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Monday, March 5, 2012

  • Environment 3 solar panels catching rays
  • Waterloo students win Walmart challenge
  • OCE student video competition now open
  • Co-op celebrates new name and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Environment 3 solar panels catching rays

By Karen Kawawada, Communications Officer, Faculty of Environment

Enough to power seven standard Canadian homes. That’s how much electricity the solar panels now being installed on Environment 3 are expected to generate.

The installation is one of the finishing touches on the building, which officially opened in November. It’s also one of the last things that must be done before EV3 can apply for LEED platinum status, which would certify it as one of the world’s most environmentally friendly buildings.

Putting solar panels on an Environment building – and thereby “walking the talk” – is an idea that goes back to 2005, says Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Paul Parker.

At the time, Parker, who has solar panels on his own home, started a fund by donating what he figured would be the cost of making his office solar-powered. He also encouraged other professors to do the same.

Then came the idea of a showcase new building. Parker led the fundraising effort for solar panels and now, his seven-year dream is becoming reality.

The Dana Porter Library is visible behind the solar panel array atop Environment 3.When fully installed, the 204 solar panels will cover nearly 500 square metres of the roof and the southern wall of the penthouse. They’re designed to produce 67,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. The average Canadian home consumes around 10,000 kilowatt hours, says Parker.

All that renewable energy doesn’t come cheap, at least not up front. The project is costing $500,000, and fundraising is still ongoing. However, the solar panels will provide about 11 per cent of the building’s total energy.

“We have the direct savings of purchasing less electricity – and after people, I believe, utilities are the second-biggest expense to the university … But the bigger benefits are certainly societal,” says Parker.

The solar panels will also be a campus-wide teaching and research tool. There are plans to install systems to measure the output both of the system as a whole and of individual panels.

The output information will be publicly available and may be used in a number of Faculty of Environment courses, as well as by researchers in computer science and at the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy.

“It’s a living-learning opportunity of seeing how we can reduce our net demand on the grid and green our operations as much as possible,” says Parker. “This is one more step in that direction.”

Photographs by Joe Bevan

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Waterloo student green challenge winners.
Waterloo students win Walmart challenge

By Carol Truemner, Communications Officer, Faculty of Engineering

Three Waterloo chemical engineering students beat out teams from across the country to win the first Walmart Green Student Challenge on February 29 at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto.

The fourth-year students —Arthur Yip, Jake Yeung, Alan Thai (pictured above)—came out on top with their idea of an integrated energy hub for retail distribution centres. The hub is designed to integrate solar rooftop panels and be connected to the smart electricity grid to provide grid balancing and auxiliary services. There would also be considerable long-term financial savings for the company through the use of green energy and government incentives which could be provided to launch the plan.

“We are excited to have brought our project into the real world through this competition and we are committed to bringing our sustainable green energy hub design to life,” said Yip. “The challenge has been an incredible experience. It encouraged us to think about sustainable business from a different angle, because at the end of the day the idea can’t just be good for the environment, it has to be good for business.”

By winning the top prize the team will be flown to Calgary on the Walmart jet to tour the company's newest distribution centre to see how their project could be implemented there. The students also won $60,000 -- $30,000 of which they are donating to the Waterloo’s chemical engineering department for future fourth-year design projects.

“I’m extremely proud of this tremendous accomplishment,” said Adel Sedra, dean of Waterloo Engineering. “I’m not only impressed by the students’ innovative green energy hub design, but that they’re giving back to their department to help future design teams. Arthur, Jake and Alan are an excellent example of the outstanding students throughout all of Waterloo Engineering.”

Tom Duever, chair of Waterloo’s chemical engineering department, echoes the dean’s comments. “As faculty members we draw a lot of satisfaction from seeing our students succeed in this prestigious competition."

The Waterloo Engineering students competed against a short list from over 80 entries from the University of Cape Breton, York University, Western University and University of Calgary. The five semi-finalists presented ideas ranging from an app to replace printed receipts to regulating temperatures in winter and summer to a panel of Canada’s top CEOs who chose the winner.

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OCE student video competition now open

The Discovery Student Video competition, hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence, is now accepting submissions for 2012. The video contest, open to all post-secondary students enrolled at an Ontario university or college, gives students an opportunity to showcase their new technology, innovation, or start-up ideas in a "creatively executed" three-minute video pitch that can use "props, computer graphics, or anything else you can imagine."

The top 25 submissions will be featured on OCE's YouTube, Facebook, and Discovery web pages, and screened at the Discovery 2012 Conference being held on May 14 and 15 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Winning submissions will receive one of three cash prizes of up to $2,500.

Entry forms must be completed and submitted no later than April 2 for a video entry to be considered.

According to the OCE, University of Waterloo students have had great success in previous years of the competition: in 2011, the Hockey Robotics team of J. S. Rancourt, Matthew Hanselman, George Guerrette, Chris Goodine, and Tristan Lehari took third prize. In 2010, Chris Erven and Rolf Horn's Quantum Key Distribution project took third. In 2009, Christine Nairouz, Noah Buchman, Julia Dean, Rodrigo Eng Castillo, and Ashish Khanna won first prize for MedShare, and second prize went to Stephanie Hecimovich, Melissa Upjohn and Allison Carere's 2G Robotics project.

Complete contest rules and downloadable entry forms are available online.

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Co-op celebrates new name and other notes

“Co-operative Education & Career Services has received approval from both the University’s Board of Governors and the Senate to change its name," writes Olaf Naese. "The new name will bring the department in alignment with last year’s re-branding of the Centre for Career Action."

The former CECS: Co-operative Education & Career Services will now become CECA: Co-operative Education & Career Action.

"The name change is effective immediately, but transition will take place over time for print resources and signage,” writes Naese.

Nominations are still open for a number of seats on the university's senate:

Faculty Representatives

One faculty member of the university to be elected by/from each faculty of the university, terms May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015.

Faculty-at-large Representatives

Seven faculty members of the university to be elected by/from the members of faculty of the university, terms May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015.

Faculty Representative from St. Jerome's University and St. Paul’s University College

One faculty member to be elected by/from the members of faculty of St. Jerome's University, term May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015.

One faculty member to be elected by/from the members of faculty of St. Paul’s University College, term May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015.

Graduate Student Representatives

Two graduate students of the university to be elected by/from the full- and part-time graduate students of the university, terms May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2014.

One graduate student of the university to be elected by/from the full- and part-time graduate students of the university, term May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013.

Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat (x36125) and from the Secretariat webpage. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Friday, March 16, 2012. Elections will follow if necessary.

And here's today's nutrition "myth vs. truth " from Health Services dietician Sandra Ace and the Dieticians of Canada in support of national Nutrition Month:

"Myth": You need vitamin and mineral supplements to be healthy.
"Truth": Think food first! Most healthy can meet their vitamin and mineral requirements by following Canada’s Food Guide although some people might need supplements. A Registered Dietitian can help you decide or answer questions you have about food or supplements.

If you have any questions or comments about these nutrition tips, please contact Sandra Ace.

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Link of the day


When and where

Senate Executive Committee meeting, Monday March 5, 3:30 p.m., NH 3004.

Propel Centre for Population Health Impact research seminar, Accelerating Cross-Campus Research Ideas, Initiatives and Impact: A focus on preventing chronic disease and promoting health and wellness, Monday, March 5, 1:00 p.m., Village 1 Great Hall, RSVP to dbrick

Women in Administration Discussion Panel, featuring Susan Elliott, Carolyn Hansson, Susan Horton, Daniela O'Neil, and Pearl Sullivan, Monday, March 5, 3:00 p.m., LHI 1621. Reception to follow.

Building and Properties Committee meeting, Tuesday, March 6, 3:00 p.m., NH 3004.

English Lecture Series, featuring Katherine Hayles, Duke University, on "Speculation," Tuesday, March 6, 4:30 p.m. AL 124. Details.

A Firsthand Account of Capture at Sea on the Canadian Boat to Gaza, Tuesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., MC 4021.

Noon hour concert at Conrad Grebel featuring traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador, with Daniel Payne (fiddle, accordion, mandolin, flute, whistle, and bodhran), Wednesday, March 7, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

“Emergency Response Following the 2010 Chilean Earthquake” seminar presented by Hernan de Solminihac, Minister of Mining, Chile, Wednesday, March 7, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Asian Night at REVelation, Wednesday, March 7, 4:30 p.m.

International Women's Day (IWD) celebration, Wednesday, March 7, 5:30 p.m., Walper Terrace Hotel. Kitchener. For tickets and details call Jan Meier at 519-579-5051. Details.

Alumni Theatre Night featuring "Scenes from an Execution," Wednesday, March 7, 7:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, presented by the Department of Drama and Speech Communication. Details.

Weight Watchers at Work registration session, Thursday, March 8, 12:00 p.m., PAS 2438.

Public lecture in celebration of 50 years of Philosophy at Waterloo, Thursday, March 8, 2:00 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Reading at St. Jerome’s University: poet Julia McCarthy, Thursday, March 8, 4:30, StJ room 3014.

WIN Distinguished Lecturer Professor Georges Hadziioannou presents "Scientific and Engineering Challenges and Opportunities in Printable and Flexible Organic Electronics," Thursday, March 8, 4:30 p.m., EIT 1015.

Resistance Culture: An evening of spoken word poetry and art with Remi Kanazi, Thursday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., MC 4020. Presented by Students for Palestinian Rights. Details.

Fusion Science and Business conference, March 9 and 10. Details.

Philosophy Colloquium in celebration of 50 years of Philosophy at Waterloo, Friday, March 9, 3:30 p.m., HH 373.

The Global Pro-Justice Movement featuring activist Frank Barat, Friday, March 9, 6:30 p.m., CPH 3607. Presented by Students for Palestinian Rights. Details.

Drop, Penalty 1 Period ends March 12.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 11 Design Program, Monday, March 12 to Friday, March 16.

KI-X 2012: Capstone Design Project on display at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Monday, March 12, 12:00-4:00, Tuesday, March 13, 12:00-7:00, Wednesday, March 14, 12:00-6:00, 263 Phillip Street. Details.

Vision 2015 Town Hall for engineering graduate students, Monday, March 12, 3:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Drop, Penalty 2 Period begins March 13.

Noon hour concert at Conrad Grebel featuring Brass Essentials, Debra and Martin Lacoste (trumpets), Trevor Wagler (french horn), Carolyn Culp (trombone), Susan Follows (bass trombone), Wednesday, March 14, 12:30 p.m.

Nanotechnology for Cancer chemo and immunotherapy seminar, Wednesday March 14, 2:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies lecture series ‘Testimony and Human Rights’, featuring a presentation by Professor Marjorie Ratcliffe (University of Western Ontario), “Solos en Ameríca: Children of the Spanish Civil War”. Wednesday, March 14, 3:30 p.m., HH 373. Reception follows at 4:30 p.m.

Center for Career Action workshop "Setting Work And Life Goals," Thursday, March 15, 3:30 p.m., TC 1208. Details.

Systems Design Symposium 2012, Friday, March 16, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre foyer.

Knowledge Integration seminar, Luigi Ferrera, "Systems of Sharing: The Next Economy," Friday, March 16, 2:30 p.m. St. Paul's room 105.

Bechtel Lecture with Professor John D. Roth Thursday March 15 and Friday March 16, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel. Details.

The UW Cabaret Club presents La Vie Du Cabaret, Friday, March 16, 9:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

PhD Oral Defences

Electrical and computer engineering. Jamil Akram Abou Saleh, “A Novel Approach for Performance Assessment of Human-Robotic Interaction.” Supervisor, Fakhreddine Karray. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, March 9, 9:30 a.m., Davis Centre Room 1331.

Recreation and leisure studies. Cris Calley Jones, “Identity, Community, and Social Change.” Supervisor, Heather Mair. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, March 9, 1:00 p.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

Management sciences. Abdullah F. Basiouni, “Innovation in e-Business Models: A Net-Enabled Business Innovation Cycle (NEBIC) Theory Perspective.” Supervisor, Rod McNaughton. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, March 12, 9:30 a.m., Engineering 2 room 3324.

Planning. Megan Conway, “How To Evaluate a Third-Sector Approach to Place-Based Poverty Reduction: A Case Study of Pathways to Education.” Advisors, Dr. Lea Caragata, Dr. Mark Seasons. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Monday, March 12, 1:00 p.m., EV2 1001.

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