Monday, February 26, 2018

New training available for handling hazardous materials

"The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is changing to adopt new international standards for classifying hazardous materials and providing information on labels and safety data sheets (SDS)," says a memo from Safety Office Director Kate Windsor circulated to campus on February 8. "This transition will affect all employees at the University of Waterloo and especially those working with chemicals and in labs."

The University must meet the following criteria by December 1, 2018, to comply with the new WHMIS standards:

  • All WHMIS training must be current to the new WHMIS 2015 standard.
  • All chemicals require WHMIS 2015 safety data sheets and supplier labels. Any chemicals you wish to keep that do not have WHMIS 2015 labelling/signage will require updated labelling by the December 1, 2018 deadline.

Failure to comply may result in penalties from the Ministry of Labour including work stoppages and fines.

"The Safety Office is working to support all Faculties and Departments through this transition," says Windsor's memo. "At this stage, it is important that supervisors complete the following actions:"

  • Ensure all employees in your area have completed the WHMIS 2015 online training module.
  • Complete a chemical inventory either in erPortal or on an Excel spreadsheet by April 30, 2018. If you use Excel, the Safety Office will load this information into erPortal. The erPortal user manual and an Excel template are available on the WHMIS 2015 transition webpage.
  • Dispose of all chemicals no longer needed or that have expired. Review the Hazardous Waste Standard for proper procedures. 
  • Contact suppliers to obtain WHMIS 2015 safety data sheets if a new product is received with WHMIS 2015 labels.
  • When purchasing new chemicals, purchase from suppliers already using WHMIS 2015 safety data sheets, if possible.

Visit the WHMIS 2015 transition webpage for more details on this transition.

Take the Big Ideas Challenge

Big Ideas Challenge banner showing a light bulb.

Do you know of a student who’s looking to take their research or capstone project into action and make a social impact?  We are looking to hear from individuals and teams that want to launch a social venture or have started a business and could use some help.

GreenHouse, UWaterloo’s social impact incubator, is once again hosting a Big Ideas Challenge, which allows the founders of five social ventures to become GreenHouse Fellows this summer. The Fellowship provides free co-working space, and gives Fellows access of up to $10,000 in funding and specialized training in sales, government relations, financial literacy, building teams, and more.

The Big Ideas Challenge started three years ago, and has had students as diverse as Richard Yim of Landmine Boys (now Demine Robotics), Rachel Thompson of Marlena Books, and Zied Etleb of Curiato as Fellows.

“The Fellowships give students the opportunity to devote their summer to getting their ventures off the ground,” said Tania Del Matto, director of GreenHouse. “It’s the starting point for making your big idea a reality.”

The Big Ideas Challenge is made possible through the financial support of Libro Credit Union. 

The application form can be found at Students have until March 15 to apply.

Call for nominations: Faculty Representatives to Senate

Nominations are requested for the following seats on Senate:

Faculty Representatives - Nomination Form (pdf)

  • One faculty member to be elected by/from the members of faculty of each Faculty of the University (six total), terms 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2021.

Faculty-at-Large Representatives - Nomination Form (pdf)

  • Eight faculty members to be elected by/from the members of faculty of the University, terms 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2021.

Faculty senators whose terms expire as of 30 April 2018: Jennifer Clapp* (environment, resources and sustainability), Eric Croiset* (chemical engineering), David DeVidi* (philosophy), Bernard Duncker (biology), Fraser Easton* (English language & literature), Rob Gorbet* (knowledge integration), Karim Karim* (electrical & computer engineering), Greta Kroeker* (history), Barb Moffatt* (biology), David Porreca* (classical studies), Bruce Richter (combinatorics & optimization), Richard Staines* (kinesiology), Gordon Stubley* (mechanical & mechatronics engineering), Johanna Wandel* (geography and environmental management)

Graduate Students to Senate

Nominations are requested for the following seats on Senate:

Graduate Student Representatives - Nomination Form (pdf)

  • Two graduate students to be elected by/from the full- and part-time graduate students of the University, terms 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2020.

Graduate students whose terms expire as of 30 April 2018: Samantha Hossack* (history), Samantha Shortall (pharmacy)

Undergraduate Student to Senate

Nominations are requested for the following seat on Senate:

Undergraduate Student Representative from the Faculty of Environment - Nomination Form (pdf)

  • One undergraduate student to be elected by/from the full-time undergraduate students from the Faculty of Environment, term 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2020.

Environment undergraduate student whose term expires as of 30 April 2018: Alexander J. Wray (planning)

*Eligible for re-election. After two consecutive terms on Senate, a former senator becomes eligible for re-election following the expiration of one year after the second consecutive term.

Completed Nomination Forms

Completed nomination forms should be submitted to the Chief Returning Officer, Secretariat, Needles Hall, room 3060, no later than 4:00 p.m. on Thursday 15 March 2018.

If required, elections will be held beginning Monday 19 March 2018, and will be open for one week.

Please refer to the UW Act and Senate Bylaw 3 for more information on nominations and elections. Any questions relating to the above may be directed to Emily Schroeder, extension 32749. Also, contact Emily to request copies of the nomination forms, if needed.

Senate meets today and other notes

The University's Senate will have its February meeting today at 3:30 p.m. in NH 3407. Among the agenda items:

  • A call for nominations for Honorary Degrees by President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur.  These achievements, whether academic or through service to society, are celebrated at Convocation where they inspire those in attendance and, in particular, newly graduating students;
  • Recognition and Commendation for three people with strong links to the University of Waterloo who were among the newest appointees to the Order of Canada including: Raymond Laflamme, founding executive director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada; Keith Hipel of systems design engineering was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and has a global reputation for pioneering contributions to environmental systems engineering; Douglas Stenton, an adjunct professor of anthropology who serves as heritage director in Nunavut, was named a Member of the Order of Canada.
  • A Research Presentation by Blair Feltmate, Head, Impact Centre on Climate Adaptation, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, Faculty of Environment.

Your T2202A tuition tax receipt for terms in 2017 is now available on Quest.  Go to Student Centre, click on Finances, then on Tax Receipts.  Your charitable donations receipt for endowment fund contributions made in 2017 is also available on Quest, if you did not request refunds for those feed during the year.

University of Waterloo Central Stores would appreciate your help by completing the following Customer Service/Satisfaction Survey. The survey will only take a couple of minutes of your time and it is anonymous.

Human Resources is reporting that the following employees retired as of March 1, 2018:

  • Kevin Luscott, who started working at the University on October 6, 1986, retires as Lab Instructor/Hardware Specialist of Electrical and Computer Engineering;
  • Wayne Sutton joined the University January 2, 2011 and retires as  Custodian I of Plant Operations;
  • M. Peggy Jarvie, who began working at the University August 15, 2005, retires as Associate Provost of Co-operative and Experiential Education;
  • Professor Richard Helmes-Hayes started his career with the University on August 1, 1989.  Richard retires as Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies.

Congratulations to all!

Link of the day

Your horoscope for February 26

When and where 

University Senate meeting, Monday, February 26, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

NEW - Lecture - Connecting Indigenous Perspectives and Social Change: A Full-Circle Journey from the Local to the Global Tuesday with Dr. Phyllis Ngai  - Tuesday, February 27, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303) at Renison University College

Copyright for Teaching workshop, Tuesday, February 27, 12:00 p.m., DC 1568.

WICI Talk - Dr. Carla Restrepo: From sandpiles to real mountains - Complex dynamics of tropical mountainscapes mediated by landslides, Tuesday, February 27, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Exploring Career Pathways, February 27, 1:30 p.m., TC 1112

Business Etiquette and Professionalism, February 27, 2:30 p.m., TC 1208

Multiple-Mini Interview (MMI) Practice Session, February 27, 5:30 p.m., TC 1214

Heart-Healthy Eating (Waterloo Women's Wednesdays),Wednesday, February 28, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., MC 5479.

Noon Hour Concert: Sunabacka: Louis Riel’s Dream, Wednesday, February 28, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

Bridges Lecture Series, “Beyond the Imitation Game – From Dieppe & James Bond to Blackberry and Quantum Encryption,” featuring Lecturers Peter Berg and David O’Keefe, Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre Vanstone Lecture Hall. Event SOLD OUT. Register for wait list at

Velocity Start: How To Find Your Customers Online, “Conduct online market research,” Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Mitacs: Foundations of Project Management II - Day 1, February 28, 8:30 a.m., TV 2218

Interviews: Preparing for Questions, February 28, 2:30 p.m., TC 1208

NEW - Women’s Studies Tea and Talk with Dr. Canan Aslan Akman, “The Feminist Movement in Turkey: Sustaining Resistance and Dynamism Under Lingering Dilemmas and New Challenges,” Thursday, March 1, 2:30 p.m., RCH 207.

NEW - Lecture - One Generation Away: Martyrs Mirror and the Survival of Anabaptist Christianity with David Weaver-Zercher - Thursday, March 1, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College, Great Hall.

NEW – World’s Challenge Challenge UWaterloo, March 1, 7:00 p.m, EV2 2002

Mitacs: Foundations of Project Management II - Day 2, March 1, 8:30 a.m., TV 2218

50th Anniversary Lecture Series- Conversation 5, Thursday, March 1, 6:30 p.m., Laurence A. Cummings Lecture Theatre- School of Architecture.

QPR Training, Thursday, March 1, 10:30 a.m., Counselling Services, Needles Hall Second Floor.

Communication for the Workplace, Thursday, March 1, 1:00 p.m.

CBB Seed Funding Grant Applications close, Thursday, March, 1, 4:30 p.m., Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (EC4 2001).

Free screening of 'Sea of Life' Documentary, Thursday, March 1, 6:30 p.m.

World’s Challenge Challenge competition, “Student teams propose solutions to major global problems,” Thursday, March 1, 2018, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

NEW - Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Dr. Govind Persad“Authority Without Identity: Defending Advance Directives via Posthumous Rights Over One’s Body,” Friday, March 2, 2:30 p.m., HH 373.

NEW - Panel - Mennonites and the Media: Telling Mennonite Stories Today with David Weaver-Zercher - Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College, Great Hall.

Athletics Football Gala, Friday, March 2, 5:45 p.m., Bingemans ballroom, Bingemans.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Dr. Craig Simmons, Mechanobiology, University of Toronto, Friday March 2, 1:00 p.m., EC4 2101a.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Dr. Maud Gorbet, University of Waterloo, "Biocompatibility with biomaterials and biomedical devices," Friday, March 2, 4:30 p.m., OPT 1129.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Douglas Cardinal, architect, "Organic Architecture and the Indigenous Worldview," Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre Vanstone Lecture Hall.

Velocity Fund $5K and $25K applications close, “Today’s Velocity Fund winners, tomorrow’s innovative companies,” Saturday, March 3.

The DaCapo Chamber Choir present ‘Reincarnations' - Saturday March 3, 8 p.m. & Sunday March 4, 3 p.m.

NEW - Lecture: Unpacking ethics and evidence in FASD prevention with Dr. Melody Ninomiya -Monday March 5, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303) at Renison University College.

Weather Station 20th Anniversary, Public Presentation and Reception -Monday, March 5 2018. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Davis Centre 1302 

PhD seminar, “Stereoscopic 3D line drawing and shading,” Lesley Istead, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, March 6, 11:30 a.m., DC 3323

In Light of the Moon film screening and panel discussion, Wednesday, March 7, 6:30 p.m., AHS 1689.

Silver Medal Award Guest Lecture, “SORRY IS AS SORRY DOES: Apologies and Beyond, in an Era of Reconciliation, Redress, and Resurgence,” Wednesday, March 7th, 4:30 p.m., STC 0050.

Mardi Gras -Wednesday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., University Club

NEW - Lecture - LGBTQ+ Studies and Disability Studies in Conversation with Dr. Margaret Gibson -Monday, March 12, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303) at Renison University College.

NEW - Lecture - Embracing Hope: Strengths-Based Research as a Pathway to Change with Dr. Elizabeth Cooper - Tuesday, March 13, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303) at RenisonUniversity College.

PhD seminar, Incremental difficulty in platformer games,” Rina Wehbe, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, March 13, 10:00 a.m., DC 3317

NEW - Lecture - The Impacts of Neoliberalism on Social Work, Social Services and Communities with Dr.Ousmane Bâ - Wednesday, March 14, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303) at RenisonUniversity College.

NEW - Lecture - When Diversity is Our Strength: Negotiating Discussions and Discourses of Race in the City of Toronto with Dr. Shana Almeida - Thursday, March 15, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303) at Renison University College.

PhD seminar, Left them 4 dead: Perception of humans versus non-player character teammates in cooperative gameplay,” Rina Wehbe, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, March 20, 10:00 a.m., DC 3317

NEW - Lecture - Challenging Assumptions: Using Research to Evaluate Child Welfare Worker Qualifications with Dr. Kristen Lwin - Monday, March 26, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303) at Renison University College.