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Thursday, March 21, 2013



  • Waterloo opens UK alumni chapter
  • Canada Research Chair recipients announced
  • Staff conference registration deadline looms
  • Robots play to win and other notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Waterloo opens UK alumni chapter

by Emily Huxley Osborne, Alumni Officer.

Vice-President, Advancement Ken McGillivray joined a full house of local alumni in London, England on Thursday, March 14 to officially launch the University of Waterloo’s London/UK alumni chapter at an event hosted in the North Tower Lounge at the historic Tower Bridge (pictured above).

The creation of this alumni chapter is the result of collaborative efforts between Waterloo’s Office of Advancement and six alumni who now serve as the chapter’s founding directors – Robin Carswell (BMath '01), Alex Scott (BASc '09), Kathleen Broekhof (BMath '98), Shikha Gandhi (MAcc '04; BA '04), Laura Gordon (BA '11), and Anna Dyck (BMath '08).

Pat Duguay and Ken McGillivray pose with London and UK alumni at the launch event.Bringing greetings on behalf of President Feridun Hamdullahpur, McGillivray shared stories about a few of the successes that are ensuring Waterloo continues to be the hub of innovation that the world turns to for answers, for talent , and for knowledge.

McGillivray also spoke about the university’s global outreach and his ambitious goals for increasing international alumni engagement. “Chapters such as the one we’re celebrating tonight play a critical role in ensuring our continued success as a local, national, and international agent of change, he said. “The energy in the room this evening undoubtedly means that our London chapter is going to be a very engaged and active group of alumni.”

These sentiments were echoed by Patricia Duguay, Senior Alumni Officer, Outreach. “The central alumni team back in Canada couldn't be happier to support this group and work to build our brand overseas,” she said. “With 160,000 alumni living in more than 140 countries, chapters are essential to keeping Waterloo alumni connected and engaged.”

The London/UK alumni chapter is the first-of-its-kind launched by Waterloo in Europe. It joins seven other Waterloo chapters that encompass alumni living in Western Canada, the United States, and Asia. Alumni Affairs is continuously working to launch more alumni chapters all around the world. Stay tuned to find out if one is starting up in your area and how you can get involved.


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Canada Research Chair recipients announced

Important research into global food security and nanoscale materials has earned national recognition for two University of Waterloo professors whose Canada Research Chair (CRC) grants were announced Friday, March 15.

One of the researchers is a new chair at the Tier 1 level, and one is a renewal at the Tier 2 level. According to the Canada Research Chairs program's website, Tier 1 chairs are tenable for seven years, are renewable, and are "for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields." Tier 2 chairs are tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field.

"The impact of these innovative research projects will be global, lasting and world-changing," said Feridun Hamdullahpur. "These professors are among the top researchers in Canada, and the university congratulates them on this deserved recognition."

Professor Jennifer Clapp of the Department of Environment and Resource Studies in the Faculty of Environment is Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability. She is a new Tier 1 CRC. Many current food production methods have negative environmental impacts that endanger not only sustainability but also future food security. Clapp's research will include one of the first studies to provide in-depth analysis of the connections between food security, environmental sustainability, and global governance. She will receive $200,000 per year for seven years.

Professor Pavle Radovanovic of the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science was named Canada Research Chair in Spectroscopy of Nanoscale Materials. His Tier 2 CRC is a renewal. His interdisciplinary research could lead to radically new approaches in material- and energy-efficient information technologies and lighting devices. He will receive $100,000 per year for five years.


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Staff conference registration deadline looms

"The registration deadline for the sixth annual Staff Conference taking place on April 9 and April 10 is almost here! The last day to register is on Monday March 25," writes Mark Lisetto-Smith of Organizational & Human Development. "Be prepared to experience a wide range of captivating keynote speakers, such as award-winning journalist Jan Wong and social media trendsetter Amber Mac."

There are spaces available in several workshop sessions, including “Waterloo as a Model Co-op Employer,” which presents research on being a top co-op employer, including a discussion student staff needs during a work placement focusing on personal and professional development, and “Entrepreneurial U” which explores the entrepreneurial nature of Waterloo.

New sessions have also been added for “Planning to Retire: Where do I start?” and “Productivity Tools” on second day of the conference in the 10:30 am timeslot. If you missed out registering for these workshops before, now is your chance.

"Please remember to print out the most recent copy of your registration as your personalized schedule will also be unavailable once registration closes," concludes Lisetto-Smith. "Once again, the deadline is Monday March 25. Register before the deadline to avoid disappointment. We look forward to seeing you there!"


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Robots play to win and other notes

Starting today, the University of Waterloo is playing host to over 30 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams whose robots will compete for their schools and the companies that support them. Teams will be playing for a chance at a berth in the FRC World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. Practice rounds begin at 10:30 today in the Physical Activities Complex, with qualification matches on Friday and Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m. and the final round is on Saturday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Billed as "the most intense robotic sporting event on earth," the competition is a series of short games played by remote-controlled robots, designed and built within a six-week period from a common set of basic parts by a team of students and their engineer-mentors. The competition has grown to over 2,500 teams from 13 countries competing in 58 regional events, and culminates in the championship event in St. Louis with more than 10,000 student participants. The event, held in the Physical Activities Complex, is free and welcomes adults and children of all ages. If you get a chance to check it out, do so. Because robots.

In recognition of World Water Day, look for stories about three water researchers on the university's homepage this Friday:

  • Phillippe van Cappellen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ecohydrology, warns how small changes have big impacts on water systems.
  • Ed Sudicky, a longtime hydrology expert, is working on a software model of the Grand River watershed.
  • George Dixon, a biologist and renowned eco-toxicologist, discusses how the oil sands are affecting Alberta’s longest river.

Here's today's nutrition "myth vs. fact" from Health Services Dietician Sandra Ace:

"Myth:" Combining foods or eating them in a certain sequence or at certain times of the day will help you to lose weight.

"Fact:"  While this theory has sold a lot of books over the past few decades, hard scientific evidence to support this diet and many other popular diets is still lacking. Why does food combining work for some people who are trying to lose weight? Any change in diet which decreases your energy intake enough so that is lower than what your body needs will result in weight loss. So it’s possible that a person following a food combining plan could lose weight, but this is because they are eating fewer calories not because certain food combinations result in an increase in the body’s ability to burn fat. Maintaining a healthy weight over the long term is best achieved through a lifelong commitment to eating balanced, healthy meals in the right amounts and being physically active. For personalized advice, contact a Registered Dietitian in your area.


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The 39th Annual Fourth Year Undergraduate Exhibition, presented by the Department of Fine Arts, kicks off at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery with a reception tonight from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

A cadenza is known to musicians as a technically brilliant, sometimes improvised solo passage toward the close of a concerto. For the fourth year Fine Arts students, it is a statement that elegantly reflects the culmination of this chapter of their academic careers as artists.

The exhibition runs until April 6.

Link of the day

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

When and where

FIRST Robotics Waterloo Regional competition, Thursday, March 21, Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, all day, Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Weight Watchers At Work registration session, Thursday, March 21, 12:15 p.m., PAS 2438, info ext. 32218.

UW Biomedical Seminar Series featuring Dr. Michael Rogers, Rutgers University, "Engineering self-assembled fibrillar networks using
hydroxyalkanoic acids as a foundation for rational design of new architectures in molecular gels," Thursday March 21, 2:30 p.m., EIT-3142.

Observations and Free Inquiries seminar featuring Hamid Tizhoosh, Systems Design Engineering, "Educating Free Humans - a conversation with serious educators" Thursday, March 21, 5:30 p.m., E5 6004. Details.

Master of Public Service Annual Talk and Dinner Social featuring the Honourable Kevin G. Lynch, Thursday, March 21, 6:00 p.m., University Club.

The Faculty of Science presents "Where did all the oil come from?" by Drs. Maurice Dusseault and Stephen Evans. Thursday, March 21, 7:00 p.m., OPT 347. Details.

Philosophy Graduate Student Association's 20th annual conference, Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Interdisciplinarity” what does it mean, and what makes it successful?, Friday March 22, 2:30 p.m., EV2 2002. Details.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Professor William (Bill) K. Stell, University of Calgary, “Myopia – The Long and Short of It”, Friday March 22, 3:30 p.m. OPT 1129. Details.

Int'l Spouses, "Anne of Green Gables," Saturday, March 23, 2:30 p.m., Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts. Group details. Event details.

Centre for Career Action Further Education Boot Camp, Saturday, March 23, Tatham Centre. Details.

Conrad Grebel University College Student Council presents "Anne of Green Gables: The Musical," Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 24, 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $13 (students/seniors) and $15 (adults) and can be purchased through the Conrad Grebel main office, 519-885-0220 or at the door.

University of Waterloo Sustainability Project (UWSP) presents an Earth Hour event, Saturday, March 23, 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Student Life Centre. Details.

VeloCity Demo Day, Monday, March 25, 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

University Senate meeting, Monday, March 25, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

VeloCity Venture Fund Finals, Monday, March 25, Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Yellow Day Coffee Break, Tuesday, March 26, 10:00 a.m., Office of Research board room, NH 1021.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Prof. Gerald Audette, Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions, York University, “Structural and Functional Studies of Protein Nanotubes and F-Plasmid Conjugation”, Tuesday, March 26 at 3:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

Retirement Open House for Cathy Mitchell, UW Police. Wednesday, March 27, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Commissary Building, Meeting Room 1112D.  RSVP by March 22 to Sharon Rumpel, ext 33510. Details (PDF).

WatCACE research seminar featuring Dr. Kristina Johansson and Ville Bjorck, "Conceptualizing Work-Integrated Learning from Organizational and Empirical Perspectives," Wednesday, March 27, 11:30 a.m., TC 2218. Details.

UWRC presents "Mexico: A brief panorama of the History of Mexico," Wednesday, March 27, , 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., Needles Hall Room 1116.

Conrad Grebel End of Term Concert, "Family: East West Style" featuring guest artist Wendy Wen Zhao, master of the Chinese Pipa, Wednesday, March 27, 7:30 p.m., Luther Village. Free admission.

Int'l Spouses, Celebrate Norooz with an Iranian Cooking Demonstration, Thursday, March 28, 6:00 p.m., CLV. Details.

Good Friday, March 29, university closed.


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