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Monday, March 25, 2013

  • Warriors rock curling championships
  • Building better bio-based binders
  • "Proactive initiative" could mean a ticket
  • Monday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Warriors rock curling championships

The Waterloo men’s curling team has earned the university its 8th national championship title with a 7-5 victory over the University of Alberta Golden Bears. This is the curling team’s first-ever CIS title.

The curling team was in Kamloops last week for the CIS championships starting on Wednesday, fighting their way past teams from Dalhousie, Carleton, Acadia, and Manitoba before a loss against Trent on Friday. The team won against Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday before losing to the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, but in the semifinals they turned the tables on the Wolfpack, beating them 7-6, earning them a spot in the gold medal again against the Golden Bears in a rematch of last year’s final battle.

The Athletics department has the full story on its website.

Congratulations Warriors!

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Building better bio-based binders

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) and a biomaterials company started by two Waterloo chemistry graduates are teaming together to make the next generation of biolatex® binders for applications in paper coating, paperboard and personal care products.

The secret of EcoSynthetix’s breakthrough is to replace traditional latex with a nano-engineered version that is derived from bio-based sources, such as the starch in corn or tapioca.

The partnership is a five-year agreement funded through an NSERC-EcoSynthetix Collaborative Research and Development Grant.

The applications are diverse. For example, latex made from fossil fuels is currently used as the main binding agent in coating paper for everything from magazines to cereal boxes. With biolatex®-containing coatings, the same paper can be made with equal or superior performance, at a lower cost and with a smaller carbon footprint.

EcoSynthetix Corp. and WIN will share expertise in developing and characterizing nanopolymers and other new bio-based materials. The result is anticipated to lead to a new generation of bio-based latex coatings that are suitable for a wide variety of industrial applications.


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"Proactive initiative" could mean a ticket

"In response to the number of pedestrians that have been struck by vehicles on University Ave., Waterloo Regional Police have begun a proactive initiative," writes Dan Anderson, director of the university police services. "For a couple days last week they were at University Ave and Seagram Drive. They laid 22 charges against pedestrians and cautioned a minimum of 40 others."

The pedestrian safety campaign promises "an enhanced police presence at intersections and other locations" where traffic analysis has revealed a higher frequency of "pedestrian-related incidents." Police say that between 2009 and 2012, there were 10 pedestrian-related collisions or incidents at the intersection of University and King, and 5 at University and Philip.

Anderson notes that marked police vehicles were present at intersections near the university. "The officers were not there to be punitive, but to change the behaviour of

the pedestrians and to lower injuries on this very busy roadway," Anderson writes.

Waterloo Regional Police has identified a number of contributing factors to collisions, including pedestrians not using crosswalks and pedestrians disobeying traffic signals. Drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks also play a role.

"They have told us they will be returning to this, and other locations, to reinforce the message of pedestrian safety," concludes Anderson.


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Monday's notes

Starting today, construction fencing will be erected on the southwest side of the Biology 1 and 2 buildings as work begins on the Science Teaching Complex addition. In practical terms, this means that the exterior doors from Biology 2's corridor 120 will be closed to all pedestrian and vehicle traffic, as well as the loading docks at Biology 1 and 2. And yes, the trees have been removed.

While we're on the subject of buildings, Engineering 6 will be without steam servicefrom 8:00 a.m. today until 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27, while maintenance is performed. The heating of the building, thankfully, is not affected by the outage, which will impact only humidification and the use of sterilizers.

Last week's run of co-op student profiles on the university's Facebook page wrapped up with a spotlight on Henry Shi from the Faculty of Mathematics.

Here's the latest nutrition "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services Dietician Sandra Ace:

"Myth:" Potatoes that have green spots are poisonous and should be thrown away.

"Fact:" The green spots on potatoes are caused by changes in the plant’s chlorophyll, which comes to the potato’s surface when it is exposed to light and develops a bitter flavour and the potential to make you ill. Completely cutting off the green spots in a potato will make it safe and palatable to eat. If the potato is mostly green, throw it away. Storing potatoes in a cool, dark place will prevent them from turning green.


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Student Accounts Office opens late today

Finance's Student Accounts office will open today at 10:30 a.m.

Link of the day

Tolkien Reading Day

When and where


Senate Long Range Planning Committee meeting, Monday, March 25, 2:00 p.m., NH 3001.

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

VeloCity Demo Day, Tuesday,, March 26, 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

VeloCity Venture Fund Finals, Tuesday,, March 26, 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. 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.

ICR Seminar featuring John Helliker, Director, Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), Sheridan College and Seelan Vamatheva, Software Development Lead, SIRT Centre, "Virtual Production: The Quest for Trickle-Down Technologies in the Screen-based Industries." Thursday, March 28, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

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.


PhD Oral Defences

Earth and Environmental Sciences. Ali Shafiei, "Mathematical and Statistical Investigation of Steamflooding in Naturally Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs." Supervisor, Maurice Dusseault. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC 254A. Oral defence Monday, March 25, 12:00 p.m., RCH 212.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Akbar Ghasemi, "Interface Management for MIMO Wireless Networks." Supervisor, Amir Khandani. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, March 28, 1:00 p.m., EIT 3145.

Computer Science. Mirza Beg, "Combinatorial Problems in Compiler Optimization." Supervisors, Ondrej Lhotak, Peter van Beek. On display in the Mathematics graduate office, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, April 8, 2:30 p.m., DC 2310.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Piotr Konrad Tysowski, "Highly Scalable and Secure Mobile Applications in Cloud Computing Systems." Supervisor, Anwar Hassan. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, April 11, 9:00 a.m., EIT 3142.

Friday's Daily Bulletin