- Pool closed at Physical Activities Complex
- Student Mental Health Project report released
- Get to know Shad Valley Waterloo
- Building cheaper lasers the Waterloo way
- Capture the campus winners
- Brandon Sweet
- Communications and Public Affairs
Pool closed at Physical Activities Complex
The pool located at the University of Waterloo's Physical Activities Complex is closed and all pool activities have been cancelled until further notice due to a lighting malfunction. Plant operations staff are dealing with repairs and cleanup after a bank of lights fell onto the deck area late Wednesday afternoon. The pool and deck area have been closed to the public. Watch the Daily Bulletin for updates.
Student Mental Health Project report released
The Student Mental Health Project report was released recently to staff and management in Health Services, Counselling Services, and the Office for Persons with Disabilities. Former Associate Provost, Students Bud Walker sponsored the report.
Chris Read, the current associate provost, students, led the project team that included Mario Coniglio (Faculty of Science), Stephen Chris (Health Services), and Dave Mackay (Counseling Services). The review was conducted to assess and make recommendations about the mental health and related services provided to our students.
“The report identifies current strengths of existing services and makes realistic and implementable recommendations that improve support for students, staff, and faculty,” says Read. “The project team consulted extensively with on and off-campus stakeholders including a broad-based survey of more than one thousand students."
“The result is a set of recommendations that challenge the status quo and are intended to facilitate an even more supportive and scalable service.”
Among the report’s recommendations:
- A new position, Director, Campus Wellness, that reports to the Associate Provost, Students, should be created. The Director, Campus Wellness would oversee all aspects of student wellness through direct reports including the Director, Counselling and Psychological Services, Director, Health Services, Director, Wellness Education and Programs, and Director, Wellness Administration;
- The Office of Persons with Disabilities Department will evolve to an Accessibility and Accommodations Office;
- The Accessibility and Accommodations Office should be shifted to the Office of Student Success, with the head of this area reporting to the Director, Student Success;
- The Associate Provost, Students will initiate a review of all wellness-related committees and determine and overarching committee structure that promotes campus-wide engagement in supporting the mental health of students.
“The recommendations focus on how our programs are organized, how our services are delivered, and also emphasize prevention and health promotion,” continues Read. “Our objective is to plan not only for the immediate needs of students but to build the infrastructure and meet the demands of future generations of students.”
Dr. Mario Coniglio represented faculty on this project. “Faculty and staff are most often the first line of contact for students in distress,” he said. “The report includes specific recommendations to support and educate faculty about mental health concerns in students. We also ensured that the report focuses on awareness of the services available and access to those services for students, staff, and faculty in need.”
Components of the final report, including executive summary, methodology and select recommendations can be found online. As the implementation begins, more communication will be provided to the campus community.
“The project team would like thank Dr. Tom Ruttan (Counselling Services), Dr. Barbara Schumacher (Health Services) and Rose Padacz (Office for Persons with Disabilities), as well others across campus who contributed time and expertise on this project,” concludes Read.
Get to know Shad Valley Waterloo
The Great Hall at Conrad Grebel University College will host a showcase this afternoon from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., featuring design projects and prototypes created during a month-long high school enrichment program at University of Waterloo.
Forty-eight remarkable high-school students from around the country have descended on the University of Waterloo to embark on an exciting summer adventure. For four weeks in July, these bright teens are living in university residence to attend the Shad Valley program, taking advanced lectures on science, engineering and technology while learning how these disciplines can be fused with design thinking and innovation. The program is a unique opportunity for students to work together in a group-oriented environment that enhances their teamwork and leadership skills.
“It’s an exciting time for Shad Valley because we are celebrating 30 years at the University of Waterloo,” says Ed Jernigan, Shad Valley Waterloo Program Director and Director of the Centre for Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo. “The Shad Valley program is designed to equip participants with the ability to think creatively and critically, preparing them for real-world problem solving. They leave the program knowing they are capable of more than they thought they were before. Shad Valley gives them a sense of their true potential and that the future is wide open. They gain competence and confidence.”
Shad Valley provides high school students with a pre-university experience to learn about campus life right when they are starting to make decisions about the future. Participants learn through seminars and workshops from outstanding University of Waterloo faculty and staff, and guest speakers from business leaders (both for-profit and not-for-profit) from the community. Recreational and cultural activities add another dimension to the curriculum.
The program includes a design project where students invent new products or services and showcase their ideas with prototypes. The project theme for this year, shared by Shad Valley programs at the 10 host university across Canada, is “How might we prevent or reduce obesity in North American youth?”.
"To demonstrate how science and business can blend together, we are taking Shad Valley participants to visit VeloCity Garage at the Tannery in Kitchener. There, we’ll meet University of Waterloo students and alumni who get free space and mentoring to kick-start their businesses. One of those companies, BufferBox, is co-founded by Jay Shah, a Shad Valley Waterloo alum," remarks Ed. "On the other side of the spectrum, the Shad Valley group goes camping at Bruce Peninsula National Park, a World Biosphere Reserve and Canada's newest Dark Sky Reserve. We explore the hiking trails and enjoy the incredible star gazing opportunities at night, all in the context of learning about science and teambuilding."
Participants in the not-for-profit Shad Valley program are selected based on their high potential in the fields of science, technology and engineering, while demonstrating strong leadership abilities and a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. Selected from some 1,000 applicants, 549 were chosen this year through a process that takes into account exceptional academic standing, as well as community involvement, volunteerism and extracurricular activities. A financial aid package provides assistance to successful candidates who need support towards their participant fee. Once admitted to the program, students are assigned to one of 10 host campuses across Canada. The experience inspires them to reach new heights of excellence as they pursue their educational and career aspirations.
Building better lasers the Waterloo way
A recent theoretical study by a University of Waterloo doctoral candidate in nanotechnology engineering suggests that manufacturers may one day make lasers and LEDs out of silicon, with the potential to significantly lower their price.
Daryoush Shiri says that making lasers and light emitting diodes (LED) from bulk silicon, one of the most abundant minerals on earth, has been a longtime goal of the photonic engineering community. But while the cost of silicon is low, it suffers from an inherent electronic property called indirect bandgap that hinders the light emission from this material. As a result, lasers are currently manufactured using other, more expensive materials.
"Extensive numerical calculations that involved first-principle quantum mechanical and other studies proved that silicon nanowires show dramatic changes of light emission properties when we apply mechanical strain," said Shiri.
His findings were recently published in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group. Shiri's research shows that by stretching or compressing silicon nanowire, you can induce significant change in its light emission capabilities. Passing an electrical current through the device in its strained state leads to population inversion, which means that electrons are ready for light emission. Once the strain is removed,
the electrons release their energy as packets of light, the central principle of lasing. Shiri points out that this mechanism for lasing is unique to silicon nanowires and it is not achievable in bulk silicon. The colour of light emitted can be controlled both by strain and using nanowires with different diameters.
Collaborating with a lab with the capability of fabricating the silicon nanowires is the next step. Shiri would like to see the tiny whisker-like silicon structures reduced from the typical 10 nanometers to three to five nanometers. By reducing the diameter of the nanowire, electrons have a better chance of giving off their energy as light. He expects it to take between two to five years of experimentation until nanowires are fabricated to the ideal scales.
Consumers see lasers in everything from supermarket barcode scanners, laser printers, to CD or DVD players. LEDs are used in car headlights, lamps, and other consumer products.
Shiri collaborated on his research with his doctoral thesis supervisors C.R. Selvakumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Waterloo; Anant Anantram, a former engineering professor at Waterloo who is now at the University of Washington-Seattle; and Amit Verma, a professor at Texas A & M University-Kingsville.
Capture the campus winners!
We asked you to capture the campus, and you delivered!
In fact, we had so many outstanding entries for the Capture the Campus contest that we decided to double- that’s right DOUBLE- the prizes! So instead of picking twelve photographs to act as banners on the alumni e-newsletter, we chose 24!
To see the winning shots, make sure you are subscribed to the alumni e-newsletter. One winning picture will be featured each month, starting in August 2012.
Thank you to all the entrants and a big congratulations to our BlackBerry Playbook grand prize winners, Eric Chen and Keith Mai!
Find a full list of winners at: https://uwaterloo.ca/alumni/capture-campus-winners.
Link of the day
When and where
Shad Valley Waterloo Open Day, Thursday, July 26, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., in the Great Hall at Conrad Grebel University College. The summer enrichment program for high school students wraps up on July 27.
Co-op employer interviews to July 31.
WISE lecture series featuring Dr. Mark Knight, Executive Director, Centre for Advancement Technology, Waterloo, professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, "Do We Pay Too Much for Tap and Bottled Drinking Water?" Thursday, July 26, 3:00 p.m., DC 1302. Details.
International Spouses host "Cooking Risotto Italian-style," on Friday, July 27 at 12:45 p.m. Pre-registration is required. See Int'l Spouses website for details: intlspouses.wordpress.com/ next_meeting/
Examination period begins July 30, runs to August 10, 2012. Details.
Audit Committee meets Monday, July 30, 1 to 4:00 p.m., in Needles Hall 3004.
Retirement celebration for David Mason, Tuesday, July 31, 3:30 p.m., Laurel Room, South Campus Hall.
Retail services locations will be closed Monday, August 6 for the Civic Holiday.
Centre for Career Action workshop on law school applications, Thursday, August 9, 12:00 p.m., TC 1208.
Water Institute Seminar Series featuring Dr. Everton de Oliveira, UNESP - State University of Sao Paulo at Rio Claro, Brazil, "Water compensation: A breakthrough to make it happen?" Friday, August 10, 10:00 a.m., DC 1304.
UWRC Book Club, "The Sentimentalists" by Johanna Skibsrud, Wednesday, August 15, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.
Mathematics Faculty Honeybun Reunion, Saturday, August 18. Details.
International Spouses meet at 1 p.m. for Movie & Coffee with Patty. See "Singing in the Rain" with Gene Kelly at Galaxy, $5. See the Int'l Spouses website for details intlspouses.wordpress.com/ next_meeting/
Fall 2012 Promissory Notes and payments are due August 27.
PhD Oral Defences
Electrical and Computer Engineering. Sumit Paudyal, "Optimal Operation of Distribution Systems and Industrial Energy Hubs in Smart Grids." Supervisors, Claudio Canizares, Kankar Bhattacharya. This thesis is restricted but on display in the Engineering Graduate Studies Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 30, 9:30 a.m., EIT 3141.
Electrical and Computer Engineering. Michael Musashi Adachi, "Development and Characterization of PECVD Grown Silicon Nanowires for Thin Film Photovoltaics." Supervisor, Karim S. Karim. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 30, 10:00 a.m., EIT 3142.
Physics and Astronomy. Shuchao Meng, "Effect of Dissipation on the Dynamics of Superconducting Electron Transistors." On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC 254A. Oral defence Monday, July 30, 1:30 p.m., PHY 352.
Applied Math. Dominique Brunet, "A Study of the Structural Similarity Image Quality Measure with Applications to Image Processing." Supervisors, Edward Vrscay, Zhou Wang. On display in the Mathematics Faculty graduate office, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, August 1, 2:00 p.m., MC 5136.