazilian graduate students at UW were also introduced to the news people.

The week-long tour is being held to highlight Canada's expertise and leading position in several fields linked to innovation. As well, it explores Brazilian-Canadian collaborations in the new science and technology agreement. Focus areas cover agriculture, biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information and communications technology, and renewable energy development. Subsequent calls for collaborative proposals are pending government approvals and will be administered by Drew Knight in Waterloo International and the Office of Research.

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Other achievements and notes

[Rourke, with plaque]Lorna Rourke (left), librarian at. St. Jerome’s University, has been named this year's Academic Librarian of the Year by the Ontario College and University Library Association. "Lorna has long been a supporter of OCULA and the Ontario Library Association," says OCULA president Cynthia Williamson. "Her commitment to academic research is demonstrated by her work on virtual reference. While at the University of Guelph, Lorna won the University of Guelph Faculty Association's Academic Librarianship Award. She is known for presenting at conferences and as an inspiring mentor to many, many students through her teaching at the University of Western Ontario and Mohawk College." Rourke is a former OCULA president herself, and is being honoured for "demonstrated notable service to the academic community".

Here’s a note from the UW library’s e-newsletter, this time from its branch on the Cambridge campus: “Whether it’s the riverside location or edgy digs, there has always been something poetic about the Musagetes Architecture Library. Last month the Musagetes staff helped its neighbouring library promote its annual Poem-a-Day contest by creating their own inspiring poetry display, drawing on related materials available at the Musagetes Library. ‘It was surprising how much material we found in our collection for the display that could be related to poetry in one way or another,’ says Linda Finn, Library Clerk at Musagetes. So much, in fact, that it didn't take long until Linda and other Musagetes staff were sparked to expand the display and also hold their own haiku contest. The resulting display highlighted ‘architects who are poets, poetry in architecture, architecture in literature, and the construction of poetry,’ says Library Associate Sara Perkins. Of special interest, the display showcased haiku poems inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright that were written by students across America and discovered by Musagetes staff on pbs.org. The haiku contest drummed up interest from a range of Musagetes students who entered their haiku creations for a chance to win one of five ‘sweet and yummy prizes’ randomly drawn in time for Valentine’s Day.”

The UW-published Alternatives Journal, calling itself “Canada’s national environmental magazine”, has announced that it will be “the official media sponsor of Earth Day Canada’s 2009 annual Hometown Heroes Award Program. Earth Day Canada developed the program to recognize and celebrate environmental leaders who foster meaningful, long–term awareness and action in communities across the country. These individuals and groups seldom receive the recognition their tremendous efforts deserve.” Says Nicola Ross, executive editor: “The truth is, real environmental change happens on a small scale by every citizen across the country.” More from a news release: “Earth Day Canada has long been aware that the most important environmental work occurs at the community level. Whether people are involved in a local gardening movement, protecting natural spaces or starting their own environmental network or organization, these heroics need to be recognized and supported.” The winner of the 2009 Hometown Heroes Award receives $5,000 to keep and $5,000 to donate to the environmental cause of their choice. Anyone can nominate an environmental leader in the community; the deadline is Earth Day, April 22.

Ontario University Athletics names all-star teams and other top athletes in each sport as the season comes to an end, and naturally many of those stars are from Warrior interuniversity competition. Among those recently honoured: In track and field, Nancy Spreitzer receives the female Student-Athlete Community Service Award, for athletic achievements and volunteer work with Reaching Our Outdoor Friends and other agencies. In women’s basketball, guard Kim Lee joins the second team all-stars. In men’s hockey, forward Chris Ray and defenceman Kyle Sonnenburg are named to the first team all-stars, and goalie Pier-Olivier Pelletier to the all-rookie team. In women’s hockey, Julia Endicott is named to the all-rookie team. Finally, Joshua Svec of the football Warriors, a receiver, was among 18 Ontario university players invited to the Canadian Football League’s “evaluation camp” in Toronto earlier this month.

And . . . I wrote yesterday that Maryanne Rose, who retires April 1, had worked “originally at Renison University College and most recently as assistant to the registrar at St. Jerome's University”. In fact it's the other way round: she is currently at Renison, where the colleague who pointed out my error adds that she has “thoroughly enjoyed working with her”.


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Link of the day

For St. Patrick's: The Irish in Canada

When and where

St. Patrick’s Day at the Bombshelter pub, Student Life Centre, breakfast special, then free after 11:00.

St. Patrick’s Day lunch at University Club, 11:30 to 2:00, reservations ext. 33801.

Chemistry in society lecture: John Honek and Elisabeth Daub, “How Chemists Are in a Fight for Your Life: The Impact of Chemistry on Antibiotic Drug Discovery” 3:00 p.m., Biology I room 271.

Techno Tuesday: “Personal Brain” workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, 3:00, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Schnitzel anyone? Metro Restaurant, 164 Victoria Street North, Kitchener. 5:30 p.m. Email UWRC@ uwaterloo.ca to register.

Applied complexity and innovation seminar: Lee Smolin, physics and astronomy, “Symmetries in Economic Models and their Consequences”, Wednesday 11:00, University Club. Details.

Climate change seminar: Brent Wolfe, Wilfrid Laurier University, “Climate Change and Water Resources in the Peace-Athabasca Watershed”, Wednesday 12:00 noon, Environment I room 221.

UW Book Club. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, Wednesday 12:05 p.m., Dana Porter Library room 407. Details.

Brown Bag Lunch session from Staff Association and Credit Union: “Let's Talk Mortgages” Wednesday 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Free noon concert: Music of Edvard Grieg (piano and voice), Wednesday 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Café-rencontre du département d’études françaises: Sébastien Ruffo, “Les conteurs Fred Pellerin et Jean-Marc Massie” mercredi 18 mars, 14h30, Tatham Centre salle 2218.

Engineering exchange opportunities in Germany: information session Wednesday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

Management sciences graduate studies information session Wednesday 5 p.m., Carl Pollock Hall room 4333.

Blood donor clinic Thursday 10:00 to 4:00.

‘Dragons’ Den’ series on CBC television visits in search of aspiring entrepreneurs: auditions Thursday 11:00 to 6:00, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

End-of-term recitals by UW music students March 19, 24, 25 and 30, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Ontario Centres of Excellence overview seminar and “Characteristics of a Great Research Project” Thursday 1:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

FIRST Robotics Competition for high school students, March 20-22, Physical Activities Complex; public competitions Friday 9:30 to 4:00, Saturday 9:30 to 4:15. Details.

Executive Awards Gala with presentation of 2008-09 Federation of Students awards, Friday 6:30 p.m., Federation Hall, dinner and dance tickets $15 at Federation office, Student Life Centre.

Science and Business Students Association presents "Fusion: The Economy of the Future” Saturday 8:00 to 5:00, Rod Coutts Hall. Details.

Global City Partnership launch of 0.7 Challenge, with keynote speaker Marc Kielburger, Free the Children, with Canadian band Vacuity, Saturday 7 p.m., Wilfrid Laurier University athletic complex, tickets $10. Details.

New faculty lunch-and-learn: “Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion”, March 24, 11:45 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details. Register by March 17.

‘Waterloo Bell — Bell for Kepler’ lecture by artist Royden Rabinowitch, at Institute for Quantum Computing, 475 Wes Graham Way, March 26, 7:00 p.m. Details.

Yo' Couch Magic Show. Drama student and magician Shawn DeSouza-Coelho raising funds for exchange with Calabria, Italy, March 26, 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, admission $5.

Federation of Students general meeting March 27, 1:00, Student Life Centre great hall. Details.

Orchestra @ UWaterloo spring concert, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsy and Mendelssohn, April 2, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Details.

Winter term classes end Friday, April 3; exams April 8-24. Unofficial winter term grades appear in Quest beginning April 27.

PhD oral defences

Civil and environmental engineering. Stefano D. Normani, “Paleoevolution of Pore Fluids in Glaciated Geologic Settings.” Supervisor, Jon Sykes. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, April 9, 1:30 p.m., Carl Pollock Hall room 2371.

Civil and environmental engineering. Anup Sahoo, “Models for Assessment of Flaws in Pressure Tubes of CANDU Reactors.” Supervisor, Mahesh Pandey. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, April 13, 9:00 a.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Chemistry. Geneviève Labbé, “Dynamics and Inhibition of Class II Fructose 1,6-biphosphate aldolase.” Supervisor, J. Guy Guillemette. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, April 14, 10:00 a.m., Chemistry II room 361.

Optometry and biology. David J. McCanna, “Development of Sensitive in Vitro Assays to Assess the Ocular Toxicity Potential of Chemicals and Ophthalmic Products.” Supervisor, Jacob G. Sivak. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, April 14, 10:00 a.m., Optometry room 347.

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