Tuesday, February 12, 2008

  • Millions for 'clean energy' research
  • Grads win award in trade simulation
  • Naked truths: election week, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Lunarfest poster]

The Alliance of Asian Clubs has a two-part celebration of the lunar new year happening this week. Today from 10:30 to 3:30, it's an Asian food fair in the Student Life Centre lower atrium. Wednesday evening it's "a super hot, sexy, sizzling fashion show" starting at 7:00 in the Humanities Theatre, with a party to follow; tickets are available at the Humanities box office.

Link of the day

Sexual and Reproductive Health Day

When and where

Class enrolment appointments for spring term undergraduate courses through February 16; open enrolment begins February 19.

Ontario minister of citizenship and immigration makes an announcement about an immigration for international students, Tuesday 10:00, Waterloo International, Needles Hall room 1116.

Physics Undergraduate Seminar series: David Gilbank, "Searching for Dark Energy", 11:30, Physics room 145.

Employee Assistance Program brown-bag lunch: “Quitting Smoking, Useful Guidance for the Serious, Curious and Furious”, with Paul McDonald, health studies and gerontology, 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Career workshop: "Career Interest Assessment" 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1112, details online.

Arts Faculty Council 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Centre for Teaching Excellence presents “Epistemological Cartography: How Concept Maps Can Help Your Students Learn”, 3:30, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library, details online.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group presents the film “Anonymously Yours” on the sex trade in southwest Asia, with presentation by Action to End Exploitation, 5:30, Physics room 145.

German film showings, public welcome, Tuesdays 6:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 301. This week: "Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum" (1975), information ext. 33687.

Arriscraft Lecture: Reinhold Martin, Columbia University, “Utopia’s Ghost: Postmodernism Revisited”, 7:00, Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, half-day workshops on “Understanding Clients and Co-workers”, Wednesday in St. Jacobs, details online.

Blood donor clinic Wednesday-Thursday (10:00 to 4:00) and Friday (9:00 to 3:00), Student Life Centre, book appointments at Student Life Centre.

Astro lunch talk: Paul Weigert, University of Western Ontario, "Meteorites and the Danger from Impacts", Wednesday 11:30, Physics room 308.

Fair trade rose sale for Valentine’s Day: “show your sweetheart how fair you really are” with organic roses and fair-trade chocolate, offered by Engineers Without Borders. Pre-order by e-mail (fairtraderoses@gmail.com) or first-come, first-served on February 14, Carl Pollock Hall foyer.

Valentine’s Day luncheon ($18) and dinner ($45, Cornish hen or vanilla-cured lobster) Thursday at University Club, reservations ext. 33801.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings, computers, appliances and other items, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, central stores, East Campus Hall.

'Differ/End: The Caledonia Project' researched and relived by UW drama department students, continues February 14-16 at 7:00, Studio 180, Humanities building, tickets $12 (students $10) at Humanities box office.

K-W Symphony Intersections series concert: “21st Century Violin with Gilles Apap” Thursday 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets 519-578-1570.

School of Pharmacy applications for 2009 admission due February 15 (deadline moved from January 31).

[Loving to Learn logo]
Loving to Learn Day,
"an opportunity for everyone and anyone to share their reflections about their love of learning", Friday, details online.

Graduate Student Association deadline for nominations of president and three vice-presidents for 2008-09 is Friday 4:30 p.m., details online.

Piano concert by undergraduate student Frank Jessop (Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Schubert), Friday 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel, admission free.

Fantastic Alumni, Faculty and Staff Day at Warrior men’s basketball game vs. Windsor Lancers, Saturday 3:00, Physical Activities Complex, prizes, admission free with preregistration.

Family Day holiday February 18 (Monday of reading week). UW offices and services closed (libraries open 12:00 to 6:00).

Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp., speaks in Humanities Theatre Thursday, February 21, 9:45 a.m., by ticket.

37th annual Hagey Bonspiel for faculty, staff, retirees and friends, Saturday, February 23, Ayr Curling Club, registration online (deadline February 1).

March break open house for future students (formerly Campus Day) Tuesday, March 11, details online.

Millions for 'clean energy' research

UW researchers will play a role in four of the six “clean energy” projects — worth a total of $28 million — that were announced yesterday at the Accelerator Centre in the north campus research and technology park.

Officials made the announcement on behalf of “the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc. and its industry and academic partners”, calling it a “major investment in groundbreaking clean energy technologies [that] promises to reshape the way Ontarians use and think about energy”.

Said a news release: “The six projects address issues critical to Ontario's energy sustainability. These innovative made-in-Ontario technologies will benefit consumers, institutions and industry alike by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, delivering economic returns and putting Ontario on the forefront of clean energy production, distribution and consumption.”

Of the total funding, $13 million is coming from OCE — a provincially funded agency that calls itself “the pre-eminent research-to-commercialization vehicle in Ontario” — and $15 million from industry.

“This unique collaborative effort,” said the release, “brings together industry leaders with academic experts from universities across the province, fostering world-class research in clean energy options, and is supported by 100 undergraduate to PhD researchers.”

It quoted David McFadden, chair of the OCE board of directors, who made the announcement along with provincial innovation minister John Wilkinson: "OCE is committed to playing a significant role in transforming the energy sector to establish Ontario as a world leader in clean energy through the commercialization of innovative solutions.”

In selecting the projects, the news release said, OCE “first engaged a wide range of Ontario's energy sector leaders to clearly identify gaps and market needs before calling for project proposals. The overwhelming response of more than 100 expressions of interest reflects the province's depth and breadth of innovative capacity for clean energy solutions.”

After “a rigorous selection process”, it says, an expert panel recommended investment in the six projects “for their disruptive characteristics, promise of significant economic benefit to the province, research excellence and potential to transform the marketplace”.

• UW’s Ian Rowlands, of environment and resource studies, is the lead researcher for the Energy Hub Management System, which “will enable Ontario homeowners and businesses to take ownership of their energy needs, while reducing costs and the impact on the energy grid. A smart web-based tool gives consumers control to change the way they use energy, like programming the system to switch off the central energy grid at peak times, and move to on-site alternatives like solar and wind energy.” Other participants include Hydro One Networks Inc., Energent Incorporated (Waterloo) and Milton Hydro Distribution Inc. OCE is providing $1 million, and other partners $1.45 million.

• The Solar Venture, a new Ontario company, promises to create “a flexible hybrid-organic thin film material for use in solar panels that will radically reduce the full costs associated with solar generation and ensure high-performance. Fully recyclable, this new technology is expected to make solar power a competitive alternative resource.” The project is led by The Solar Venture (Toronto), with partners including the University of Toronto, the Université de Montréal, and Solaris-Chem (Montréal). OCE will provide $1.5 million and other partners $1.53 million.

• Kingston-based Acumentrics is launching a pilot installation at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, to demonstrate an innovative fuel cell system that promises low-cost, environmentally-friendly power. The project aims to develop “a commercial system to demonstrate high temperature solid oxide fuel cell technology as a viable, commercial alternative for utilities struggling to meet ever-increasing demand for power, by lowering power costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing redundancy and reducing power failures. Designed to operate on conventional fuels like natural gas and propane, it will run off of the existing distribution infrastructure but is also capable of operating on carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen.” Besides Acumentrics, partners include UW, the University of Toronto, Queen's University, and Direct Energy Canada Inc. OCE is providing $2.5 million and other partners $3.25 million.

• McMaster University and ARISE Technologies — based in Waterloo — are working on a novel way to manufacture solar cells, using a proprietary silicon technology. “The new material aims to be more than twice as efficient as existing solar cells, and manufactured at a greatly reduced cost, making the solution suitable for use in large solar panels. This new technology will propel Ontario to the forefront of the global solar industry, reduce reliance on market incentives and make solar panels a more feasible option for Ontario homeowners and businesses.” OCE will provide $2 million and other partners $2.1 million.

• In an effort to reduce diesel dependency in remote Northern Ontario communities, a partnership aims to develop a low-carbon community energy system that combines wind turbines specifically designed for extreme climates, with a storage system that uses hydrogen and a fuel cell to generate electricity. “This off-grid hybrid power system provides a lower-cost, environmentally friendly solution to alleviate the significant financial burden of diesel power systems on remote communities. A key element of the project focuses on developing best practice methods for community engagement with respect to mapping energy needs with the alternative resources available, resulting in customized conservation programming.” UW’s David Johnson (mechanical engineering) will lead the project, with partners that include Hydro One Remote Communities Inc. and the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund. OCE’s funding is $3 million, with other partners providing $3.4 million.

• UW’s Magdy Salama (electrical and computer engineering) and researchers at the University of Western Ontario are developing “comprehensive solutions to help grid operators incorporate large-scale solar farms on to their networks. By developing technologies to efficiently convert solar energy to electricity, and produce innovative software for making weather-based predictions to help manage unique weather challenges, the creation of a robust solar power integration plan has the potential to encourage utilities in Ontario and around the world to adopt solar technologies.” Other partners include Hydro One Networks Inc., OptiSolar Farms Canada (Sarnia), Bluewater Power Distribution Corporation, and London Hydro. OCE funding is $3 million, with other partners adding $3 million.

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[Pose by six graduate students]
Grads win award in trade simulation

North American breakfasts depend heavily on Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of both coffee and sugar. Just ask the six UW graduate students (pictured) who represented Brazil in a simulation of World Trade Organization negotiations, held in Ottawa at the beginning of this month, and came home with the award for best team.

“The students on the team were all MA and PhD students in this inaugural year of the new Global Governance graduate program,” says Eric Helleiner of UW’s political science department, who is director of the new program. He calls their work “a fantastic achievement”.

The simulation, titled "The Ottawa Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations", was hosted by the Centre for Trade Policy and Law, with the Waterloo-based Centre for International Governance Innovation, which is closely linked to the UW graduate program, as a co-sponsor. Ten teams from across Canada took part.

Members of the UW team and their respective trade portfolios in the negotiations: Stefano Pagliari (Trade Minister and head of delegation), Kim Burnett (Agriculture) Andrea Collins (Special and Differential Treatment), Justin-Damien Guenette (Services), Troy Lundblad (Trade Related International Property Rights and Public Health), and Jason Thistlethwaite (Non-Agricultural Market Access).

Jennifer Clapp, a faculty member in environment and resource studies, was the team's faculty advisor and helped them prepare for the negotiations. Their on-site coach was Terry Collins-Williams, former Canadian trade negotiator.

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Naked truths: election week, and more

Online voting started this morning in the Federation of Students annual election, and will continue, 24 hours a day, until 8:00 Thursday evening. Undergraduate students can elect a vice-president (internal) for 2008-09 as well as a vice-president (education). Two other key positions — president, and vice-president (administration and finance) — have been filled by acclamation for the year that begins May 1. Students are also being invited to vote on two referendum questions: a proposal to abolish one fee (the $5.50 a term, refundable, that students pay for radio station CKMS) and a proposal to introduce a new one ($1 a term, also refundable, for the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program). And far be it from me to put ideas into anybody's head, but I see that there's an active Facebook group with a straightforward point of view: "Most of us have internet access in the comfort of our own private room. . . . Don't just vote, vote naked!"

Late last week I encountered two young ladies doing what looked like modern dance movements in an isolated corridor of Needles Hall, and stopped to wonder why. Turns out they are participants in Drama 222 — "Bodyscapes: An Exploration of the Body in Performance" — and members of the class will be performing a wordless "physical dialogue" in a number of UW buildings this afternoon and again Thursday. The idea, if I understand rightly, is to "express the story of a relationship" that suits the territory, whether it's the businesslike spareness of an administrative building or the frantic jollity of, say, a cafeteria. The entire class will move from spot to spot to watch the successive performances. It was interesting to talk with the Needles Hall duo as they took a break from their rehearsal and told me about the impression the building makes on second-year students (a little bit scary, I think). Andrew Houston of the drama and speech communication department is the instructor.

There's space available in three of the staff training and development sessions that are scheduled for this term, says a note from the office of Organizational and Human Development. Details of the programs are online. Still available are "Career Planning with Personality Dimensions" on the morning of February 26, "Hallmarks of Supervisory Success" in the afternoon of that same day, and "Delegating for Shared Success" on the morning of March 4.

The Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology is announcing its Entrepreneurship Challenge, “designed for passionate entrepreneurs who want to move innovations forward . . . a frenzy of excitement and activity with team members pitching the merits of their concept and demonstrating entrepreneurial savvy in a quest to get to the National Wes Nicol Award competition.” UW is one of seven Canadian universities hosting a local competition to select the top three business plans on campus, which can then [Entrepreneurship Challenge logo]compete in the Regional Nicol LaunchPad $50K in early April. The top three teams from that level go on to compete at the National Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Awards competition in Ottawa. “Students entering this competition,” says CBET, “will have the idea, the tenacity, and the willingness to engage in the development of a business plan. Their approach to this competition will demonstrate a balance between innovation and effective business plan writing. Teams should take full advantage of all learning resources and refer to judging criteria often.” Things start with a “how to write a business plan” workshop tomorrow night at 4:30; deadline for submission of the resulting plans is the 22nd. There’s more information —judging criteria, eligibility and prizes — on the CBET web site. More information: e-mail jzehr@uwaterloo.ca.

The Sociology Society will be holding a clothing drive in the Student Life Centre Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (their flyers don't give specific times, but do say that the clothing collected will be donated to a local youth shelter). • The staff association is looking for a volunteer to serve on the Employee Assistance Program committee (Sue Fraser in the kinesiology department has details). • Kazimierz Kusy, who worked as an attendant in Village II (now Ron Eydt Village) from 1966 to his retirement in 1987, died February 2.

Finally . . . yesterday's Daily Bulletin said that the tuition fee increases approved by UW's board of governors last week "will be effective in September". In fact, with minor exceptions the changes in fees are effective in May, that is, at the start of the spring term. A full schedule of fees is available on the finance office's web site — winter term rates are there at present, and spring term information can be expected soon.


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