Thursday, June 22, 2017

Waterloo, Bristol sign MOU for nano co-operation


Top row: Professor Brian McNamara, Chair, Physics and Astronomy, Professor Zoya Leonenko, Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Biology, WIN Member; Dr. Annela Seddon, Director, Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, University of Bristol; Professor Mervyn Miles, School of Physics, University of Bristol. Bottom row: Dr Terence (Terry) McMaster, Director, Bristol Doctoral College, University of Bristol; Dr. D George Dixon, VP University Research; and Professor Holger Kleinke, Executive Director (Interim), Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and Professor, Chemistry.

On Friday, June 2 a delegation from the University of Bristol visited the University of Waterloo to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for educational and scientific co-operation.

The MOU is the latest stage in a developing relationship between the two institutions that began as a series of academic contacts between Professor Mervyn Miles and Professor Terry McMaster of the University of Bristol with Professor Zoya Leonenko and Professor Arthur Carty of Waterloo, which recognized strong academic areas of common ground between the two universities. In 2015, Professor McMaster led a team of Bristol academics and PhD researchers from the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials' Centre for Doctoral Training to the First Bilateral Bristol-Waterloo Symposium, followed by reciprocal visits to both Waterloo and Bristol for research meetings and graduate student training in 2016 and 2017.

“The University of Waterloo is looking forward to this partnership with the University of Bristol. Both universities share the same common values, and are among the leading institutions in Science and Engineering," says Professor Holger Kleinke, the executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. "As such, our partnership is focused on Quantum Science and Technology, nanomaterials and nanoscience, with respect to both education and research. We anticipate to benefit greatly from the comprehensive joint activities, gaining from each other’s complementary strengths.”

The agreement outlines how the two institutions will explore possibilities for further co-operation in training and research, including joint activities “of common interest” in areas like graduate student research training, science and engineering research, quantum science and technology, materials, and nanoscience. The memorandum also describes other forms of co-operation including the exchange of visiting faculty members for research, lectures and discussions, and the exchange of visiting graduate students for non-credit study and research.

“The University of Bristol and the University of Waterloo are on a shared journey: we both want to build a dynamic, sustainable relationship that builds research capacity and delivers impact," says Professor Terry McMaster, director of the Bristol Doctoral College. "And we are doing it in the right way – building from the bottom-up. This MOU marks a significant development of the journey. A component of the impact that this MOU makes possible will be deeper research relationships involving shared doctoral students.”

“The BCFN has been proud to have worked with UW for the last 3 years and enjoyed many opportunities for joint graduate training and research activities,” says Professor Annela Seddon, director of the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials. “This MOU will cement our commitment to working together in the future.” 

The MOU will remain in effect for five years, but can be renewed, extended or amended by mutual agreement.

Rhodes Scholarship competition open

The Fall 2017 Rhodes Scholarship competition is now open.

The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate scholarship supporting exceptional students at the University of Oxford in England. Established in the will of British mining magnate and businessman Cecil Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world, which aims to nurture public-spirited world leaders. Each year, Rhodes scholars are selected from 64 different countries around the world. Two scholarships are allocated to the province of Ontario.

The University of Waterloo’s deadline, by which interested applicants must submit their application to Heidi Mussar in the Graduate Studies Office, is Thursday, August 31 at 9:00 a.m.

To be eligible, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and between the ages of 19 and 25 by October 1, 2018. Applicants must have received an undergraduate degree prior to taking up the Rhodes Scholarship and they must have extensive accomplishments that contribute to making them a well-rounded individual.

The official Rhodes website provides detailed instructions regarding the competition process.

Applications through the University of Waterloo must receive institutional endorsement before they can be submitted to the Rhodes Trust. The required materials that have to be emailed to Heidi Mussar in the Graduate Studies Office include the following:

  • A recent CV containing a factual list of principal activities and honours you received while in university (including scholarships, awards, committee positions held, athletic record, extracurricular participation);
  • A maximum 1,000 word written statement of your general interests and activities; also include details regarding the proposed program of study you would undertake while at Oxford and your intentions regarding your future career; and
  • 6 letters of reference – referees must email their assessments directly to Heidi Mussar by the August 31 deadline at 9:00 a.m. At least four of the referees should be people under whom you have studied at the University of Waterloo. Two referees should be people who know you well and can speak to your character and your broader non-academic interests.

The Graduate Studies Office has a dedicated website that contains details on the application process.

St. Paul's named a certified Fair Trade campus

A series of "Did You Know St. Paul's is Fair Trade?" posters.

St. Paul’s University College, in partnership with Watson’s Eatery, is proud to announce that they are now an officially certified Fair Trade campus.

"We have been serving fair trade coffee and other items for years, as well as implementing other sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives," says a statement from St. Paul's."

"Because we feel a strong connection with the core values of the Fair Trade mandate, we are continuously looking for ways to advance this ethic,” said Gita Bose, Food Services Unit Manager. “To apply for the actual certification just made sense."

Watson’s products that are produced in safe, secure working conditions and that offer fair wages and opportunities for workers include tea, coffee, cocoa, and chocolate croissants.

St. Paul’s continues to work to diversify and educate its staff and students on sustainable practices and encourage others to address complex local and global development issues.

Read more about the university college's sustainability initiatives.

Volunteer to billet student leaders

Written by Alexandra Carruthers, MUR Junior Editor and Marketing Associate

Student leaders from all across Canada are coming to Waterloo for the Canadian Student Leadership Conference (CSLC), September 26th-30th. Billeting is a vital part of the CSLC. It gives student leaders (some of them future Waterloo students) a chance to experience the local culture of the community they’re visiting. Take this opportunity to welcome 2 or more of these bright leaders into your home for the duration of the conference. Be a part of the education and inspiration of some of Canada’s top student leaders. 

Interested? Here’s the commitment:

  • Provide breakfast each morning
  • Provide transportation to and from the conference each day
  • Organize dinner and activities for one special evening with your billets
  • Provide a bed/air mattress for each student and sufficient personal privacy

Sound good? Here’s how to get involved:

  • Visit the website and fill out the application form
  • Keep an eye on your email for verification and next steps from the CSLC Billeting Committee
  • Acquire a Vulnerable Sector Check for anyone living in your home age 18 years and older (free of charge courtesy of the Waterloo Regional Police Services)
  • Welcome your students!

For more information, please visit the CSLC website, or send an email to

Peace Camp and other notes

Children sitting on floor at Peace Camp, smiling at cameraPeace Camp is a week-long day camp from July 31st - August 4th, 2017 for kids grades 6-8 and is on the Waterloo campus at Conrad Grebel University College. The day camp is designed to inspire campers to volunteer in their communities and learn from local peacebuilders who have found innovative ways to make a difference. Through crafts, games, guest speakers and field trips, Peace Camp is a week filled with activities and discussions to allow these young people to join the conversation and learn how they can create peaceful change in their schools, homes, and friendships.

Peace Camp is also a way for University of Waterloo students to demonstrate what they’ve learned in the classroom environment and exercise it outside the classroom. Students from varying programs and faculties come together to create a positive camp experience for the campers aged 11-14. This year the theme is Here, There, and Everywhere: Where Can We Find Peace? Campers will discover that they can find peace globally, locally, and find the peace builder within themselves.

Reminder that the deadline to register for the University of Waterloo Staff Association golf social tournament is this Friday, June 23rd. The tournament is open to everyone, and registration includes 9 holes of golf, a cart, and a barbeque dinner.

Scheduled maintenance will be performed on the Library catalogue Monday, June 26 at 8:00 a.m. until Thursday, June 29 at 5:00 p.m. The following services will be affected:

  • Item availability in the catalogue will be accurate as of 8:00 a.m. on June 26
  • Holds and recalls will not be available
  • Access to "my account" will not be available
  • Online item renewals will not be available
  • We will not be sending out item-renewal notices
  • We will not be able to accept fine payments

During this period, you can check out and return physical items in person; however, these activities will not be reflected in your account until the maintenance has completed, and the library is able to process these transactions.

Link of the day

20 years ago: OK Computer

When and where

Canadian Society of Microbiologists 67th Annual Conference, Tuesday, June 20 to Friday, June 23.

Seminar, Efficient discrete optimization for binary energies with applications to image segmentation,” Professor Olga Veksler, Computer Science Department, Western University, Thursday, June 22, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Successfully Negotiating Job Offers, Thursday, June 22, 1:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208

Retirement Celebration for Linda Youngblut, Thursday, June 22, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV3 third floor. RSVP to

Women in STEM Grad Mixer BBQ, Thursday, June 22, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Waterloo Park.

MBET Part-time Program Information Session, Thursday, June 22, 5:30 p.m., Communitech.

Velocity Fund $25K applications close, Saturday, June 24.

Second International Conference on Amphibious Architecture, Design and Engineering, Sunday, June 25 to Wednesday, June 28, St. Jerome’s University.

Celebrate Canada @ the University Club, Monday, June 26th to Friday, June 30th from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Network for Aging Research Spring 2017 Symposium, “Engagement in Innovation,” Monday, June 26, 8:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

NEW - Computer science seminar, “Kernel clustering meets graphical models,” Yuri Boykov, Department of Computer Science, Western University, Monday, June 26, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Project Management as a Career Option, Monday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., TC 2218.

WISE Public Lecture Series - Smarter Cities: New Services, New Applications for Control, Monday, June 26, 11:00 a.m., CPH 4333.

Exploring Your Personality Type (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Part II, Monday, June 26, 1:30 p.m., TC 1112

The Arts Research Office presents—Writing Successful Grant Proposals, Wednesday, June 28, 10:00 a.m., TC 1208

Work Search Strategies, June 28, 1:30 p.m., TC  1208

Algorithms and complexity seminar, “Settling the query complexity of non-adaptive junta testing,” Erik Waingarten, Columbia University, Wednesday, June 28, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

 Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays – Territorial Acknowledgment, Wednesday, June 28, 4:00 p.m., DC 1301.

Velocity Start: Pitch Like A Pro, “Perfecting your pitch,” Wednesday, June 28, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 29, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

Computer science seminar, “ETR, or the real logic of drawing graphs,” Marcus Schaefer, DePaul University, Chicago, Thursday, June 29, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC 1304.

NEW - PhD seminar, “Modeling interactants’ emotions and optimal behavior in event-based articles,” Areej Alhothali, PhD candidate, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Thursday, June 29, 3:30 p.m. to 4;30 p.m., DC 2584.

University of Waterloo Canada Day Celebration 2017, Saturday, July 1, 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Columbia Lake Field.

Canada Day holiday, Monday, July 3, most University operations closed.

University of Waterloo Blood Donor Clinics, Tuesday, July 4 to Thursday, July 6, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Walk-ins accepted. 

Public lecture, “Evolution by Association: Symbiosis in a Neo-Darwinian World,” Jan Sapp, Tuesday, July 4 at 8 p.m., Laurier N1001.

WISE Public Lecture Series - "Directional Drilling and Magnetic Ranging Services for Geothermal Energy Development," Clinton Moss, President, Marksman Ranging Technologies, Scientific Drilling,
Wednesday, July 5 10:30am to 11:30am, CPH 3681.

Discover your interests, Wednesday, July 5, 12:00 p.m., TC 1113.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 1, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Wednesday, July 5, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre Room 0101.

Public Lecture, "Some fungi we thought we knew," Greg Thorn, Wednesday, July 5, 8:00-9:00 p.m., Lauier, N1001

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 2, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Thursday, July 6, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre Room 0101.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 6, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

Writing Centre workshop, “Say it in your own words: paraphrase and summary,” Thursday, July 6, 4:00 p.m.

Engineering 101, Saturday, July 8, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Applied Health Sciences 101, Saturday, July 8, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Conrad Grebel Concert: University of Waterloo Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, Saturday, July 8, 2:00 p.m., Victoria Park, Kitchener.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces Workshop, Monday, July 10, 12:30 p.m., NH 3308.

Science 101, Wednesday, July 12, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Velocity Start: The Startup Rollercoaster, “Panel of entrepreneurs talking about the mistakes made during the startup journey,” Wednesday, July 12, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training, Thursday, July 13, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Counselling Services.

Conrad Grebel Concert – University Choir, “Island Music,” Saturday, July 15, 7:30 p.m., Cedars Worship Centre, Waterloo.

Arts 101, Monday, July 17, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Test Preparation & Test Anxiety, Monday, July 17, 3:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Coping Skills Seminar – Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 18, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Calming the Panic: Practical Skills to Reduce Anxiety, Wednesday, July 19, 2:30 p.m., Counselling Services.

Organize your time for midterms and exams, Wednesday, July 19, 4:30 p.m., SCH 108A.

Banting postdoctoral fellowship final application deadline at Waterloo, Wednesday, July 19, 8:00 p.m.