Thursday, December 12, 2019

Waterloo professor named to provincial climate change advisory panel

Professor Blair Feltmate.Professor Blair Feltmate has been named to the Ontario government’s Advisory Panel on Climate Change. The Honorable Jeff Yurek, minister of the environment, conservation and parks, made the announcement on November 28.

The advisory panel on climate change, which includes Paul Kovacs,  founder of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction at Western University as the chair and Lynette Mader, manager of provincial operations for Ontario for Ducks Unlimited Canada, as the vice-chair, consists of experts on climate change resiliency who have experience in a variety of sectors, including the not-for-profit, agriculture and insurance sectors.

Professor Feltmate is the head of the Intact Centre on Climate Change Adaptation at Waterloo. The centre focuses on cost-effective ways to help minimize risks posed by extreme weather. Feltmate also chairs the development of two flood adaptation standards for the Canadian Standards Association and is the chair of the Government of Canada Expert Panel on Climate Adaptation and Resilience Results.

"Our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan is our roadmap to providing effective and affordable solutions to address climate change and protect our environment," said Minister Yurek at the panel announcement event, that took place at Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Innovation. "I am proud of the progress we have made so far and look forward to the advisory panel's advice on how we can continue to take action on our plan's climate change commitments in a way that respects hardworking Ontarians and balances a healthy environment with a healthy economy."

RidgidWare offers everything from nuts and bolts to tools

The Ridgidware storefront in Engineering 7.

Engineering 7's RidgidWare is located on the first floor beside the Engineering Ideas Clinic.  

This is an excerpt of an article originally published on the Faculty of Engineering web site.

When Katie Arnold needed solder for an engineering project she didn’t need to travel far to get it.

The fourth-year mechanical engineering student stopped by RidgidWare, an electronic components and hardware shop conveniently located across from the C&D and beside the Engineering Ideas Clinic in Engineering 7.

Not only did Arnold not have to leave campus – the closest place that sells comparable products and tools is in Cambridge – she spent less than what solder would cost either online or in a regular bricks and mortar store.

Operated by Waterloo’s Engineering Society (EngSoc), RidgidWare offers everything from nuts and bolts to digital calipers, safety goggles, LEDs and sandpaper – available in 80, 120 and 240 grit.

“The idea behind RidgidWare is to bring hardware and electronics components to campus in an environment where students can browse and shop for their project needs,” says Arnold, currently EngSoc’s mechanical engineering 2020 Class representative and a past EngSoc president.

It was two former mechatronics engineering students Ali Amin and Joe Kinsella who came up with the idea for RidgidWare and pitched it to EngSoc’s vice president of finance in 2014.

“They wanted somewhere they could go to buy a component quickly if they needed to replace something that had broken and was needed for a project,” recalls Mary Bland, business manager for EngSoc.

It was initial funding of $5,000 from Engineering Dean Pearl Sullivan that helped launch the original RidgidWare in Carl Pollack Hall (CPH)

Office space – it was more like a cubby hole, says Bland – was created for RidgidWare in a small section of the C&D stockroom with some shelving added to it.

In October 2014, RidgidWare opened for business two days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. An EngSoc service, it was staffed by volunteers at the time.

Cramped for room from the beginning, RidgidWare moved to its new home in Engineering 7 earlier this year.  Along with a bigger, more visible space and a much larger inventory, the store has extended its hours and is now open to anyone across campus from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Six paid employees, all engineering students, run the store.

Read the rest of the story on the Engineering web site.

Thursday's notes

A cutout of Feridun Hamdullahpur next to an encouraging slogan on the third floor of Needles Hall.

President Hamdullahpur (or at least his cardboard stand-in) offers an encouraging message to exam-writing students from the third floor of Needles Hall.

Today is the deadline to get "Fees Arranged,". This is the date for students to complete the Promissory Note or submit payment of the entire Term Balance for the Winter term. Students can follow the step-by-step instructions on the Finance - Student Accounts website. 

This month, the Centre for Career Action drop-in schedule is modified to accommodate professional development for staff. If you are planning on attending a drop-in, check the hours first: 

  • Career Planning Initial 15-minute consults are cancelled on Thursday, December 12
  • Co-op consults are unavailable on Thursday, December 12 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • Graduate student and postdoc drop-ins are cancelled on the following days:
    • Thursday, December 12
    • Friday, December 20
  • Remaining Further Education drop-ins for December:
    • Monday, December 16 and Tuesday, December 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Tatham Centre only

Upcoming office closures

The Department of Chemistry office will be closed on Friday, December 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a departmental event.

Link of the day

35 years ago: Do They Know It's Christmas?

When and Where

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

2019 President’s Town Hall survey, open until Friday, December 20.

Free Exam Fitness, Monday, December 2 to Friday, December 20.

Deadline to get "Fees Arranged," Thursday, December 12.

Brown Bag Lunch: Let's chat about Healthy Relationships, Thursday, December 12, 12:00 p.m., HH 373.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Thursday, December 12, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Life Drawing Session, Tuesday, December 12, 6:30 p.m., ECH 1224A.

Entrepreneurship Information Session for Undergraduate Advisors, Thursday, December 12, 10:30-12 p.m., Conrad School, E7, 2nd Floor.

NEW - IT Seminar: Educause Conference Update, Friday, December 13, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., East Campus 5 room 1111.

Statistics and Actuarial Science Department seminar by Yixin Wang, Columbia University, "The Blessings of Multiple Causes," Monday, December 16, 10:00 a.m., M3 3127.

Workday Support, Tuesday, December 17, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021. No registration required.

Pension plan information session, Tuesday, December 17, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension plan information session, Tuesday, December 17, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., RCH 301.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Small 'p' Project Management" Wednesday, December 18, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, December 18, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Retirement celebration for Phil Knipe, Wednesday, December 18, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Graduate House green room. RSVP to

Statistics and Actuarial Science Department seminar by Yuqi Gu, University of Michigan, "Uncover Hidden Fine-Grained Scientific Information: Structured Latent Attribute Models," Thursday, December 19, 10:00 a.m., M3 3127.

Co-operative work term ends, Friday, December 20.

On-campus examinations end, Saturday, December 21.

NEW - unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest, Sunday, December 22.

University closed for the holidays, Tuesday, December 24 to Wednesday, January 1, 2020. The University re-opens on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

NEW - Classes and lectures begin, Monday, January 6, 2020.

NEW - Co-operative work term begins, Monday, January 6, 2020.

NEW - Workday Support, Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021. No registration required.

PhD oral defences

French Studies. Krysteena Gadzala, "Rites et activites de deuil dans la litterature franciase au masculin." Supervisor, Tara Collington. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Monday December 16, 10:00 a.m., HH 1102.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Ibrahim Gbolahan Ogunsanya, "Influence of alloying elements, testing solution and surface roughness on corrosion behavior of stainless stell reinforcing bars." Supervisor, Carolyn Hansson. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Tuesday December 17, 10:00 a.m., E5 3052.

School of Public Health and Health Systems. Maryam Iraniparast, "Longitudinal Patterns of Cognitive State Changes and their Predictors in Older Adults." Supervisor, Joel Dubin. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Tuesday December 17, 11:00 a.m., AHS 1686.

Chemical Engineering. Nathan Grishkewich, "Application of Cellulose Nanomaterials in Water Treatment Processes." Supervisor, Michael K.C. Tam. On display in the Engineering graduate office E7 7402. Oral defence Wednesday December 18, 8:30 a.m., QNC 5402.