- New 3D laser scanner profiles wreck
- Gladwell, Kates join Order of Canada; students shine; more notes
- Chris Redmond
- Communications and Public Affairs
New 3D laser scanner profiles wreck
A Waterloo-based robotics startup is playing an important role in documenting the status of HMS Investigator, a British ship sent out a century and a half ago to search for Sir John Franklin’s lost Arctic expedition.
Investigator never did locate Franklin, and her crew had to abandon her to the crushing sea ice in 1853 (as shown in the image above, courtesy of Toronto Public Library Special Collections). Her exact resting place remained unknown until Parks Canada archaeologists discovered the wreck last July, eight metres deep in Mercy Bay near the shore of Aulavik National Park on Banks Island, Northwest Territories.
This summer, Parks Canada is conducting the first archaeological survey of the site, July 10 to 25. Divers will record and assess the wreck using video and other sensors – notably, a one-of-a-kind robotic underwater laser scanner developed by 2G Robotics, a University of Waterloo spinoff company.
Jason Gillham, a University of Waterloo alumnus (BASc ’07) and master’s candidate in mechanical and mechatronics engineering, founded 2G Robotics after graduation to commercialize his master's research. Also on staff are Daniel Charbonneau, a Waterloo computer engineering grad (BASc ’09) and former co-op student, and Neil Cavan, a classmate (BASc ’07) of Gillham’s, now also working on his master’s degree.
Device developed especially for underwater 'dig'
The robotic laser technology that will be used to scan HMS Investigator was developed especially for this project, and, Gillham says, it’s the first time ever that this technology has been applied to an undersea shipwreck.
The firm was already marketing ULS-100, a robotic laser scanner designed to inspect underwater concrete structures for cracks and erosion. 2G Robotics worked with Parks Canada to develop ULS-500, a longer-range system capable of covering a larger area more quickly. The device will scan the vessel’s surface and produce a precise, highly detailed three-dimensional digital recording of the structure.
“Traditional underwater inspection techniques are sonar, video, and hand measurements,” Gillham says. “These techniques do not provide the level of measurement detail that the ULS-500 is capable of collecting.”
It’s extremely rewarding, he adds, for a small startup like his to develop a technology that could have a significant impact on our understanding of history. He predicts that as the technology develops, “this increased level of knowledge about anything under water, from shipwrecks to underwater oil structures,” will help ensure the longevity and safety of those structures.
Gladwell, Kates join Order of Canada; students shine; more notes
Two of the 50 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced on July 1 have connections to the University of Waterloo. Josef Kates, the university’s fourth chancellor, 1979-1985, was made a Member of the Order. Also a new Member is Malcolm Gladwell (right), author of The Tipping Point, recipient of an honorary doctor of letters degree from Waterloo, and son of Graham Gladwell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
“The Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation,” says the Governor General of Canada’s website. The order has three levels: Companion (highest), Officer, and Member. Others honoured include women’s hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser, CBC radio host Bob Macdonald, and author Nino Ricci. The complete list is here.
Architecture students light the darkness
A project named Buoyant Light by two fourth-year Waterloo Architecture students, Claire Lubell and Virginia Fernandez, has won the LAMP Lighting Solutions Award, and a prize of €3,000, in the Student Proposals category of an annual competition sponsored by the Spanish lighting design and manufacturing company, LAMP Corporation. The students accepted the award at a ceremony in June.
The project features floating balloons (sketched above) that store solar energy and release it as light in Arctic communities during the dark winter months. The judges commented on "the emotional character obtained for an object of huge functional use in its setting and the proposal's great interest. It especially highlights the approach's creativity, the sensitiveness with which it responds to the landscape and to the use of renewable energies."
Shisha smokers wanted for research study
If you are a shisha (water pipe or hookah) smoker, you are invited to take part in an online study that examines the impact of health warning labels on shisha smoking. The study is being conducted by Heba Tallah Mohammed, a Waterloo PhD candidate working under the supervision of Prof. Paul McDonald of the health studies and gerontology department.
“Participation in this study involves completing two online surveys: one to be completed now and the other two weeks from the start date,” Mohammed says. “You will be provided with a link to login to the survey where you will answer three screening questions to see if you are eligible for the study. If you are eligible, you will be asked to answer questions related to tobacco use and to view and comment on health warning labels. We will also ask you to answer a short demographic survey.
“Approximately two weeks after you complete the first survey, we will send you a reminder by email or phone to complete the second survey. The online surveys will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
“As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a $10 gift card after you complete each survey ($20 in total). You will receive the gift card through regular mail.”
The study has been reviewed and received clearance through the Office of Research Ethics. If interested in participating, contact Mohammed at email@example.com.
Waterloo student golfer heads to summer games. University of Waterloo golfers will have a strong presence at the 2011 Summer Universiade games in Shenzhen, China, August 17-20. Women’s golfer Devon Rizzo (left), an engineering student, will be playing for Team Canada. “The second-team OUA all-star and record holder for lowest OUA women's golf score will not be alone,” says a news release from Waterloo Athletics: Carla Munch, Devon’s Warrior coach, and Dave Hollinger, head coach of the Waterloo men's program, will join the golf coaching staff at the games for the second straight year.
Lab leak brings quick response
Waterloo firefighters were called to deal with a leak of nitrogen at a lab in Engineering 3 last Tuesday evening. It was found that a faulty clamp on a nitrogen cylinder hose connected to a vacuum oven in the Giga-to-Nanoelectronics (G2N) lab was to blame. The leak was stopped and no one was injured. University police, who were first on the scene, and a member of the university’s Spills Team also responded.
Don't cross that bridge
Starting today or tomorrow, the City of Waterloo will be posting signs near the pedestrian bridge that goes from the Ring Road to Parking Lot B, crossing the storm pond, a rocky and sometimes watery ditch that runs alongside the railway tracks.. The signs, says Tom Galloway, the university's director of custodial and grounds services, are to warn pedestrians "that the City, through Steed and Evans, will be installing construction fencing around the storm pond as early as next Monday to facilitate the reconstruction of the City's stormwater management pond. This will mean that the pedestrian bridge will be out of service for a period up to six weeks. Pedestrians will have to use the service road to the north or the University Plaza crossing to the south."
Link of the day
When and where
Architecture employer interviews for fall term co-op jobs, held in Cambridge July 11-13; rankings July 14-15; match results available July 18.
Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses: first-time students, July 11-24; open class enrolment, July 25.
Warrior athletics camps week of July 11: women’s volleyball. Details.
Electrical power will be off in Mackenzie King Village, including elevators, Tuesday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., to allow a tie-in to the Ring Road lighting.
Career workshop Tuesday: “Exploring Your Personality Type” Part II, 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1112. Details.
Staff association golf social Tuesday, 4:00, Brookfield Country Club, $45 basic fee. Details.
Drama 349 (Cultural Management) symposium: “Engaged and Under 30: Arts and Culture Leadership” Wednesday, 2 - 6 p.m., Button Factory, 25 Regina Street South. Details.
Career workshop Wednesday: “Work Search Strategies”, 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.
Waterloo Banking Project for students, information meeting Wednesday, 5 p.m., J.R. Coutts Hall room 211. Please register by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
‘Prisons, Peace & Politics’ seminar sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group: guest speaker Wednesday 7 p.m.; Grand Valley Institution tour July 17, 2:00. Details, e-mail peacesociety@ gmail.com.
Career workshops Thursday: “Career Interest Assessment”, 10:30 a.m., Tatham Centre room 1112; “Thinking About Med School?” 6 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.
Student Life 101 visits for future first-year students, July 14-15, 18-19, 22-23, 5-26, 28-29, August 2-3, 5-6, 8-9. Details.
Farm market Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Environment I courtyard.
Library workshop: “Geocoding Tabular Data with Google Fusion Tables” Thursday, 2:15, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.
Chemical engineering seminar: Lauren Flynn, Queen’s University, “Soft Tissue Engineering with Adipose-Derived Stem Cells” Thursday, 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.
WPIRG Seeds of Resistance workshop: Racism in Our Communities: Anti-Racism Practices. Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2135. For information or to register: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building, Cambridge, “Installations by Architects” lecture and book signing Thursday, 6:30; exhibition continues through August 6.
Blue Jays vs. Yankees bus trip. Friday, 7 p.m., Rogers Centre, Toronto. Bus leaves from PAC Red South 4 p.m. Tickets $30 from athletics office, covers game ticket and bus. Details.
International Spouses Walk & Talk. UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival (free) for the whole family. Meet at Paul Puncher Clothing Shop, 20 Regina Street S., Friday, 7:15 p.m. Email email@example.com if you plan to come. More information online.
Calgary Stampede alumni event at Wild Card Saturday Rodeo, Stampede grandstand, Saturday, July 16, 1:30. Details.
UWRC Book Club: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Wednesday, July 20, 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.
VeloCity end-of-term exhibition of student projects, Wednesday, July 20, 12:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre.
Canoeing the Grand River expedition sponsored by International Student Connection, Saturday, July 23, bus leaves 2:00, tickets $30 at Federation of Students office, Student Life Centre.
Get to Know UWS (Stratford campus) Day for university staff, includes restaurant lunch and tour of Stratford Shakespeare Festival costume warehouse. July 25 or 26. Information and registration here. Free.
Sandford Fleming TA Awards :engineering students, nominate your most deserving teaching assistant. Ballots at EngSoc and at reception in CPH 1320. Deadline to nominate is July 29, 4:01 p.m.
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