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Monday, April 22, 2013



  • Students score wins in environmental...
  • ...and sustainable design competitions
  • LINC conference today and other notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Students score wins in environmental...

A team of four environmental engineering students from Waterloo took first place in Task 3 at the 22nd annual International Environmental Design Contest at New Mexico State University earlier this month.

The competition was organized by the WERC Consortium and the Institute for Energy & the Environment from April 7 to 10 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Held annually since 1991, the contest draws hundreds of college and university students from across the United States and around the world. Student teams design solutions for real-world problems while developing fully operational bench-scale solutions that are then presented to panels of judges comprised of environmental professionals. The teams prepare four different presentations: written, oral, poster and a bench-scale model.

The team also received 2nd place among all tasks when judged by the other contestants for the bench-scale and poster presentations.

Team members included 4B Environmental Engineering students Lindsay Bowman, Victoria Chennette, Beth Hamley and Laurel Hoffarth. The team was supported by Shoeleh Shams, a PhD candidate in Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Jon Sykes, who was the faculty advisor.

The team’s project, entitled Nitrate Removal in Rural Drinking Water Using Electrocoagulation, presented the design, testing and implementation of a treatment system for nitrate removal from groundwater. The project details the prominence of groundwater used as a source of drinking water, the potentially devastating health effects when contaminated by nitrate, and alternative methods to remove nitrate. The team’s solution to use electrocoagulation as the preferred alternative was an innovative choice that proved to be successful within the competition.

The team would like to acknowledge the financial and technical support of the Dean of Engineering, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Maxxam Analytics.  Following graduation, Lindsay and Victoria will remain at the University of Waterloo to pursue Master’s degrees, while Beth and Laurel will be seeking full-time employment in the environmental engineering field.


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...and sustainable design competitions

Concept art for the winning sustainable design project.The winners of the 2013 Evolve Sustainable Design Competition were announced last Thursday, with Waterloo architecture and engineering students Renee Hum-Hsiao, Elaina Poleto, Keegan Steeper, Joanne Yau and Thomas Yuan received first prize for their design of an environmentally sustainable bank branch of the future (seen at right). The winning team received $5,000 and an opportunity to meet with some of Canada's top architecture professionals at B+H Architects, the contest's co-sponsor.

In addition, the University of Waterloo student team of Alice Chen, Alan King Bowden, Andrea Ng, Alice Song and Mina Vedut received an honourable mention and a $2,500 prize.

The competition challenged architecture and engineering students to work together in interdisciplinary teams to design a net-zero energy and water-wise bank branch of the future that incorporates innovative yet practical concepts for achieving extreme energy efficiency, includes renewable power and minimizes the branch's water. Students were asked to explore the design and function of a typical bank branch and develop ways to minimize its energy and water use, while providing a platform for employees, clients and the community to learn about how sustainable building practices can be made part of everyday life.

"The winning submissions used a great balance of technology and passive design - strategies that maximize the benefits of natural light, heat and ventilation - to meet the goals of the competition," said Douglas Birkenshaw, principal at B+H. "The dedication and quality of submissions by all of the students was inspiring."

The winning team's design features included hydronic radiant floors powered by geothermal systems to heat the building, photovoltaic cells integrated into windows to generate electricity, grey water filtration systems, and a system that distributed natural sunlight through fibre optic tubing to interior spaces.

The contest was sponsored by RBC and B+H.


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LINC conference today and other notes

Leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, academics and policy-makers will congregate in the Quantum-Nano Centre today and tomorrow for the Leadership Innovation Conference. The conference will be headlined by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and BlackBerry Co-founder Mike Lazaridis.

Speakers at the two-day, invite-only event include journalist and author Jon Gertner, Sukhinder Singh-Cassidy, Anamitra Banerji, Alfred Lin, Kunal Gupta, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Tom Jenkins, Kevin Lynch, Pearl Sullivan, and Feridun Hamdullahpur, to name just a few.

Technology showcases, panel discussions and roundtables with leading innovators, fireside chats, keynote addresses and opportunities to network with an invitation-only group including some of the top minds in industry and public policy round out the packed program.

The Leadership Innovation Conference promises high-impact analysis and policy-relevant ideas from top-tier thought leaders with the aim of building a plan for economic growth and prosperity for Ontario and Canada – with Waterloo’s model for innovation at its heart. The event is intended to spark high-level discussion about the steps and policy levers needed to advance global economies.

ClimateActionWR, a collaborative initiative between Sustainable Waterloo Region, REEP Green Solutions, and the Region of Waterloo, has created an art contest for youths aged 18 to 24.

The contest seeks creative answers to the following thematic questions:

  • Why do you think it is important to take action on climate change at the local level (as individuals, in neighbourhoods, in business, and/or as a community as a whole)?
  • What can we do in Waterloo Region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Participants will be able to use the contest's guiding themes to express themselves through visual art. Any form of art - cartoons, comics, drawings, painting, sculpture - is acceptable. The contest closes on May 19 at 11:59 p.m.

Also, this week is National Volunteer Week. Stay tuned for volunteer-related news this week. If there are campus-related volunteer activities you'd like to see highlighted, feel free to let me know via email.


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eSmart to close Monday

The following is a message from Retail Services:

"On Monday, April 22nd Retail Services is closing eSmart and consolidating our technology services on campus to better serve you. All mobile phones, computing sales, and technical support will be managed by campustech. Please visit us in the Student Life Centre or online."

eSmart is (or was) located in South Campus Hall.

Link of the day

Earth Day

When and where

Leadership Innovation Conference, April 22 and 23. Details.

The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Prof. Ke Dong, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, “Voltage-gated Sodium Channels in Insects and Mammals: Comparison of Structure, Function and Toxin Sensitivity”, Tuesday, 23 April 23, 3:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience Colloquium featuring Marc Bellemare of the University of Alberta, Tuesday, April 23, 3:30 p.m., PAS 2464.

Biology Graduate Student Research Symposium featuring Dr. Gregory Petsko, " "How Parkinson's Disease Starts and How It Might Be Stopped," Wednesday, April 24, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., QNC 1501 & 1502.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Ms. Elizabeth Crawford, Applications Manager, IonSense, Saugus, MA, USA, “Instant Gratification – Mass Confirmation in Seconds:  An Introduction to Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Ambient Mass Spectrometry”, Wednesday, April 24, 10:30 a.m., C2-361. Details.

Symposium: Toward a Global Social Protection Floor, Wednesday, April 24 to Friday, April 26, Balsillie School of International Affairs. Details.

Opportunities and New Directions Conference, Thursday, April 25, all day, HH 1101. Details.

Deadline for students to become Fees Arranged, Monday, April 29.

Vegetation Inventory and Monitoring Workshop, Monday, April 29, 9:00 a.m., Huntsville Summit Centre. Details.

Int'l Spouses event, Ethnic Grocery Store Tour By Bus! Monday, April 29, 10:30 a.m. Details.

CTE703, "Freeing Your Voice,"
Tuesday, April 30, 1:30 p.m., MC 5158. Presented by the Centre for Teaching Excellence. Details.

Water Research Symposium 2013, Thursday, May 2, all day, Davis Centre 1350. Details.

Spring term lectures begin, Monday, May 6.

Strategic Plan Town Hall, Wednesday, May 8, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Strategic Plan Town Hall, Thursday, May 9, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Ziva Kunda Memorial Lecture, Friday, May 10, 3:00 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul's. Details.

Dance Odyssey, Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12, Humanities Theatre.

GO Open Data conference, Saturday, May 11, all day, School of Pharmacy. Details.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 10 Change program, Sunday, May 12 to Thursday, May 16. Details.

Canada 3.0 Youth Program 2013, Monday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University of Waterloo Stratford Campus. Details.

Friday's Daily Bulletin