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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  • Master of Climate Change program established
  • Sabbatical roundup from Facebook to Freiburg
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Master of Climate Change program established

with material from the Faculty of Environment

With a vote at Senate Monday night, the University of Waterloo has approved a new program to train in-demand climate change professionals.

The new Master’s in Climate Change (MCC) program will be the first of its kind in Canada and will join only a handful of programs worldwide to focus specifically on the multiple ways climate change affects society and the environment. The one-year professional program, residing in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, will launch in September 2013.

Global climate change is considered by many high-level decision makers to be one of the most pressing challenges facing humankind. International education and workforce needs assessments have concluded that to meet this challenge in the coming years, there will be an increasing demand for educated and highly skilled employees in several sectors and professions.

The new degree was championed by Prof. Paul Parker, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, who helped launch the Residential Energy Efficiency Project, now known as REEP Green Solutions, in 1999. Parker’s expertise in building sustainable communities focuses on creating practical energy solutions that are a win-win for both the environment and the economy.

“The MCC will equip our students with the latest knowledge about global trends and local solutions,” said Parker. “It enables our students to look forward and help create a better future through new tools, techniques and policies to address climate change. I am confident that demand will be high for our graduates.

The MCC program aims to provide a unique educational experience to students interested in the various emerging career paths in climate change science and policy and management. The program is a specialized, course-based (non-thesis) program that will be completed over a period of three terms (12 months) of full-time studies.

The interdisciplinary course work will build on students’ undergraduate degrees with climate change-specific training and experience. Initially the MCC will be an on-campus, classroom-based program. Later, the intention is to develop e-learning opportunities to offer a blended learning environment to better support professionals wanting to ‘upskill’ through part-time enrolment and distance education.

The MCC was one of three new graduate programs approved at Monday's senate meeting. A Master of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management, offered by the Faculty of Environment's School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), is a research master's degree that will contribute to the creation of academic knowledge for methods, systems, concepts, and tools for sustainability management. In addition, a Master of Therapeutic Recreation, which will reside in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in Applied Health Sciences, was approved. The program is another "first of its kind" in Canada and is a part-time professional graduate degree program provided in an extended learning format, with its main component consisting of online course work.

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Sabbatical roundup from Facebook to Freiburg

Here’s a list of Waterloo faculty members who are currently on sabbatical leave. The plans quoted are taken from documents submitted to the university’s board of governors, which has to approve all sabbaticals.

As of March 1:

Bo Cui, electrical and computer engineering (for 6 months): "The sabbatical will allow me to concentrate on my research on nanofabrication technologies and its device applications. For the fabrication, I will focus on the development of nanoimprint and electron beam lithography techniques. For the application, my group will carry out research on surface plasmon resonance (plasmonic) devices for bio-sensing, and nanostructured solar cell and photodetector. I will travel to China and a few European countries for 2-3 months to visit several laboratories in order to set up collaborations with them, as well as to attend international conferences."

Joseph Emerson, applied mathematics (for 6 months): "The Perimeter Institute has invited me to spend my sabbatical there as a visiting professor. I will be collaborating with Rob Spekkens and Dan Gottesman on research programs in quantum information theory as well as the foundation of quantum mechanics."

Shoufa Lin, earth and environmental sciences (for 6 months): "To continue my research on the tectonics of Superior Craton in Canada and to enhance my collaboration with geologists in China."

As of May 1:

Peter Buhr, Computer Science (for 12 months): "to work with the Facebook Infrastructure Team in Menlo Park, California on the design and implementation of high-performance web-server and concurrent memory-allocators."

Sujeet Chaudhuri, electrical and computer engineering (for 12 months) will "conduct research in experimental characterization of broadband (GHz to THz) EM systems; continue with the international collaboration in the technologies of THz integrated circuits (City U HK) and ultra-low power RFIC integrated with smart antenna in highly compact and conformal packages (IIT-Raj).

Pu Chen, chemical engineering (for 12 months): "During this period, I will focus on our expanded research in alternative energy and nano- biomaterials, and in particular, move some of our lab developed technologies toward commercialization. Most of the time, I will be staying at Waterloo but will be travelling occasionally, interacting with leading research labs and industrial partners around the world."

Thomas Deuver, chemical engineering (for 12 months): "During this leave I plan to write together with a colleague at Queen's University an undergraduate textbook on applied statistics and experimental design for chemical engineers. I also plan to publish several papers with my graduate students and to initiate new research topics."

Chris Godsil, combinatorics and optimization (for 6 months): "I am writing a book with Karen Meagher on the Erdos-Ko-Rado, and I want to finish this. Otherwise I plan to continue my work on applications of graph theory techniques in quantum computing. I plan to spend most of my time in Waterloo."

Eric Jervis, chemical engineering (for 12 months): "I have arranged to spend at least six months at the BC Cancer Institute in Vancouver working with one of my colleagues from the Canadian Stem Cell Network NCE on a Cancer Stem Cell project. This extended stay will allow me to gain animal handling experience which is essential for my research program to move forward."

Michael Mayer, mechanical and mechatronics engineering (for 6 months): "The planned activities include research on microelectronic packaging processes, including the supervision of graduate research students, intensified publishing, and research collaborations. Planned are visits to present papers at the ECTC Conference in San Diego in May/June 2012, the Wirebonding Workshop at the Semicon 2012 trade show in San Francisco, and the IMAPS 2012 Symposium in San Diego. Planned is a visit of several weeks at the Department of Microsystems Engineering, University of Freiburg, Germany, to collaborate with Professor Jan Korvink on novel micro-devices based on wirebonding."

Ravi Mazumdar, electrical and computer engineering (for 12 months): "My sabbatical plans will combine two goals: to complete a graduate text on stochastic and to continue to collaborate with researchers at Telecom ParisTech, Paris and at Stanford University."

Catherine Rosenberg, electrical and computer engineering (for 12 months): "My objectives during the sabbatical are twofold: The first is to consolidate and expand my research program on wireless and the Internet and to increase my participation in the European Project Figaro. The second is to consolidate and expand my research program on smart grids."

Frank Saccomanno, civil and environmental engineering (for 12 months) will "develop safety performance simulation model, improve calibration and evaluation of model parameters. Complete draft book on Transport Safety Analysis. Organize International Conference on Transport Safety Methodology.

Mahesh Tripunitara, electrical and computer engineering (for 6 months): "My research is primarily in computer and information security. Within that broad area, I work mostly on problems in authorization and access control. Such systems are used to provide regulated access to resources by principals (e.g., Alice may read a file, but not write to it). More recently, I have also been working on problems in network security."

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Retirement party reminder

Joanne Holzinger.The Faculty of Environment's Joanne Holzinger (riight) is retiring at the end of the month. Members of the campus community are invited to stop by the Dean of Environment's office in EV1-347 on Thursday, June 21 between 10:00 a.m. and noon or between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to wish her well.

Link of the day

Summer Solstice

When and where

Systems Design Engineering presents Dr. Subash Bhatnagar, Honorary Professor of Information Systems, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, "Information Technology and Development: Challenges and Opportunities in India," Wednesday, June 20, 10:30 a.m., E5 6111.

UWRC Book Club, "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson, Wednesday, June 20, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Xiaojing Zhou, Centre for Organic Electronics, University of Newcastle, Australia, "Poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) Based Organic Photovoltaic Cells and Thin Film Transistors", Wednesday, June 20 at 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre lower level.

Retirement celebration for Joanne Holzinger, Thursday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 347.

Retirement Open House for Adel Sedra, Thursday, June 21, 3:00 p.m., Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

International Spouses presents "Making Strawberry Jam with Maria," Friday, June 22. Pre-registration a MUST.

UW Biomedical Discussion Group Seminar Series, featuring speaker Dr. Eric Finot, University of Bourgogne, Dijon, France, "Selectivity and detection limit for protein sensing using localized and propagating surface plasmon," Friday, June 22, 3:00 p.m., PHY-150.

English Department event featuring Roland Greene, Professor of English, Stanford University, "What was Genre Criticism?", Friday, June 22, 4:00 p.m., HH 280.

Pension and Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, June 22, 8:30 a.m., NH 3004.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 12:45 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 2:15 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 5:45 p.m., RCH 307.

UWRC presents What's Your Hang Up? featuring Annette Trudelle, certified interior decorator, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m., NH 1116. Register by emailing uwrc@

James Ford commemoration event, Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 a.m., E6 2024. Details.

Water Institute Seminar Series featuring Dr. Trevor Dickinson, Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, “How rising temperatures have changed winter hydrology across Ontario,” Thursday, June 28, 2:30 p.m., RCH 309.

Canada Day holiday observed Monday, July 2, classes cancelled, university offices and most services closed.

Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment open house, Thursday, July 5, 5:00 p.m., 87 Ford Hills Drive, Huntsville. For info contact Robin Brushey, Events Manager, Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment, University of Waterloo, at 705-571-0259 or rbrushey

Waterloo Residences presents the 2012 Make Your Mark Student Staff Conference for Housing and Residences’ and the University Colleges’ student staff and volunteers. Saturday, July 7. Details.

UWRC Book Club, "The Grief of Others" by Leah Hager Cohen, Wednesday, July 18, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Administrative Assistant – Associate VP Academic Programs & Strategic Initiatives, USG 6
• Help Desk Assistant/Web Editor – Waterloo International, USG 4
• Marketing & Communications Coordinator – Food Services, USG 7
• Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President Advancement – VP Advancement, USG 8
• Information Technology Support Specialist – Stratford Campus, USG 9
Food Services Assistant – Regular Ongoing – UW Food Services – F02

Internal Secondment Opportunity:

• Learner Support Representative (14 months) – Centre for Extended Learning, USG 5

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