Thursday, March 22, 2018

World Water Day makes a splash on campus

World Water Day image - a lake bordered by trees at night.

Today is World Water Day, and the University of Waterloo in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University will host the 9th annual World Water Day celebrations to discuss and celebrate water research from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Science Teaching Complex.

The University of Waterloo’s Water Institute and the Laurier Institute for Water Science will highlight research around the theme of “nature for water.”

Delivering the keynote address this year are speakers Alex and Tyler Mifflin, also known as TVO’s The Water Brothers – two young eco-adventurers who produce an award-winning documentary series. The brothers travel the world to identify issues around water and how to protect one of the world’s most precious resources. 

The keynote will be followed by a discussion panel entitled “Green infrastructure: We know it works, so why aren’t our cities being built green?” facilitated by professor John Hartig, the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

The event will also feature a student poster symposium, a photo contest, industry exhibitor booths and networking opportunities with water researchers, professionals and enthusiasts.

For a detailed agenda of World Water Day events, please visit the official event website.

Chasing the dream of clean water through co-op

By Shawn Syjueco

Uchenna Mbanefo.In some parts of the world, it can take several hours each day to find uncontaminated water. Third-year Chemical Engineering student Uchenna Mbanefo’s dream is to eliminate this burden by making clean drinking water easily accessible in her home country of Nigeria.

Mbanefo recently completed an eight-month co-op work term at Trojan Technologies, a company which helps its clients meet water quality objectives through eco-efficient solutions. As a laboratory technician, Mbanefo’s main task was to conduct preliminary tests on water samples that clients sent in and prepare the results.

Her passion and determination in this field quickly led her to take on larger roles and responsibilities within Trojan Technologies. “I was put in charge of a project, speaking directly with representatives of the client to find out what they wanted, treating the water myself, shipping it out and managing all of the logistics,” Mbanefo says.

She completed this work skillfully by bringing together all that she had learned over eight months with the company. The knowledge gained from this experience is a significant step forward in turning Mbanefo’s dream into reality.

Mbanefo was offered a full-time position at Trojan Technologies after graduation. While the company continues to broaden their clientele, they have not yet expanded into Africa. She describes Trojan Technologies’ work to be “a clean process” and hopes they will eventually bring these innovations to this region.

To learn more about Trojan Technologies, visit their website.

Calling all Convocation volunteers!

Employees volunteer at Convocation.

Convocation is successful because of the contributions of staff members like Charlene Schumm and Annette Ertel. Why not take the opportunity to join our experienced volunteers for Convocation 2018?

A message from Community Relations & Events.

Get involved with Convocation, a momentous occasion on campus and a time of celebration for graduands, honorary guests, award winners and their friends and families. The University of Waterloo celebrates academic achievements with ceremonies in the Spring and Fall. Convocation is one of the largest events on campus and requires assistance from many volunteers – a team of over 100 is needed to run one ceremony!

Spring term marks the one hundred and sixteenth Convocation week at UWaterloo, which takes place from Tuesday, June 12 to Saturday, June 16, with thousands of students graduating. This is an opportunity for our campus community to celebrate and showcase how proud we are of the student’s achievement.

Staff and faculty are encouraged to get involved in the celebratory milestone by volunteering their time at the various Convocation ceremonies. There is a diversity of roles available to staff members who are encouraged to use this as a professional development opportunity.

If interested, visit the Convocation Volunteer website to view all the roles available to choose from and submit your application today.

Waterloo Innovation Summit becomes a Series

Waterloo Innovation Summit Speaker Series logo.

The University of Waterloo's longtime Waterloo Innovation Summit has been reimagined as a speaker series that amplifies its platform for disruptive thinking with events beyond the campus community.

On Friday, March 23, the Summit will make its first stop in Toronto where attendees will experience thought-provoking speakers and panels moderated by journalists from the Globe and Mail

"Artificial Intelligence is now moving into all aspects of our lives. From banking to energy, retail to agriculture, manufacturing to healthcare, AI is impacting you." says a note from the organizers. "Meanwhile, quantum technologies are rapidly moving from the laboratory to commercial devices. By harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics, we are building powerful new tools that will revolutionize 21st century technology.

Beyond Impact promises to be a dynamic half-day experience packed with experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies who will push boundaries and engage in a thoughtful dialogue about what lies ahead.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Max Tegmark, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
  • David Fairman, chief security officer of the Royal Bank of Canada;
  • Steve Irvine, CEO of;
  • Professor Kate Larson of the Cheriton School of Computer Science;
  • Scott Totzke, CEO of Isara Corporation; and
  • Professor Pearl Sullivan, dean of the faculty of engineering

The sold-out event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to noon today at the Globe and Mail Centre at 351 King Street East in Toronto.

The event also serves as a platform for the launch of the University's Global Impact Report, the second volume in the annual State of the University publication.

Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" for March 22

Here's the latest Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services Dietitian Sandra Ace:

Myth: Plant-based milk alternatives are better for you than cow’s milk.

Fact: Cow’s milk contains 16 essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B 12, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein. A 250 mL (one cup) serving of cow’s milk provides about 30 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of calcium, 50 percent of the DV of Vitamin B12 and 45 percent of the DV of Vitamin D (which is added to milk) as well as 8 grams of protein.

When it comes to nutrition, not all milk alternatives are created equal. Most plant-based “milks,” with the exception of soy milk and pea milk, contain little if any protein. A 250 mL serving of almond milk contains one gram of protein and coconut milk has less than a half gram. Protein may not matter to you if you get enough from other foods or if you just need a liquid to add to your coffee or tea. But if you are counting on a plant milk for protein in your diet, choose soy or pea milk which contain 7 or 8 grams of protein per 250 mL. If you like to use a milk alternative in your morning smoothie, consider one of the higher protein milks or increase the protein by adding Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, silken tofu, nut butter, nuts or seeds or a commercial protein powder. Keep in mind that protein powders are often expensive and may contain sugar and many other ingredients and additives.

How can you choose the most nutritious milk alternative? Compare brands by checking the Nutrition Facts and choose one that contains higher amounts of fortification. Look for a brand that, at the very least, is fortified with calcium and vitamin D and, if you are a vegetarian, vitamin B12. Flavoured plant beverages typically contain between three to five teaspoons of sugar per cup, so the unsweetened type is a better choice for daily use. If you use a plant-based milk alternative because you are lactose intolerant, consider trying a lactose free cow’s milk available in the dairy section of the supermarket. Because they contain insufficient calories and nutrients for growth, plant milks should not be given to children under the age of two. Check with our healthcare provide for recommendations after the age of two. 

Mental health support for employees; other notes

Occupational Health would like to remind campus that supports are available for University employees struggling after the recent student deaths. "The student deaths on campus have impacted the health of all members of the University of Waterloo’s community," says a note from Occupational Health. "The following are additional supports available for employees at the University who may need assistance in light of these recent events: the Employee and Family Assistance (EFAP) Provider, Homewood Health for support via web, telephone or in person counselling."

Employees can contact Homewood Health online or at the 24/7 confidential helpline: 1-800-663-1142.

"Please reach out to Occupational Health if you are struggling with these events and would like to know more about what supports are available to you. Contact Linda Brogden at x36264 or Karen Parkinson at x30338 or email at"

The replacement of the identity management system known as WatIAM planned for March 23 to 27 will be rescheduled, according to a note from IST. The revised date and time for this work will be announced once confirmed. See the original article.

Link of the day

A musical score showing the melody of the famous "Nokia Tune."

The history of the ringtone

When and where 

World Water Day, Thursday, March 22, STC main atrium.

Civil, Environmental, Geological Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Thursday, March 22, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., DC.

Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Thursday, March 22, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., E5.

“Never Forget the Victims: Prosecuting Charles Taylor, President of Liberia, for War Crimes,” Thursday, March 22, 7:00 p.m., CIGI auditorium, 67 Erb Street West.

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, Thursday, March 22, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Free admission.

FIRST Robotics competition, Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, Physical Activities Complex.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Friday, March 23, 9:00 a.m., EV3 3408.

Mechatronics Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Friday, March 23, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., DC.

University Choir: Gloria!, Saturday, March 24, 7:30 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 22 Willow St, Waterloo. $10/$5 Students & Seniors.

Jazz @UWaterloo Concert,  Sunday, March 25, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Great Hall (Room 1111). $10/$5 students & seniors.

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble Concert, Sunday, March 25, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. Free admission, reception to follow.

Lecture - Challenging Assumptions: Using Research to Evaluate Child Welfare Worker Qualifications with Dr. Kristen Lwin, Monday, March 26, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303), Renison University College.

Waterloo International Lunch & Learn, Monday, March 26, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Management Consulting as a Career Option, Monday, March 26, 2:30 p.m., TC 2218.

NEW - Distinguished Lecture Series, “Magic moment in research and teaching,” Jennifer Widom, Stanford University, Monday, March 26, 3:30 p.m. DC 1302.

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

CryptoWorks21 Distinguished lecture featuring Tajinder (Taj) Manku, founder and CEO at Cognitive Systems Corp, "Tech startups: The Ride of Your Life," Monday, March 26, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101. Register online.

Professional School Interviews (MMI), Tuesday, March 27, 1:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Better Now Community Dialogues, “Six Big Ideas To Improve Health Care For All Canadians,” Tuesday, March 27, 6:00 p.m., Stratford Campus.

EURAXESS information session: European funding and networking opportunities, Wednesday, March 28, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., QNC 1501.

University Club Easter Lunch Buffet, Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Single and Sexy 2018 auditions, Wednesday, March 28, 3:30 p.m., Modern Languages and Theatre of the Arts.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Dr. Christian Casanova, Université de Montréal, “Neurodegenerative diseases,” Wednesday, March 28, 4:30 p.m., OPT 347.

Global Populism and Democratic Futures Summit, Wednesday, March 28, 7:00 p.m. to Thursday, March 29, 8:00 p.m., Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Velocity Fund Finals, “20 startups compete for $125,000,” Wednesday, March 28, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall. 

Retirement celebration for Freddie Swainston, Thursday, March 29, 3:30 p.m., University Club. RSVP on the HR Events page.

Multiple-Mini Interview (MMI) Practice Session, Thursday, March 29, 5:30 p.m., TC 1214.

orchestra@uwaterloo: Unfinished Business Concert, Thursday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.., Humanities Theatre. Free Admission.

Good Friday holiday, Friday, March 30, most university buildings and operations closed.

UWaterloo Chamber Choir: Bach’s St. John Passion, Friday, March 30, 7:30 p.m., Centre in the Square, 101 Queen St. Kitchener. $30 to $82.

Free Exam Fitness, Monday, April 2 to April 20.

Voices for Gender Justice in Education, Tuesday, April 3, 12:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College.

AquaHacking Information Mixer, Tuesday, April 3, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., J .R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall (RCH) Room 306.

Stratford Campus presents 2018 Project Showcase and Reception, Tuesday, April 3, 3:30 p.m., Stratford Campus.

Lectures and classes end, Wednesday, April 4.

NEW - Knowledge Integration Symposium, Wednesday, April 4, 4:00 p.m. to 6 p.m., Minto Atrium, Environment 3.

Turn Your Research Into a Startup, 'Panel with local founders and UWaterloo professors,' Wednesday, April 4, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., The Graduate House.

Pre-examination study days, Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6.

Faculty Tenure and Promotion Workshops, Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6.

Faculty Recently Hired to their First Probationary Term Workshop, Thursday, April 5, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., STC 3014.

Faculty Association Spring General Meeting, Thursday, April 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., QNC 2502.

Research Talks: Contemporary Indigenous issues in Canada featuring Lori Campbell, Jasmin Habib, Dan McCarthy, and Susan Roy, Thursday, April 5, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please register as seating is limited.

Faculty Applying for Tenure Workshop, Thursday, April 5, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., NH 3318.

Mush Hole Remembered, Thursday, April 5, 5:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College.

University of Waterloo Brain Day, Friday, April 6.

A (self) reflexive lens on gerontology, public lecture by UBC Prof. Anne Martin-Matthews in honour of William Forbes, founder of Waterloo’s Gerontology program. Friday, April 6, 9:30 a.m. to noon, AHS 1689.

Faculty Applying for Probationary Contract Renewal Workshop, Friday, April 6, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., MC 5417.

HeForShe presents Health and Pre-Tenure University Women workshop, Friday, April 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 5501.

Faculty Applying for Promotion to Full Professor Workshop, Friday, April 6, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., MC 5417.

Examinations begin, Monday, April 9.

Intellectual Property Workshop Series, “Trademarks”, Tuesday, April 10, 12:30 p.m., DC 1304. Supported by the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB), the Games Institute, and WatCo.

PhD oral defences

Geography and Environmental Management. Olena Volik, "Environmental controls on carbon sequestration in a saline, boreal, peat-forming wetland in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region." Supervisor, Rich Petrone. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Tuesday, March 27, 1:00 p.m., EV1 353.

Chemical Engineering. Mohamed Elsholkami, "Energy Management and Environmental Sustainability of the Canadian Oil Sands Industry." Supervisor, Ali Elkamel. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, March 29, 9:30 a.m., E6-4002.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Fadi Elghitani, "Large-Scale Demand Response in Smart Grid." Supervisor, Ehab El-Saadany. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, March 29, 1:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Mohamed El Badawe, "Metasurfaces for Antennas, Energy Harvesting, and Imaging." Supervisor, Omar Ramahi. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Monday, April 2, 9:30 a.m., EIT 3141.