Monday, May 25, 2009

  • Centre on new contaminants gets OK
  • Waterloo will help 'green' the skies
  • Goss stays; road salt; auto research
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

People attending Connections in Geometry and Physics workshop

Connections in Geometry and Physics was a three-day workshop earlier this month — held at the Perimeter Institute, but sponsored by UW’s Faculty of Mathematics as well as Perimeter and the Toronto-based Fields Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Spiro Karigiannis and Ruxandra Moraru of the pure math department were among the organizers, and postdoctoral fellow Shengda Hu, also of pure math, was one of the speakers.

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Centre on new contaminants gets OK

A new centre involving researchers in civil and environmental engineering and several other UW departments will focus on the new problems posed by medications, industrial chemicals, detergents and deodorants seeping into the water supply.

Wayne Parker, Civil Engineering“Emerging contaminants” is the blanket term for such substances, and the new organization, with Wayne Parker (left) of civil and environmental as its director, is the Centre for Control of Emerging Contaminants (CCEC). Its creation was approved by the UW senate at its April meeting.

“The centre,” the senate was told, “is supported by world-renowned researchers including several Canada Research Chairs in water and wastewater risk assessment, analysis and treatment technologies, by the Ontario Research Fund and 30 government and non-government organizations.”

Its work deals with such issues as drinking water treatment, risk assessment, “source characterization and control”, and wastewater treatment.

Another key researcher is Tom Sullivan, also of civil and environmental, who notes that CCEC extends beyond UW to include researchers from various disciplines at the University of Toronto, Guelph, Trent and Laurier “to develop and test new technologies for measuring, monitoring, controlling and removing emerging contaminants from water and wastewater.” In addition there are 16 private-sector partners.

The CCEC researchers already operate a number of campus laboratories, have access to government facilities under the auspices of Health Canada and other agencies, and have support from half a dozen municipalities that are providing access to water and wastewater treatment plans.

“All members of the proposed centre,” senate was told, “have also contributed to a $22-million CFI LEF project entitled Water Quality Research Platform in Urban and Urbanizing Watersheds, in which more than 50 researchers from eight partner institutions will collaborate. . . .

“There is a pressing need for trained professionals that are knowledgeable in technologies capable of controlling ECs. In the first five years, approximately 75 graduate students and 12 post-doctoral fellows will be rigorously trained.”

Sullivan notes that emerging contaminants include “thousands of new types of compounds such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, industrial and household chemicals for which health and environmental effects are largely unknown. EC's are released into our water system daily and pass virtually unchanged through wastewater treatment plants which were never designed to remove them.

“The CCEC will position Ontario and the University of Waterloo as international leaders in the control of emerging contaminants. The result will be safer water, new high-value jobs, and made-in-Ontario technology solutions that can be marketed around the world.”

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Waterloo will help 'green' the skies

a news release from the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

The Canadian aerospace industry has unveiled GARDN, the Green Aviation Research & Development Network, a new network of centres of excellence that brings together industry, university and government partners to lower noise and emissions pollution produced by the aerospace industry and ultimately to reduce its ecological footprint.

Claude Lajeunesse, president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada and chairman of GARDN's board of directors, underscored the importance of this initiative for the industry.

"GARDN's work will increase the research-development capacity of players from our industry and strengthen Canadian know-how in green technologies for the aerospace industry," Lajeunesse said. "In addition, GARDN will enhance public-private collaboration and help develop highly qualified personnel in the environmental field.

"The establishment of this partnership confirms the global leadership of Canada's aerospace sector and also firmly demonstrates the industry's determination to develop engines and aircraft that are more environmentally friendly, to the benefit of future generations.”

With an initial budget of $23 million over four years funded equally by the federal government and participating aerospace companies, GARDN will focus on eight research themes: noise, emissions, materials and manufacturing processes, performance, icing, aircraft operations, alternative fuels and product lifecycle management. Nine research projects on these themes will be conducted by Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bombardier Aerospace and CMC Electronics during the program's first phase.

GARDN could also participate in other Canadian environmental collaboration initiatives, as well as in the activities of international organizations.

The industrial leaders of GARDN are three major players in Canada's aerospace industry: Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bombardier Aerospace and Esterline CMC Electronics. They are joined by eight leading Canadian universities: École de technologie supérieure, McGill University, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Concordia University, University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto (Institute for Aerospace Studies), as well as by four well-established SMEs: Messier-Dowty, Aercoustics, Integran and Standard Aero.

The AIAC is the national trade association representing Canada's aerospace manufacturing and services sector. As the world's fourth largest aerospace industry, Canada's aerospace sector generates $23 billion annually and employs more than 80,000 Canadians. Eighty-two per cent of Canadian aerospace products are exported. AIAC represents the interests of 400 aerospace companies across Canada.

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Goss stays; road salt; auto research

Staff Sergeant Chris Goss stays on with UW Police

Chris Goss, who was seconded from the Waterloo Region Police last fall in a unique arrangement to serve as manager of police and security operations with the UW Police, will be staying on at the university for a while longer.

An article by Melinda Dalton in the Waterloo Chronicle, May 20, gives the details. "A 21-year veteran with the service," she writes, "Staff Sgt. Chris Goss was brought to help regional police better liaise with the university police, work on standard operating protocols and assist with training of the special constables. 'To say this initiative has been an outstanding success is not to overstate,' UW president David Johnston wrote in a letter to the Waterloo Regional Police services board, which approved the renewal of the secondment last month.… The secondment has been renewed for one year and regional police will continue to monitor its effectiveness during that time."

Melanie Watkins, library staff, comments, "We in the library have benefitted greatly from the more amicable relationship with and increased presence of the UW police as a result of talking and working with Chris Goss."

We study road salt

Nearly 200 researchers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, the US, and Canada will be on campus May 25 to 27, sharing insights on how the winter use of road salt affects urban water quality. The first International Conference on Urban Drainage and Road Salt Management in Cold Climates has been organized by geography and environmental management professor Micheal Stone, with colleagues at Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.

Winter road maintenance, involving snow removal and the use of road salts, has a major impact on surface water, soil and groundwater in urban areas. Environment Canada has identified road salt as a toxic substance and concerns regarding its impact on the environment have prompted a growing interest in innovative strategies that keep roadways safe while reducing environmental effects.

AUTO 21 supports UW-led research project

The automotive research network AUTO21 is funding a new round of research projects — among them, a project led by Mary Wells, a Waterloo faculty member in mechanical and mechatronics engineering, on high-strength, lightweight cast powertrain components. "The scope of research involves the scientific and quantitative understanding of the precision sand casting process used to produce high integrity lightweight powertrain components," according to the project's webpage. "This will facilitate optimized use of the sand casting process as well as the microstructures and properties produced after heat treatment." The network and its industry partners together are contributing $10 million to fund 20 new projects at Canadian universities and research institutes over two years.

CPA staff

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Link of the day

Ralph Waldo Emerson's birthday

When and where

Winter term grades become official today on Quest.

International Conference on Urban Drainage and Road Salt Management in Cold Climates, hosted by UW school of planning, May 25-27, Arts Lecture Hall. Details.

Career workshop: “Career Interest Assessment” Monday, 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1113. Details.

Philosophy Grad Student Colloquium: Andrei Moldovan, PhD student University of Barcelona, Monday, 3:30 p.m., Hagey Hall room 334.

Canadian Health Economics Study Group annual conference May 26-27, Arts Lecture Hall. Details.

Library workshop: “GIS for Grads” Tuesday, 10:30, Map Library, Environment I. Details.

Waterloo Region rapid transit public consultation centre Tuesday 2 to 8 p.m., First United Church, Waterloo. Details.

Career workshop: “Networking 101” Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Engineers Without Borders presents Jennifer Ball speaking on development and the role of values. Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Coutts Hall (RCH) room 308

WPIRG presents: Gardens, Local Food and Communities, with Candace Worsbecker of the Community Gardening Council of Waterloo Region, Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Math and Computer Building room 2034. Details.

‘Understanding the Learner’ workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday, 12:30, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Smarter Health seminar: Carolyn McGregor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, “Neonatal Health Informatics: Uncharted Discovery” Wednesday, 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

UW Retirees Association annual general meeting Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., Sunshine Centre, Luther Village.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 2:30, “Basics of Starting a Business” 4:30 p.m., both in Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Sprinkler system shut down in Biology I and II and ESC building, May 28 at 8 a.m. to May 29 at 4:00 p.m.

‘Learning from Ontario’s Best Lecturers’ workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday, May 28, 10:30 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Relaxation sessions presented by the Employee Assistance Program. The healing light, Thursday, May 28, 12:15-12:45, Math and Computing room 5136.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment Thursday, May 28, 12:30 to 2 p.m., East Campus Hall.

International Spouses “Grow Your Own Herb Garden” presentation by Samm McKay, Thursday, May 28, 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre, pre-register by e-mail (dtamsg@ by May 22. Details.

‘University-Industry Connection: Win-Win Strategies’ sponsored by engineering research office, Thursday, May 28, 1:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Library workshop: “Google Earth 5.0” Thursday, May 28, 2 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshops Thursday, May 28: “Are You Thinking About an International Experience?” 3:00, Tatham Centre room 1208; “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” 3:30 p.m., Tatham room 2218; “Basics of Starting a Business” 4:30, Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Health and Healing lecture series launches with talk by Pharmacy director Jake Thiessen, "Building a Healthier Future: Discovery and Innovation at the Health Sciences Campus." Thursday, May 28, 7 pm, School of Pharmacy, 10 Victoria Street South, Kitchener. Free. RSVP by email or 519-888-4499

Final day for fee arrangements for spring term, May 29.

Retirement party for Marie Schmidt of Finance, after 31 years at UW. Friday, May 29, 3 - 5 p.m., presentation at 4 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301. RSVP by May 26.

9/11 Research Group presents Annie Machon, “MI5 Whistleblower Speaks Out”, Sunday, May 31, 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

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.

President’s Golf Tournament in support of athletic scholarships, Monday, June 1, Westmount Golf and Country Club. Details.

Math alumni in Vancouver: lunch at Sage Bistro, University of British Columbia, Monday, June 1. Details.

Keystone Karnival, annual outdoor event celebrating the Keystone Campaign for faculty, staff and retirees, Wednesday, June 3, 11:30 to 1:30, Matthews Hall green, with evening event 10 p.m., South Campus Hall.

Matthews Golf Classic for students, staff, faculty, retirees and guests, Monday, June 15, 12:00 noon, Grand Valley Golf Course. Registration closes May 29. Details.


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