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Friday, November 28, 2014

  • Spreading the word; supporting community
  • Velocity Fund Winners announced
  • Hooykaas named RCGS fellow
  • Friday's notes

Spreading the word; supporting community

Feridun Hamdullahpur.How quickly the cold weather has come upon us!


As I mentioned in the October issue, I spent the first few weeks of November on a very productive trip throughout Asia. I was pleased to have the opportunity to deliver a “distinguished lecture” at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Seoul, Korea, and also had the pleasure of meeting with Professor Yongmin Kim, president of POSTECH.


The trip continued into Hong Kong and then to Singapore, where I was pleased to deliver a keynote speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Singapore). The assembled crowd was made up of very interested and forward-thinking business people, and the message from Waterloo was well received.


As I travelled from Korea, to Hong Kong, and then to Singapore, I was pleased to be able to attend some of our international alumni gatherings. It was tremendous to see the spirit of this institution thrive on an international level. Our alumni are hungry for engagement and to participate in the life of the University of Waterloo – this trip was a terrific opportunity to learn about their stories and ideas for building Waterloo’s international profile even further.


In the midst of the trip, which ran throughout the course of early and mid-November, my team and I made it a priority to attend the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Hong Kong.


Closer to home, our students, faculty and staff came together on a number of different occasions to support the Waterloo region community.


Kindness and generosity were celebrated throughout November, in the form of two very special events specifically. During Random Act of Kindness Day on November 7, the “Kindness Crew”, made up of Waterloo students, faculty and staff, spread goodwill across campus and in the community by way of meaningful good deeds. A week later, National Philanthropy Day offered a wonderful opportunity to celebrate philanthropy at Waterloo.


This month we also celebrated the United Way volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the month of October to raise funds for our local Kitchener-Waterloo community, and for the month of November our Warriors held their “Think Pink” campaign to raise money for breast cancer research.


On this note of charitable giving, I am delighted to confirm that the University of Waterloo has surpassed our United Way Campaign fundraising goal of $250,000. Thank you to our entire University community for making this year’s campaign a success.


The generosity – of both spirit and resources – on our campus is stunning, and sets the stage beautifully for the holiday season.


As my usual month end column will not be published in December, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all the happiest of holidays, a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.






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Velocity Fund winners announced

EyeCheck, a company working to provide vision care to millions of people in the developing world, was the biggest winner at the Velocity Fund Finals held yesterday in the Student Life Centre's Great Hall.


Founded by graduates of Systems Design Engineering at Waterloo, EyeCheck is part of the Velocity Foundry. It uses a hardware camera, with which doctors take images of people's eyes and enables them to provide a prescription in a fraction of the usual time. Today's win gives them $25,000 plus the additional $10,000 awarded to hardware or life sciences companies to help cover additional startup costs.  Earlier this month, EyeCheck was named one of the top 20 inventions of the year by the James Dyson Foundation.


"Most of the funding will be used to build a robust camera that can stand up to the harsh elements found throughout the developing world," said Daxal Desai, co-founder of EyeCheck. "It will also help us to gather field data at several camps in India where hundreds of people line up to get their vision checked."


During the competition, 10 companies pitched their businesses to a panel of judges representing the investment, startup and business communities. Judges weighed innovation, market potential, market viability and overall pitch.


The following three companies were also grand-prize winners of $25,000 and space at the Velocity Garage and Velocity Foundry:

  • Code Connect makes it easy for developers to understand source code.
  • HearthStats allows Hearthstone players to easily track wins and losses and gain insight for future play. 
  • Perceptiv Labs creates software that allows drones to perceive their environment, track objects and locate themselves on maps.

“Funding for early stage companies is invaluable. The Velocity Fund allows us to provide support to startups and invest in their future through grants,” said Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity. “Velocity, as part of the University of Waterloo, is a leader in the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that provides unmatched education, mentorship, networking and additional resources to local startups.”


During the VFF event, an additional 10 teams of University of Waterloo students competed for three new prizes of $5,000 and access to Velocity workspaces. In previous competitions, the amount was $1,000.


The winners of the Velocity $5K are:

  • Ansik, the maker of a mechanical reinforcement for worn out gas-charged struts called ShockLock, won Best Pitch.
  • Reno, an innovative charging technology that uses body heat to charge devices won $10,000 after winning both Most Innovative and People's Choice.

The judges for the Velocity Fund $25K competition were Ted Livingston of Kik, Mike McCauley of Google, Karamdeep Nijjar of iNovia Capital and Jean-Sebastien Cournoyer of Real Ventures.


The judges for the Velocity Fund $5K competition were Wayne Chang of the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre at Waterloo, Geoff Malleck of Waterloo and Steve McCartney of Communitech.


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Hooykaas named RCGS fellow

Professor Amanda Hooykaas (BES ’06, PhD ’13) was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS).

Hooykaas is a field course developer and an adjunct faculty member of the University of Waterloo. She teaches courses ranging from human geography to environmental literature, to conservation and parks management, and aims to spend the majority of this summer leading senior undergraduate courses beyond the classroom both in Canada and in the United States.


The College of Fellows is the governing body of the RCGS and brings together individuals who share the Society's abiding commitment to Canada, who support its mandate of making Canada better known to Canadians and the world as well as its educational mission of expanding geographic knowledge and literacy. Fellows include Jim Balsillie for his support of arctic research, artist Robert Bateman, Cree Chief Ovide Mercredi, and Dean of the Faculty of Environment Professor Jean Andrey.


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Friday's notes

The IST Service Desk (CHIP) will be closed today from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. as it completes its move to its new digs in East Campus 2. During this time, services will be unavailable. Client Services and Instructional Technology and Multimedia Services staff will also be moving on the afternoon of November 28 and will not have immediate access to email. Anyone requiring assistance should send an email or call extension 84357.

Saturday, December 6 is the The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women that recognizes the 1989 École Polytechnique tragedy. An on-campus remembrance event is scheduled to take place the morning of Friday, December 5 in the Sedra Student Design Centre in Engineering 5. The event is open to the public, but registration is required.


Warrior home games this weekend include:

  • Women’s Volleyball vs. Guelph – Friday, November 28, 6:00 p.m.
  • Men’s Volleyball vs. Guelph – Friday, November 28, 8:00 p.m.
  • It’s not technically a home game, but the Women’s Hockey team will be playing Laurier on Saturday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Check the Varsity Sports schedule for a complete list of home and away games.


Here's a final reminder that Quest will be down and unavailable starting today at 4:30 p.m. until Monday December 1 at 8:30 a.m. as it undergoes a scheduled upgrade.


And if you're heading to the Dana Porter Library this weekend, bundle up: There will be reduced heating in the Dana Porter Library and Needles Hall on Saturday, November 29, 2014 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. due to work on new building construction nearby.


"Depending on outside weather conditions that day, temperatures in Porter Library could be lower than normal and may vary considerably depending on your location in the building," says a statement from the Library. "Please take these temperature fluctuations into account when planning your visit to Porter Library."


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#beenrapedneverreported: a Canadian journalist’s honesty sparks an international movement.

Link of the day

Buy Nothing Daseriously though it's Black Friday

When and where

Campus Tech Black Friday Headphone Sale, Friday, November 28, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Campus Tech, SLC.

Campus Blood Donor Clinic, Friday, November 28, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Chemical Engineering seminar featuring Kyla Sask, PhD, “Surface Modification of Polymeric Biomaterials to Improve Interfacial Interactions.” Friday, November 28, 11:30 a.m., E6-2024.

Biology Seminar Series featuring Thomas Merritt, Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Laurentian University, "All flies are not created equal (not even fruit flies): the biology of genetic variation," Friday, November 28, 2:30 p.m., QNC 1501.

Quest down for upgrade, Friday, November 28, 4:30 p.m. to Monday, December 1, 8:30 a.m.

Bridges Lecture featuring Helen Bretzke (Drama and CS) and Peter Taylor (Math), "How To Hold a Beautiful Thing," Friday, November 28, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's. Details.

Gloria Deo featuring the UW Chamber Choir, Grebel Chapel Choir, and the University Choir, Saturday, November 29, 8:00 p.m., St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Kitchener. Admission $10/$5 for students and seniors, available at the door.

How Sweet It Is: UW Jazz Ensemble concert, Sunday, November 30 at 2:00 p.m., Great Hall, Conrad Grebel University College. $10/$5 students & seniors, tickets available at the door, reception to follow.

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble Concert, Sunday, November 30, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. Free admission, reception to follow.

Bookstore Concourse Sale, Monday, December 1 and Tuesday, December 2, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SCH Concourse.

IQC Colloquium featuring Peter Zoller, "New Frontiers of Quantum Simulation with Atoms and Innsbruck," Monday, December 1, 2:30 p.m., QNC 0101. Details.

WatRISQ Industry seminar featuring Dan Rosen, Managing Director, Risk and Analytics, S&P Capital IQ, “Re-Thinking Scenarios: The Global Economy, Conditional Scenarios and Your Portfolio,” Monday, December 1, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Gender & Equity Scholarship Series featuring Hilary Bergsieker, Tuesday, December 2, 11:30 a.m., PAS 3025. Details.

Transpacific Field of Dreams, Tuesday, December 2, 1:30 p.m., REN 2102. Details.

Retirement celebration for Nel Cheeseman, Tuesday, December 2, 3:30 p.m., TC 2218. RSVP to Pat Graf by Friday, November 28.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Graduate Student Seminar Series featuring PhD Graduate Students Prof. German Gomez Rios, “Strategies for the Direct Coupling of SPME to Mass Spectrometry “ and Nathaly Reyes Garces, "High-throughput Quantification of Prohibited Substances in Plasma and Blood Using Thin Film Solid Phase Microextraction”, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Tuesday, December 2, 3:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

Social Innovation Showcase, Wednesday, December 3, 4:00 p.m., St. Paul's Alumni Hall. Details.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women event, Friday, December 5, 10:30 a.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5. Details.

Chemical Engineering Seminar featuring Yang-Tse Cheng, Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, “Understanding Coupled Mechanical-Chemical Degradation Mechanisms for Improving the Performance and Durability of Lithium Ion Batteries,” Monday, December 8, 10:00 a.m., E6 2024.

Successful Aging seminar featuring Dr. Alison Chasteen, University of Toronto, December 12, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., location TBA.

PhD Oral Defences

Pure Mathematics. Robert Garbary, "On the local positivity of line bundles on algebraic surfaces." Supervisor, David McKinnon. On display in the Mathematics graduate office, MC 5112. Oral defence Thursday, December 4, 10:00 a.m., M3 2134.

Kinesiology. Rebecca Brookham, "Quantifying and Predicting Upper Limb Capability and Dysfunction of Breast Cancer Survivors." Supervisor, Clark Dickerson. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Thursday, December 4, 10:00 a.m., BMH 3119.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Sergey Bogdanov, "Fatigue Life Prediction Based on the Advanced Fatigue Crack Growth Model and the Monte-Carlo Simulation Method." Supervisor, Gregory Glinka. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, December 5, 9:00 a.m., E5 3006.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Evdokia Popova, "Crystal Plasticity Based Numerical Modeling of Dynamic Recrystalization in Magnesium Alloys." Supervisor, Kaan Inal. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, December 8, 9:00 a.m., E3 4117.


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