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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

  • Waterloo shines at engineering competition
  • Meet your new student leaders
  • Wednesday notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Waterloo shines in engineering competition

by Angelo Alaimo

Earlier this month, Waterloo had a very strong showing at the Ontario Engineering Competition held at the University of Toronto. Engineering schools from across Ontario congregate to pit their students engineering schools against each other in six categories of competition. In four out of these six categories, Waterloo had at least one team place in the top two spots in this year's competition.

In Engineering Communications, Erin Matheson of Chemical Engineering placed 2nd for her technical talk on "Developing Techniques for Surgical Treatment of Brain Aneurysm." This is the second consecutive year for Erin to place 2nd in this category at OEC.

The winning Electrical Engineering team.Waterloo took the top two spots in Innovative design where teams present their self-developed engineering projects to a panel of Judges. The all Electrical Engineering team of Ryan Mann, Dhananja Jayalath, Neil Olij, and Chris Wiebe (pictured at right) took first place for their “Muscle Activation Detection Suit” fourth year design project.

In this project, the team designed and constructed a workout suit which allows a user to see which muscles are being activated on their smartphone during exercise.

This team also took home the Technical Excellence award, which is one of two special awards given out to a team at OEC. The technical excellence award is given to a team "displaying the greatest consideration and attention to technical aspects of design", and this is the 2nd consecutive year that a Waterloo team has taken home this award.

The other Waterloo team consisting of Ilia Baranov of Electrical Engineering, and Melvin Ng of Computer Engineering, took second place for their project which digitizes stamp card reward programs through a unique electronic stamp which can be used on one's touchscreen smartphone.

In Junior Design, Drupadh Manjunath, in Electrical Engineering, Kumar Singh, in Chemical Engineering, and Ayush Kapur and Dhrumhill Parikh, both in Mechatronics Engineering, took the first place spot. In this competition, teams had to had to develop a solution to remove spilled toxic waste and prevent spillage in the future from a hillside beside the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

Lastly, in Senior Design, the team of, Cody Prodaniuk, Jeff McClure, Maple Leung of Mechanical Engineering, and Nevin McCallum in Electrical Engineering took the 2nd place. Teams in Senior Design had to design an automatic trash collection machine that would be implemented in a residential setting. The machine had to automatically detect and pick up trash, detect objects on a road, and automatically dump the trash in a designated receptacle.

All Waterloo teams which placed at OEC have qualified for the Canadian Engineering Competition being held at the University of British Columbia in March. This year at OEC was Waterloo's strongest since 2001, with teams winning over $10,000 in prize money.

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Meet your new student leaders

The Graduate Students Association and the Federation of Students have announced their incoming roster of leadership positions.

The five GSA executive positions were filled by acclamation:

  • President — Hassan Nasir, PhD Candidate, Civil & Environmental Engineering;
  • Vice-President Communications & Events — Malwina Mencel, PhD Candidate, Science, Biology;
  • Vice-President External — Mike Makahnouk, PhD Candidate, Earth & Environmental Sciences;
  • Vice-President Internal — Mahdi Safa, PhD Candidate, Civil & Environmental Engineering; and
  • Vice-President Student Advocacy — Robbie Henderson, PhD Candidate, Physics and Astronomy.

"The GSA Executive team is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for University of Waterloo graduate students," writes Rose Vogt of the Graduate Student Association. "They are innovators and leaders, who facilitate the growth and development of the graduate student community, by providing academic and political representation, social activities and a variety services."

Their term in office begins May 1, 2012 and ends on April 30, 2013.

The Federation of Students elections ran from February 14 to 16. The results for the executive positions are as follows:

  • President — Andrew Noble;
  • Vice-President Education — Adam Garcia;
  • Vice-President Internal — Alexandra Russell; and
  • Vice-President Administration and Finance — Prashant Kumar Patel.

This will be Patel's second consecutive term as Vice-President Administration and Finance. The executives' term of office begins May 1, 2012 and ends on April 30, 2013.

Students' Council and undergraduate senate elections were held at the same time, with David Collins winning the Environment seat, and Babar Ayyaz, Jesse McGinnis, and Shuo Wang filling three Mathematics seats. The two at-large senate seats were filled by Sean Hunt and Chanakya Ramdev.

A number of other Students' Council and senate positions—23 in all—were filled by acclamation prior to the election.

"Feds would like to congratulate all of the candidates on their various campaigns," says a media release published Friday. "Feds would also like to thank all of the students who attended the debates, shared our video and actively participated in the electoral process."

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Wednesday notes

The UW Recreation Committee has organized a "Protect Your Health" event on Thursday, February 23, at noon in NH 1116 as part of Health and Stroke month. Student volunteer Joseph Poon will cover a number of health protection topics including an overview of how the heart works, the warning signs of a heart attack, the workings of the brain and warning signs of a stroke, risk factors, and the activities of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Attendees can register by emailing UWRC@

This time for sure: Human Resources is reporting that year-end T4 and T4A tax slips are now available through the myHRinfo system. To access the forms, log on to myHRinfo and navigate to the menu item Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View T4/T4A Slips. Human Resources also makes these helpful suggestions: ensure you have a pdf reader on your computer, and set the security settings in your browser to allow pop-ups from the site.

The Registrar's Office has announced that pre-enrollment for Fall 2012 courses begins next Monday, February 27, and runs until March 4. Pre-enrollment instructions are available online.

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Link of the day

Ash Wednesday

When and where

Reading Week, February 20 to 24.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Jozef Haponiuk, Department of Polymer Technology, Gdansk University of Technology, Poland, "Development of New Polyurethane Systems for Versatile Applications", Wednesday, February 22, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

"Your 3-Pound Thinking Machine" featuring professor Jeff Orchard, Wednesday, February 22, 7:00 p.m., Mathematics 3 room 1006. Presented by the Cheriton School of Computer Science.

Digital Media Lecture: Blogging Pains, Wednesday, February 22, 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus.

Lunch 'N Learn event hosted by the Education Credit Union, featuring Alan Wintrip, Chartered Accountant, Thursday, February 23, 12:05 p.m., DC 1302.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday, February 23, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

Chemical Engineering seminar, featuring the University of Ottawa's Marc Dube, "How to Make 'Green' Even 'Greener" - from Biodiesel to Polymer," Thursday, February 23, 3:30 p.m., E6 2024.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "Excel in your career: Senior hiring managers share their secrets," Thursday, February 23, 4:30 p.m., TC 1208. Details.

Alumni event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, Thursday, February 23, 6:30 p.m. Details.

Hagey Bonspiel (40th annual) for staff, faculty, retirees and friends, Saturday, February 25, 8:30 to 4:30, Ayr Curling Club. Details.

University of Waterloo Brain Bee, Saturday, February 25, 9:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., LHI 1621.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel U College, “Creating Home” concert February 25 (8 p.m.) and 26 (3 p.m.), St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener. Details.

University senate Monday, February 27, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Project Ploughshares 35th anniversary celebration, Monday, February 27, 7:00 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church, 50 Erb St. W., Waterloo, RSVP and more information: Debbie Hughes, dhughes@, or 519-888-6541 x702.

Mid-Cycle Review Campus Update, Wednesday, February 29, 3:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Mexican Night at REVelation, Wednesday, February 29, 4:30 p.m.

uWaterloo Sun Life lecture series featuring Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators Group Limited, "Managing Risk in an Increasingly Unmanageable World," Thursday, March 1, 4:30 p.m., SAF Hagey Hall Room 1108.

University of Waterloo's Materials Research Society (MRS) Student Chapter inter-departmental mixer, Friday, March 2, 11:00 a.m., E6-2024. RSVP online.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "Re-frame your retirement," Friday, March 2, 2:00 p.m., TC 2218. Details.

Knowledge Integration Seminar featuring David Goodwin, Research Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), Friday, March 2, 2:30 p.m., St. Paul's room 105.

19th Annual Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Helen Longino of Stanford University, "The Sociality of Scientific Knowledge: not just an Academic Question", Friday, March 2, 3:30 p.m., HH 334.

I2E Startathon, Friday, March 2, 5:00 p.m., Mathematics 3. Details.

The Arts Student Union presents "The Three A's of Awesome" featuring author and blogger Neil Pasricha, Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

International Women's Day (IWD) celebration, Wednesday, March 7, 5:30 p.m., Walper Terrace Hotel. Kitchener. For tickets and details call Jan Meier at 519-579-5051. Details.

Positions available

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

• Building Service Person 2 – Painter – Plant Operations
• Technologist & Lab Instructor – Systems Design Engineering, USG 8-10
• Graduate Studies Recruitment Coordinator – Dean of Engineering Office, USG 9

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