Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Daily Bulletin's 2018 Year in Review

by Anne Galang.

It has been another eventful year at the University of Waterloo. As we say farewell to 2018 and prepare to ring in 2019, here is a roundup of some of the top stories and other major highlights of the past year.

Donna Strickland wins Nobel Prize in Physics

Professor Donna Strickland

Unless you have been hibernating since October, it would have been very difficult not have come across news of Waterloo’s first Nobel laureate, Professor Donna Strickland, who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics—only the third woman in history to do so. Since the announcement, Professor Strickland has been all over national and international news. The University community enthusiastically celebrated her outstanding achievement with a send-off celebration and a viewing party of the Nobel Prize ceremony.

Strategic Plan: Building a Bridge to 2020

As the current Strategic Plan entered its final year in 2018, the University launched a process to develop a new plan for 2020-2025. The consultation phase, which ran over the spring and fall terms, saw a strong turnout: more than 800 people attended 35 sessions and almost 2,000 staff, faculty and students shared feedback through the online consultation survey.

Waterloo people named to Order of Canada

In February, three people with strong links to the University of Waterloo were appointed to the Order of Canada: Raymond Laflamme, founding executive director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, Keith Hipel of Systems Design Engineering, and Douglas Stenton, an adjunct professor of anthropology who serves as heritage director in Nunavut.

Waterloo Warriors wrap up a great year

UWaterloo football player on the field during a game

Our Warriors wrap up a strong year, competing well at various Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships. In Winter 2018, two track and field athletes took home medals at both OUA and the national-level U SPORTS championships. The men’s squash team won OUA silver, and men’s curling team captured bronze. In the fall, rugby player Mitch Voralek was named OUA Player of the Year. Waterloo’s football team qualified for playoffs for the first time since 2003, losing to Guelph in the quarter-finals. Tre Ford was named OUA Most Valuable Player and Jack Hinsperger achieved Rookie of the Year. And the women’s volleyball team ends the calendar year with a perfect 7-0 record, going into 2019 ranked 6th in Canada.

Progress on student mental health

In 2018, the University of Waterloo took action to demonstrate its commitment to student mental health. The President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health released its final report containing 36 recommendations to enhance student mental health. An online Mental Health and Wellness Progress Dashboard tracks progress on the recommendations. One of the recommendations included adopting the Okanagan Charter, which President Hamdullahpur signed at the Student Mental Health forum in October.

Waterloo launches Sustainable Development Solutions Network

People on stage holding up UN sustainable development goal signs

In May, Waterloo was named the home of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Canada, bringing together Canadian universities and researchers to mobilize around the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Dominic Barton installed as Chancellor

new chancellor Domonic Barton speaking at a podium

In October, Dominic Barton was installed as the 11th chancellor of the University of Waterloo. Barton has provided strategic advice to national leaders in government and business throughout his career, currently as a senior partner and former global managing partner of McKinsey & Company.

Grand Opening of Engineering 7

Facade of Engineering 7 building

In the fall, Engineering 7, one of the most advanced buildings on campus, opened its doors to the world. Attached to both E5 and E6, this seven-storey, 242,000-square-foot building is a vibrant new space for students, faculty, research facilities and staff.

New institutes, schools and major milestones

The University continued to evolve and grow this year. Two new institutes opened: the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute and the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute. The University also welcomed two new schools, the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business and the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. Several groups on campus reached major milestones this year, with Velocity celebrating its 10th anniversary, the School of Pharmacy also turning 10, and the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Waterloo a force to be reckoned with on Forbes 30 Under 30 list

At least 11 of Waterloo’s alumni and former students have earned spots on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. These 20-somethings are shaking things up in the areas of robotics, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), app creation and life-saving technology.

Did we miss anything? What was a Waterloo highlight for you this year? Email us at

Workday is launching in January

A message from Human Resources

Workday, the new Human Resources system is launching at Waterloo on January 7, 2019. With Workday, we’re pleased to offer employees and managers an improved user experience, a reduction in paper forms and faster, more efficient HR processes.

What happens on January 7?

  1. You will receive an email communication with Workday login information, along with links to the Workday user guides. 
  2. You will be provided with a checklist of items to review and/or update which will help you familiarize yourself with the new system.

What will change for employees on January 7?

  • Staff will be able to book absence and vacation through Workday*
  • Benefit information can be viewed and completed through Workday
  • Pay statements will be available through Workday
  • Personal information can be updated through Workday, such as address, emergency contact and legal name
  • All new hires will be required to complete onboarding within Workday to add their personal information, banking, tax and benefit elections if applicable
  • And much more… For more information visit the What’s changing? page

* Vacation tracking is available for permanent and contracts greater than one year

Support Centre

The Workday Support Centre will be available beginning January 7th to assist with any questions you may have.

Email us at

Call the Workday help desk at extension 33000 (M-F, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Visit the Workday Support Centre at EC1-1004 (drop-in hours M-F, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 2 p.m.-4p.m.) or email us to book an appointment.

Bombshelter to be decommissioned in 2019

Patrons sit at the bar at the Bombshelter Pub.

This article was originally posted on the Federation of Students' news site.

After nearly 40 years as University of Waterloo’s favourite on-campus bar and restaurant, home of the famous hashtag fries and Bomber Wednesdays, The Bombshelter Pub will be closing its doors to evaluate new ways to revitalize the space and enhance the student experience.

As a past employee of The Bomber, current Federation of Students (Feds) VP Operations and Finance, and all around Bomber fan, Kurt MacMillan has seen many changes happening at The Bomber in recent years.  As a result, when Kurt ran for Feds Executive this past year, part of his platform was to do a formal review of The Bomber and look to recommend improvements to its current offering.

“Based on my first-hand experience with The Bomber, I felt I was the right person for the job,” MacMillan said, “and after extensive internal and external consultations this past year, I feel this is the best option to increase customers and provide students with an offering that will better suit their current needs.”

Based on the feedback received from consultations, the Board of Directors has approved redirecting resources to establishing a new concept for the space, with expected renovations in 2019.

Student input will continue to be crucial as we finalize direction for the space.  As we complete the process of gathering external research on new opportunities, we will be reaching out to students for further consultation, so stay tuned for your opportunity to provide more input in the New Year.

As students didn’t get a chance to give The Bomber a proper sendoff this term, we will be running our last First Bomber Wednesday on January 9 and wrapping up with New Year’s Eve 2.0 on January 16.

Thank you to everyone who has made The Bomber such a big part of their Waterloo experience over the past four decades; we will never forget the great times that were had there.  As we look to the future, we look forward to sharing next steps for the space when they become available in the winter term.

If you have any questions please email Kurt MacMillan, Federation of Students VP Operations and Finance at

Need a last-minute gift? Try the Turnkey Desk!

The Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre has discounted movie tickets for Cineplex, Landmark Cinemas and Princess Cinemas available for sale.

They make a great gift for the cinephile in your life.

Upcoming office closures

Organizational & Human Development will be closed today from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a planning retreat and holiday celebrations.

Media Resources in MC 1007 will be closing at 3:15 p.m. today for the IST holiday celebration. Regular office hours will resume on Friday, December 21.

The Office of Research will be closed on Friday, December 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for its annual holiday lunch.

Reminder: Take the President's Town Hall survey

Whether you attended the President's Town Hall Meeting on November 21 in person, watched it online, or didn't attend the meeting, University Communications and the President's Office is interested in hearing your views on the meeting format and content. 

The President's Town Hall Meeting survey is now open and will run until Friday, December 21.

Your feedback is important and will help enhance future President’s Town Hall meetings.

Link of the day

The famous Apollo 8 "earthrise" photo of the Earth as seen from the Moon.

50 years ago: Earthrise

When and where

Holiday Luncheon Buffet at the University Club, Wednesday, November 28 to Friday, December 21, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Retirement celebration for Elsa Woodhall, Thursday, December 20, 4:00 p.m., the Book Store.

On-campus examinations end, Friday, December 21.

Co-operative work term ends, Friday, December 21.

myHRinfo learning and development shutdown, Friday, December 21. Service will be available through Workday as of January 7, 2019.

Casual Time Entry System shutdown, Friday, December 21. Service will be available through Workday in January 2019.

School of Pharmacy graduate studies seminar featuring Professor Heather Mair, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Friday, December 21, 11:00 a.m., PHR 1012.

Grades begin to appear in Quest, Saturday, December 22.

University holiday closure, Monday, December 24 to Tuesday, January 1, 2019, most buildings and operations closed. University reopens Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Absence Management System shutdown, Monday, December 31. Vacations and absences will be tracked in workday beginning January 7, 2019.

Engineering Science Quest winter camps, Thursday, January 3 and Friday, January 4, 2019.

More Feet on the Ground - Mental Health Training, Friday, January 4, 2019, 12:30 p.m., NH 2447.

Winter 2019 Orientation, Saturday, January 5, 2019 and Friday, January 11, 2019.

Classes and lectures begin, Monday, January 7, 2019.

Co-operative work term begins, Monday, January 7, 2019.

Chamber Music Ensembles Winter 2019 Auditions open, Monday, January 7, 2019. See for details.

Strategies for Success: SSHRC Insight Development Grant panel presentation for 2019 applications, Monday, January 7, 2019, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., HH 373.

Traces: On Displacement, Masterworks Exhibition, Monday, January 7, 2019, 6:30 p.m., Design at Riverside - School of Architecture.

Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Office presents Ela Smith, “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know – Part Two,” January 8, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., NH 3318.

NEW - safeTALK Mental Health Training, Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 1:00 p.m., NH 2447.

NEW - Women in Insurance STEM Information Session, Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 2:30 p.m., TC 2218.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302. 

NEW - UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series, Thursday, January 10, 2019, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – IP 101 and Commercialization, DC 1304. Events are open to all UW faculty, staff, and students. Registration is required for each event to ensure there is enough pizza and pop for all! Workshop are presented by WatCo and supported by the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) and the Games Institute.

NEW - CBB Annual General Meeting presentation and networking reception, Thursday January 10, 2019, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., DC Fishbowl. This event is open to all faculty, staff and students who are interested in learning more about CBB. Please register if you plan on attending.

NEW - Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Monday, January 14, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., HS 2302.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Mohammad Haghtalab, "Disordered-Based Electromagnetic Devices." Supervisor, Safieddin Safavi-Naeini. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Thursday, January 10, 2019, 1:00 p.m., E5 2004.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Mohammed Enshassi, "Simulation-Based Risk Management Framework (RMF) for Decision Support for Tolerance-Based Mitigation Strategies in Modular Construction." Supervisors, Scott Walbridge, Jeffrey West. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Friday, January 11, 2019, 9:00 a.m., E2 2350.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Hamed Mohammadifardi, "Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Asset Management Plans for Municipal Wastewater Systems." Supervisors, Mark Knight, Andre Unger. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Friday, January 11, 2019, 9:00 a.m., TT 2001.

Kinesiology. David Kingston, "Development of a Full Flexion 3D Musculoskeletal Model of the Knee Considering Intersegmental Contact and Deep Muscle Activity during High Knee Flexion." Supervisors, Stacey Acker, Jack Callaghan. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, January 11, 2019, 10:30 a.m., AHS 1686.

Additional positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2018-3692 - Network Support Specialist (Networks Supervisor) - Information Systems and Technology, USG 13

Secondment opportunity:

  • Job ID# 2018–3741 - Executive Officer - Dean of Math Office, USG 13-15