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Thursday, July 27, 2017


Water networking event makes a big splash

Kevin Boehmer - the Water Institute, David Stephenson -Natural Resource Solutions Inc., Nyssa Hardie - Natural Resource Solutions Inc.,  Elizabeth Kroonen – CH2M, Tom Woodcock – Ontario Water Works Association and Chantelle Bazowsky – Water Environment Association of Ontario

Kevin Boehmer of the Water Institute, David Stephenson of Natural Resource Solutions Inc., Nyssa Hardie of Natural Resource Solutions Inc.,  Elizabeth Kroonen of CH2M, Tom Woodcock of Ontario Water Works Association and Chantelle Bazowsky of the Water Environment Association of Ontario at the Water Industry Information and Networking Event.

By Naz Kittani.

Last week, some of the top water industry leaders across Ontario visited Waterloo to talk to students. The Water Industry Information and Networking Event brought Waterloo students, employers, and industry experts together to talk about careers in the water industry. Students were able to hear about opportunities, gaps and experiences in the industry from employer’s first-hand.

“We’ve heard from Waterloo students, that there is a strong interest in the water sector,” says Suman Armitage, Director of Communications & Marketing for Co-operative Education & Career Action (CECA). “We’re listening. At CECA, we’re actively looking to develop more co-op opportunities in this area. This event was developed based on our students’ feedback.”

The event hosted a diverse roster of companies, including The Water Environment Association of Ontario, CH2M, Natural Resource Solutions Inc., The Ontario Water Works Association and Waterloo’s very own campus-based Water Institute. The night kicked off with presentations from the guest speakers on topics such as conservation, wastewater and drinking water.

Following the presentations was a Q&A session, giving students the opportunity to ask the employers their questions about the water industry. The event concluded with an hour of networking.

To get an inside look at the event, visit Storify which features some highlights of the evening.

Waterloo engineer reflects on 60 years, looks to the future

The Engineering graduating class of 1963 photo.

by Paul Koch, (MASc '64). This article was originally published on the Innovation 60 blog as part of the University's 60th anniversary celebrations.

In 1957, we took our first classes in prefabs erected at what was Waterloo College on Albert Street. That fall we put the first Engineering float in the Waterloo College Homecoming Parade – a model of the planet with the moon and the just launched first Russian sputnik floating over head. From that humble beginning, the UWaterloo Engineering program has been successful beyond the wildest dreams of its founders. The curriculum and approach to engineering education has changed dramatically and will continue to do so. 

A slide rule.

Keys to success as an Engineering student in those days was the ability to use a slide rule with great dexterity. It handled all of the mathematics (multiply, divide, logs, trig. functions etc.) but we added and subtracted manually as we didn’t have calculators. Most of today’s students have never seen a slide rule even if they know what one is. The advantage we had was developing the ability to manage decimal points in one’s head and test for reasonableness of any answer. The disadvantage was that doing the ‘arithmetic’ was very time consuming and did not allow the time or opportunity to ‘model systems’ and do multiple examples and see the impact of changing parameters on their behavior.

In 2017, 60 years later, instead of slide rules and manual calculations, today’s student does almost everything by computer and using the Internet. Instead of researching by going to the library and painfully spending time scouring scientific journals, today’s students just Google for information as needed. Engineering systems can be modelled and manipulated simply by changing the value of variables to see the impact on behaviour. This means that rather than a four hour lab to do just one calculation for a complex system, the student of today can ‘play’ with a system to really understand its dynamics. The disadvantage of today’s approach may be that the student doesn’t develop a deep understanding of the actual mathematics that underlies system behavior. However, the productivity of the new approach seems to far outweigh that disadvantage.

By 2077, it is impossible to predict where computer driven technologies such as ‘big data’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ will have taken us. For example, truck drivers and service jobs which employ the largest numbers today may almost be completely eliminated. In the past, jobs eliminated by automation have generally been replaced by new employment opportunities. However, we may now be reaching “the law of diminishing returns” on this front. Therefore, in addition to their traditional roles in society, engineers need to take an expanded leadership role to help reengineer our society so that all citizens have access to needed goods and service regardless of job opportunities. For obvious reasons, this will not be an easy journey and will require that the engineering curriculum evolve to prepare tomorrow’s Engineers for that challenge. I predict that UWaterloo Engineering will once again be a leader in this effort.

Link of the day

Flash, saviour of the universe no longer

When and where

The University Club presents Lobsterlicious, Monday, July 24 to Friday, July 28, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Pre-examination study days, Wednesday, July 26 and Thursday, July 27.

Bridges 2017 Conference, Thursday, July 27 to Monday, July 31.

Bridges Conference and UWAG present PASSAGE + OBSTACLE, Thursday, July 27 to Sunday, July 30, East Campus Hall.

SHAD Open Day Exhibits, Thursday, July 27, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Great Hall

GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase, Thursday, July 27, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., St. Paul's Alumni Hall. All welcome! Register here.

Examination period begins, Friday, July 28.

UWRC presents Mental Health in Childhood and Parenting, Friday, July 28, 12:00 p.m., STC 0040.

Bridges 2017 Formal Music Night, Saturday, July 29, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Bridges 2017 Family Day and Math-Art Expo, Sunday, July 30, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Davis Centre.

Conrad Grebel Peace Camp, Monday, July 31 to Friday, August 4.

Conversation Café, Monday, July 31, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., SCH 219.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health training, Wednesday, August 2, 9:00 a.m., Counselling Services.

WISE Public Lecture Series featuring Mahdi Shahbakhti, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Tech, "Physics-based Control of Energy Systems Ranging from Smart Buildings and Power Grid to Smart Hybrid Electric Vehicles," Wednesday, August 2, 10:30 a.m., CPH 3681. Register online.

UWRC presents Advance Care Planning, Wednesday, August 2, 12:00 p.m., MC 5501.

Employee-Explore your personality type: Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Wednesday, August 2, TC 1113. - Please note, you must sign up for the session on July 26 as this is a follow up session to that one.

New Faculty Teaching Days, Wednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10.

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, Wednesday, August 9 to Friday, August 25, Conrad Grebel University College.

Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Professor Patricia Trbovich, Academic Research Lead, UHN and Assistant Professor, U of T at University Health Network and University of Toronto, "Application of Human Factors to Quality Improvement and Patient Safety," Wednesday, August 9, 2:30 p.m., STC 1019. Register online.

NEW - Stargazing Party and Black Holes Lecture, Wednesday, August 9, 7:30 p.m. (lecture) to 10:30 p.m., OPT 347 and Columbia Fields 3 and 4. Register online.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students, Friday, August 11 to Friday, August 18.

UWRC Book Club presents The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy, Wednesday, August 16, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

10th Annual St. Paul's Golf Tournament, Friday, August 25, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Glen Eagle Golf Club.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Thamer Almoneef, "Electromagnetic Energy Transduction Using Metamaterials and Antennas." Supervisor, Omar Ramahi. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Wednesday, July 26, 1:30 p.m., MC 2009.

Physics & Astronomy. Ali Ramadhan, "Molecular movies and geometry reconstruction using Coulomb Explosion Imaging." Supervisor, Joseph Sanderson. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Wednesday, July 26, 2:00 p.m., PHY 308.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Mahdi Khanali, "Effects of Distorted Voltages on the Performance of Renewable Energy Power Transformers." Supervisor, Sheshakamal Jayaram. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, July 27, 9:00 a.m., EIT 3142.

Chemical Engineering. Navid Bizmark, "Ethyl Cellulose Nanoparticles in Multiphase Systems: Foams, Emulsions, and Porous Media." Supervisor, Marios Ioannidis. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, July 27, 9:30 a.m., E6 2022.