Thursday, April 29, 2010

  • Graphics print shop to close, staff leave
  • Water scientists host German visitors
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Glasses of red wine on the dinner table]

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield gave Tuesday's keynote address at the Graduate Student Research Conference, and had a meal afterwards with members of the conference committee: Michelle Fluit (graduate studies office), Andrew Robertson (kinesiology) and Josh Armstrong (health studies and gerontology). The conference continues today and tomorrow in the Davis Centre, with student presentations and a keynote talk by Parker Mitchell, co-founder of Engineers Without Borders (3:00, Davis room 1351).

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Graphics print shop to close, staff leave

The press shop that has been part of the UW Graphics printing operation since the 1960s is being closed as a result of changes in the printing business and a drop in income, it was announced yesterday. The closing does not affect the copy centres across campus, or Courseware production.

Several staff members will move to other jobs or leave the university as a result, said Bud Walker, director of university business operations, to whom Graphics reports.

Said Walker’s statement: “The print industry is facing many challenges affecting its viability. Many in the industry have recently pared down their operations or have closed their doors entirely, including some of the major printers in Waterloo Region.

“Graphics’ print operations are not immune to the difficulties facing the industry. Online communication tools and environmental considerations have dramatically decreased the demand for print, resulting in a 27% decline in Graphics’ revenue between 2004 and 2009.

“Graphics is an ancillary operation and is not funded through the university’s operating budget, so this drop in revenue has resulted in several annual deficits.”

As a result, he said yesterday, “a review has been undertaken to both avoid future financial losses, and to work towards eliminating Graphics’ debt.” The resulting plan will be “reviewed and approved” by provost Feridun Hamdullahpur as well as Walker himself.

“As part of this review,” the memo goes on, “a difficult decision has been made to eliminate the Graphics press shop,” which is located in the Commissary building on the northeast side of campus.

“This decision affects five of our current full-time staff,” it says. “The university has secured offers of employment for two staff at the local printer Waterloo Printing. One staff member has been offered employment in another area of the Graphics operation. Two staff will be given full support and entitlements under the university’s Policy 18, as well as employment relocation support funded by the university. In addition, the temporary contracts for two staff employed in the Copy Centres will not be renewed.”

It adds that “The elimination of the press shop does not impact the operation of the Copy Centres, the Xerox department copiers or the Creative Services area. It will not impact the ‘digital production’ area, which is the part of Graphics’ printing operations that handles things like Courseware production and exam reproduction. Other work that previously would have been produced in the press shop will continue to be expedited through Graphics in partnership with outside printers.

“The ongoing review of Graphics’ operations will seek to achieve a viable business model for the university. Any future changes to Graphics will seek to avoid further job loss.”

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[Posing in laboratory]

Water Institute researchers Bob Gillham (left) and Dave Rudolph (second from right) met recently with Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and health minister Deb Matthews as part of a round-table discussion on water treatment technology in the province.

Water scientists host German visitors

Nineteen influential environmental scientists from Germany will participate in a water protection research seminar today as part of a four-day campus visit. The newly created Water Institute will host the delegation from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, one of the largest research institutions in Europe.

The Waterloo agency will also sign a memorandum of understanding with the Leipzig-based centre, part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres — Germany’s largest scientific organization.

"The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ is globally influential in many areas, particularly in the area of water, and it is very significant for the University of Waterloo to establish a collaborative partnership with this centre," says David Rudolph, executive and scientific director of the Water Institute at Waterloo. "By integrating the research expertise within both institutions, interdisciplinary collaborative projects will be established to focus on resolving water challenges at the global scale.”

The research seminar, which will explore Ontario's water protection plans, takes place in the Centre for Environment and Information Technology, room 1015. Starting at 1:30, speakers will discuss the Ontario Source Water Protection Program, then broaden the conversation to include an overview of the German Water Research Program.

Speakers will include Eric Hodgins, manager of water services, Regional Municipality of Waterloo; Lorrie Minshall, senior manager, Grand River Conservation Authority; Ian Smith, director, source water protection, Ontario Ministry of the Environment; and Georg Teutsch, director, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research.

The Canadian speakers will discuss the development of the source water protection initiative in Ontario, the current status of activities across the province and the challenges in moving forward. Teutsch will present an overview of the German water research program related to watershed management.

At 4:50 p.m., a formal signing of the memorandum of understanding will take place between the Helmholtz Centre and Waterloo's Water Institute. The agreement calls for collaboration in the areas of water science, technology and governance. One goal is to establish a Canada-Germany water alliance based on watershed scale research. Research will focus mainly on studies in the Grand River watershed and the TERENO watershed facilities in Germany.

Participating in the signing will be Georg Witschel, German ambassador to Canada; Georg Teutsch, director, Helmholtz Centre; and Waterloo provost Feridun Hamdullahpur. A reception will follow the ceremony.

The recently established Water Institute at the University of Waterloo calls itself "the first truly integrated entity in Canada dedicated to facilitating excellence in multidisciplinary research, education and innovation in water science, technology, management, and governance. The Water Institute includes a network of domestic and international partnerships with leading institutions, corporations, governments, and non-governmental organizations."


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Year ends tomorrow

The university's 2009-10 fiscal year ends tomorrow, April 30. Departments have received detailed instructions about procedures and cutoff dates for charging expenses to this fiscal year's budget. The bookstore and other retail services outlets in South Campus Hall and Student Life Centre will be closed Friday for year-end inventory.

Link of the day

Golden Week

When and where

Fee payment deadline for spring term is today. Details.

Advances in Health Informatics Conference 2010 hosted by NIHI, WIHIR, and schools of optometry and pharmacy, through Friday, Health Sciences Campus, Kitchener. Details.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference today and Friday, Ryerson University, Toronto. Details.

UW International Spouses potluck lunch 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

Chemical engineering seminar: Chunshan Song, Pennsylvania State University, “Selective Adsorption for Removing Sulfur for Ultra-Clean Fuels” 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Engineering alumni and friends reception, “Designing the Future” 6:30 p.m., Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum. Details.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Bruce Riedel, terrorism expert and White House advisor, “Obama’s War: Prospects for the Conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan” 7:00, 57 Erb Street West.

Accounting Conference 2010, “Setting the Stage”, Friday-Sunday, St. George Banquet Hall, Waterloo. Details.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: “Windows Imaging and Deployment” Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Ontario University Athletics “Women of Influence” luncheon honouring top female student athletes, Friday, 12 noon, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry annual meeting Friday 1:00, CEIT room 1015; seminar, Marcel Schlaf, U of Guelph, “Transition-Metal Catalyzed Deoxygenation” 3:00; poster session and awards presentations follow. Details.

Bookstore and other retail outlets in South Campus Hall open Saturday 12 noon to 4 p.m. for beginning-of-term purchases.

Jane’s Walk tours of neighbourhoods in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge, Saturday and Sunday. Details.

Florence Li Tim-Oi, first woman priest in the Anglican Church, commemorated in worship service Saturday 4 p.m., All Saints’ Chinese Anglican Church, Markham, information from Renison University College, ext. 28605.

OUA women’s basketball all-star game Saturday 7:30 p.m., WLU athletic complex, admission free.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel University College, spring concert Saturday 8:00, St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener.

Spring term classes begin Monday, May 3.

Weight Watchers at Work spring series begins May 6, 12:00, Humanities room 373; call ext. 32218 to register.

UW Blooms May 10, 10:00 to 4:00, multipurpose room, Student Life Centre: donate, pick up or exchange plants, seeds, pots, gardening material.

Alumni event in New York: Math alumni reception at Louis Vuitton Maison Fifth Avenue, Thursday, May 13, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Details.

PhD oral defences

Civil and environmental engineering. Amir Omar Abd El Halim, “Improvement to Highway Safety Through Network Level Friction Testing and Cost Effective Pavement Maintenance.” Supervisor, Susan Tighe. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, May 4, 12:30 p.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Biology. Christopher J. Meyer, “Exodermal Function and Suberin Chemistry.” Supervisors, Carol A. Peterson and Barbara A. Moffatt. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, May 6, 10:00 a.m., Biology I room 273.

Electrical and computer engineering. Siamak Fouladi Azarnaminy, “Reconfigurable Impedance Matching Networks Based on RF-MEMS and CMOS-MEMS Technologies.” Supervisor, Raafat R. Mansour. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, May 6, 1:30 p.m., Engineering II room 3324.

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