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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Inaugural President’s Community Impact Award winners named

David Marskell, Mary Jane Patterson, Feridun Hamdullahpur, Idrisa Pandit, and Sally Gunz.

David Marskell of THEMUSEUM, Mary Jane Patterson, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Idrisa Pandit, and Sally Gunz.

by Colleen Fitzpatrick.

In honour of the University’s 60th anniversary, the President’s Community Impact Awards were established to recognize those who embody the University’s spirit of innovation and contribute to making Waterloo Region strong and prosperous.

Nominations were reviewed by representatives from the Federation of Students, Graduate Student Association, Staff Association, Faculty Association, and Human Resources.

At the President’s 60th Gala on Saturday December 2, four recipients were recognized for community excellence. Each recipient received a hand-crafted commemorative art piece by Ontario artist Tara Marsh, designed with swirls of black and gold illustrating the interconnectedness of the university with our community.

There were two awards honouring community leaders, who are current University of Waterloo students, faculty or staff making a difference, and two awards for university champions, local residents or organizations championing the impact of the university in our community:

Community Leaders

Sally Gunz, Professor in the School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo

Sally has advocated for neighbourhood improvements such as changes to parks and property standards, lobbied against school closures, and tackled drugs, prostitution, and violence by leading a 100-person volunteer Citizens on Patrol program in partnership with Waterloo Regional Police.

Idrisa Pandit, Associate Professor and Director of Studies in Islam at Renison University College, University of Waterloo

Idrisa founded Muslim Social Services, an organization that for the past 10 years has served a wide range of needs for families, particularly in light of the influx of Syrian refugees in recent years. A founding member of Interfaith Grand River, her work has been instrumental in breaking barriers to address policy and procedural gaps in service.

University Champions

Mary Jane Patterson (MES ’01)

Mary Jane is a longstanding champion of the University of Waterloo, in her role as the Executive Director of the Residential Energy Efficiency Project (REEP), and beyond. She is passionate about supporting Waterloo students who are following in her footsteps as environmental stewards and advocates. 


By partnering with UWaterloo in its programs and exhibitions, such as Quantum: The Exhibition and A Case of Celebration with the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre, THEMUSEUM aims to inspire the next generation of Innovators and leaders. THEMUSEUM CEO David Marskell accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

"Congratulations to all the nominees of the President’s Community Impact Awards," says a statement from Community Relations and Events. "Your contributions to the University and our wider community are valued."

Nominations for the next year’s awards will be posted on the Office of the President website in Spring 2018.

Nanotech wins big at 20th Velocity Fund Finals

Winners in the $25,000 category at the Velocity Fund Finals pose on stage with their ceremonial cheques.

Winners in the $25,000 category at the Velocity Fund Finals pose on stage with their ceremonial cheques on Thursday, November 30.

NanoCnet, a science company developing key technology used in consumer electronics, was among the big winners at the Velocity Fund Finals, held Thursday in the Student Life Centre.

Founded by two graduates of nanotechnology engineering who earned their PhDs at Waterloo, NanoCnet has been working out of the Velocity Science discovery lab on campus to develop highly flexible, conductive and cost effective nanomaterials. They are used in conductive thin films in all electronics, including touch panels, displays, and wearables. In addition to winning one of the grand prizes of $25,000, NanoCnet also won the top hardware prize, worth $10,000.

“The current flexible electronics industry is facing major changes. Traditional conductive materials, which are the building blocks of electronics, have serious problems. They are either expensive, non-flexible, or degrade quickly, which limits the performance and form factors of future electronic devices,” said Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh, co-founder and CEO of NanoCnet. “We’re developing a fundamentally different approach using nanotechnology to create a new generation of conductive materials that are easy to fabricate, flexible and 20 times more durable than existing materials on the market.”

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

The following three companies were also grand-prize winners of $25,000. They will be admitted to the Velocity Garage startup incubator.

  • Envoi offers retailers infrastructure for same-day delivery in order to meet consumer demand that is not currently fulfilled by traditional courier services.
  • ShiftRide is an on-demand mobility platform, giving people access to cars shared by car owners nearby.
  • Tabnex helps businesses make smarter and faster hiring decisions, by providing real-time data and predictive intelligence on candidates who have applied to job opportunities.

“The Waterloo-Toronto Corridor is punching way above its weight at producing globally competitive, high-growth companies. We’re delighted that so many of the top startups in the corridor have roots here at the University of Waterloo,” said Jay Shah, director of Velocity. “This is the twentieth time we have run the Velocity Fund Finals, awarding more than $2 million in grants to help startups accelerate growth and achieve the biggest impact possible. Term after term we witness those companies go faster, be bolder, and attack their problem with more ambition, in part, thanks to the funding and subsequent incubation this competition offers.”

An additional 10 teams of University of Waterloo students competed for three prizes of $5,000. The winners of the Velocity $5K are:

  • SannTek is developing a nanotechnology-based sensor to quantify marijuana intoxication.
  • QALM is a smart stream trap monitoring solution that makes invisible leaks visible.
  • GreenSorbs is designing a sorbent boom to clean up oil spills using a material made from landfill waste.

video of the event is available online.

Deadline to get "Fees Arranged" is approaching

Student Financial Services has announced that the due date for students to submit their payment or Promissory Note to become Fees Arranged for Winter 2018 term without a late fee is December 12, 2017

This due date applied to any student with a balance on their account.

Students can view their bill for Winter 2018 by logging in to Quest, going to Student Center, a then clicking Finances>Account Inquiry. For some programs, tuition may not be calculated until you enroll in courses.

There are two ways to become Fees Arranged:

  • Payment of the entire Term Balance - bank payment, Western Union Global Pay for Students or a certified cheque, money order or bank draft originating from a Canadian or US bank. Students can also use Aeroplan miles or TD Travel Rewards points to pay tuition.
  • Promissory Note - Students who want to leave a balance owing on their student account equal to approved financial aid (including funding showing as Anticipated Aid on the student account) and only pay the remaining balance, they must submit the Promissory Note (keep clicking “next” until you see the “Submit” button). Follow the step-by-step instructions.

Student Financial Services notes that OVGS, IVGS, graduate students on a co-op work term, Wilfrid Laurier University students enrolled in Waterloo courses, and undergraduate students on a co-op work term only enrolled in PD courses do not need to have Fees Arranged status.

Upcoming Registrar's Office closure

The Registrar’s Office and Student Awards & Financial Planning will be closed on Wednesday, December 6 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. for an office holiday event. The drop box outside the office will still be available.

Link of the day

100 years ago tomorrow: The Halifax Explosion

When and where

University Club Christmas Luncheon Buffet, Monday, November 27 to Friday, December 22, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, December 5 and Wednesday, December 6.

WatITis conference, Tuesday, December 5, Science Teaching Complex.

GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase, Tuesday, December 5, 4:00 p.m., GreenHouse Innovation Space, St. Paul’s. Please register in advance.

Résumé and Cover Letter Writing for PhDs and Postdocs, Wednesday, December 6, 9:00 a.m., TC room 2218.

Faculty Association Fall General Meeting, Wednesday, December 6, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., QNC 2502.

Healthy Workplace Committee lunch and learn session, 5 Reasons to Choose a NON-diet Approach to 2018, Wednesday, December 6, 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., DC 1302.

Write-In Session for Résumés and Cover Letters (PhDs/Postdocs), Wednesday, December 6, 12:30 p.m., TC room 2218.

Seminar, “Improving memory energy efficiency of database systems,” Alexey Karyakin, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Wednesday, December 6, 12:30 p.m., DC 2585.

PhD seminar, “The twists and turns of character animation: Modeling the angular speed of trajectories,” Tyler Nowicki, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Wednesday, December 6, 1:00 p.m., DC 2310.

National Day of Remembrance event, Wednesday, December 6, 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

Examinations begin, Thursday, December 7.

Personal essays on Fiction and Memory: Double Book Launch, Thursday, December 7, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Schlegel Community Education Room.

NEW - Canadian Optometry Schools Research Conference (COSRC 2017), Friday December 8 and Saturday, December 9, School of Optometry and Vision Science.

How to Make Connections and Interview Effectively (PhDs and Postdocs), Friday, December 8, 9:00 a.m., TC room 2218.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Friday, December 8, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Dana Porter Library, Room 329. #16DaysUW

PhD seminar, "Surveying the use of MPTCP for video streaming," Sharon Choy, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, December 8, 1:30 p.m., DC 1304.

President's Holiday Luncheon 2017, Friday, December 8, 12:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Schrödinger's Class, Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10, QNC 0101.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Fr. Eric Hollas, OSB, "The Artist as Preacher: Sacred Art and the Eye of the Beholder," Friday, December 8, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre Vanstone Lecture Hall. Register in advance at www.sju.ca/lce.

Deadline to get "Fees Arranged" for Winter 2018 term, Tuesday, December 12.

Seminar, “Exploring the role of conversational cues in guided task support with virtual assistants,” Alexandra Vtyurina, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, December 12, 3:30 p.m., DC 2310.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Information Session, Wednesday, December 13, 10:30 a.m.

NEW - University Club Christmas Dinner Buffet, Wednesday, December 13, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., University Club.

Advent Jazz Vespers, Wednesday, December 13, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Canada 150 Lecture, "Canada's Hidden Histories," Wednesday, December 13, 7:00 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation.

PhD seminar, “Reliability and consistency in counting tasks for citizen science,” Alex Williams, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, December 15, 9:30 a.m., DC 3323.

NEW - PhD seminar, “Crowd deliberation as a tool for analyzing edge cases,” Mike Schaekermann, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, December 15, 10:30 a.m., DC 3323.

Research Talks, "Societal impacts of 21st Century technology," A panel presentation with researchers from Arts, Math, and Engineering, Friday, December 15, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. Please register as seating is limited.

Farewell celebration for Tim Kenyon, Friday, December 15, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., HH 373.

NEW - PhD seminar, "Measuring the usage patterns of users with multiple devices," Erinn Atwater, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, December 19, 2:00 p.m., DC 2314.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Behnam Tamimi, "Hybrid Power Flow Controller Modeling." Supervisor, Claudio Canizares. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, December 8, 2:30 p.m., E5 5106-28.

Economics. Jue Zhang, "The Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and Their Role on Innovation." Supervisor, Mikal Skuterud. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Monday, December 11, 9:00 a.m., MC 2009.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Hong Wen, "On Achieving Unconditional Security Systems Via the Physical Layer Approaches." Supervisor, Pin-Han Ho. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Monday, December 11, 10:00 a.m., EIT 3151-53

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Morteza Nabavi, "Subthreshold SRAM Design for Energy Efficient Applications in Nanometric CMOS Technologies." Supervisor, Manoj Sachdev. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Tuesday, December 12, 9:30 a.m., E5 5106-5128.