Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Daniel Parent reflects on three decades of design at Waterloo

University Architect Daniel Parent stands in front of Engineering 5 and Engineering 7.

by Susan Fish.

If anyone would know the deep dark secrets buried at the University of Waterloo, it would be Daniel Parent. The good news is that Parent, retiring as the Director Design and Construction Services and University Architect, says that he’s never run into anything peculiar during his 27 years and 42 major projects.

When he came to the University of Waterloo in February 1991, he says, the existing buildings were fairly standard buildings, other than the Davis Centre and Dana Porter Library, which stood out. Since the university was not designed around a specific architectural style (unlike Queen’s or Western), he was able to take a more contemporary approach to design, and in other cases, to blend new buildings with existing buildings.

Parent supervised a significant transformation of the University's landscape, filling in much of the green space on the campus, beginning with an addition to the Columbia Ice Field in 1995 and including four engineering buildings, four additions to Burt Matthews Hall, two additions to Optometry, the School of Accountancy and Finance at Hagey Hall, three additions to the Student Life Centre and Physical Activities Complex alterations, the EIT building, the Science Teaching Complex, the Quantum-Nano Centre, Environment 3, Mathematics 3, the School of Pharmacy and the Integrated Health Building in Kitchener, the Digital Media Building in Stratford, two residence buildings, and many other small additions, alterations, and renovations.

An overhead shot of the SLC/PAC expansion.

The SLC/PAC expansion, Parent's final project as University Architect.

While it’s hard to choose a favourite project, Parent admits to a fondness for the way Environment 3 is built above an existing building, and how it stands out with its choice of materials. He also points to the attractiveness of the atrium of the Quantum-Nano building.

Raised in New Brunswick, Parent’s interest in architecture began when he was exposed to construction, drawing and drafting as a child by his father who worked in the construction business.  He went on to study architecture at the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now Dalhousie University) before moving to Toronto to work for a few architectural firms and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. He eventually settled in Waterloo.

Architecture dominates Parent’s interests and pastimes outside of work, with his hobbies including reading about architecture, and traveling around North America to see interesting buildings. He plans to return to the University part-time after retirement to finish up a couple of projects, but also hopes to do more travel further abroad to see great architecture in Europe.

And while there may be no secrets or artifacts buried on campus and the only tunnels being service tunnels and the tunnel from South Campus Hall to the Arts buildings, Parent is pleased with many of the visible ways he has connected the campus, from walkways that help travel between buildings in inclement weather to the construction of courtyards and indoor social spaces that promote collegiality at the university.

He says, “My career at UW was a great experience, I enjoyed working with the various user groups, students, staff, and faculty. Together we achieved remarkable progress over the years and made life better for the University community.”

Parent’s retirement celebration will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. today in the DC 1301 fishbowl.

Remembering Eric (Ric) Soulis

​This article was originally published on the Engineering news site.

Professor Ric Soulis speaks at a podium.Ric Soulis, a longtime Waterloo civil and environmental engineering professor, died June 21 after a brief illness.

Born in Toronto in 1949, Ric was raised in Kitchener where he attended Eastwood Collegiate Institute. He received his BASc in civil engineering in 1972 from the University of Waterloo and then attended Memorial University of Newfoundland.

He spent 10 years working in industry before he returned to the University of Waterloo where he completed his doctorate in civil engineering in 1988.  That same year, he began a career teaching and researching hydrology and related fields. Ric recently celebrated his 30th anniversary of working at the University. His family says he had no intention of retiring until “he achieved specific teaching, research, and service goals.”

Carl Haas, the chair of Waterloo’s civil and environmental engineering department, says that Ric had a substantial record of accomplishments and impact through his research in hydrology, water resources and the physics of water movement.

“Ric was an excellent mentor to several of our early career faculty members,” says Haas. “He was well respected in the department and throughout Waterloo Engineering for his integrity. He will be sorely missed by everyone across the Faculty.”

Giovanni Cascante, a Waterloo civil and environmental engineering professor, was one of many faculty members who benefited from Ric’s guidance.

“Since I started my work at the University in 1997, Ric has been a role model for me because of his kindness, perseverance, strength, and dedication,” says Cascante.

His family says that Ric was equally passionate about both his family and the University.

“As he did with his family and colleagues, he recognized the potential in his students and inspired them to tackle any challenge,” his sons wrote. “His door and his heart were always open."

Instrumental in launching the University’s weather station

Frank Seglenieks, the University of Waterloo’s weather station coordinator, says it was through Ric’s vision and guidance that the weather station was conceived and implemented. 

“It is no exaggeration to say that without Ric there would be no University weather station,” he says.

Ric co-supervised Seglenieks while he completed his master’s in engineering at Waterloo and then supervised his doctoral studies.

In a weather station blog post Seglenieks says Ric always made the time for students to discuss answers to a question or share his views on science.

“I will forever be grateful for all the opportunities, mentorship, and friendship he provided me over these many years,” says Seglenieks.

Ric was predeceased by his mother and his father George, who died in January of this year. George, known as “the father of systems design engineering”, taught courses in several Waterloo Engineering departments starting in 1961. After his official retirement in 1991, George stayed on as an adjunct professor.

Ric is survived by his wife of 46 years, Carol Amrell Moogk-Soulis, their sons Neal (Melissa) and Graham (Michelle) and their son Brendan. Visitation for Ric will be held at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home , 171 King St. S., Waterloo today, Wednesday, June 27 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. His funeral will take place at Emmanuel United Church, 22 Bridgeport Rd. W., Waterloo, on Thursday, June 28 at 11:00 a.m., with a reception to follow.

Memorial donations to the Ric Soulis Memorial Endowment Fund through the United Church of Canada Foundation or to Engineers Without Borders may be arranged by contacting the funeral home at or 519-745-8445.

Executive actions at Convocation and beyond

Feridun Hamdullahpur shakes the hand of a graduand on the Convocation stage.

It’s Wednesday, June 27. Do you know what your president is up to?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the University President. Here is a non-exhaustive list of President Hamdullahpur's recent activities on and off campus and a look ahead at what's on his calendar.

President Hamdullahpur took part in all 12 ceremonies at Spring 2018 Convocation from June 12 to 16. The President was on stage proudly watching and greeting our new University of Waterloo graduates and addressing them, their supporters, faculty, staff and volunteers who took part in this important tradition.

The President hosted an important Strategic Plan kick off event on Monday, June 18, called Bridge to 2020: A Look Back, A Look Ahead. With over 200 in attendance and 140 watching on the livestream, students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members took part as the University moved forward into the Consultation phase of the strategic planning process.

It was an exciting Senate meeting on Monday, June 18 at which time the University’s 11th chancellor, Dominic Barton was appointed. Barton is the global managing partner at McKinsey & Company and shares many of the same values as our institution, including our shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

VP Advancement Joanne Shoveller, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, and Waterloo tech grads at a startup in California.The President traveled to California on June 20 and 21 for an official visit to Palo Alto and San Francisco where he met with alumni to discuss their views on the future of our University and toured several co-op partner businesses including Wish and California Things. While at the Wish offices, the President took part in an AI Ethics panel event with alumni and Waterloo co-op students in attendance.

What’s next on the President’s schedule?

The President is participating in the 7th Global Conference on Global Warming in Izmir, Turkey this week as he delivered a keynote address on Low Carbon Innovation for an Electricity Dependent World: Open Energy Access.

The President will be taking part in the Beyond Entrepreneurship panel taking place on campus Wednesday, July 11 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Sam Pasupalak, the Director of Velocity, Jay Shah, and moderated by the Co-Founder of Kiite, Donna Litt. The event will be taking place at the Davis Centre and will be open to students, faculty, staff and the general public.

On July 17 President Hamdullahpur will deliver the Dr. Richard Maponya Lecture on Entrepreneurship at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa. This prestigious lecture is in honour of South Africa’s first black millionaire. While in South Africa the President will also be speaking at the Workplace Integrated Learning-Africa Conference where he will be sharing a keynote address on how the University of Waterloo has developed its world-renown co-operative education program.

What the President’s been reading

Before the Bridge to 2020: A Look Back, A Look Ahead took place, the President read through the seven issue papers that were created during the evidence gathering phase of the strategic planning process. The seven issue papers can be viewed on the Bridge to 2020 website and, more importantly, the website offers the Waterloo community an opportunity to provide feedback on the issue papers after using your WatIAM ID to login into the website.

Wednesday's notes

Professor Robin Cohen.Computer Science Professor Robin Cohen recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association. Professor Cohen is the first female recipient of the Association’s highest honour, an award that is conferred to individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding research excellence in artificial intelligence during the course of their academic career.

The Cheriton School of Computer Science has the full story on its website.

There are no employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions. Visit the Employer Information Calendar to stay updated.

Arts Undergraduate Office closure

The Arts Undergraduate Office will be closed today from 1130 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a luncheon.

Link of the day

20 years ago: Windows 98

When and where 

Bike Month, Friday, June 1 to Saturday, June 30, across campus.

IST Portfolio and Project Management Community of Practice session, “Procurement and Project Management,” Wednesday, June 27, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., networking from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., EC5 1111.

Grand Challenges Canada: Bold ideas with big impact® information session, Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 a.m., QNC 1501.

Compensation information session, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EC5 1111.

Experiential Learning Using Riipen – Information Session, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV1 221. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. RSVP

PhD Seminar, Eduardo Ordonez-Ponce, “Partners for Sustainability: Organizations Engaged in Partnerships for Local Sustainability,” Wednesday, June 27, 1:00 p.m., EV3-4222.

Retirement Celebration for Daniel Parent, Wednesday, June 27, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., DC 1301 fishbowl.

Velocity Start: Pitch to Win, “Perfecting your pitch,” Wednesday, June 27, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions, Thursday, June 28, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Learning the Basics of LinkedIn (for employees only), Thursday, June 28, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., TC2218.

Super-happy censorship-resistant fun pages, featuring PhD candidate Cecylia Bocovich, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Thursday, June 28, 2:30 p.m., DC 3317. DC 2585. Please note the new location.

Learning action selection parameters in a neural cognitive model, PhD candidate Sverrir Thorgeirsson, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, June 29, 1:00 p.m., PAS 2464 (CNRG lab).

Canada Day celebration, Sunday, July 1, Columbia Lake fields.

Canada Day holiday, Monday, July 2, most University buildings and offices closed.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 2, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

New - Celebrate Canada's Diversity at the University Club, Tuesday, July 3 to Friday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Wednesday, July 4, 1:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 1, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Wednesday, July 4, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

Clarity in scientific writing, Thursday, July 5, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 2, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Thursday, July 5, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

Engineering 101 Day, Saturday, July 7.

Applied Health Sciences 101 Day, Saturday, July 7.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, “Where theory meets practice for privacy enhancing technologies” featuring Chelsea Komlo, HashiCorp, Monday, July 9, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 9, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - QPR Training, Tuesday, July 10, 1:30 p.m., Counselling Services, Needles Hall.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, “Where's Waldo?” — Privacy in the age of Internet-connected mobile technology, featuring Matthew Finkel, The Tor Project, Tuesday, July 10, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 10, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Science 101 Day, Wednesday, July 11.

NEW - Childhood play spaces as What-If Worlds: The uncertainties of misogyny, racism, and classism, Wednesday, July 11, 2:30 p.m., QNC 1502.

Velocity Start: Setup Your Business Like A Boss, “A workshop that will address legal and accounting considerations that will affect your new business,” Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Getting published for grad students, Thursday, July 12, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.

NEW - Open House - Harnessing Quantum Technologies, Friday, July 13, 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.

CS seminar: The prehistory and history of RE (+SE) as seen by me, featuring Dan Berry, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, July 13, 3:00 p.m., DC 2585.

NEW - The Promise of Living: University Choir, Saturday, July 14, 7:30 p.m., Cedars Worship Centre, Waterloo.

NEW - Arts 101 Day, Monday, July 16.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 16, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - Say it in your own words: Paraphrase & summary, Tuesday, July 17, 1:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 17, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - Getting it done: Productive writing strategies for big projects, Wednesday, July 18, 10:00 a.m., SCH 228F. 

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2018-2920 - Administrative Coordinator, Undergraduate Studies - Philosophy, USG 5

  • Job ID# 2018-2958 - Apprentice Cook - Food Services

  • Job ID# - 2018-2970 - Case Support Co-ordinator - Housing & Res Student Development, USG 8
  • Job ID#
2018-2992 - Change Management Advisor - Associate Provost- Human Resources, USG 12

  • Job ID# 2018-2881 – Co-ordinator, Business Operations - Athletics & Rec Services, USG 6

  • Job ID# 2018-2849 - Faculty Talent Recruitment and Equity Officer - Dean of Engineering Office, USG 9

  • Job ID# 2018-2996 - Financial Aid Assistant - Registrar-Student Awards, USG 6

  • Job ID# 2018-2946 - Grants and Contracts Manager - Office of Research, USG 9 – 11

  • Job ID# 2018-2985 - Manager, Therapy Services - Athletics & Rec Services-Interuniv, USG 11

  • Job ID# 2018-2999 - Mechanic I – Plumber/Sprinkler Installer - Plant Operations-Mechanical
  • Job ID# 2018-3000 - Presentation Technologies -Implementation & Support - Information Systems and Technology, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2018-2931 - Regional Manager Employment Relations (Central East) – Co-op Education & Career Action, USG 13

  • Job ID# 2018-2880 - Research Administrative Assistant - Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, USG 4
  • Job ID#
2018-2971 - Systems Administrator, Polar Data Catalogue/Canadian Cryospheric Information Network - Geography, USG 10           

 Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2018-2932 - Events and Engagement Co-ordinator - AVP Hum Right, Equity & Inclusion, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2018-2993 - Strategic Initiatives Advisor - Assoc Provost- Human Resources, USG 12