Skip to the content of the web site.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

  • The Green Machine
  • Nanjing University delegation visits campus
  • Of error messages and email issues
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

The Green Machine

by Andrea Banerjee, reprinted from issue 2 of the Fall 2011 Inside sCo-op newsletter

Bryanne Wouters.Bryanne Wouters (right) has proven that no problem is too difficult or dirty for her; she’s worked to develop environmental solutions for E.coli, various types of waste, and invasive vegetation. The 2B Environmental Engineering student spent her first three co-op terms working as an Environmental Technician with the Municipality of Lambton Shores. She consistently demonstrated how a Waterloo student can make an impact in her workplace- and on the environment.

A Model for Change

In her first work term, Bryanne was presented with a problem: delays in water sample results were slowing the municipality’s ability to assess E.coli levels at the beach. Bryanne took action. “I created a preliminary model of how specific environmental parameters affect E.coli levels at Grand Bend Beach,” she says. Using data from 2008 to 2010, Bryanne developed four different water quality models over the course of her three work terms. Thanks to her accurate analysis, her models have proven equally effective as the current protocol for environmental management at the beach. They may even be used in summer 2012 for water quality testing.

Developing Solutions

This was not the only impact Bryanne made on environmental management. Much of her second work term was dedicated to the development of a 20-year Lambton Shores Waste Management Plan, a huge initiative to address existing and alternative programs for the management of a variety of waste types, including household, green, yard, bulk, and hazardous waste. Bryanne was involved deeply in the project; in addition to researching government regulations, she also developed a waste management survey, helped to establish goals for public education, and worked to predict costs and needs associated with the plan.

In her third and most recent work term, Bryanne was called to action again. An invasive reed grass called phragmites was threatening the region. Left unchecked, phragmites can cause damage to coastal dunes and to certain wildlife habitats. “[I had to] set environmental sustainability goals and objectives to protect sensitive ecosystems,” Bryanne explains. She began to map the grass’ growth across the entire municipality. After detailed research and analysis, she produced education outlines and methods for removal, accounting for species at risk and other important environmental factors. Once again, through her research Bryanne helped to mitigate a threat to the environment.

Building Confidence through Co-op

Bryanne is not easily deterred, and relished facing so many challenging tasks. “I enjoyed being a part of such a wide range of projects…and found the work so fulfilling when I came to a solution,” she says. Further, Bryanne is now proud of her problem-solving skills - and rightfully so! “After my third work term my supervisor informed me that she’s seen a huge improvement in my personal confidence,” says Bryanne. Her environmental work showed her that no problem or project is insurmountable. Now that she’s found self-assurance and passion for her field, she’s eager to keep going: “Co-op has demonstrated to me that hard work in a field you enjoy is truly the key to success.”

Back to top

Nanjing University delegation visits campus

A delegation from Nanjing University in China, led by Chancellor Yinxing Hong, will be on campus tomorrow to review the accomplishments of the Sino-Canadian College and sign a new agreement renewing the collaborative initiative with the University of Waterloo.

Nanjing is one of China’s top tier of “centrally funded” universities, and is generally seen as one of the top five universities in the world’s largest country. It traces its history to the Imperial Central College of ancient times, and during the 20th century was the first Chinese university to offer doctoral degrees. It boasts about 3,000 faculty members and 22,200 students.

The Sino-Canadian College, established in 2006, builds on more than two decades of engagement between the University of Waterloo and Nanjing University. The partnership offers joint undergraduate degrees in the faculties of environment, mathematics, arts and science. These joint academic studies are mostly based on a "two-plus-two" model, whereby Chinese students complete their first two years of university education in China followed by two years of study in Canada. They earn bachelor’s degrees from their university in China and Waterloo. Another model is "three-plus-one”, in which Chinese students take their fourth year at Waterloo, obtaining their degree from their home university. The Sino-Canadian College partnership also supports faculty exchanges, collaborative research, and training, as well as an annual course for Waterloo students offered in the spring that is under development following two successful summer programs in 2009 and 2010.

At 10:30 a.m., Chancellor Yinxing, considered one of China’s top 25 economists, will be delivering an address entitled “Study on the Drivers for China’s Sustainable Development” that will outline how China overcame the challenges that sustainability posed to its economic growth model. The event takes place in RCH 307.

The delegation will then enjoy lunch at Renison University College, home to the Confucius Institute. A global network of Confucius Institutes, located at universities around the world, are supported by the Chinese government, with Nanjing University as the officially designated partner institution for about seven institutes at various locations. Renison also supports an English Language Institute that trains professors and teachers of English in Jiangsu province, where Nanjing University is located, and offers professional development courses to English teachers at Xiamen Institute of Technology. The delegation will attend faculty meetings and meetings at the Confucius Institute.

At 3:45 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1301, a “Study at Nanjing University Program” event will take place, co-hosted by the Confucius Institute, promoting information for students on research, credit, and non-credit program opportunities.

Waterloo is the only Canadian university the delegation is visiting on its way across North America, with meetings at the University of California (Berkeley) and Johns Hopkins University, as well as a stop at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa.

Back to top

Of error messages and email issues

"Certain models of the Blackberry smartphone are known to have difficulties connecting to the campus wireless network," writes Bruce Campbell, Director, Network Services. "Users have reported receiving messages such as "Failed to connect to the network" or "Failed to associate to the network." Research In Motion has confirmed that the issue is due to a software bug and are working on a fix that will be included in a future software release. No resolution time frame is currently available. More information is available online.

Having trouble with your email today? If you have a Connect Exchange account, it may be because there was a late-night turnover to Nexus authentication last evening. Information Systems and Technology (IST) has created a website to help you through the transition.

Back to top

Link of the day

Apollo 13 launch anniversary (with video!)

When and where

On-campus examinations April 9 - 21.

BlackBerry 101, Wednesday, April 11, 12:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series, Prof. Frank Bright, Department of Chemistry, University of Buffalo. "Xerogel-Nanocrystallite Hybrids for Optical Sensing", Wednesday, April 11, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

UW Biomedical Discussion Group Seminar Series, Dr. Elise Stanley, Canada Research Chair, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, "The calcium channel and transmitter release site at the presynaptic nerve terminal", Wednesday April 11, 2:30 p.m., PHY-150.

Yinxing Hong, Chancellor, Nanjing University, "Study on the Drivers for China's Sustainable Development," Thursday, April 12, 10:30 a.m., RCH 307.

Nanjing University presents "Study at Nanjing University Program," Thursday, April 12, 3:45 p.m., DC 1301. Co-hosted by the Confucius Institute and the Sino-Canadian College.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "I'd do what I love...but what is it?" Friday, April 13, 9:30 a.m., TC 1112. Details.

Online Class examination days Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14.

Waterloo Lecture: the Representation of Apes in Medieval Art, Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday, April 19, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

University senate Monday, April 16, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Official launch of the School of Public Health and Health Systems in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Thursday, April 19, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Grades due April 16 to May 1.

On-campus examinations end April 21.

Graduate Student Research Conference, Monday, April 23, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest April 23, standings and official grades available May 22.

Spring 2012 promissory notes and payments due April 24.

Co-operative work term ends April 27.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference, April 27 to 29, University of Calgary and University of Toronto. Details.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel U College, “Celebrating Home” concert May 5 (8 p.m.) and 6 (3 p.m.), St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener. Details.

Waterloo Engineering Alumni and Friends reception, Thursday, May 10, 5:30 p.m., Daly's, Westin Ottawa, Ottawa ON. Register online.

Victoria Day holiday Monday, May 21, classes cancelled, university offices and most services closed.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Client Support/Computing Consultant – Information Systems & Technology, USG 7
• Administrative Coordinator, Research Services – Statistics & Actuarial Science, USG 5

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin