Waterloo rolled out the orange carpet
The Dutch king and queen visited the University of Waterloo yesterday and witnessed two of the world’s leading innovation universities announcing a new research and education collaboration that aims to advance the field of quantum computing.
Events kicked off at 9:30 a.m. with an academic summit meeting in Room 0101 of the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre. Vice-President, University Relations Sandra Banks delivered opening remarks.
"As we will see throughout the course of the day, Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands share a special bond," Banks said. "Today, we will help to deepen those bonds of friendship and partnership across several dimensions: in education, in research, in innovation."
The king and queen were joined in Waterloo by Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jet Bussemaker, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, and more than 20 Dutch higher education institutions meeting to solidify the ties between Canada and the Netherlands and share best practices in higher education.
"I believe Waterloo and our fellow Ontario institutions share a vision with our Dutch counterparts for prosperity rooted in scholarship and innovation," said President Feridun Hamdullahpur. "It is wonderful to have representatives from two innovation ecosystems named the World’s Smartest City — Eindhoven and Waterloo — advancing this exciting agenda together, as partners."
"We have much to learn from one another, and throughout the course of this visit, I am sure all members of both delegations will do exactly that."
An enthusiastic crowd of onlookers, some who had secured a spot outside the Lazaridis Centre early yesterday morning, greeted the royal delegation's 12-car motorcade as it arrived at 11:00 a.m. on what turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day.
The king and queen waved and wished the appreciative assembly good morning before being greeted by President Hamdullahpur and Institute for Quantum Computing director Raymond Laflamme. The delegation proceeded into the building's atrium, where the official welcoming party of students, faculty and staff had gathered to greet the king and queen.
The delegation proceeded to the second-floor board room, where the king and queen met with guests including Dean of Engineering Pearl Sullivan, Region of Waterloo Chair Ken Seiling, and Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis. The royal couple then witnessed the signing of a memorandum of agreement with the Region of Waterloo, Canada’s Technology Triangle, and Dutch startup incubator Brainport Eindhoven, and a memorandum of understanding between Delft University of Technology and the University of Waterloo.
"Now 70 years after the liberation of the Netherlands through which both countries have woven indelible, everlasting ties, these two agreements bind us further still," said Interim Associate Vice-President, International Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaar. "Be-it through fundamental research in the particular mindboggling field of quantum science, or through the knowledge transfers in highly focused regions like Eindhoven and Waterloo of course, today we feed the continuous metamorphosis of our world — our future in the most human sense of the term."
The memorandum of understanding allows exchange opportunities for students, staff and researchers, collaboration on research projects and the exchange of research publications and reports in quantum information. Feridun Hamdullahpur and Anka Mulder, vice-president for education and operations at Delft, signed the memorandum in the presence of Their Majesties.
“These are two universities leading the world in innovation,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “This new agreement positions both Waterloo and Delft to accelerate progress quantum information research while exposing our students and research to diverse experiences that will position them to lead the new world economy.”
The visit also marked the launch of the Liberation Scholarship Program. The historic scholarship celebrates the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian forces at the end of the Second World War.
The first five scholarship winners were present at the event, including Terran Shaver, whose grandfather, retired Colonel Donald Shaver, a Galt native who participated in the liberation of Holland, appeared with her on stage to the applause of the crowd. Shaver noted that when he served overseas he was 24 years old, and that his granddaughter Terran will be celebrating her 24th birthday while studying next year in the Netherlands.
Madeline Liddy, a masters student from IQC, was among the first five recipients awarded the scholarship.
The king and queen were photographed with the scholarship recipients.
Following the scholarship launch ceremony, the royal couple also toured a quantum optics laboratory in the Institute for Quantum Computing. Waterloo’s IQC and Delft’s QuTech are among the top quantum research institutes in the world and both universities are committed to creating the worlds first 100-qubit quantum computer.
At 12:35 p.m. the royal delegation's visit came to an end and they left the University through the Lazaridis Centre's atrium where the king and queen met more members of the public. The crowd cheered as the motorcade departed.
Check out the University's Storify page for more details and photos of the royal visit.
Photograph by Jonathan Bielaski.
A new season of global impacts for Waterlooby Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor.
As the Spring term heats up and our University turns its focus to June, we have much to celebrate. In particular, I want to dedicate my comments today on Waterloo’s constantly growing and evolving role as a highly internationalized university, and one with a strong social mission.
The Daily Bulletin has provided extensive coverage of our royal visit this week. As you know, yesterday Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visited campus with their royal delegation to make some exciting announcements and enrich an academic conference hosted at the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.
While the details of the event and the work of the delegation and academic conference has been extensively documented, I want to highlight two significant features of the visit.
The first is that Waterloo’s new agreement with Delft University of Technology in Holland marks our further establishment as one of the world’s leaders in quantum research. As the Quantum Valley ascends and continues to take its place as one of the world’s most vaunted innovation ecosystems, the University of Waterloo can be extremely proud of our role in anchoring that ecosystem. Not only in quantum, but across the range of our research areas and by generating such talented students and alumni.
Second, I want to underline how honoured I know we all feel at being the site of yesterday’s announcements. The special relationship between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Canada is a matter of great significance to our country, and of immense personal meaning to countless Canadians who proudly claim Dutch descent. As I said in my comments to the royal delegation about the new Liberation Scholarships program: the Dutch-Canadian bond, forged in war, continues to flourish in peace.
It was a very proud day for the University of Waterloo.
I’m proud also that in May, our commitment to building a better and more equitable and knowledgeable world was displayed through several other initiatives as well.
On May 5, 2015 Waterloo unveiled our participation in the United Nations’ HeForShe campaign to promote gender equity. As the only Canadian organization among the campaign's participating governments, leading universities, and global businesses, we are honoured to have been selected to help lead this effort to help end discrimination against women and girls.
Gender equity is not a women’s issue. It is an everybody issue. That’s why the HeforShe campaign is designed to enlist men and boys in this important effort. Follow #HeforShe on Twitter and think about how you can do your part to help end gender discrimination. I look forward to our continued work together promoting positive social change through this program.
Finally, and in keeping with the theme of being an internationalized university with a strong social mission, this month we launched a program to help drive prosperity in a key regional economy while deepening our own academic prowess.
The Risk Management, Economic Sustainability and Actuarial Science Development in Indonesia (READI) Project is a relationship forged between the Government of Canada, the Indonesian Government and the University of Waterloo. Its goal is to strengthen the Indonesian economy through advancing the actuarial profession in that country. It will accomplish this by providing risk management and actuarial expertise related to financial welfare, health care, banking and other issues that impact Indonesia and its international partners. At the same time, this partnership underlines the University of Waterloo’s position as a national and international leader in the actuarial sciences. Read the press release to learn more about this exciting initiative.
I extend my thanks to our whole campus community for making this such a memorable and meaningful month for the University of Waterloo.
As we continue on into the warmer weather and new term, I wish you the happiest of summers, and to all students: good luck on your upcoming midterms!
"The winner of the #UWSASpringtime photo contest is Murielle Landry!" writes the UWSA's Melissa Zapletal. "Congratulations and bon appétit!"
Honourable mentions go to Angela Rooke and Emily Hudson for their great photos.
"Thank you to all those who participated in the contest. It was great to see the signs of Spring from all over campus," Zapletal writes. "You can browse through our UWSA Springtime 2015 Photo Contest album on Facebook to see all the great entries."
Electrical and Computer Engineering is hosting a Distinguished Lecture today featuring Professor Yeo Kiat Seng, associate provost (graduate studies and international relations) at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Seng's talk is entitled "The Next Big Things in Education and Research."
"The new challenges posed by an increasingly integrated world require a rethinking of how we address our current education system and future research directions," says the talk's abstract. "As teaching and research are the yin and the yang of successful universities, it is important to understand the teaching-research connections."
The lecture takes place at 3:00 p.m. in DC 1302.