Monday, July 15, 2019

Announcing the SEE Canada Grant winners

A cluster of small Canadian flags wave in the breeze

Five Waterloo employees have been selected to receive the Staff Enhancement Experience (SEE) Canada Grant for 2019. Committed to professional growth for employees, the University has developed opportunities for staff members to travel to peer institutions, nationally and globally to exchange ideas and advance learning with like-minded colleagues.

“The SEE Canada Grant is an excellent opportunity for staff, who may not travel frequently for work, to seek out fresh and innovative ideas that they can bring back to the University. In addition to furthering their professional development, they’ll be able to build lasting relationships with individuals in similar roles at our partner institutions across Canada.” says Marilyn Thompson, Associate Provost, Human Resources.

Congratulations to the following recipients who have been selected for the 2019 award:

  • Kristen Deckert, Undergraduate Administrative Coordinator and Academic Advisor
  • Joe Kwan, Manager, Web Development
  • Fulu Mao, Coordinator, International Education and Student Advisor
  • Danielle Vander Wekken, Instructional Digital Media Developer
  • Susan Willsie, Coordinator, Organizational & Human Development

For more information about this award, please visit the SEE Canada Grant web page. The winners of the SIEF award, which provides staff with opportunities for international knowledge exchange, will be announced next Monday.

Waterloo researchers receive funding through climate change science initiative

A wetlands vista.

On July 11, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced $4.7 million to fund nine climate change research projects. Two of these research projects come from the University of Waterloo's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. 

Water Institute member Fereidoun Rezanezhad, assistant professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences, was awarded $468,500 for the project “Winter Carbon Losses in Wetland Ecosystems under Current and Future Climates”.

Water Institute member Sherry Schiff, professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences, was awarded $536,595 for the project “Changing Carbon Sinks in Subarctic Canada”.

The projects are funded through the Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada initiative which is a joint collaboration among the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Health Canada (HC). The initiative’s objectives include strengthening collaborative research efforts among federal policy-makers, scientist, and the academic community to advance climate change policies, as well as increasing the scientific information available to support government decision-making on climate action.

The importance of advancing these objectives became apparent with the April release of Canada’s Changing Climate Report, which showed that Canada’s climate is warming twice as fast as the global average and that urgent action is needed.

“Science clearly shows us the causes of climate change, and our government is supporting the scientists who we know will show us the solutions,” said the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, during the funding announcement at the University of Victoria. “Working with scientists and academics will help us keep pushing forward in the fight against climate change. By coming together and working collaboratively, we can ensure a safer, healthier, more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.”

A news release and a complete list of the Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada recipients has been posted on the Government of Canada website.

The Water Institute has also posted a story about Professors Rezanezhad and Schiff.

Ann Fitz-Gerald named Balsillie School director

Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald.Global security expert and political scientist Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald has been named director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs for the next five years, beginning August 1.

As director, Fitz-Gerald will be responsible for leading the Balsillie School’s world-class international affairs research, as well as the day-to-day operations of the School. She has also been appointed as full professor to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Arts, where her faculty appointment will be in the Department of Political Science.

“Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald is an internationally recognized global security expert with a wealth of experience as both an administrative leader and scholar,” said Robert Gordon, Laurier’s provost and vice-president, as well as academic and board chair at the Balsillie School. “With Ann at the helm, we are extremely confident the Balsillie School will continue to grow as a pre-eminent centre in global governance and international public policy. We are thrilled to have her.”

Ann is currently a professor in Cranfield University’s School of Defence and Security at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. She holds a Chair in Security Sector Management and is the director, Defence and Security Leadership.

“I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Balsillie School at a time of such complex and challenging dynamics in international relations,” said Ann. “I am also looking forward to returning to Canada, bringing my own background and international experience to bear on research and teaching in areas of exceptional importance to Canada’s international policy development.”

Fitz-Gerald will succeed John Ravenhill, who has been the Balsillie School director since 2013. Prior to joining the School, John headed the School of Politics and International Relations in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University.

“I see the Balsillie School as a unique institution that provides students and scholars with the academic and experiential foundations to lead Canadian and international organizations in pursuing the most effective paths to global security and harmony,” said Ann. “I look forward to continuing the effective accomplishments of Dr. Ravenhill and building on the developments he has fostered.”

Fitz-Gerald holds a number of non-executive board positions and visiting professorships. She is also a senior security and justice adviser to the UK Government and has been engaged all over the world to facilitate strategic national security policy processes as well as internationally sponsored peace talks.

Office closure

The Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business will be closed today from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for a team building exercise.

Link of the day

25 years ago: Forrest Gump

When and Where

Speak Like a Scholar, Monday, July 15 to Thursday, July 18.

NFRF Exploration Grant webinar, offered in French, for faculty, Monday, July 15, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., East Campus 5, Room 3167.

NSERC Discovery Grant drop-in sessions for faculty, Monday, July 15, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Mathematics and Computer Building, Room 5248.

Arts 101 Day, Tuesday, July 16.

Integrated LEARN Retreat, Tuesday, July 16. 

Consent Clothesline, Tuesday July 16, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

NSERC Discovery Grant drop-in sessions for faculty, Tuesday, July 16, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Teaching Complex, Room 2002.

Integrated LEARN Retreat, Wednesday, July 17.

MySharePoint sites will become read-only, Wednesday, July 17. Instructions on moving content is available on the SharePoint website.

NFRF Exploration Grant webinar, offered in English, for faculty, Wednesday, July 17, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Davis Centre, Room 1302.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI) and Faculty of Science Research Networking Lunch, Wednesday, July 17, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., DC 1301.

Getting a US Work Permit, Wednesday, July 17, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., TC 2218.

NSERC Discovery Grant drop-in sessions for faculty, Wednesday, July 17, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology (PAS), Room 2438.

Billion Dollar Briefing, “Get introduced to five different billion-dollar problems that are waiting to be solved,” Wednesday, July 17, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Mathematics 101 Day, Thursday, July 18.

Velocity Fund Finals $5K pitch competition and Fireside chat with Hongwei Liu, Thursday, July 18, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall. RSVP via Eventbrite.

International Education Week planning meeting, Thursday, July 18, 1:00 p.m., EIT 1015. RSVP via Eventbrite.

Graduate Student Stress Management Group, Thursday, July 18, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s Graduate Student Complexity Seminar, Thursday, July 18,4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., STC 1019 (speaker and topic TBA).

Résumés, Careers, and Personal Branding – Part II, Thursday, July 18, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., DPL 329.

NEW - Water Institute WaterTalk, “Importance and Effects of Physical Processes in Lake Ecosystems,” Friday, July 19, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304. 

NEW - Water Institute WaterTalk, “Addressing Urban Hydrological Issues: An Integrated Water Systems Approach,” Friday, July 19, 1:30 p.m., DC 1302.   

Voicescapes: University of Waterloo Choir, Saturday, July 20, 7:30 p.m., The Cedars, 543 Beechwood Drive, Waterloo. 

NSERC Discovery Grant drop-in sessions for faculty, Monday, July 22, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Engineering 7, Room 7411. 

Lunch and Learn: The future of waste management at UW, Tuesday, July 23, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV3 3412.

FAUW Indigenization Reading Circle, Thursday, July 25, 10:30 a.m., HH235.

Fairy Tales and Legends: orchestra@uwaterloo, Thursday, July 25, 7:30 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church, 50 Erb Street W, Waterloo.

PhD oral defences

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Jianyu Chen, "Simulations for the Explosion Problems and their Effects on Structures using the SPH Method." Supervisor, Fue-Sang Lien. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Tuesday, July 23, 9:00 a.m., ERC 3012.

Combinatorics and Optimization. Cameron Marcott, "Combinatorics of Grassmannian Decompositions." Supervisor, Kevin Purbhoo. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Tuesday, July 23, 9:30 a.m., MC 5479.

Statistics and Actuarial Science. Zhiyi Shen, "Numerical Solutions to Stochastic Optimal Control Problems: When Monte Carlo Simulation Meets Nonparametric Regression." Supervisor, Chengguo Weng. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Tuesday, July 23, 10:30 a.m., M3 3001.

Physics & Astronomy. Maria Kieferova, "Quantum Algorithmic Techniques for Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computers." Supervisor, Michele Mosca. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Thursday, July 25, 9:00 a.m., QNC B204.