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Thursday, November 17, 2011

  • Federal funding agency fêtes Fong
  • The over-under on our young achievers
  • WEEF hits milestone, and other news briefs
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Federal funding agency fêtes Fong

a press release from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Researcher Geoffrey Fong.University of Waterloo researcher Dr. Geoffrey Fong (right) has received the 2011 Knowledge Translation Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Fong accepted this award at the Canadian Health Research Awards ceremony hosted by CIHR and Prix Galien Canada Wednesday evening in Ottawa.

“I congratulate Dr. Fong for winning this prestigious award,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “His contributions and those of the other award recipients have led to great advancements in health and medicine, which are benefitting Canadians and people around the world.”

“Dr. Fong and the other award recipients have achieved exceptional impact through their work,” said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. “Their accomplishments reflect Canada’s strong and diverse health research community and the positive outcomes that are improving the health and quality of life of Canadians.”

Dr. Fong is a Professor at the University of Waterloo and Senior Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Since he started the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC), Dr. Fong hasn’t just captured policy makers’ attention – his evaluation findings have been helping set the global agenda on tobacco regulation. He and his team have rigorously evaluated the impact of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first-ever health treaty, which has been ratified by 174 countries. Dr. Fong created the ITC Project before the FCTC was founded in 2003, realizing that the treaty provided a unique opportunity to measure the impact of graphic warning labels, smoke-free laws, and other policies designed to curb tobacco use around the world. Through large surveys repeated over time, Dr. Fong and his colleagues are evaluating tobacco control policies in 23 countries inhabited by over half of the world’s population and as diverse as China, Bangladesh, Canada, Brazil, Bhutan and Germany. Their cross-country studies have led to stronger tobacco control policies throughout the world.

But there is more work to be done. In sub-Saharan Africa, where tobacco use is still low, there is an opportunity to see if policies that have been successful in other countries can “inoculate” the population against this deadly addiction. And in the United States, the ITC Project is playing a prominent role in measuring the impact of the Food and Drug Administration’s new regulatory authority over tobacco products.

Other award recipients are:

Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year: Dr. Paul Kubes, University of Calgary.

The Peter Lougheed/CIHR New Investigator Salary Award: Dr. Kate Shannon, University of British Columbia and BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

CIHR Partnership Award: Nova Scotia Food Security Network (NSFSN) and the Participatory Action Research & Training Centre on Food Security (PARTC -FS).

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The over-under on our young achievers

First they made the grade; now they make the list.

Environment student Suzanne PerdeauxFaculty of Environment student Suzanne Perdeaux (left) was listed as one of the Top 25 Environmentalists under 25 by environmental news and blogging site The Starfish. "Within her eclectic composite of global research, she has researched plant diversity in Hawaii, glacial boundary changes in Alaska, and captive breeding of Panda Bears in China," The Starfish reports, noting her potential to excel in the field of wildlife ecology.

[Wilkin]Earlier this month, PROFIT Magazine announced that Dave Wilkin (right) was among the Top 20 Young Entrepreneurs in Canada. At 23, he is one of the youngest recipients of the FuEL Award. Wilkin studied biochemistry and business at Waterloo and was a resident of the VeloCity program, graduating in 2010. Wilkin was chosen from a select group of under 30-year-old entrepreneurs based on the growth and performance of his company, Redwood Strategic. Redwood Strategic is a social media and experiential agency specializing in youth and campus engagement.

Sid SankaranActuarial sciences graduate and Chief Risk Officer at AIG Sid Sankaran, 34, (left) was recently named one of Fortune's Top 40 Under 40. "The financial crisis proved that AIG had no clothes — or at least no controls," writes Fortune. "Now it's up to Sankaran, a Canadian math hotshot and former partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman, to make sure it doesn't happen again. Sankaran declined AIG at first; today, as chief risk officer, he oversees the billions flowing among disparate insurance operations and reports to CEO Robert Benmosche if something suspicious rears its head."

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WEEF hits milestone, and other news briefs

with material from Carol Truemner

An endowment fund started by engineering students at the University of Waterloo in 1990 has just passed the $10 million plateau. The Waterloo Engineering Endowment Foundation is believed to be the first and largest student-run endowment fund in Canada. A celebration of the $10 million milestone will be held today from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the foyer of Carl Pollock Hall.

The fund, better known by its acronym WEEF, was created in 1990 by engineering students John Vellinga and Avi Belinsky. WEEF was started to help fund student projects and support student teams above and beyond what was provided by the university.

"Reaching the $10 million mark in just 21 years is a huge accomplishment and a real tribute to engineering’s undergraduate students," said WEEF director Laurin Benson, a third-year chemical engineering student. "The fund has provided students with a sense of ownership and pride in Waterloo Engineering."

WEEF has resulted in the purchase of equipment for teams such as the university's Midnight Sun Solar Race Car Team, Formula SAE Race Car Team, Waterloo Rocketry Team and Clean Snowmobile Team, computers and monitors for undergraduate labs, a distillation column for chemical engineering, 3D printers for the Waterloo School of Architecture in Cambridge and circuit hardware for electrical and computer engineering. WEEF donated $1 million to the Engineering 5 building's unique state-of-the-art student design centre, which opened in October 2010.

The largest source of donations to WEEF is a voluntary, tax-deductible $75 fee engineering students pay each term. Interest from the fund is spent on special projects submitted by engineering students and voted on by elected representatives from each undergraduate engineering class. That amount will total $180,000 for the 2011/2012 academic year.

Additional notes as the week continues:

Flu clinics are open today and tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre's multipurpose room.

A reminder that Jay Ingram of the Daily Planet speaks at 5:00 p.m. tonight at the Humanities Theatre. Ingram will share his thoughts about moving past sustainable rhetoric and putting ideas into action. Ingram's appearance is part of the opening celebrations for the new Environment 3 building, and the official opening, with federal and provincial officials will take place tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo and the Honourable John Milloy, Minister of Community and Social Services and Government House Leader will join President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Faculty of Environment Dean André Roy for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

Professor James Kugel.Professor James Kugel, Starr Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University is giving a public talk entitled "Walking in the Valley of the Shadow of Death: A Biblical Scholar's Journey with Cancer." Ten years ago, Kugel was diagnosed with an aggressive, likely fatal, form of cancer. His book "In the Valley of the Shadow" is a wide-ranging exploration of different aspects of religion, interspersed with his personal reflections on the course of his own illness. The lecture takes place at 7:30 p.m. at St. Jerome's Siegfried Hall. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

The Department of Athletics and Recreational Services will be holding its fourth annual Think Pink weekend from Friday, November 18th to Sunday, November 20th. The Warriors will be hosting eight home games this weekend as part of the campaign. Over the past three years, the Warriors have donated more than $35,000 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Chapter. This year's goal is $20,000. Check their website for more information about the campaign and how to donate.

The Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR) at the School of Optometry is looking for contact lens wearers aged 30-45. The study includes 11 visits to the CCLR over 4 weeks. Participants will also be asked to wear Acuvue Oasys(TM) lenses (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.) on a daily basis for a minimum of 5 days per week. All lenses and lens care products will be provided at no cost to participants, who will also receive $220 for their time, upon completion of the study. For more information, please call the CCLR at 888-4742 (ext.84742). When calling for information or to register, be sure to mention the study's name - JASPER.

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Link of the day

Beaujolais Nouveau

When and where

Trans Awareness Week November 14-18. Details.

Waterloo Unlimited program for grade 12 students, “Roadmap to Research”, November 16-18. Details.

Flu immunization clinic November 16-18, 10:00 to 5:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Alumni in San Francisco networking event, Thursday, November 17. Details.

Career workshops November 17: “Thinking About Law” 11:30, Tatham Centre room 1112; “Getting a US Work Permit” 12:00, Tatham room 1208; “Preparing for the LSAT” 12:30, Tatham 1112; “Foreign (Non-Canadian) Lawyers and Law Grads” 1:30, Tatham 1113; “Career Interest Assessment” 2:30, Tatham 1113; “Teaching English Abroad” 3:00, Tatham 2218; “Successfully Negotiating Job Offers” 3:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

Park Reilly Distinguished Seminar, featuring guest speaker Alejandro Rey from McGill University, “Modeling Liquid Crystal Materials and Processes in Biological Systems”. 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. E6-2024, hosted by Chemical Engineering

Grand opening – AIM Institute of Lifestyle Medicine. Thursday, November 17, 2011, 7:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Tech Town, 340 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Engineering Student Awards Dinner 5:00, St. George’s Hall, Waterloo. Details.

Staff service recognition reception for those celebrating their 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th or 45th anniversary at Waterloo, 4:00-6:00 p.m., in South Campus Hall's Festival Room.

Pension and benefits committee Friday, November 18, 8:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Environment 3 building grand opening Friday, November 18, 10:30 a.m., all welcome.

Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education research seminar: Margaret McBeath, undergraduate fellowship recipient, “Self-Concept and Tacit Knowledge: The Differences Between Co-op and Non-Co-op Students” Friday, November 18, 11:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Kalahari Desert music and slide presentation by Carol Ann Weaver and Lyle Friesen, Friday, November 18, 12:30, Conrad Grebel U College room 1301.

Balsillie School of International Affairs lecture: “Human Rights and Transitional Justice: The Chilean Experience” Friday, November 18, 12:30, 57 Erb Street West.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Tom Lee, Quanser, “Musings of an Armchair Philosopher Trapped in an Engineer’s Body” Friday, November 18, 2:30, St. Paul’s U College room 105.

Philosophy colloquium: Alexis Shotwell, Laurentian University, “Racism Without Words” Friday, November 18, 3:30, Hagey Hall room 373.

Studies in Islam presents Steven Furino, pure mathematics, “From Athens to Paris Through Baghdad” Friday, November 18, 6:30 p.m., Renison U College room 2106.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Masquerade sponsored by off-campus dons, Friday, November 18, Federation Hall, doors open 8 p.m., admission $5.

PhD Oral Defences

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Jafar Al Bin Mousa, “Multiaxial Fatigue Design of Automotive AZ31B Magnesium Extrusion.” Supervisors, Hamid Jahed and Steve Lambert. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, November 30, 1:00 p.m., Engineering 5 room 3052.

Electrical and computer engineering. Amirhossein Goldan, “Unipolar Charge-Sensing for Evaporated Large-Area Solid-State Photoconductors for Digital Radiography.” Supervisor, Karim S. Karim. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, December 2, 1:00 p.m., CEIT building room 3142.

Civil and environmental engineering. Taimur Usman, “Models for Quantifying Safety Benefits of Winter Road Maintenance.” Supervisors, Liping Fu and Luis F. Miranda-Moreno. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, December 2, 1:30 p.m., Engineering 2 room 1307G.

Electrical and computer engineering. Mohab Mahdy Elnashar, “Enabling High Wind Penetration in Electrical Grids.” Supervisors, Magdy A. Salama and Ramadan El-Shatshat. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, December 5, 9:30 a.m., CEIT building room 3142.

Philosophy. Eric Hochstein, “Intentionality as Methodology.” Supervisor, Chris Eliasmith. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Monday, December 5, 12:00 noon, Hagey Hall room 373.

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