Friday, July 3, 2009

  • Architecture award to UW-linked quartet
  • Vote next week on parking upheaval
  • Profs' sabbaticals started on July 1
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Four architects in blue]
Architecture award to UW-linked quartet

A Toronto architectural firm with close links to UW is this year’s winner of the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture, the Canada Council for the Arts has announced. The firm is RVTR, made up of four UW grads, two of whom are currently faculty members in the School of Architecture.

The Canada Council explains: “The Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture, valued at $50,000, is awarded to a young architect or practitioner of architecture, an architecture firm or an architectural design firm that has completed its first buildings and demonstrated exceptional artistic potential. The prize, established in 1987, allows the winners to travel to other parts of the world to hone their skills, develop their creative practice and strengthen their presence in international architecture culture. The project can involve multiple trips to a number of destinations, spread over a two-year period.”

RVTR was formed in 2007 as a collaborative architectural practice “specifically structured to advance design research” by (left to right in the photo) Kathy Velikov, Paul Raff, Geoffrey Thün and Colin Ripley. “This award,” says the Canada Council, “will allow the directors to extend their design research on responsive northern housing and facilitate dissemination of their design work to an international audience.

“In the first year, they will study the methods used by mass-customized prefabrication industries in Japan. During 2010, they will investigate traditional and emerging technologies, buildings and communities for living in cold climates, particularly in Japan, Iceland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, and facilitate dissemination of their design work to an international audience.”

According to RVTR, “cultural and social constructions, as well as technological advancements and energy performance, will shape the development of a new sustainable housing industry leading the way to a higher quality of life for a broad range of constituents.”

Ripley teaches in the department of architectural science at Ryerson University, while Raff is “a frequent visiting critic to a range of cultural institutions. In addition to his role as a director of RVTR, he maintains a parallel independent award-winning practice, Paul Raff Studio.”

Velikov, a 1996 BArch graduate from Waterloo, also holds a master’s degree in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Toronto. In UW’s School of Architecture, she teaches design studio, advanced research and theory,and she is also Chair of the Canada Green Building Council’s Academic Education Committee. Thün also graduated in 1996 and holds a master’s degree in Urban Design from the University of Toronto. In the UW architecture school he is faculty lead and primary investigator for North House, and the Post Carbon Highway design research projects.

This fall Thün and Velikov will be on faculty at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. They were joint recipients of the 2008 Young Architects Forum Award from the Architectural League of New York.

Says Rick Haldenby, director of the architecture school: "This past week in Montreal Paul Raff was also a double winner (the only one) at the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Awards of Excellence, taking the Allied Arts Award and gaining an honourable mention in the Innovation Award. It has been a very good week!"

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Vote next week on parking upheaval

a memo from the parking services office

UW Parking Services recently announced a campus-wide vote on how to most fairly address the closing of existing parking lots and the reallocation of people to other lots. We want to thank you for the substantial number of thoughtful suggestions we received. The Parking Advisory Committee met to review your input and to determine the question for the ballot.

The first decision for the committee was to settle on who has first priority; those on waiting lists or those being displaced from their current lot. The consensus was that those on waiting lists have an existing parking spot, while those being displaced have none. Therefore it was decided that those being forced out of their parking lot need to be given priority. The committee then had to decide how to do this. After reviewing your input and discussing all possibilities, two main themes were identified. Spots could be allocated by seniority at UW or by lottery. We anticipate having to move approximately 150 cars from B Lot.

The seniority at UW option means that of all the people currently parking in B Lot, the 150 with the least seniority would be identified as moving. The most senior of those moving would then have first choice of available lots and we would move down the list until all have been placed into a new lot.

The lottery option would first identify the 150 people to be moved out of the lot by a draw and then have each person being displaced submit a prioritized list of three existing lots they would like to be placed. A second lottery will then determine the outcome.

Those eligible to vote (faculty, staff and graduate students) will receive an email prompt to do so at 6:00 a.m. on July 9 and the voting will take place from 8:00 a.m., July 9 to 8:00 p.m., July 14. You may view the ballot question online.

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Profs' sabbaticals started on July 1

Here’s a list of some UW faculty members have gone on sabbatical leave starting July 1. Their plans for the sabbatical are as reported to UW’s board of governors at the time the leave was approved.

Jose Francisco Arocha, health studies and gerontology (six months leave): “The two main purposes are to develop a course component in health informatics and communication, for which I’ll visit the University of Victoria to learn about their experiences in teaching undergraduate students, and to complete a lengthy monograph summarizing research on cognitive modes of illness that I have conducted in the last 20 years (at Arizona State University).”

John McPhee, systems design engineering (twelve months): “I plan to use this sabbatical opportunity to advance my research in model-based design, with principal applications to advanced vehicle systems, biomechanics, and sports engineering. In particular, my graduate students and I are developing new math-based models to better understand how humans move, and to speed up the design of hybrid electric vehicles, biomedical assistive devices, and sports equipment.”

Dong Eui Chang, applied mathematics (six months): “I plan to continue my research on nonlinear control theory and to finish making lecture notes for AMath 456, Calculus of Variations. I will keep in close touch with my graduate students for their research.”

Murray Haight, planning (six months): “During this leave, I will assist two projects, both of which entail assessing, developing and delivering training programs. One is for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; the second is for the Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Agriculture, Hanoi, Vietnam. In Hainan, China, I will complete a large-scale composting project. I will work to internationalize my course in waste management planning.”

Christian Jacobson, biology (six months): “It is my intention to use this sabbatical leave to concentrate on the aspects of my career that are intrinsic to the submission of a successful tenure package, publishing my research and graduating two of my students. In addition, a considerable amount of time will be allocated toward the successful renewal of my NSERC Discovery Grant.”

Christina Vester, classical studies (six months): “My proposed leave includes these goals: to complete four article-length manuscripts, to begin the conversion of the dissertation into a monograph, and to finish coding and writing Greek exercises for Ketos, a website of exercises for beginning students of Ancient Greek.”

Serge D’Alessio, mathematics (six months): “My plan is to strengthen my research activity and also to initiate new research projects in the area of environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics. The leave will be spent primarily in Waterloo with short trips to visit collaborators. Lastly, I will use this leave to start preparing my next application for an NSERC Discovery Grant.”


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Link of the day

The Stampede

When and where

Pre-enrolment for winter 2010 term undergraduate courses, through July 5 on Quest.

Blood donor clinic at Student Life Centre, July 6-9 (10:00 to 3:00) and July 10 (9:00 to 2:00). Details.

Career workshop: “Exploring Your Personality Type” July 6 and 13, 2:00, Tatham Centre room 1112. Details.

‘What Is Your Carbon Footprint?’ brown-bag seminar with Mike Greulich, plant operations, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, Wednesday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Swing2Cure Charity Golf Tournament sponsored by Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, Wednesday 12:00, Rebel Creek Golf Club. Details.

Management Consulting Club presents “The CEO Factory”: consultants from McKinsey, BCG and Deloitte speak on careers in management consulting, Wednesday 6:30, CEIT room 1015.

Farm market operated by UW food services and volunteers, Thursday 9:00 to 1:00, Environment I courtyard.

‘Teaching Large Classes’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal bus trip sponsored by International Student Connection, July 10-12, tickets starting at $149 from Federation of Students office.

Jhalak: A Glimpse of India semi-formal with traditional dancing, music, dinner, DJ music and bingo, sponsored by UW’s Indian Connection, July 10, 7:00 p.m., RIM Park. Tickets $25 at Student Life Centre.

Class enrolment for fall term courses: appointments July 13-26 for new students; open enrolment begins July 27.

Staff Association Golf Social, 9 holes at Conestoga Golf and Country Club, July 14, 4:00. Details.

LIF and PIF funding proposals (Learning Initiatives Fund and Program Initiative Fund) deadline: July 15. Information here (click on Grants.)

‘Dealing with Difficult Students’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, July 23, 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Student Life 101 open house for students coming to UW this fall, July 25, 9:00 to 4:00. Details.

PhD oral defences

Geography and environmental management. Yixiao Xiang, “The World Heritage Site and the Local Communities: Case Studies from Mount Taishan, China.” Supervisor, Geoff Wall. On display in the faculty of environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Friday, July 10, 10:00 a.m., Environment II room 1001.

Geography and environmental management. Jackie Dawson, “Climate Change Vulnerability of the US Northeast Ski Sector.” Supervisor, Daniel Scott. On display in the faculty of environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Thursday, July 16, 1:00 p.m., Environment I room 221.

Kinesiology. Erika Nelson-Wong, “Biomechanical Predictors of Functionally Induced Low Back Pain, Acute Response to Prolonged Standing Exposure, and Impact of a Stabilization Based Clinical Exercise Intervention.” Supervisor, Jack Callaghan. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Monday, July 20, 9:00 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

Electrical and computer engineering. Kristofer P. Vorwerk, “Improving Stochastic Search Heuristics Through the Application of Directed Moves.” Supervisor, Andrew A. Kennings. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 20, 2:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

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