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Thursday, August 11, 2011

  • Research will help 16 small companies
  • Star-gazing party set for Friday night
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[VIPs look at monitors in lab]
Research will help 16 small companies

Three Members of Parliament came to campus Tuesday to celebrate research that’s being done at Waterloo in cooperation with 16 small Ontario companies, all funded by a $750,000 federal grant.

Businesses in manufacturing, technology, and life sciences “will have an opportunity to bring new products to market, expand and create new jobs” thanks to the funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid announced the details on behalf of FedDev minister Gary Goodyear, and was joined by Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre) and Harold Albrecht (Kitchener-Conestoga).

“These agreements allow the University of Waterloo to work with businesses on exciting new research, and to get these results to the marketplace faster,” said Braid.

The FedDev grant was announced last year as a way to “create more jobs and sustain economic growth by . . . addressing the gap between research and commercialization.”

University president Feridun Hamdullahpur observed that “Local businesses, the small- and medium-sized enterprises, contribute greatly to the Waterloo Region’s economy, and indeed, are the foundation of Canada’s economy. This funding will assist us in our research and development partnerships, which are aimed at improving the performances of these highly innovative companies.”

Now in its second year of operation, FedDev “has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy,” a news release said. “These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity.”

Tuesday’s event was held in a laboratory in Engineering 3 building where researchers headed by mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor Duane Cronin are working on the use of energy-absorbing materials in metal poles. Their project is a partnership with the Newmarket, Ontario, firm Polefab Inc., a maker of posts for traffic signs and street lights. (Photo: Braid, Hamdullahpur, Woodworth and Albrecht tour the lab, guided by Cronin, front.)

Here’s a list of the companies involved in the joint research, as issued by FedDev:

  • Ag Energy Co-operative Ltd., Canada’s largest farm energy co-op: “Collaboration will focus on the development of novel gasification processes for converting agricultural biomass to syngas.”
  • AGFA Healthcare Inc.: “Access to University of Waterloo expertise in digital information systems.”
  • Avenir Medical Inc., “on the cusp of revolutionizing the way hip replacement surgery is performed. PelvAssist is a novel, low-cost, relative positioning technology that can drastically improve the quality of surgical outcomes. The Waterloo Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory will be used to test the technology.”
  • CedarLane: “Manufactured products include neuronal cell lines, monoclonal antibodies, cell separation media for tissue typing and immunocolumns. New products for use in fish aquaculture will be developed for the global marketplace.”
  • Clearpath Robotics: “Access to Waterloo Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory and access to a research group with tremendous expertise in developing estimation, control and mapping algorithms for autonomous vehicles.”
  • Icynene “develops and markets innovative spray foam insulation: Results of this project will immediately be applied to the development of advanced fire retardant foam insulations.”
  • Integran: “Advanced nano-metal cladding technology: Robotic expertise at Waterloo will be utilized to test Integran’s Nanovate coating on composite hockey sticks.”
  • Microbonds, “a pioneer and leader in the research, development and application of insulated bonding wire technology for semiconductor packaging and microchip industries. Effective joining and coating at low processing temperatures with a lower cost and environmentally friendly strategy has become a critical technical prerequisite for manufacturing.”
  • Natrix Separations, supplier of single use and multi-cycle disposable chromatography products: “Access to expertise in new membrane based chemical separation techniques.”
  • NewMan Media Inc., “member of a consortium of filmmakers, producers and developers with a vision to bring digital media storytelling to Canada’s cultural sector. In partnering with Waterloo, NewMan Media is looking to create mobile applications for traditional theatre productions.”
  • Oakville Stamping & Bending “manufactures, assembles, and distributes metal and plastic plumbing waste fittings. Waterloo will develop a flexible part handling system.”
  • Polefab Inc.: “Waterloo design and crash expertise will be utilized to enhance the crash characteristics of sectional poles through mechanical design and use of energy absorbing materials within the pole.”
  • Sober Steering Sensors Inc.: “Advances in transdermal technology are the first step in developing a market ready product to replace breathalyzer systems with a steering-wheel based interlock system to prevent drunk driving through the interaction of the driver’s hands with steering wheel based sensors. This project with Waterloo will overcome the shortcomings of existing competitive products.”
  • Teledyne Dalsa Inc. “will collaborate with the University of Waterloo on the application of new imaging technologies for use within CCD sensors/cameras.”
  • Thesis Chemistry Inc.: “This opportunity to collaborate with Waterloo will help develop effective bio-refinement processes for green chemicals.”
  • Tyco Electronics Canada ULC, “a leader in the automotive lighting industry. Waterloo expertise in analysis, design, simulation and system integration will be accessed through this project, and will develop new PCB assembly systems.”

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Star-gazing party set for Friday night

The department of physics and astronomy is inviting members of the public to participate in a star-gazing party on the north campus, Friday from 8:15 p.m. to midnight.

The party features presentations on meteors and astrophysics and offers visitors of all ages a chance to explore the night sky with telescopes and star charts. Members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and some of Waterloo’s astronomy faculty and students will be on hand to answer any questions star-gazers may have.

"Our star-gazing parties give people the chance to look through some telescopes and talk to experts about what they might see," said faculty member Michael Balogh. "We look forward to welcoming the community at this very popular event."

If weather permits, attendees may see the peak of the Perseid meteors, part of an annual meteor shower that is located in the constellation Perseus.

The late-summer star gazing party was first held in 2009 to mark the International Year of Astronomy. IYA aimed to stimulate global interest in astronomy, and science in general, with world-wide celebrations to pay tribute to astronomy’s contributions to society and culture.

The event will be held on the north campus soccer pitch, off Columbia Street West at Hagey Boulevard. Free parking will be available at Open Text on Frank Tompa Drive. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. All visitors can enter a raffle for a chance to win one of several Galileoscopes, an easy-to assemble telescope that allows users to see what Galileo first glimpsed more than 400 years ago.

An RSVP is preferred so guests can be alerted in case of cancellation because of bad weather. Anyone wishing to attend should send an email to scienceevents@ or phone ext. 38804.


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JobMine down for the week

A memo from co-op education and career services: "JobMine, the online system that CECS uses to help expedite the uWaterloo recruitment process, is currently shut down until August 14 for a week of planned maintenance. This maintenance will return JobMine to a supported version of PeopleSoft Tools (the operating system on which JobMine runs). During the shutdown, user access is temporarily unavailable. To minimize inconvenience to users, the shutdown was planned to coincide with the point in the term when on-campus employer interviews have concluded and most students are writing exams."


Link of the day

Today in Canadian history

When and where

Summer camps for children: Arts Computer Experience; Engineering Science Quest.

Examinations for spring term courses, through Saturday. Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest August 15; grades become official September 19.

Library hours during exams: Davis, 24 hours a day except closed Sundays 2 to 8 a.m.; Porter, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (grades 10-12), August 8-12. Details.

Peace Camp for students who have completed grades 6-8, August 8-12, Conrad Grebel University College.

Warrior athletics camps August 8-12: Women’s hockey. Details.

Teaching orientation days for new faculty, Wednesday-Thursday from 9 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Chemistry seminar: Patrick Steel,  Durham University, UK, “Enhancing the Borylation Experience” Friday 1:30, Chemistry 2 room 361.

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp August 14-26, Conrad Grebel University College. Details.

Hot water shutdown for all buildings inside the ring road, as well as Village I, August 15 (6 a.m.) to August 18 (9 p.m.).

Warrior athletics camps August 15-19: Multi-sport camp; women’s basketball fundamentals. Details.

Lime Connect Canada information session for faculty and staff on recruitment of students with disabilities, Monday 3:00, Tatham Centre room 2218, information (647) 984-9424.

Retail services and New Media services outlets (bookstore, Waterloo Store, Write Stuff, E-Smart, Campus Tech, Media.doc) closed Tuesday for staff general meeting.

Electrical power shutdown for most buildings inside ring road (but not  Student Life Centre, PAC, BMH, Math and Computer or main wing of Davis) August 20, 6 a.m. to midnight; cooling and ventilation also shut down.

Warrior soccer team meetings and tryouts, August 20, women 10 a.m., men 12 noon, Columbia soccer field.

National women’s volleyball team vs. Netherlands, August 20, 7:30, and August 21, 3:00, Physical Activities Complex. Tickets.

Fall term fees due August 29 (certified cheque or promissory note), September 7 (bank transfer).

Residence move-in Sunday-Monday, September 4-5. Details.

Labour Day, Monday, September 5, university closed.

Orientation for new first-year students, September 5-10. Details.

PhD oral defences

Geography and environmental management. Travis Gliedt, “Green Decision Making by Organizations: Understanding Strategic Energy Choices.” Supervisor, Paul Parker. On display in the faculty of environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Thursday, August 25, 10:00 a.m., Environment 1 room 221.

History. Emanuele Sica, “Italiani Brava Gente? The Italian occupation of southeastern France in the Second World War, 1940-1943.” Supervisor, Lynne Taylor. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Thursday, August 25, 1:00 p.m., PAS room 2438.

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Siamak Farhad, “Performance Simulation of Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.” Supervisor, Feridun Hamdullahpur. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, August 30, 2:00 p.m., Energy Research Centre room 3012.

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