- Engineering 5 anchors east side of campus
- Dean thanks donors as building opens
- Online job system working this week
- Chris Redmond
- Communications and Public Affairs
Engineering 5 anchors east side of campus
The university’s newest building, Engineering 5, has a “wow factor”, to borrow a phrase from Sue Gooding, who’s been playing a key role as details are finished, departments move in and preparations are made for today’s official opening.
The opening ceremony (by invitation) starts at 10:30. Tours of the building will follow, touching everywhere from the student workshop at ground level to the “Live Link” broadband and conference room on the third floor and the systems design student “computer commons” at sixth-floor level with its view of the Research In Motion complex.
I got a preview tour one afternoon last week, and to feel the wow, I was urged to start at just the right spot. Use the front door, Gooding said, the big door that faces the east side of the main campus at the head of an impressive flight of steps. (I took the adjacent ramp, actually.)
E5 is the first permanent building on what will become the “east campus”, lying between the railway tracks and Phillip Street. Engineering 6 is already under construction there, Engineering 7 is more than just a gleam in somebody’s eye, and the existing East Campus Hall, a former industrial building, will some day be the site for further academic development. But right now E5, with a soaring overhead link to the long-established Engineering 3 (left), is the centre of attention.
Before going inside I paused, on a bright autumn afternoon, and gazed around at campus fall colours, the glass of the Davis Centre and the CEIT building, the ring road traffic and the railway that separates the main campus from the new building. The rarely used tracks will be transformed over the next few years, Gooding reminded me: if municipal plans go ahead, that zone at the foot of the ziggurat-like steps will be a rapid transit corridor, with a main pedestrian entrance to the campus just yards away.
I was surprised to feel so high up, though I hadn’t quite found the “wow factor” yet. The view was peaceful, with only a few people entering or leaving the building. Things will be busier in the winter term, I was told, when classes are scheduled there for the first time (especially, but not only, by the department of systems design engineering, which occupies the top level of the six-storey building).
Then Gooding, who serves as operations manager for the faculty of engineering, led me inside. We found ourselves on the second floor, at the foot of a spectacular central staircase (its most visible feature is a ripple of purple neon light) and beside a glass wall that gives a view down to the Student Design Centre on the lower level.
This was the wow factor, for sure, this spacious area two storeys high. Its 20,000 square feet will provide a home for the Midnight Sun solar car, the Formula SAE vehicle, the Mini-Baja, the Clean Snowmobile, the flying critters produced by the Waterloo Aerial Robotics Group, and many other engineering projects. Some of the vehicles are in place already, along with the tools and models belonging to the student groups working on them; others are being moved in. It’s a spectacular change (below) from the hallways and broom closets where previous vehicles have been designed and built.
Dean thanks donors as building opens
Getting the first occupants into E5 has been “a very slow move”, says Gooding, who noted that the original hope had been occupancy early in 2010. Late last week, as faculty members and graduate students settled into their offices, there were still things missing here and there — numbers on most of the doors, for instance — and a networking crew was installing wiring in the 93-seat “engineering computing commons” on the second floor.
The building is calculated at 176,000 square feet of space, which makes it the largest engineering building, just a little bigger than the CEIT. But existing overcrowding means that there won’t be large swaths of space left empty by the people who move into E5, Gooding assured me. “A cubbyhole here and a cubbyhole there” is more like it, she said.
Two departments — mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and systems design — are moving their administrative offices into E5 (on the third and sixth floors, respectively). A third department, electrical and computer engineering, will take over the fourth and fifth floors for faculty and grads, but its administrative offices will stay across the road in CEIT.
As we toured the building, I kept glancing out windows and being reminded of where E5 is located: steps away from the University Plaza restaurants, and oriented as much to Phillip Street as to the familiar main (or “south”) campus. The time will come, Gooding told me, when a third-floor corridor, linking to the ring road overpass, will lead into another overhead route that will connect to the still unbuilt E7.
“This office has the best view of all,” she said confidently as we stopped at the southwest corner of the sixth floor and interrupted Paul Fieguth, chair of the systems design department. She wasn’t wrong: in the autumn sunshine we looked out far above both the main campus and the multicoloured trees of Waterloo Park. I felt that wow factor again.
Other features of the building include the “courtyard” where design teams can work on their vehicles outdoors when that seems good to them; more powerful welding equipment than users of the student shops have previously had access to; and of course the overpass, which was still being used last week to store building supplies and junk, but which is expected to see heavy foot traffic in winter weather.
A block entirely walled off from the rest of E5 will provide a protective shell for an “anechoic chamber” in which wireless technology researchers can do sophisticated testing. Part of the roof is “green”, that is, covered with vegetation. A laser-created donor recognition wall is being installed. The elevators talk. (Michael Davenport's blog has a couple of dozen good photos of the building this morning.)
Engineering 5 was designed by the Toronto firm of Shore Tilbe Perkins+Will, with a total budget of $55 million — much of it provided by donors to engineering’s Vision 2010 fund-raising campaign. “I'm extremely proud of the work that faculty, staff and external contractors have put into building Engineering 5,” says engineering dean Adel Sedra, “and I am most grateful for the support received from our many volunteers and donors.”
Online job system working this week
The university’s new electronic “recruitment and job search system” will be shown off in a series of demonstrations that start this morning — or, if they prefer, staff can explore it from home or office through an online tour.
The new system is part of myHRinfo, which most employees have been using for several years to check salary and benefits information, and is called myCareer@UWaterloo. It will be available for all union and non-union staff to use starting tomorrow, according to the human resources department.
A memo notes that “myCareer@UWaterloo is a key part of the University’s commitment to support all employees to manage and develop rewarding careers at UWaterloo. myCareer@ UWaterloo puts the tools you need to search and apply for job opportunities directly in your hands.
“You will be able to apply for available positions, create a personal profile and view your applications. Our goal is to make the job application process more efficient and transparent. The system is completely confidential. Access to the system is password protected and only accessible to an individual user.”
Says the memo: “myCareer@UWaterloo is an important tool to support staff to manage and develop their careers at the University. It is part of a growing suite of career management services at UWaterloo that also includes training and development opportunities through Organizational and Human Development and the Centre for Career Action.”
The online tour went live yesterday on what will be the web site for the new system, mycareer.uwaterloo.ca. “You’ll find instruction on pop-up menus and online videos to help guide you,” HR notes.
Live demonstrations are scheduled for today at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday at 10 p.m., and Friday at 10:30 a.m., all in Davis Centre room 1304. Registration for those sessions is also through myHRinfo. “If you have questions,” the memo concludes, “email Human Resources at hrhelp@ uwaterloo.ca.”
Link of the day
When and where
Line dancing sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, 12 noon, Physical Activities Complex.
Techno Tuesday spotlight on Animoto, sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.
Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation seminar: Robert Spekkens, Perimeter Institute, “Applying the Page Rank Algorithm to the Electoral Process” 2:00, University Club.
Career workshop: “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.
WatRISQ seminar: Arash Fahim, Wilfrid Laurier University, “A Monte Carlo Method for Dynamic Portfolio Selection in Merton Model”, 4:00, Davis Centre room 1304.
Computer Science Club presents Shai Ben-David, school of CS, “Machine Learning vs. Human Learning” 4:30, Rod Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall room 306.
Student accounts office in Needles Hall will be closed Wednesday for staff training.
Principles of Inclusivity launch and lecture by diversity consultant Sondra Thiederman, hosted by organizational and human development, Wednesday 10 a.m., Humanities Theatre; afternoon workshop follows. Details.
Philosophy colloquium: Lisa Schwartzman, Michigan State, “Autonomy and Feminism” Wednesday 10:30, Humanities room 373.
Professional School and Post-Degree Days with representatives from Canadian and international universities, hosted by Centre for Career Action, Wednesday-Thursday 11:00 to 2:00, Student Life Centre great hall.
Library workshop: “Introduction to RefWorks” Wednesday 11:00; Friday 10:00; November 11, 1:30; all in Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.
PDEng presentation: “A Foundation is Not Enough: A Curicular Approach to Skills Development” Wednesday 11:30, Davis Centre room 1568.
UWRC Book Club: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Wednesday 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.
Free noon concert: “Javanese Dance and Song” Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.
Career workshop: “Career Interest Assessment” Wednesday 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1112. Details.
Institute for Computer Research presents Mark Penner of law firm Fasken Martineau, “The Business Method Patent” Wednesday 3:30, Davis Centre room 1304.
Computer Science information session on fourth-year and optional third-year courses, Wednesday 3:30, Math and Computer room 4045.
Italian Night at REVelation cafeteria, Ron Eydt Village, Wednesday 4:30 to 8:00.
Waterloo Space Society general meeting Wednesday 5:30, Biology 2 room 350; presentation on Mars Rover Team and University Rover Challenge.
Candidates for mayor of Waterloo open meeting Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Village I great hall.
Quest student information system unavailable because of student upgrade, Thursday and Friday morning.
Faculty of Arts 50th anniversary celebrations Friday: pizza in the arts quad 12:00, free for arts students; staff, faculty, retirees, alumni reception 2:30 to 3:30, Festival Room, South Campus Hall; dinner (by invitation) 4:30 to 9:00, Federation Hall. During the day, tours and open houses in many arts departments. Details.
101st Convocation Saturday 10:00 and 2:30, Physical Activities Complex.
Public lecture sponsored by Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy: Rajagopala Chidambaram, government of India, “Energy Technologies, Energy Security and Climate Change” Tuesday, October 26 (not today), 2:00, Davis Centre room 1302.
PhD oral defences
Computer science. Kalista Yuki Itakura, “Focused Retrieval.” Supervisor, Charles L. A. Clarke. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, October 25, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre room 2314.
Electrical and computer engineering. Seyed Saeed Changiz Rezaei, “Transmission Strategies for Gaussian Parallel Relay Channel.” Supervisor, Amir Khandani. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, October 26, 10:30 a.m., CEIT building room 3142.
Statistics and actuarial science. Ishmael Sharara, “Toward a Unified Global Capital Adequacy Framework for Insurers.” Supervisors, Mary Hardy and David Saunders. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, October 26, 3:30 p.m.., Mathematics and Computer room 6027.