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Thursday, December 11, 2014

  • Case study culture grows on campus
  • AHS to break ground on expansion Friday
  • Holiday lab shutdown guidelines issued
  • Thursday's notes

Case study culture grows on campus

by Lyndia Stacey.

The case study culture has long been part of many educational institutions. Although this method is typically used in business programs, case studies are becoming more widely accepted and used in various pedagogical environments. Cases are real life applications used by instructors as an exciting resource to actively engage students in their learning and integrate multiple concepts. Case studies complement traditional lectures and enhance the curriculum by bridging the gap between industry and education. This generates a closer tie between the classroom and a student’s co-op experience and better prepares them for entering the workplace after graduation.


A video created by Waterloo Cases in Design Engineering (WCDE) showcases interviews of faculty, students and industry sharing their different perspectives on the advantages of using case studies. The overall message is the same – learning by cases requires problem-solving and decision making skills since the students are put in the shoes of another person’s experience. This leads to higher engagement and retention of concepts.


WCDE is a group in the Faculty of Engineering that has been creating engineering case studies since 2005. WCDE cases cover a wide range of engineering concepts and they are written to demonstrate analysis and design, across all engineering disciplines. The majority of the case material comes from our own students’ experience, on work terms or final year projects. WCDE also provides guidance on effective case method teaching and additional resources for instructors.


WCDE is celebrating the generation of over 130 cases and over 300 implementations across all engineering programs. These implementations have ranged from class discussions, quizzes, term projects, case-based courses and group presentations. There have also been guest lectures from industry representatives (the above photo shows Ark Skupien and Melanie Pastorius of Sleeman Breweries discussing their case with students) and cross-course connections as well as interactive and hands-on design. It is clear that there is growth in the case study culture and the goal is for it to keep expanding!


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An artist's render of the AHS expansion.
AHS to break ground on expansion Friday

The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo will break ground Friday for a new 56,000-square-foot facility to support teaching and research.

The four-storey facility is set to include state-of-the-art kinesiology laboratories and a 350-seat lecture theatre—one of the largest on campus. The new facility will also house the University’s School of Anatomy, one of only a few anatomy labs outside of medical schools in Ontario.

“Our physical expansion is only now catching up with the academic and research expansion that has occurred over the past several years,” said James Rush, interim dean of the Faculty. “Producing world-class research and providing exceptional training remains a top priority, and our new facilities will help support that.”

Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo, and Ian Orchard, vice-president academic and provost will join Professor Rush for the groundbreaking ceremony, which will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Parking Lot M.


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Holiday lab shutdown guidelines issued

The Safety Office has released its annual notice of seasonal holiday shutdown procedures for laboratories across the University.


"Please note for the holiday shutdown that, due to winter weather conditions, utilities (especially electricity) may be affected," says the statement "It is a general rule that all laboratory processes be designed to safely survive a service failure. During the holiday shutdown this is particularly important and the following precautions are recommended":

  • Require that lab operations be suspended by Tuesday, December 23, 2014 @ 5:00 PM, resuming Monday, January 5, 2015.
  • Shut down all processes vulnerable to failure of utilities.
  • Remove hazardous waste from the lab. Last day for hazardous waste pickup is Tuesday, December 16th and for drop off at the Environmental Safety Facility is Monday, December 22nd. For more information call x35755.
  • Store hazardous materials properly and in containment areas and ensure that containers are closed or sealed.
  • Shut off compressed gases and gas supply lines to equipment.
  • Turn off and unplug, where possible, electrical devices such as hot plates, computers and, if not containing hazardous materials, fume hoods and environmental chambers. This prevents damage to equipment due to power surges while reducing energy waste and pollution.
  • Ensure lab contact information is updated with names, phone numbers and addresses in a location accessible to emergency response personnel (suggest on inside of door), and provide emergency contact information to UW Police. Include documentation on contents of freezers and refrigerators.

The Safety Office can be contacted at extension 35755 if you have any questions about preparing your lab for the holiday shutdown.


If you do happen to have a lab incident, the Safety Office recommends the following:

  • Report failures of equipment or physical plant to Plant Operations at x33793.
  • If lab or building has been without power, allow the lab exhaust systems to operate for at least 2 hours before entry to lab or building.
  • Contact the Safety Office or UW Spill Team through UW Police at 519-888-4911 or x22222 if you have concerns relating to hazardous materials spills.


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Thursday's notes

Peatlands.For the love of peat: South African Peatlands will be the topic for discussion at a seminar today hosted by the Water Institute. Professor Althea Grundling of South Africa's Agricultural Research Council, Institute for Soil, Climate and Water, will deliver a lecture on how the source of water for wetlands and peatlands can determine vulnerability to changes in the landscape and environment. The seminar takes place at 2:30 p.m. in QNC 1501.

This is a reminder that the Arts Undergraduate Office in PAS 2439 will be closed from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. today for a staff function.


The Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre has discounted passes available for Cineplex, Landmark Cinemas and Princess Cinemas available for purchase.


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Link of the day

International Mountain Day

When and where

Clickers, Thursday, December 11, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 2054. Details.


Water Institute seminar featuring Althea Grundling, Agricultural Research Council, Institute for Soil, Climate and Water, South Africa, Thursday, December 11, 2:30 p.m., QNC 1501. Details.


Retirement open house for Marlene Skinner, Thursday, December 11, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., E5 3001.


Chemical Engineering Seminar featuring Kunal Karan, associate professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, “Towards the Unraveling of Structure and Properties of Nanothin Ionomers in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells,” Thursday, December 11, 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m., E6-2024. Please note the new time.


Applied Health Sciences expansion groundbreaking ceremony, Friday, December 12, 9:00 a.m., Parking Lot M.


Successful Aging seminar featuring Dr. Alison Chasteen, University of Toronto, Friday, December 12, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PAS 1241.Details.


Pilgrimage and Sacred Space: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Perspectives — Stories of Pilgrimage and Pilgrims, Saturday, December 13, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College. Details.


KW Symphony in the Research + Tech Park, Monday, December 15, 6:30 p.m. SAP, 445 Wes Graham Way (R+T Park). Holiday themed Christmas Concert. Free admission. Registration details.


Lunch and Learn Pension Session, “Various Pension Considerations”, Tuesday, December 16, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302.


LEARN Instructor User Group meeting, Tuesday, December 16, 12:30 p.m., EV1 241. Details.


The Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience (CTN) colloquium featuring Graham Taylor, University of Guelph, “Learning Representations with Multiplicative Interactions”, Tuesday, December 16, 3:30 p.m., PAS 2464. Details.


Retirement celebration for Lynn Judge, Wednesday, December 17, 3:30 p.m., University Club. Please RSVP by Wednesday, December 10. Details.


Examination period ends, Friday, December 19.


Campus closed for the holidays, Wednesday, December 24 to Sunday, January 4, 2015 inclusive.


Winter 2015 Orientation, Sunday, January 4 to Friday, January 9.


Lectures begin, Monday, January 5, 2015.


Co-operative work term begins, Monday, January 5, 2015.


Getting Started in LEARN for TAs, Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 11:30 a.m., EV1 241. Details.


Getting Started in LEARN for TAs, Monday, January 12, 2015, 1:00 p.m., EV1 241. Details.


Add period ends, Friday, January 16.


Master of Taxation Open House, Saturday, January 17, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, 69 Bloor Street East, Toronto.


Mini Town Hall Session - Experiential Education, Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5. Details.


Drop, no penalty period ends, Friday, January 23, 2015.


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