Wednesday, November 27, 2019

It took NERv to win at the Entrepreneurship World Cup Global Finals

A representative of NERv Technologies with two Saudi businessmen and an oversized cheque.

Amr Abdelgawad, COO and co-founder of NERv Technology, accepts the trophy at the Entrepreneurship World Cup Global Finals.

This article was originally posted on the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business website.

NERv Technology emerged victorious through three days of pitching against a group of 100 finalists at the Entrepreneurship World Cup Global Finals. NERv Technology is an innovative monitoring system for post-operative patients that strives to ensure that no patient loses their life because of an undetected post-operative complication, received a US$500,000 cash prize and a “Shenzen Prize” package to help the company expand into China and in-kind support and services from a collection of EWC partners.

"The experience has been absolutely fantastic," said Amr Abdelgawad, COO and co-founder of NERv. "We’ve been around like-minded individuals from hundreds of different countries, speaking different languages, engaging with people from different cultures, but we all have one thing in mind – we’re all persistent and working really hard to make our startups a success. To be the winner today is a testament to everything we’ve been doing, we’ve been working really hard for five years in order to make this dream a reality.”

The EWC global finals in Riyadh were the culmination of a year-long competition organized by the Misk Global Forum and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), along with strategic partners including the Global Education and Leadership Foundation (tGELF), Global Silicon Valley Labs (GSV Labs) and the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST).

Over the course of 2019, 102,000 entrants from 187 countries were narrowed down through national and regional finals to 100 startups from 67 countries that took the stage at the global finals.

The 100 finalists enjoyed a two-day bootcamp at KAUST to make last-minute adjustments and improvements to their pitches under the eye of expert mentors. The 100 startups were then gradually narrowed down through heats and elimination stages to a final five which were selected by a panel of four international judges, all of them world leaders in business and entrepreneurship, and an audience vote.

NERv’s co-founding team includes Youssef Helwa, CEO, Amr Abdelgawad, COO, Abdallah El-Falou, CTO, and Mohammed Okasha. Youssef, Amr, and Abdallah are all University of Waterloo Alumni. Youssef earned his Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Nanotechnology Engineering in 2015 and his Master’s of Applied Science (MASc) Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2017. Amr earned his Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), Nanotechnology in 2015 as well, and his Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) in 2017. Amr is also the recipient of the 2017 Enactus Canada Student Entrepreneur award. Abdallah has a MASc in Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo and a BASc degree in Biomedical Engineering from Ryerson University. Mohamed earned his Honour’s Bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences from McMaster University.

Read the full story on the Entrepreneurship World Cup website.

Eco Summit builds hope for the future

Panellists converse in front of the audience at the Eco-Summit.

by Melanie Scott.

Waterloo’s sixth annual Eco Summit took place on November 20, coinciding with the release of the 2019 Environmental Sustainability Report. The theme, Building Hope, was interwoven with the goals of the Summit to connect with others, celebrate our progress and be inspired to go further. The attendees and presenters included students, faculty, staff and community members. Sustainability was examined from both a strategic vantage point and through the local, grassroots actions that are shifting us towards a greener campus culture.

James Rush, vice-president academic and provost, provided opening comments and spoke about the recently released 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, which includes strengthening sustainable and diverse communities as one of its three major themes. Afterwards, three case studies that are changing attitudes and making our campus more sustainable were presented by faculty, staff and students. James Nugent, a lecturer from the Faculty of Environment presented on the Diploma in Sustainability, which allows students to learn about sustainability no matter which program they’re in.

Giovanna Zinken, associate director, Environmental Services discussed initiatives in place that will divert waste from landfill, such as multi-stream waste receptacles that make sorting easier. By 2025, the University is aiming to divert at least 60 per cent of campus waste from landfill. The Shift Zero initiative aims to make us a zero-waste campus by 2035, diverting 90 per cent of waste from landfill. Three students, Farah-El Shayeb, Joanna Gao and Saad Arif Qadeer presented on the Green Residence Ambassador program, an initiative that allows student ambassadors to model green behavior and set the standard for their peers.

An anticipated part of the Summit for Waterloo staff is the Green Office Awards, which were introduced this year through a video presentation by President Feridun Hamdullahpur. The Green Office program empowers bottom-up action from departments on campus and awards sustainable achievements. Since its launch in 2016, 47 departments have been awarded either bronze, silver or gold for efforts to make their offices greener.

Finally, a panel discussion moderated by Mat Thijssen, sustainability manager, wrapped up the Summit. Panel members included Beth Eden, a student in Environment and Business; Easton Page, WatPD staff with Green Office gold certification; Nadine Ibrahim, lecturer Civil & Environmental Engineering; and Mary Jane Patterson, executive director Reep Green Solutions. Discussion topics included the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, making a difference locally and internationally and the rise of green cities.

The event ended with a vegetarian lunch and a call to action for those in attendance to take things further and model the sustainable world they would like to see.

Engineering professor receives prestigious medal

Professor John McPhee at the podium.

John McPhee, a systems design engineering professor, was honoured with the 2019 Engineering Medal: Engineering Excellence from PEO.  

This article was originally published on the Faculty of Engineering news site.

John McPhee, a systems design engineering professor, was presented with this year’s Engineering Medal: Engineering Excellence from Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) at its annual gala held earlier this month in Mississauga.

McPhee was recognized for his innovative work into the modeling, simulation and design of dynamic physical systems

In a video shown at the gala, McPhee said he is “extremely thrilled’” to receive the prestigious engineering medal.    

“What I’m most proud of, after my three children of course, is probably the developments we’ve done in graph-theoretical modelling and the fundamental ideas that we’ve discovered but also implemented in practical form that engineers in industry can easily use,” he said in his video presentation.

The impact of McPhee’s research has been influential. He pioneered the use of linear graph theory and symbolic computing to model dynamic systems, providing a powerful systems-level design methodology that allows engineers to model and simulate the impact of individual components on overall performance of multi-domain systems (such as hybrid electric vehicles) within a single design package.

McPhee, Canada Research Chair in System Dynamics and a Waterloo Engineering alumnus, said that the keys to his career success have been an interest in learning and discovering new ideas.

“Without that, I don’t think a professor can be successful or sustain the level of research that’s required to achieve your goals,” he said.   

McPhee offers two pieces of advice to students after they graduate and start building their careers.

“First is to never stop learning,” he said. “And the second is to make sure that you are able to enjoy working in a team.  Because I think the best advances are made as a team as opposed to individuals.”

Temporary office closure and other notes

The Student Life Centre Housing Office in room SLC 0134 (lower atrium) will be closed next week from December 2 to December 6 due to office construction. All staff members will be relocated to alternative office spaces on campus during this time. Our general inquiry phone (ext. 32679) and email account ( will still be available for both students and staff. Staff members will not be taking student appointments or walk-ins this week and will resume on Monday, December 9.

Friends and colleagues of Sharon Kimberley, Diane McKelvie and Fatima Mitchell in Co-operative and Experiential Education are invited to a retirement reception to be held on Wednesday, December 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Room 2218 of the Tatham Centre. It's an informal, drop-in style party. RSVP if you plan to attend.

The Centre for Career Action is offering career planning initial 15-minute consults for undergraduate students on Mondays to Thursdays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in TC 1214 or by phone at 519-888-4047. Registration for the day begins at 11:30 a.m. In addition, personal statement reviews for master’s programs drop-ins are available from November 1 to December 23.

Upcoming office closure

 The Science Undergraduate Office will be closed today from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for an SUO meeting.

Link of the day

The good, the bad and the ugly: Tesla releases Cybertruck

When and Where

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Monday, November 25 to Tuesday, December 10.

Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (AMC) Waterloo - Fall 2019 Industry Day, “AMC invites the industrial, researcher and government communities to join us for discussion of advanced manufacturing technologies, collaboration opportunities, job creation and business growth”, Wednesday, November 27, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Federation Hall. Registration required.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday November 27, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays Mythbusting: Women & Awards, Wednesday, November 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., NH 3308.

Networking for Job Search, Wednesday, November 27, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., TC 2218.

CBB-[CREATE Series]- ‘Ethical by Design’ Workshop by Dr. Jen Boger, Wednesday, November 27, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., E7-7303. Registration is Required.

Italian Studies Abroad for Five Weeks, 1.5 Credit Information Session, Wednesday, November 27, 4:00 p.m., St. Jerome's Academic Centre Room 2007.

Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Wednesday, November 27, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Chemistry Seminar featuring Thomas E. MarklandDepartment of Chemistry, Stanford University, "Harnessing the quantum mechanics of the hydrogen bond: from atmospheric science to enzyme catalysis," Thursday, November 28, 11:00 a.m., C2-361.

University Club Holiday Lunch Buffet, Thursday, November 28 to Monday, December 23, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

26th Annual UWSA Craft Show and Sale, Thursday, November 28, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Davis Centre Fishbowl. 

Faculty Lunch & Learn: Unplugging, Thursday, November 28, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in EIT 3142HH 373. Registration required. Please note the new location.

WaterTalk: What happens when fish go on “the Pill”? presented by Dr. Karen Kidd, Thursday, November 28, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, November 28, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106. Register is on LEADS.

Personal Statement write-in – further education, Thursday, November 28, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Skill Identification and Articulation, Thursday, November 28, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., TC 2218.

safeTALK training for faculty and staff, Friday, November 29, 9:00 a.m., NH 2447. Register on Workday.

26th Annual UWSA Craft Show and Sale, Friday, November 29, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Davis Centre Fishbowl.

FAUW Indigenization Reading Circle, Friday, November 29, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in EV1-221. Everyone welcome.

Warrior Basketball vs. Algoma Think Pink, Residence Challenge, Rec League Night, Alumni Day Friday, November 29, (W) 6:00 p.m., (M) 8:00 p.m., PAC main gym.

University of Waterloo Department of Music concert, University of Waterloo Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, Saturday, November 30, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

University of Waterloo Department of Music - That’s How We Roll: UW Jazz Ensemble, Sunday, December 1, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

University of Waterloo Department of Music - Instrumental Chamber Ensembles, Sunday, December 1, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Free Exam Fitness, Monday, December 2 to Sunday, December 29.

Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Monday, December 2, 10:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, December 2, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s Fall 2019 Visioning Session, Tuesday, December 3, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, EV3 4327.

NEW - Skill Development Plan for Graduate Students, Tuesday, December 3, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., TC 2218.

Retirement celebration for Bill Chesney, Tuesday, December 3, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (speeches at 4:00 p.m.,) Theatre of the Arts.

Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Tuesday, December 3, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, December 4, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Wednesday, December 4, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Thursday, December 5, 1:30 p.m., NH 2447 – Register on Workday.

NEW - National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women memorial event, Friday, December 6, 10:30 a.m., Engineering 7 Second Floor Atrium.

NEW - Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Monday, December 9, 10:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - Eating Disorder Support Group, Monday, December 9, 4:30 p.m., NH 3308 – Register on LEADS.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2019-4836 - Administrative Coordinator, Assessment - School of Pharmacy, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2019-4867 - Marketing Specialist - Federation of Students (WUSA), USG 7
  • Job ID# 2019-4914 - Custodian I - Plant Operations-Custodial, CUPE

Internal secondment opportunities

  • Job ID# 2019-4926 - Associate Editor, Undergraduate Calendar and Communications Specialist - Registrar, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2019-4921 - Admin Coordinator, Graduate Studies - Sociology & Legal Studies, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2019-4927 - Director, Research Operations and Communications - Office of Research, USG 14
  • Job ID# 2019-4928 - Project Coordinator - Centre for Bioeng & Biotech,  USG 6
  • Job ID# 2019-4933 - Senior Alumni Officer, Volunteer Engagement - Advancement-Alumni Relations, USG 10 - 11
  • Job ID# 2019-4917 - Custodian I - Plant Operations - Custodial, CUPE