Thursday, March 14, 2019

Alumnus creates new program, scholarships to develop global talent

Feridun Hamdullahpur, Calvin Choi, and other representatives on stage.

By Megan Vander Woude, Office of Advancement.

After many years as a global business leader, Hong Kong-based Accounting alumnus Calvin Choi (BA ’01) developed a passion for disruptive technologies and the impact they have on our society. This week, he acted on that passion with a multi-million dollar fund to create a new postdoctoral program and support existing programs at Waterloo. Choi and the AMTD Foundation designed the fund to develop global talent in Hong Kong, Canada, and the rest of the world.

Designed for postdoctoral fellows from top universities, the $3 million program will offer mentorship from Waterloo leaders in emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing and cybersecurity. Fellows will also interact with industry leaders and explore opportunities for commercialization and entrepreneurship.

The AMTD fund also supports Waterloo programs through scholarships that will help prepare students to make scientific discoveries and develop technologies. Inspired by Donna Strickland, Choi invested $200,000 in an undergraduate scholarship for incoming physics students named in Strickland’s honour. He also provided $60,000 in funding toward a graduate scholarship in the name of President Hamdullahpur and his wife Catherine.

“It means so much to us that one of our global alumni is dedicated to supporting the work being done at Waterloo and enabling the future success of our institution,” says President Hamdullahpur.

Read more about how Waterloo is developing future leaders.

Co-op releases 2018 annual report

People walk outside the Tatham Centre.

Co-operative and Experiential Education has released its 2018 Co-op Annual Report.

"For more than 60 years, Waterloo has developed, grown and innovated upon what is now a world-class program in co-operative education and career preparedness," writes Executive Director Ross Johnston. "Our reflections from the 2017/18 fiscal year show that Waterloo’s co-op program remains one of the top influencing factors in student enrolment and a leading facilitator employer-student relations in engagement and recruitment."

"The 2017 fall term saw co-op enrolment top 21,000 full-time undergraduate students," Johnston writes. "This is a 17 per cent increase since 2013. Despite this record-high in enrolment, our co-op student employment rate soared to 98.5 per cent over the course of the fiscal year, reaching an astounding peak of 99.8 per cent of students employed for the fall 2017 work term."

"On one very busy day in the Tatham Centre, we facilitated more than 1,700 interviews! To accommodate the increasing number of employers looking to connect with our students, we revamped our call centres for web and phone interviews. Check out the photos below to see the call centre. This facility allows more employers to reach our students remotely - an increasingly popular option as our students are hired by organizations all over the world." 

Read the rest of the Executive Director's message about the 2018 report

Strategies for success for early career researchers

A person stands on top of two arrows pointing in opposite directions.

Learn how to develop a dynamic research strategy by attending “Planning your research trajectory: Strategies for success” for early career researchers (in the first three years of a tenure-track appointment) on Tuesday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please register to attend.

Hosted by the Office of Research, this session will focus on research planning and funding strategies. The first portion of the event will help researchers understand how to develop a strategic research trajectory and manage research funding. Some of the topics that will be covered include: grant writing strategies, climbing the research funding ladder, intellectual property and commercialization, student training and mentorship, knowledge mobilization, responsible conduct of research, and the use of grant funds.

In the second portion of this event, researchers will have the opportunity to meet Office of Research staff who assist Waterloo researchers with garnering funding, working through the many phases of research, navigating the commercialization process, and managing research finances.

Engineering students showcase capstone projects

Engineering students wave from the floor of the Davis Centre.

The next big Canadian innovation could be among the engineering student projects on display at the annual Capstone Design symposia running until March 28.

Final-year engineering students will be on hand to showcase their projects ranging from a train brake sensor testing system designed for VIA Rail to tattoo removal that’s minimally invasive and painless.

Over 750 students in 13 programs will present more than 150 projects they have spent months designing and building. 

“Capstone Design challenges students to develop new and practical solutions, integrating what they have learned in their engineering programs and co-op experiences,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of engineering. “I’m always amazed to see the vast range of inventive ideas turned into ready solutions that address difficult industry, health and societal problems.  We are so proud of our engineering students who are truly talented and remarkably resourceful.”

Symposia dates and times:

  • Biomedical Engineering, Thursday, March 14, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Engineering 7
  • Systems Design Engineering, Thursday, March 14, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Engineering 7
  • Mechatronics Engineering, Friday, March 15, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Engineering 7
  • Civil, Environmental and Geological Engineering, Monday, March 18, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Engineering 7
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wednesday, March 20, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Engineering 7
  • Management Engineering, Friday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Engineering 7
  • Mechanical Engineering, Friday, March 22, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5
  • Nanotechnology Engineering, Friday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Engineering 7
  • Software Engineering, Thursday, March 28, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Great Hall, Davis Centre
  • Norman Esch Capstone Design Awards, Tuesday, April 2, 1:30 p.m., Engineering 7

On April 2, 15 qualifying teams will compete for $60,000 in a pitch presentation funded by the Esch Foundation. The winner of the Sedra People's Choice Award will receive an additional $3,000 in funding.

Pi Day and other campus calculations

Slices of free pie handed out to math students.

Happy Pi Day! The Faculty of Mathematics will host its annual Pi Day celebrations today. The festivities are organized by the Mathematics Society (MathSoc) are held on the same day every year to acknowledge the mathematical constant Pi, which is (approximately) 3.14.

The festivities take place on the third floor of the Mathematics & Computer Building, beginning at, yes, 1:59 p.m., with free pie on a first-come, first-serve basis. One hundred and forty pies have been ordered to serve between 500 and 800 people.

At 3:14 p.m., the annual Pi recitation competition will take place, and then at 4:00 p.m., several dignitaries including Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Francis Poulin and most of the MathSoc executives will get a pie in the face for their troubles. 

You can also celebrate Pi Day at W Store and reveal your piece of the pie by visiting the W Store SCH, SLC or STC locations today and receive a scratch card that reveals savings of up to 31.4 percent off your purchase.

Full details about this promotion are available in-store. Not valid on course materials, printing services, custom items or leather jackets. The discount is valid at W Store | Course Materials + Supplies, W Store | Gifts + Apparel, W Store Essentials | SLC, & W Store Essentials | STC.

Does your diet need a springtime renovation? Are you confused by conflicting advice on how to do it? Finding practical strategies for heathy eating just got easier with the revamped and research-backed tools recently unveiled by Health Canada. Learn about the highlights and how you can integrate these into every day practice with Sandra Ace at a brown bag lunch session on March 19 at DC 1302, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. If you plan on attending, please email occupational health at Update: please note that this event has been cancelled.

Knowledge Integration Exhibition logo.There's still time to visit the Knowledge Integration KI-X 2019 exhibition, which is taking place this week at St. Jerome’s Siegfried Hall Residence Wellness Centre. The theme for this year's student exhibition is the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The students behind KI-X 2019 took their field trip to Amsterdam prior to creating their own exhibits. "In building our exhibits, we have moved beyond the traditional projects and assignments typical of an undergraduate experience," says a note from Knowledge Integration. "The creation process allowed us to be self-directed and enabled us to incorporate skills from many different disciplines. The result is an exhibition that showcases our knowledge of museums and their design methods, as well as our teamwork and dedication to something that is a little out-of-the-box."

The exhibition, which began on Monday, March 11, runs today and tomorrow from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and closes out on Saturday, March 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Human Resources has sent out a reminder that performance appraisals are due on Friday, March 15 to Human Resources. "Your timely submission is crucial to enable the calculation of annual staff salary increases for May 1st, 2019," says a memo from Compensation & Benefits Analyst Joan Kennedy. 

The performance appraisals, once complete, must be signed by the employee, their manager, and their department head before being submitted. All original signed performance appraisal forms must be submitted no later than March 15 in a clearly marked confidential envelope to:

Joan Kennedy, Compensation and Benefits Analyst
EC-1, Human Resources
Ext. 31948

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

Myth:  Eating extra protein builds muscle.

Fact: Eating more protein alone does not increase muscle mass. A good strength-training program, along with enough calories from healthy foods, recovery time and sleep are also needed if you want to build muscle. And when it comes to protein, it’s not a case of “the more, the better.” Very high protein intakes displace other important nutrients obtained through a balanced diet, can be high in saturated fats, may increase the risk of kidney disease and may also lead to gains in body fat if this results in excessive calorie consumption.

Ongoing and future research will help to clarify optimal protein needs. Current guidelines for adults recommend .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For someone weighing 70 kilograms, this would mean 56 grams of protein. Most people get enough protein from following a balanced diet based on Canada’s Food Guide. However, some people, including adults who are very active or those trying to build muscle, might benefit from eating more protein. This study concluded that eating more than 30 grams of protein in a single meal did not provide a further increase in muscle synthesis. Rather than loading most of your daily protein into your dinner meal or post-workout snack, it may be more advantageous to space your intake evenly throughout the day.

Choose plant sources of protein more often as they provide dietary fibre and less saturated fat than animal sources of protein. This can benefit your heart, your digestive system, the environment and your grocery bill. You can get all the protein you need from foods without having to purchase expensive protein powders or supplements.

Link of the day

The Left Hand of Darkness at 50

When and where

Knowledge Integration eXhibition: KI-X 2019, Monday, March 11 to Saturday, March 16, St. Jerome's Siegfried Hall Residence Wellness Centre.

45th Annual Senior Undergraduate Exhibition, Thursday, March 14 to April 6, East Campus Hall.

Grammar studio series: Workshop 4, Thursday, March 14, 10:00 a.m., SCH 228F.

Computer Science Seminar: Bridging data, design, and domain knowledge to build human-centered systems that support wellbeing, Elizabeth Murnane, Stanford University, Thursday, March 14, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Getting published for grad students, Thursday, March 14, 1:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

WaterTalk: “Mining waste environments: globally significant and growing biogeochemical hotspots,” presented by Prof. Lesley Warren, Thursday, March 14, 1:30 p.m., STC 0060.

NEW - Student Success and Academic Integrity Panel with free pizza, Thursday, March 14, 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., DC 1302.

QPR Mental Health Training, Thursday, March 14, 3:00 p.m., Counselling Services, NH second floor.

Games Institute Multidisciplinary Panel on Co-operative Games, Thursday, March 14, 4:00 p.m., Games Institute collaboration space, EC1.

How Architecture Shapes Behaviour, a lecture by Jens Holm, Thursday, March 14, 6:30 p.m., Laurence A. Cummings Lecture Theatre- School of Architecture.

Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch Competition, Thursday, March 14, 7:00 p.m., EV3 1408.

FASS Presents: Fantasy & Fandoms, Thursday, March 14, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Café-rencontre with Professor Svetlana Kaminskaïa, "La prononciation en contact des langues: du natif à l’apprenant," Friday, March 15, 2:30 p.m., ML 354.

FASS Presents: Fantasy & Fandoms, Friday, March 15, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Global Solutions Conference: Pathways to Local Change, Saturday, March 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Science Teaching Complex.

Professional School Interviews (MMI), Saturday, March 16, 10:00 a.m., TC 2218.

Professional School Interviews (Standard), Saturday, March 16, 10:00 a.m., TC 1208.

MMI Simulation, Saturday, March 16, 1:00 p.m., TC 1214.

FASS Presents: Fantasy & Fandoms, Saturday, March 16, 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Educational Technologies Week, Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22.

Computer Science Seminar: Bringing statistical tradeoffs to data systems, Yongjoo Park, University of Michigan, Monday, March 18, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Exploring Career Pathways, Monday, March 18, 2:30 p.m., TC 1112.

Coping Skills Seminar - Thriving With Emotions, Monday, March 18, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Welcome to the tree museum, Monday, March 18 to Saturday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Nutrition Lunch and Learn with Sandra Ace, Tuesday, March 19, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. RSVP to Please note: this event has been cancelled.

Games Institute Multidisciplinary Panel on Insomniac’s Spider-Man video game, Tuesday, March 19, 2:30 p.m., Games Institute collaboration space, EC1.

Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, March 20, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Organizational Change Management," Wednesday, March 20, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

University Club welcomes spring with special menu, Wednesday, March 20, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

NEW - Interviews: Preparing for Questions (for employees only), Tuesday, March 20, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC 2218.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Wednesday, March 20, 12:30 p.m., STC 2002.

Noon Hour Concerts: Songs for My Mother - Return, Wednesday, March 20, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel College chapel.

Getting a US Work Permit, Wednesday, March 20, 1:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Explore Your Options in Law, Wednesday, March 20, 5:30 p.m., HH 2034.

Billion Dollar Briefing, “Get introduced to five different billion-dollar problems that are waiting to be solved,” Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series – Copyright and Software, Thursday, March 21, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., location TBC. Registration is required.

CBB workshop: Developing a Clinical Trial from the Ground Up with: Dr. Lora Giangregorio, Professor, Kinesiology; Schlegel Research Chair in Mobility and Aging. March 21, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Event is only open to faculty, students and postdocs. Please register.

Successfully negotiating Job Offers, Thursday, March 21, 2:30 p.m., TC 1208.

NEW - Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research panel discussion, “The Many Metabolisms of Microbes,” Thursday, March 21, 3:00 p.m., STC 2002.

NEW - Feds March General Meeting, Thursday, March 21, 5:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

NEW - Water Day 2019 – Water for all, Friday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., STC.

NEW - CBBSAT Workshop: Additive Manufacturing for Biomedical Applications, Friday, March 22 – 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Event is open to Waterloo Students and Postdocs. Limited seating, RSVP as soon as possible.

NEW - Panel discussion on SASB with Dr. Jeffrey Hales, Friday, March 22, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., EV1 221.

NEW - Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture: “What the challenge of clean water at home and around the world tells us about ourselves, our country, and our planet,” presented by former premier of Ontario Bob Rae, Friday, March 22, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., STC 1012.

NEW - Accounting and Finance Student's Association tax clinic, Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Multipurpose Room.

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