- First nanotechnology conference held at QNC
- Pension recommendations going to Board
- Go ENG Girl tomorrow and other notes
- Brandon Sweet
- Communications and Public Affairs
First nanotechnology conference held at QNC
The recently-opened Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre is hosting its first nanotechnology conference today. Nano Ontario 2012, the third annual edition of the event, has brought together leaders from academia, industry, and government to discuss how best to build Ontario's nanotechnology future.
The conference, which started yesterday and concludes today has more than 200 participants, including 100 presentations from the next generation of nanotechnology researchers. Keynote speakers include Linda Nazar from the University of Waterloo, billed as a world authority on lithium batteries, John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cornell University's Chris Ober, and Ted Sargent from the University of Toronto.
Some 20 companies are also on hand for a special industry session that includes a discussion of the opportunities and challenges facing nanotechnology in Canada.
The event includes a round of tours of the new Quantum-Nano building.
Pension recommendations going to Board
Following public information sessions held in June of this year, the Pension & Benefits Committee has sent a memo to members of the University of Waterloo's pension plan that outlines the recommendations the committee will be making to the Board of Governors when it meets on October 30.
The recommendations are as follows:
- Effective January 1, 2013, employee contribution rates increase to 6.25% on earnings up to the year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE), 8.95% on earnings between the YMPE and 2X the YMPE, 9.95% on earnings in excess of 2X the YMPE up to the earning at which the maximum contribution under the Income Tax Act is reached;
- Guaranteed indexing for the pension benefit accrued as of December 31, 2013 will remain at 100% of the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) (to a maximum increase in CPI of 5%); for the balance of your pension benefit (that is your pension benefit earned for all your pensionable service less the pension benefit accrued as of December 31, 2013), the guaranteed indexing will be calculated as 75% of the increase in CPI (to a maximum increase in CPI of 5%); and
- Effective January 1, 2014, the current averaging period of 36 consecutive months for determining final average earnings will increase by one month at the end of each calendar month until it reaches an averaging period of 60 consecutive months as of December 31, 2015. However, for any member who has entered into an arrangement for a 2% salary increase in lieu of vacation entitlement, along with an irrevocable retirement date, the final average earning calculation at his/her declared retirement date will remain at 36 consecutive months even if retirement is after January 1, 2014, provided that the election is made and all approvals have been received prior to December 21, 2012. (Note: due to holiday closures, the last business day of the year is December 21, 2012. Forms need to be submitted to Human Resources prior to that date in order to be processed by the end of year.)
- The cap on pension payable per year of service will increase from $3,200 to $3,300 as of January 1, 2014 and from $3,300 to $3,400 as of January 1, 2015.
The context for the four recommendations is the $170 million shortfall in the university's pension plan. As a frequently-asked questions document prepared by the committee explains, the pension plan's assets are made up of contributions by the university and by plan members, which are then invested in financial markets. The current rate of contribution was set based on the assumption that the invested assets will earn 6.35 per cent per year, including inflation. However, with the 2008 collapse of the financial markets, as well as what the committee refers to as "continued instability", the value of the pension's assets "declined dramatically" and has not yet recovered fully.
The slide deck and video used during the pension information sessions are now available online. The committee has developed some additional materials, including illustrated examples of the impact of the proposed changes and a FAQ document that answers common questions the committee has heard in the course of its consultations. In addition, the committee has posted a summary of its recommendations and communications to pension plan members since 2007.
These recommendations remain recommendations until the Board of Governors considers them at their meeting at the end of the month.
Go ENG Girl tomorrow and other notes
On Saturday the University of Waterloo will host 150 girls in grades 7 through 10 and their parents at Go ENG Girl.
Go ENG Girl is a free event that encourages girls to have fun as they learn about current programs of study and careers in engineering. Hands-on workshops allow participants to experience the creativity, imagination and teamwork involved in engineering design. This year, participants will be constructing a robotic arm.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend and talk to students, faculty and alumna.
The event takes place Saturday at locations across Ontario, including Waterloo, and is organized by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering. Running from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the event takes place in the Davis Centre and in the Student Design Centre in Engineering 5.
The Go ENG Girl event at Waterloo is the largest in Ontario. It's popular, too: there is such high demand for spots that registration is now closed. Over the past five years, more than 4,500 girls have participated in the annual events.
Other notes as this Friday appears to have shown up early:
The second Waterloo-local ACM-style programming contest this term will be held this Saturday, October 13 in MC 3003. All members of the university community are invited to try their programming skill in Scheme, C, C++, Java, or Pascal. The results of this local contest will be used to select the UW teams for the international ACM competition. We will send three teams of three to the East Central North America Regional in Windsor on November 3. Full details and registration information is available online. The contest will run from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and will be followed by pizza.
Take note that Creative Services will be closing at 11:15 a.m. today for a staff development event, and will be reopening Monday.
The 45th annual Naismith Classic basketball tournament is on today through Sunday in the PAC.
Today is the deadline for nominations for the two vacant faculty Senate positions. Nomination forms are due at the Secretariat by 3:00 p.m. today for the Engineering and Science vacancies. At least five nominators are required.
Some utility shutdowns to be aware of: Steam services in Engineering 6 will be offline on Monday, October 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for boiler maintenance. High pressure air in Engineering 5's Lab Room 2006 will be shut off Wednesday, October 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. due to renovations.
Next Tuesday the Waterloo Stratford Campus has its grand opening event at 11:00 a.m. at its location on Patrick Street in Stratford. A public open house follows at 1:00 p.m.
Link of the day
When and where
Warrior sports this weekend: Men’s volleyball in Gatineau, Quebec Friday, Saturday, Sunday. • Women’s volleyball vs. Memorial in Montreal Friday, 12:00 p.m., vs. McGill Friday, 8:00 p.m. • Women’s baseball vs. Concordia Friday, 6:00 p.m., vs. CBU Sunday, 1:00 p.m. • Men’s hockey vs. Western Friday, 7:30 p.m. • Men’s baseball vs. UNBC Friday, 8:00 p.m., vs. UQAM Saturday 8:00 p.m., vs. York Sunday, 3:00 p.m. • Football at Ottawa Friday, 1:00 p.m. • Field hockey at York Saturday, 9:00 a.m. , at Guelph Sunday, 2:15 p.m. • Swimming at OUA Sprint Saturday, 9:00 a.m., at Tri meet Sunday, 10:30 a.m. • Men’s rugby vs. McMaster Saturday, 1:00 p.m. • Women’s soccer vs. Windsor Saturday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Western Sunday, 1:00 p.m. • Women’s hockey vs. Toronto Saturday, 2:30 p.m., vs. Ryerson Sunday, 5:00 p.m. • Men’s soccer vs. Windsor Saturday, 3:15 p.m., vs. Western Sunday, 3:15 p.m. • Cross country at Guelph Open Saturday • EV Women’s Hockey vs. Toronto Saturday, 2:00 p.m. • Women’s rugby vs. Western Sunday, 3:00 p.m.
Tourism and Development lecture series featuring Geoffrey Wall, "Cultural tourism, sustainable development and sustainable livelihoods - International perspectives," Friday, October 12, 1:30 p.m., AL 113.
Knowledge Integration seminar featuring Gary Klassen, “Of Triumph and Defeat: Selected Stories of creating the unexpected and the black art of intrapreneurship”, Friday October 12, 2:30 p.m., Environment 3 (EV3), room 1408.
2012 Gudrun & Hari Sharma Lecture/Philosophy Colloquium Friday, October 12, 3:30 p.m. HH 280. Details.
School of Public Health and Health Systems retirement reception for Roy Cameron and Nancy Poole, Friday, October 12, 3:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman South Fireplace Lounge.
Pebble Tech Talk 2012 with Pebble Founder Eric Migicovsky, Friday, October 12, 11:30 a.m. TC 2218. RSVP details online.
Terry Fox Run in NYC, Saturday, October 13, 8:00 a.m. Details.
Calgary Alumni Chapter Oktoberfest, Saturday, October 13 - Sunday, October 14, Austrian-Canadian Cultural Centre, Calgary. Details.
Go ENG Girl event, Saturday, October 13, 9:00 a.m., Davis Centre. Details.
ACM-style programming contest, 1:00 p.m., Saturday, October 13, MC 3003. Details.
CTE presents Focus on Teaching Week, October 15 to October 19. Registration Details.
University Senate meeting, Monday, October 15, 3:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.
Waterloo Stratford Campus ribbon cutting, Tuesday, October 16, 11:00 a.m., 125 St. Patrick St., Stratford.
EAP Brown Bag Lunch event, "Travel Safe, Travel Well," Thursday, October 18, 12:00 p.m., TC 2218.
Waterloo Stratford Campus public open house, Tuesday, October 16, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.., 125 St. Patrick St., Stratford. Details.
The School of Public Health and Health Systems presents Dr. Atreyi Mukherji, McMaster University, “STI/HIV: Utilizing Epidemiology to inform Interventions, Health Policy and Human Rights,” Wednesday, October 17, 10:00 a.m., Burt Matthews Hall, room 3119.
Arriscraft Lecture Series featuring Donald Schmitt, Diamond Schmitt Architects, "Just-In-Time Design," Thursday, October 18, 6:45 p.m., School of Architecture.
Ambassador Lecture Series featuring H.E. Ambassador Piragibe dos Santos Tarragô, Ambassador of Brazil to Canada, "Brazil and Its Prospects for the Future", Thursday, October 18,7:00 p.m., CIGI Campus Auditorium, 67 Erb Street West. RSVP details.
Public lecture by Stanford University President John Hennessy, "Online Education: The Coming Tsunami," Friday, October 19, 10:00 a.m., Humanities Theatre.
Fall 2012 Convocation, Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20.
Public lecture by Claire Kramsch, UC Berkeley, "Symbolic Competence: New Goal for Global Times," Saturday, October 20, 4:00 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.
Open Access Week, October 22 to October 28. Details.
Public lecture for high school students by Dr. Michael Rosbash, recipient of the 2012 Canada Gairdner International Award, “Circadian rhythms: Time travels”, Tuesday, October 23, 10:30 a.m., Davis Centre 1302. Details.
Public lecture by Dr. Michael Rosbash, recipient of the 2012 Canada Gairdner International Award, “Circadian rhythms: Molecules, neurons and circuits”, Tuesday, October 23, 2:00 p.m., Davis Centre 1302. Details.