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Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Director of Velocity leaving to join Waterloo startup

Velocity Director Mike Kirkup.

Mike Kirkup, director of the Velocity program, can’t resist the thrill of startup life and announced this morning that he will leave the University on May 20 to join Encircle, a startup that is set to launch from the Velocity Garage later this year. 

“This wasn't an easy decision. I truly love the team we have built at Velocity and will miss working with them every day,” said Kirkup in a Velocity blog post. “It has been an incredible experience working with some of the most innovative companies in the world. I have seen some of the best days and many of the worst days in the founder's lives. It has been an honour to help celebrate their success or help push them forward towards it.” 

"I have accepted the CTO role at Encircle and am jumping into the fintech world with both feet,” said Kirkup. "Insurance is undergoing a massive transformation whether the industry wants to or not. At Encircle I will have the opportunity to work with an amazing team to help shape that future. It is something I am very excited about." 

Over the last four years, Velocity has gone from strength to strength and it is now the largest free startup incubator in the world and its companies have raised in excess of $300M in investment. Kirkup led Velocity through changes that include opening the Velocity Garage, creating Velocity Start in South Campus Hall and partnering with the Faculty of Science to create Velocity Science as well as growing the Velocity Residence program. 

“Mike Kirkup has been instrumental in taking Velocity to new heights. His enthusiasm, knowledge of the startup community and unique mentorship ability will be missed,” said Associate Provost, Students Chris Read. “We have an extremely capable team in place, and I look forward to communicating our plans to ensuring Velocity continues to evolve and support our world-class entrepreneurial students.” 

1000 Acts of Green Needs You!

An infographic showing information about the different types of green acts available.

A message from the 1000 Acts of Green Campaign.

Have you posted your Act of Green yet? If not, join the challenge, and if so, keep it up! Lots of action in Week One focused on Food, Waste, and Transportation, and the Faculty of Environment took an early lead out of the gate.

Join the conversation in week two by taking pictures of all your big and small sustainable actions and posting them to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #1000GreenUW and tagging your department.

You can also join one of the on-campus or community events happening throughout April, including:

  • Lunch-and-Learn on saving energy at home with REEP Green Solutions. Lunch will be provided.
  • Waterloo’s annual 20-minute makeover. Lunch and supplies will be provided.

Visit the 1000 Acts of Green page for some inspiration and to see what others are posting.

Researchers win medical imaging awards

This article was originally published on the Faculty of Engineering's news page.

A systems design engineering professor and team of graduate students are the recipients of two Magna Cum Laude awards presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Imaging Network of Ontario held in Toronto at the end of March.

Alexander Wong.Alexander Wong, the Canada Research Chair in Medical Imaging Systems, and systems design engineering graduate students Audrey Chung, Mohammad Javad Shafiee, Devinder Kumar, along with their collaborators at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, doctors Masoom Haider and Farzad Khalvati, were recognized for their research in the area of radiomics-driven oncological clinical decision support.

Wong and his team in collaboration with clinical researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences, have introduced a breakthrough strategy to quicker and more effective cancer identification.

Known as discovery radiomics, the concept allows for the identification of a large number of imaging-based features that act as quantitative biomarkers for capturing highly unique tumor traits and characteristics beyond what can be captured using predefined feature models.

Read the rest of the article on the Faculty of Engineering news page.

Building peace at Conrad Grebel's summer camp

A collage of camp images and the date - August 8 to 12, 2016.

by Rebekah DeJong

Between August 8 and August 12 youth in the Waterloo Region will be discovering community through peace at the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement’s sixth annual Peace Camp, a day camp run at Conrad Grebel University College. 

As a non-profit organization, Peace Camp receives a 5-year grant from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation and on-going sponsorship from Mennonite Savings and Credit Union, Josslin Insurance, and the Kitchener Waterloo Community Fund. Thanks to our sponsors, youth aged 11 to 14 will experience a week packed with exciting activities, crafts, games, and field trips, all with a social justice spin that encourages youth to inspire lives, strengthen ties and make peace happen in the Waterloo Region.

Last year, Peace Camp attendees developed a better understanding of their individual ripple effect recognizing that their actions, no matter how small, can have a big impact. One camper stated that peace camp was meaningful because “it helped me to learn about how to help the community” Another camper reflected on her Peace Camp experience by saying “ there are a lot of things that need attention...now I know how to help”. When asked what they liked most about Peace Camp, campers consistently mentioned that they enjoyed meeting new people, interacting with camp leaders, playing fun games, interesting guest speakers and fun field trips!

Peace Campers play a relay game.This summer the Peace Camp theme is “Peace in Action” focusing on empowering youth by teaching them that no matter who you are or what you like to do you can be a peacebuilder. Campers will become more aware of how their skills and passions can create peace in their own lives, and in the global and local community. Peace Camp will be a week full of activities lead by a dynamic Peace Camp team. Guest speakers from peace-building organizations across Waterloo Region will share their wisdom and experiences emphasizing how to use your skills and interests to create peace. Campers will gain an understanding of ways they can be involved in social justice and peacebuilding, while having fun and making lasting friendships.

If you are interested in registering your child for peace camp, visit the registration page.

If you are interested in volunteering as a Peace Camp Leader please contact daycamp.peacecamp@uwaterloo.ca. 

For any other Peace Camp related inquiries please contact Rebekah DeJong at daycamp.peacecamp@uwaterloo.ca.

Board of Governors meets and other notes

The University's Board of Governors will meet today at 1:30 p.m. in NH 3407. Among the agenda items:

  • a motion to approve the 2016/2017 Operating Budget;
  • a motion to increase the compulsory Student Services Fee, which is assessed and collected each term from all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, effective spring term 2016. Undergraduates will see an increase of 6.6 per cent over last year, while graduate student contributions will be reduced by 2 per cent over last year;
  • a motion to delegate the Board's authority to approve the University’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended 30 April 2016 to the Board Executive Committee; and
  • A render of the SLC/PAC expansion showing its position relative to existing University buildings.a motion to approve the the appointment of CS&P Architects for the proposed addition to the Student Life Centre (SLC) and Physical Activities Complex (PAC) with an approved budget of $34 million.

In addition to the usual senior administrator and committee reports, the governors will hear a research presentation by Professor Michael Hudson of Physics & Astronomy.

Registration for the 10th Anniversary R+T Park Charity Golf Tournament coincides with the first day of The Masters in Augusta, and thus registration will open Thursday, April 7 at 9:00 a.m. All 200 golf spots tend to sell out within the first few hours. All proceeds will be directed to the R+T Park Tenants Fund at the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation. To date, $210,000 has been raised in support of local children's charities and community-based projects.

Science Undergraduate Office closures this week

Please note the following Science Undergraduate Office (SUO) closures, due to the Staff Conference:

  • Wednesday, April 6, closed from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.; and
  • Thursday, April 7, closed from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause," says the official notice.

The SUO is located in STC 2031.

Check the SUO webpage for regular office hours. Don't forget to sign up for the office's drop-in hours.

Link of the day

30 years ago: Berlin disco bombing

When and where

1000 Acts of Green campaign, Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 22.

Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, April 5 to Thursday, April 7.

FAUW Workshop for Tenured Faculty, “Faculty Applying for Promotion to Full Professor Workshop,” Tuesday, April 5, 10:00 a.m., DC 1304.

FAUW workshop for tenure-track faculty, “Faculty Recently Hired to their First Probationary Term Workshop,” Tuesday, April 5, 12:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, April 5, 1:30 p.m., NH 3407.

St. Paul’s GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase, Tuesday, April 5, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul’s University College.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Professor Arvi Rauk, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, “Retired 15 Years and Fretting over Alzheimer's,” Tuesday, April 5, 3:30 p.m., C2-361.

St. Paul’s GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase, Tuesday, April 5, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul’s University College.

TheGROOVE, Tuesday, April 5, 5:00 p.m., CPH-3067. Contact Cindy Howe for more information.

Annual Staff Conference, Wednesday, April 6 and Thursday, April 7, Science Teaching Complex.

Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience 10th Annual Waterloo Brain Day, Wednesday, April 6, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EV3-1408.

FAUW workshop for tenure-track faculty, “Faculty Applying for Probationary Contract Renewal Workshop,” Wednesday, April 6, 10:00 a.m., DC 1304.

Water Institute Seminar by Professor Veena Srinivasan, RBC Visiting Fellow, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, “The case of problem-driven water research in the developing world - Lessons from India,” Wednesday, April 6, 11:30 a.m., DC 1304.

School of Pharmacy Interviews, Wednesday, April 6, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., TC 1208. 

FAUW workshop for tenure-track faculty, “Faculty Applying for Tenure Workshop,” Wednesday, April 6, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Professional School Interviews (MMI), Wednesday, April 6, 2:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Ed Jernigan Thank You Event, Wednesday, April 6, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University Club. Register now.

Public Lecture: After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians by Gordon Laxer, Wednesday, April 6, 7:00 p.m., Kitchener Public Library.

Philosophy Talk featuring David Godden, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, “Corroborative Evidence,” Thursday, April 7, 2:00 p.m., HH 373.

Interactive Student Session with Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Thursday, April 7, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

Mitacs Programs and Funding Opportunities, Thursday, April 7, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304. 

Exams begin, Friday, April 8.

Online examination days, Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9.

Hallman Lecture Series featuring Dr. Leon Geffen, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, “Aging in Africa: Challenges and opportunities to improve the well-being of older persons,” Friday, April 8, 11:00 a.m., Sun Life Financial Auditorium, LHI 1621.

I Am Rohingya, Saturday, April 9, 7:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Management Sciences seminar featuring Murat Kurt, State University of Buffalo, Monday, April 11, 12:00 p.m., CPH 4333.

Gender and Equity Scholarship Series featuring Dr. Andrea Collins, School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability, “Gender, Land, and Global Governance: Governing Global Land Deals?” Wednesday, April 13, 11:30 a.m., MC 5501.

Watts Up – Home and Work Energy Savings Lunch and Learn event, Wednesday, April 13, 12:00 p.m., EV2 2006.

Staff International Experience Fund Brown Bag Lunch SessionThursday, April 14, 12:00 p.m., DC 1301.

UW Retirees’ Association Spring Reception, Wednesday, April 13, 3:00 p.m., University Club.

Biomedical Discussion Group Lecture featuring Dr. Sara Mashid, “Nanostructured based Lab-on-chips for optical and electrical detection,” Thursday, April 14, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

2016 University of Waterloo Brain Bee, Saturday, April 16, 10:00 a.m., Sun Life Financial Auditorium, LHI 1621.

Ecohydrology Seminar by Nathan Basiliko, department of Biology, Laurentian University, “Bolstering bioenergy production in Canada's forestry sector: A soil's perspective,” Tuesday, April 19, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

20 Minute Makeover campus tidy-up event, Friday, April 22, 12:00 p.m., EV2 1001.

Examinations end, Saturday, April 23.

Vision Science Graduate Research Conference, Monday, April 25 and Tuesday, April 26, 10:00 a.m., OPT 1129.

Mark Haslett retirement event, Tuesday, April 26, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. RSVP by April 22 to Graham Yeates at ext. 32281 or gyeates@uwaterloo.ca.

Water Institute Research Symposium 2016, Thursday, April 28.

Centre for Career Action staff panel, “You’re In Change: Excel in Your Career at Waterloo,” Thursday, April 28, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., TC2218.

Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture 2016 by Jay Famiglietti, University of California Irvine, “Water and sustainability: 21st Century realities and the global groundwater crisis,” Thursday, April 28, 4:00 p.m., DC 1350.

Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and Research Support Information Session, Wednesday, May 4, 10:30 a.m., QNC 1501.

St. Paul’s GreenHouse Social Impact Fund Showcase today

The diverse efforts of student innovators at St. Paul’s GreenHouse will be on display at the Winter Social Impact Fund Showcase being held today.

The Social Impact Fund winners will present their social entrepreneurship projects, which range from a mattress designed to prevent bedsores for long-term care patients, to a venture that will help raise money for children in Sri Lanka.

The Dialogue Xchange will also host a powerhouse panel of GreenHouse innovators who will share their lived experiences as founders of social ventures.

Food and refreshments will be provided at the event, which takes place at 4:00 p.m. in St. Paul’s Alumni Hall (STP 201).