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Monday, December 9, 2013



  • Wind expert named to turbine noise panel
  • Ned was right: winter is coming
  • Waterloo grad wins awards where it counts
  • Nominations sought for nominating committee



Wind expert named to turbine noise panel

Professor David Johnson.Professor David Johnson (right) of the Wind Energy Group in the department of mechanical and mechatronics engineering will be participating in the Expert Panel on Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health, funded by Health Canada under the guidance of the Council of Canadian Academies.

An associate professor in the mechatronics and mechanical engineering department, Johnson founded the Wind Energy Laboratory at Waterloo, which undertakes research focused on wind turbine aerodynamics and aeroacoustics - noise, in other words. He is one of 10 panel members drawn from universities in three countries and the private sector.

The panel of experts has been asked by Health Canada to assess evidence “as it pertains to a causal association between wind turbine noise and the development of adverse human health effects.”

The panel held its first meetings in Ottawa in early November and will continue its work until the end of 2014.

“This is an issue of international importance and of significant interest in Ontario,” writes Johnson. “The international panel expertise includes ten top researchers in occupational health, neuroscience, environmental medicine and engineering.”

Johnson is the latest University of Waterloo expert to be tapped by the Council of Canadian Academies for this kind of advisory work: former Vice-President, Academic & Provost Tom Brzustowski served as Chair of the Council, former Dean of Engineering Adel Sedra was a member of the Expert Panel of the State of Science and Technology in Canada, and Arthur Carty, director of the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology, was part of the Expert Panel on the State of Canada’s Science Culture.

The Council of Canadian Academies performs independent, expert assessments of “science that is relevant to important public issues.” It operates with government funding but in an arm’s length capacity, carrying out studies of subjects proposed by the government, non-governmental and private-sector organizations.  


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Ned was right: winter is coming

It is time to face facts: the slippery, snowy season is all but upon us. With last night's dusting of the white stuff, and the 14-day forecast calling for temperatures to slip below freezing and stay there, all members of the university community should take precautions as they traverse the campus over the coming weeks.

Helpfully, the Safety Office has prepared prevention posters that can be printed, placed, and otherwise passed around to remind students, faculty, and staff of the dangers this season poses to unsuspecting pedestrians.

A sand bin.“Watch out for icy conditions,” says one poster that features a picture (left) of the kind of sand bin that sits at many spots near building entrances, parking lots and walkways. “Play your part,” says the poster. “Use sand/salt from the bins." It adds that people on campus should report unsafe walking conditions to the plant operations 24-hour line at ext. 33793.

Another poster encourages all to "give falls the slip" by watching out and avoiding black ice. "Do not get caught by surprise — monitor the weather," the poster says. "Wear winter footwear, even for short walks."

"During storms UW's first priority is main road routes to ensure emergency access and then primary walkways. Attention to some walkways and parking lots may not be possible until at least 24 hours after a storm has subsided," reads the poster. "Keep clear of snow removal equipment for your safety and to expedite their response to storm conditions.”


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Waterloo grad wins awards where it counts

For the third time in four years, a University of Waterloo graduate has won the national and Ontario gold medals for the Chartered Accountancy Uniform Final Examination (UFE).

George Tsai of Waterloo's Master of Accounting program in the School of Accounting and Finance won the prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal and the Ontario Gold Medal for having achieved the highest standing in Canada on the UFE. Tsai is pictured above (right) with Jesse Waltman, president of the University of Waterloo Accounting and Finance Alumni Association.

Considered one of the most challenging professional examinations in the world, the UFE top mark comes with a cash prize of $5,000. In 2011 Juliana Yuen and in 2010 Vicky Au reached the same achievement.

“The camaraderie and community built through the School of Accounting and Finance is exceptional. Having the opportunity to work with Juliana Yuen, 2011's Canadian UFE Gold Medalist, was a contributing factor in building my knowledge and understanding of the exam in order to have such success,” said George Tsai. “I'm looking forward to working with future MAcc graduates to help continue the strong results and reinforce the well-deserved reputation of the School.”

A total of four Waterloo graduates won places on the respected 54-member National Honour Roll – George Tsai, Jacob Angemeer, Matthew Au, and Jonas Lau.

“The success of our grads and the prowess they consistently demonstrate on the UFE never ceases to impress me,” said Dave Vert, director of the master of accounting program. “It is a source of tremendous pride to see one of our students take the top honour again.”


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Nominations sought for nominating committee

Yes, you read that right.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) is seeking applications for staff representation on the Nominating Committee.  There are two positions available for a term beginning January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015.

The purpose of the University of Waterloo Staff Association Nominating Committee is to nominate and/or appoint regular full and part-time Staff Association members as representatives to university or UWSA standing committees, or university or UWSA ad hoc committees requiring staff representatives.

The Nominating Committee Terms of Reference can be found on the UWSA website as well as information on the role of UWSA members on committees.


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Link of the day

International Anti-Corruption Day

When and where

Kinesiology Lab Days, Wednesday, December 4 to Friday, December 13. Details.

Examination period, Thursday, December 5 to Friday, December 20.

FAUW Fall General Meeting, Monday, December 9, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 4041. A light lunch will be provided.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Arun Kumar Padhy, Centre for Applied Chemistry, Central University of Jharkhand, Jharkhand, India, “Recent Advances in DSCC”, Monday, December 9, at 2:30 p.m., C2 361. Details.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Colloquium Series presents Jo Atlee, Professor, University of Waterloo, Cheriton School of Computer Science "Feature Interactions: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," Monday, December 9, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

UWRC event featuring Dr. Tammy Labreche, BSc, OD, Associate Director Centre for Sight Enhancement, Head of External Clinics and admissions officer for Doctor of Optometry program, “Macular Degeneration: What is it? What can we do about it?” Wednesday, December 11, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 5158. Registration details.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Al-Amin Dhirani, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, “From Pre-fabricated Nano Building Blocks to Macroscopic Materials:  Designing Exotic Electronic Phenomena from the Bottom Up”, Wednesday, December 11, 2:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

Public lecture featuring Angèle Reinders, University of Twente, Netherlands, "Urban Smart Grids Pilots with a Design-Driven Approach," Wednesday, December 11, 10:30 a.m., DC 2585. Details.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, December 11, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

Winter 2014 term "Fees Arranged" deadline, Thursday, December 12. Details.

Water Institute Seminar Series featuring Dr. Mike Paterson, Senior Fellow and Associate, International Institute for Sustainable Development, “Towards a New Vision for the Experimental Lakes Area”, Thursday December 12, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

UWSA Special General Meeting, Monday, December 16, 9:00 a.m., DC 1302. Coffee and treats at 8:45 a.m.

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology seminar featuring Dr. Sinjin Dixon-Warren, Chipworks, "Physical and Electrical Performance Comparison of Identical 28 nm Qualcomm Telecommunication Die produced by Samsung and TSMC," Monday, December 16, 1:00 p.m., QNC 1501. Details.

UWRC Book Club, Andrew Hunt, "City of Saints: A Mystery," Tuesday, December 17, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407. Note the new date.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, December 18, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

Examination period ends, Friday, December 20.

Suggested end date for Fall 2013 work term, Friday, December 20.

Christmas holidays, Tuesday, December 24 to Wednesday, January 1, 2014. most university buildings and services closed.

Lectures begin, Monday, January 6, 2014.

Co-operative work term begins, Monday, January 6, 2014.

Ken Lavigne retirement party, Thursday, January 9, 2014, 3:30 p.m., University Club.

Add period for online courses ends, Friday, January 10, 2014.

Course add period ends, Friday, January 17, 2014.


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