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Thursday, October 13, 2011

  • Researchers will use federal lab in Hamilton
  • Youth agency benefits from United Way gifts
  • Roundup of news on a damp morning
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Canmet and Dixon, pens in hand]
Researchers will use federal lab in Hamilton

from a federal government news release

The Government of Canada has taken another step in advancing metals and materials innovation by signing a five-year collaborative research agreement with the University of Waterloo. Collaborations under the agreement will focus on emerging technologies for the automotive, green energy and manufacturing technology sectors.

"Our government is committed to building a competitive advantage for Canada based on excellence in science and technology," said Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources. "This agreement will provide learning and research opportunities, support stronger innovation in advanced manufacturing and attract international partnerships for research that will ultimately create new jobs and boost Canada's economy."

The Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, Peter Braid, who attended the signing ceremony (photo above) on behalf of Oliver, was joined by George Dixon, vice-president (university research), who attended on behalf of the University of Waterloo president Feridun Hamdullahpur.

The collaboration will make use of the National Research Council’s new, state-of-the-art CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory in Hamilton. The facility is the largest research centre in Canada devoted to metals and materials fabrication, pilot-scale processing and evaluation. The lab's scientific and technical staff provide materials solutions for Canadian industry in the energy, transportation and metals-manufacturing sectors.

"This collaborative agreement will enhance new materials research for lightweight vehicles and will make CANMET's facilities more accessible to Waterloo's researchers and graduate students in engineering and science," said Hamdullahpur. "For example, one project that involves the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology will benefit CANMET's work in thermoelectric materials, which directly convert waste heat to electricity. This project aims to capture some of the 60 per cent of heat that is lost in manufacturing processes and during automotive combustion to produce useful electricity."

CANMET’s materials research focuses on transportation, energy and metal manufacturing — three industrial sectors that are enormous users of Canada’s natural resources and, therefore, are central to the mandate of NRC.

CANMET houses unique facilities for handling hot and molten metal in pilot-scale quantities in its experimental casting and metal-forming laboratories. It also characterizes the microstructure of innovative materials and assesses their mechanical, corrosion, thermal and electrochemical performance.

The Collaborative Research Agreement with the University of Waterloo will support materials developments for new lightweight vehicles using high-strength steels, aluminum, magnesium, titanium and polymers; manufacturing technologies such as metal forming and welding; nanomaterials; and advanced materials research for thermal management and defence applications. The agreement will also help make the CANMET facilities more accessible to researchers at the university and will aid in the training of students.

CANMET will benefit from Waterloo’s Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR), which functionally links the academic community to industry receptors and research collaborators. The agreement will support automotive research, which will have a positive impact on the competitiveness of Canadian automotive manufacturing sector.

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Youth agency benefits from United Way gifts

by Kirsty Budd, on behalf of the United Way campaign

ROOF (Reaching Our Outdoor Friends) is just one of the many agencies in Kitchener-Waterloo that are supported by the United Way. It is committed to providing for the safety, support, and overall well-being of homeless youths and youths at risk, age 12-25, in the Waterloo Region.

Through a program called Lifeline, young people can come to ROOF and have their essential needs met — everything from food to a hot shower to appointments with a registered nurse and access to a computer lab.

"Some members of the community don’t identify homeless youth as a priority because it's not always visible"” noted Sandy Dietrich-Bell, executive director of ROOF. "But it's important to note that homeless youth are very good at hiding. They’re very aware of the stigma surrounding homelessness.”

In 2010 alone, 2,017 youth accessed services from ROOF, a number that rises every year. In addition to the Lifeline essential services program, ROOF also offers evening drop-in programming, outreach support, and social enterprise programs; and in April 2010, they opened a 10-bed emergency shelter.

"The impact our agency has on youth is immeasurable. It means so much to them that there are people out there who care about them,” said Dietrich-Bell. “When a youth leaves home it’s not always because they’re rebelling or acting out. Some feel they have no choice. Some get to the point where the streets are actually safer than the situation they’re leaving."

Dietrich-Bell shared the story of 'Sarah', a young girl working in one of the Social Enterprise programs called Lunchbox, in which young people work together to offer corporate catering and lunch delivery services in the region.

She says: "Sarah had been working really hard to turn her life around and after some coaxing had applied for the Lunchbox program. She was put in charge of desserts and seemed to enjoy the responsibility. One day I heard a huge commotion coming from the kitchen, I went in and found Sarah agitated and tossing things around.

"When I asked her what was wrong she looked at me and said, 'I just can’t do anything right! I put too many chocolate chips in the cookies!' She was so focused on doing things right and following the recipe to the letter because she wanted to prove she was worthy of the responsibility. Well, I took the cookies to the lunch they were being served at and afterwards I asked everyone to write down any comments. When I got back and was reading them I came across one that said: 'Best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had!'

"Sarah is a pretty tough girl, she’s very strong and I'd never seen her cry. But when I showed her that note she started shaking and couldn’t quite compose herself. I asked what was wrong and she said, 'That’s the first time an adult, other than you guys here at ROOF, has ever told me I did something good.'"

"We have countless youth, like Sarah, who just need an opportunity; they just need to be reminded that they are valued and that folks care about them; they need support to break the cycle of homelessness," said Dietrich-Bell. "The United Way makes sure we have the support we need to help these youth and really make a difference in their lives."

The university’s United Way campaign, with a goal of raising $210,000 for community programs across the Kitchener-Waterloo area, continues through October. Faculty, staff and retirees are invited to contribute through payroll or pension deduction.

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Roundup of news on a damp morning

Three new campus information technology initiatives are being considered, says Bob Hicks, director of client services for information systems and technology. He says the three “were identified and presented to the University Committee on Information Systems and Technology for consideration.” Now, information-gathering sessions for each of the three topics are scheduled, and summaries of these sessions will be presented to UCIST. That could lead to “projects being struck for some or all of the initiatives to help progress the activities in a strategic way to benefit the interested parties and the University of Waterloo as a whole.” Here are the three: “Identifying Interest in Mobile Device Use and Mobile Application Development”; “uWaterloo and Multimedia Asset Management”, in other words, ways of keeping and identifying photographs, graphics, audio and video recordings; and “Faculty Member Information”, involving systems for keeping track of data, such as the OFIS system now in use in engineering. “If you are interested in attending,” says Hicks, “please get in touch with the contact person for the session.”

It’s that time of year again: Waterloo is preparing for its annual Fall Open House, or “FOH” as they call it at the Visitors Centre. “This event,” says assistant manager Leanne Wright, “provides future students and their families with the opportunity to come visit our campus and learn more about what Waterloo has to offer. [Students with welcome sign]Visitors will have the chance to attend academic sessions related to their areas of interest in addition to informational sessions about co-op, financing, and life on campus. They can visit Waterloo residences; take a campus tour; and more.” She says the Visitors Centre is looking to recruit “enthusiastic and knowledgeable student volunteers” (left, at last year's event) to help out on the big day, Saturday, November 5. “This event is critical in helping students decide if they would like to apply to Waterloo, and plays an important role in Waterloo’s recruitment efforts. If you are interested in exploring this great opportunity to get involved on campus, meet more enthusiastic students like yourself, and give back to your university community, you’re just who we’re looking for!” Applications are available at the Visitors Centre in South Campus Hall, or online, and due by October 26.

The athletics department has acquired a second associate director, with the promotion of Marc Iturriaga to be “Associate Director, Campus Recreation & Business Development”. Athletics director Bob Copeland explains that “In addition to Marc's continued oversight of Waterloo's expansive campus recreation programming, the position will focus on developing business strategies to generate revenue through membership enrolment programs, pricing models, program development, facility rentals, and other initiatives.” The position will also include oversight of information technology. “Marc is a leader amongst his peers in delivering innovative campus recreation programs,” said Copeland in a news release, “and I look forward to his expanded role in advancing the department within our newly published strategic plan: 'Seizing Opportunities for Athletics and Recreation'.” He noted that Waterloo has “one of the largest and most innovative campus recreation programs in Canada”, and the new position “reflects the scope of the program and its importance in contributing to student success and engagement”. Christine Stapleton is already serving as an associate director in athletics, in charge of interuniversity sports.

There will be a Waterloo student team in the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology again this year. The Waterloo iGEM team has been selected as a finalist for the world championship “jamboree” in November, says Joanna Magee, communications officer for the faculty of science. The iGEM event is an annual synthetic biology competition, in which teams from all over the world use a set of standard, interchangeable biological parts to design and build biological systems and operate them within living cells. New standardized parts are designed and submitted by teams each year. Projects ranging from a rainbow of pigmented bacteria, to banana and wintergreen smelling bacteria, an arsenic biosensor, Bactoblood, and buoyant bacteria are then presented at the championships. A Waterloo iGEM team has competed every year since 2005.

Graduate students enrolled in international studies programs are invited to attend the first graduate student research conference at the new Balsillie School of International Affairs October 20-22. The Balsillie School, which moved into its new building on Erb Street this fall, is jointly sponsored by the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. The conference opens the evening of next Thursday with a keynote address by Robert W. Cox on “The Economic Crisis in the West and the Future of World Order”. It's an international event bringing together young scholars from around the world to think through pressing global governance challenges. Organized entirely by graduate students in Balsillie’s global governance program, the event features some of the preeminent figures in the field of international relations. Graduate students can attend at no charge. “This is an excellent opportunity to listen to speakers and panelists from around the world, network with your colleagues in and around southwestern Ontario, and to listen to and meet faculty members and visiting scholars,” organizers say. Details are online.

The department of drama “is inviting you to spring into existence and into view,” a publicity release announces. “The fifth UpStart Festival of Innovative Theatre will be held February 2-4 and 9-11 in Studio 180, Hagey Hall, and the deadline is fast approaching. UpStart 12 — A Festival of Innovative Canadian Theatre is a fringe-style festival held at the University of Waterloo. It allows students, as well as others in the community (emerging to seasoned), to present works of performance, be it short original scripts or a new way to present a classic or a funky theatre dance piece. Anything goes, as long as it runs 50 minutes or less. The Festival will only consider proposals that contain original or Canadian material. Application forms and guidelines can be obtained at the Festival office (Modern Languages 121). Applicants must include a copy of the piece/text/score they propose to present with their application, or enough information for us to reasonably judge the length, technical complexity and general feasibility of the project. The deadline for applications is Friday, October 21. Eight shows will be chosen to be in the Festival by a lottery process.”


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Link of the day

Plain Language Day

When and where

Class enrolment appointments for winter term courses October 10-15; open class enrolment begins October 17.

Warrior golf (men and women) at McMaster Invitational today.

Career workshops Thursday: “Entrepreneurship” 10:30, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Thinking About Law?” 11:30, St. Jerome’s room 3015; “Preparing for the LSAT” 12:30, St. Jerome’s room 3020; “Foreign (Non-Canadian) Lawyers and Law Graduates” 1:30, StJ room 3020; “Work Search Strategies” 2:30, Tatham room 1208. Details.

Oktoberfest celebration for mathematics students (sausages, cotton candy, games) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Davis Centre quad.

Education Credit Union lunch-and-learn session: Tony Verbeek, branch manager, “Managing Your Money” 12:05, Davis Centre room 1302, RSVP janinew@ by October 7.

Library workshop: “SimplyMap Canada” today or October 27, 1:15, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

School of Computer Science distinguished lecture: Ed Lazowka, University of Washington, “Computer Science Past, Present and Future” 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Bombshelter Pub, Student Life Centre, presents Epic Meal Time, show starts 5 p.m. tickets $10 in advance from Federation of Students.

‘Activist self-care’ workshop organized by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group , 5:30, Student Life Centre room 2135.

Reading week in Mexico: information session about winter term course ISS 370R, International Learning Experience, 5:30, Dunker Family Lounge, Renison U College.

Conrad Grebel U College fund-raising dinner for Lorraine Roth Archives Reading Room, 5:30, Tavistock Mennonite Church. Details.

‘The Hylozoic Ground Collaboration’ lecture, 6:30 p.m., Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building, Cambridge.

Indian Film Festival presents “Mee Sindhutai Sapkal” (2010), 7 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 124. Subsequent films October 17, 20, 24, 27. Details.

Oktoberfest at Bingemans, student night with bus transportation, tickets $12 at Federation of Students office.

Bridges Lecture: Ted McGee (English) and Conrad Hewitt (mathematics), “Paradigm Shifts: Brecht and Galileo” 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University. Details.

Ontario Universities Fair October 14-16, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

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

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: “Highlights of DrupalCamp Montreal and uWaterloo Drupal Configuration” Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Library workshop: “Introduction to RefWorks” Friday 10:00, November 2 at 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Balsillie School of International Affairs lecture: “Pathologies, International Organizations and Organizational Learning in UN Peacekeeping” Friday 12:30, 57 Erb Street West. Details.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Friday 1:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Statford campus presents Olaf Weber, school of environment, enterprise and development, “What Is Sustainable Finance?” Friday 2:00, 6 Wellington Street, Stratford.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Marcel O’Gorman, Critical Media Lab, “Objects to Think With” Friday 2:30, St. Paul’s U College room 105.

Warrior sports this weekend: Women’s basketball vs. Memorial, Laurentian, Friday 3:00; vs. Memorial Saturday 3:00; vs. Gannon, Sunday 2:00, PAC main gym, as part of Naismith Tournament. • Men’s basketball vs. Queen’s, Friday 8:00; vs. UBC,  Saturday 8:00; vs. Ryerson, Sunday 4:00, PAC, as part of Naismith.

Philosophy colloquium: Benjamin Jarvis, Queen’s U Belfast, “Anti-Individualism, Actiuve Externalism, and Historicalism” Friday 3:30, Hagey Hall room 373.

Chemical engineering seminar: Youqing Wang, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, “Closed-Loop Control of Blood Glucose Level” Friday 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 3522.

Health services clinic will close at 4 p.m. Friday.

Co-op accounting: rankings for winter term jobs open October 14, 8 p.m., close October 17, 2 p.m.

Alumni in New York take part in Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research, Saturday, starts 8 a.m. in Central Park. Details.

Tamil Cultural Night Saturday 5:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Mill Race Trail walk in St. Jacobs, organized by UW Recreation Committee , Sunday 2:00.

Conrad Grebel University College installation of new president, Susan Schultz Huxman, Sunday 3:00, Floradale Mennonite Church.

Flu vaccinations for members of “high-risk” groups, October 17, 24, and 31, and November 7, 2:00 to 4:00, health services, no appointment required.

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