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Monday, May 9, 2011

  • Vehicle teams hold open house Tuesday
  • 'Walk to Dubai' starts today; other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Parts in bins, parts out of bins]
Vehicle teams hold open house Tuesday

The aerial robotics team, the alternate fuels vehicle team, the clean snowmobile team, the solar car team — they’re all looking for new student members and will welcome visitors at an open house tomorrow.

The event, Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m., also includes the Formula SAE car team, the mini-baja team, the “micro air vehicles” team, and teams working on robotics and rocketry. Tomorrow afternoon, the workbay doors in the Student Design Centre on the lower level of E5 will be open, displays will be set up and team members will be on hand to answer questions about their projects and competitions.

Through this event, organizers say, they hope to “inform the student body about the benefits of membership in a student team and highlight the wide variety of projects that are available”.

The teams are the pride of Waterloo’s engineering faculty (though they include students from other faculties as well) and were a priority for dean Adel Sedra when the new Engineering 5 building was being designed. The result is the 20,000-square-foot design centre, a spectacular change from the hallways and broom closets where previous vehicles were designed and built, including ten iterations of the headline-grabbing Midnight Sun solar car. The photo (above) shows part of the Clean Snowmobile team’s workspace.

The idea for tomorrow’s open house is credited to the Micro Aerial Vehicles team and its faculty advisor, Steven Waslander of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, as a way to raise the profile of less prominent teams and help them recruit new members. “As planning and coordination of the event continued,” says a news release, “it became evident that this idea was of interest to all teams in the SDC, and with the SDC administrative staff and all the teams on board, the Student Team Open House became a reality.”

The centre, officially opened last October, is home to 14 student teams. It provides large, comfortable workbays as well as shared computing, office, electronics assembly, fabrication and testing facilities. “Most of the teams, says the release, “have taken full advantage of the opportunities the new building has to offer and have completed their projects and are preparing to take them to their competitions.”

Student Design Centre director Peter Teertstra is excited about the Open House: “I think this will provide an excellent opportunity for the teams to showcase their projects and get more students involved.  Recruiting can be a significant challenge for many of our teams, and we hope that this event will help them attract new members.”

The event is being advertised across campus, and the organizers hope that many students from outside engineering will attend. “The contributions of students from the arts, sciences, math and computing, and other faculties to the student teams are particularly important given the interdisciplinary nature of many of the projects,” says their release.

“Although the projects that these students and potential student team members will be hearing will be very different from each other, the overall message will be the same; active involvement with a student team gives you the opportunity to put your classroom knowledge to work in the real world and provides experience that looks great on your resumé."

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'Walk to Dubai' starts today; other notes

The “campus walk” event, launched last year, is back this spring, a four-week challenge sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program and aimed at helping staff and faculty members develop healthy habits. “Last year 300 UW employees walked over 53,000 kilometres, Kitchener to Dubai about 5 times,” says a flyer announcing the event. “Gather a team, put your walking shoes on and start counting.” Linda Brogden of health services tells more about the program: “We have pedometers available if you don't own your own, and we ask that you register, record your steps and enter the amount weekly on the EAP website. We encourage you to participate as either an individual or within a team (up to 10 people per team). There will be prizes for the individual with the most steps and also the team with the most steps. The steps can be recorded from when you get up until you go to bed every day during the 4 week time.” Last year, Brogden recalls, “we tried to let people know we would add the steps up to see if it meant we could cumulatively walk to Dubai. In fact we did, 5 times plus.” This year's walking starts today and runs to June 5.

[Edwards]The school of pharmacy will get a new director as of June 1: David Edwards (left), currently of Wayne State University in Detroit. He'll take over from Nancy Waite, who has been interim director of the school (the official title is Hallman Director) since founding director Jake Thiessen retired last June. Says a memo from dean of science Terry McMahon: "Dr. Edwards is currently Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Wayne State, although he maintains Canadian citizenship and lives in LaSalle, Ontario. Dr. Edwards holds his BSc Pharm from the University of Toronto and his PharmD from the State University of New York (Buffalo). He is currently completing a Master’s degree in Public Health, through Wayne State. Dr. Edwards is an experienced administrator, teacher, researcher and graduate supervisor. His areas of expertise include pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, and drug bioavailability. He has been named Instructor of the Year by Wayne State students twelve times; he has published extensively, and he holds a US patent."

Nominations are being invited for this year’s Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. Says a memo: “The Graduate Studies Office in collaboration with the Graduate Student Association established this award to recognize exemplary faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in graduate student supervision. Normally three faculty members will be recognized each year at Spring Convocation. The recipients will be honoured with a $1,000 award. Graduate student supervision requires complex interaction between graduate students and the graduate supervisor. An outstanding graduate supervisor is a mentor, an advisor, a role model, a humanist and a strategist. A caring and effective supervisor possesses a high level of energy and ingenuity. Each nomination must be made by current or former graduate student(s) supervised by the nominee and supported by one or more senior academic colleagues who are familiar with the supervisory record of the nominee.” Nominations are due at the graduate studies office no later than June 10.

The "no paperwork required" pickup of campus junk, designed by central stores to help departments reclaim much-needed space in their buildings, starts today and runs through the end of next week. • Pitcher Anthony Douris and outfielders Thomas Biskup and Chris Ryan of the baseball Warriors were among the Ontario University Athletics all-stars who played a game against the league champion Brock Badgers at Toronto's Rogers Centre following yesterday's Blue Jays game. • Alternatives Journal, published in Waterloo's faculty of environment, is the only Canadian nominee in the "best science and technology coverage" category for this year's Utne Independent Press Awards.

Trevor Moreland, a cook at Mudie's cafeteria in Village I, officially retired May 1, ending a Waterloo career that began in September 1988. • Karen Trevors of the faculty of science office has been elected as staff representative on the nominating committee for the position of dean of science. • Tom Carey, formerly a professor of management sciences and for a while the university's associate vice-president (learning resources and innovation), has taken a position with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


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Link of the day

The vast wasteland of 1961

When and where

Senate graduate and research council 10:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

WatPD Engineering first birthday celebration, reception primarily for faculty and alumni involved in launching the program, 3:00, Engineering 5 room 3010, RSVP ext. 31208.

VeloCity start-of-term “pitch night”, as students present their technology business ideas, 5:00 to 8:00, University Club, by invitation, information e2barnes@

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses posted in Quest, May 10; appointments for continuing students, June 6-11; for first-time students, July 11-24; open class enrolment, July 25.

Ontario Association of International Educators and Ontario region of Canadian Bureau for International Education, meeting at Waterloo May 10-12, hosted by international student office. Details.

Charity golf tournament sponsored by Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, Tuesday 12:00, Whistle Bear Golf Club. Details.

Senate undergraduate council Tuesday 12:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Student team recruitment fair seeking newcomers for 10 student teams, Tuesday 3:00 to 6:00, Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

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

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group information session about indigenous communities affected by gold mining, Tuesday 5:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Calgary alumni reception Tuesday 5:30 to 7:30, Metropolitan Conference Centre, speaker Alan Morgan, earth and environmental sciences. Details.

Alumni networking event with speaker Tom Chau, pediatric rehabilitation researcher, Tuesday 6:00, The Carlu, Toronto. Details.

Gauss Contest for grade 7 and 8 mathematics students, organized by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, Wednesday.

Science Society first general meeting of the term Wednesday 5:30, Biology 1 room 271.

Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, gives the 2011 Stanley Knowles Humanitarian Service Lecture, speaking on national and international issues, Thursday 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, admission free but registration is full.

Open class enrolment for spring term courses ends, May 13.

Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators Waterloo alumni reception, Friday 4 to 6 p.m., Vanier Hall, U of Windsor. Details.

Co-op job posting for spring term (main group and pharmacy students) appears on JobMine May 14.

Discussion group for parents of first-year students (incoming or just finished) May 16, 12:00, Needles Hall room 1116, information e-mail hwestmor@

Education Credit Union seminar: Stephen P. Haller, lawyer, “Wills and Powers of Attorney” May 19, 12:05, Davis Centre room 1302, RSVP janinew@ by May 13.

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