Friday, January 31, 2020

University coronavirus update includes changes to travel guidelines

The University of Waterloo has sent out another information bulletin on the coronavirus update that include new directives surrounding travel to China on university business.

"On January 29, the Government of Canada raised the risk level for travel to China to “avoid non-essential travel.”" wrote Sandra Banks, vice-president, university relations in a memo circulated to campus yesterday afternoon. "In light of this change, we are suspending all travel to China on University business until further notice."

"We will remain in touch with travellers in China to offer our assistance, as required, on a case-by-case basis. Students and other travellers currently in China are not required to leave the country."

"If you are on a co-op term in China and you have any concerns you can contact your co-op student advisor or work term support who are standing by to offer guidance. Other travellers in China must contact to agree next steps. If you have future plans to travel to China, please contact Waterloo International for guidance on making changes.

We strongly encourage you to register all planned international travel with the Safety Abroad Team at to access travel safety information, emergency assistance and access to various services provided by Anvil Group."

Public health advice

"Public health authorities have stated the risk to Canadians of contracting the coronavirus is low. People who have recently travelled to China or on a flight with many passengers who originated in China are encouraged to tell their healthcare provider about their travel if they become ill after returning to Canada. If you feel unwell, please contact your family doctor or attend Health Services or call on 519-888-4096 to book an appointment."

Coronavirus updates

"You can get the most current information from the University’s new coronavirus website, which contains public health information and other useful links. Previous updates are available on the Campus Wellness website. We have posted updates on:

The University’s official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well the Daily Bulletin will also share updated messaging.

"If you have questions or concerns about coronavirus and Waterloo, please email and our teams will help to find the right campus contact," Banks's memo concludes.

This article was originally published on the Faculty of Engineering website.

Waterloo Engineering’s Robohub is highlighted in an episode of the Age of A.I., a documentary series covering the ways artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networks are changing the world.

Engineering 7’s state-of-the-art robotics research, testing, and training facility is profiled in Episode 6 entitled Will a robot take my job?, one of the world’s most googled questions.

The University of Waterloo is one of two Canadian locations featured in the eight-part YouTube documentary series hosted by actor and producer Robert Downey Jr. who calls RoboHub “a premier robotics incubator.”

“One thing they’re doing is developing AI and robotics to use in environments that are unstructured, more human, like at home,” says Downey, best known as Tony Stark, the character behind Iron Man in the Avengers movies.

TALOS, one of the world’s most advanced humanoid robots, along with Brandon DeHart, RoboHub's engineering manager, and Alexander Werner, head humanoid researcher, are included in the Waterloo Engineering footage that begins at 21:30 of the episode.

The Faculty of Engineering's Talos humanoid robot.

At 1.75-metres-tall, weighing 91 kilograms, Robohub's TALOS is one of the most advanced humanoid robots commercially available worldwide.

DeHart was interviewed last week on Kitchener’s CBC radio morning show hosted by Craig Norris.

DeHart told Norris that the show’s producers were looking at TALOS “mainly in terms of what can it do, what can't it do, what is the potential for it."

You will get wet: 8th Annual World Wetlands Day Research Symposium on Monday

World Wetlands Day Research Symposium banner.

A message from the Ecohydrology Research Group.

World Wetlands Day (WWD) is an annual celebration in recognition of the vital role that wetlands play in supporting biodiversity and providing key ecosystem services. This year, the annual World Wetlands Day event will be held on Monday, February 3 at Federation Hall.

This year's event will feature an afternoon research symposium including research seminars, lightning talks and poster presentations. In the evening, there will be a public lecture delivered by Dr. Stephen Faulkner, Supervisory Research Ecologist at USGS. Make sure you register for this free event. To register for the event, click here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Beyond the Bulletin Podcast Episode 32

The latest episode of the Beyond the Bulletin Podcast is now live. With the Faculty, Alumni, Staff, and Students — or FASS — winter production opening February 6, the UWaterloo theatre company’s president, Diana Skrzydlo is our interview guest. Now a continuing lecturer, she has been with the group since her student days and tells us why. Stakeholders from across campus meet to monitor and respond to updates on the coronavirus. It’s performance appraisal season. And the University will now welcome 10 new Schulich Leaders at a time instead of four after investment in the Schulich Leader Scholarship doubles.

Upcoming office closures

AccessAbility Services will be closed on Tuesday, February 4 for staff training. The Exam Centre will remain open for scheduled exams.

Link of the day

90 years ago: Scotch tape sticks the landing

When and Where

#ConsentWeekUW, campus-wide events and workshops for Consent Week, Monday January 27 to Friday, January 31.

Consent Week Book Display, Monday, January 27 to Friday, January 31, W Store | Course Materials + Supplies, South Campus Hall.

University Club Lunar New Year Luncheon, Monday, January 27 to Friday, January 31, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Designing Teamwork/Group Work in your Course: Collaboration and Teamwork Community of Practice, Friday, January 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Office of Research drop-in Q&A session with CIHR Project Grant reviewers, Friday, January 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Engineering 5, Room 5128.

Opt-in closes for Concept's new Graduate Student Stream, a four-month program built to help graduate students and postdocs think about their research as a potential business venture, Friday, January 31. – Opt-in form.

IT Seminar: Highlights from VueConf, Friday, January 31, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., East Campus 5 room 1111.

Canadian Blood Services Clinic, Friday, January 31, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Knowledge Integration alumni panel on “Life after KI”, Friday, January 31, 1:00 p.m., EV2-2002.

Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Dr. Tim Kenyon, “Accepting Testimony and Believing Testimony,” Friday, January 31, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., HH 373.

Food & Faith: Mennonites Farming Locally and Globally: Seven Points on Earth Film Screening“Screening and discussion on agriculture and faith with film maker Paul Plett”, Friday, January 31, 7:30 p.m., CGUC.

Farmers Breakfast Panel: Breakfast and discussion with Ontario Mennonites in Agriculture, Panel discussion of the way farming, food, family and faith come together in our various lives”, Saturday, February 1, 9:00 a.m. CGUC.

Coping Skills Seminar - Empowering Habit Change, Monday, February 3, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Research Talks: Designing smart and climate savvy cities. A public event and panel discussion examining smart infrastructure and sustainability, Monday, February 3, 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., THEMUSEUM. Register as seating is limited.

Akindi training session, Tuesday, February 4, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Concept by Velocity - Intro Session: Speed Coaching, “Quick chats with Concept Coaches (former or current KW startup founders.” Tuesday, February 4, 11:30am, QNC, Main Atrium

Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Tuesday, February 4, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Waterloo ExL Symposium, Wednesday, February 5, 9:00 a.m., Fed Hall.

Writing and Communication Centre Workshop, “Grammar Studio I: The most common grammar trouble spots,” Wednesday, February 05, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Storytelling in Design Lunch & Learn, Wednesday, February 5, 12:00 p.m., DC 1301.

CBB and the Office of Research Ethics, “Clinical Trials Ontario Information Session” Wednesday February 5, 2:30 p.m., EC5-1111.

2020 Latin American Film Festival screening, Delicate Balance, Wednesday, February 5, 6:30 p.m., Kitchener Public Library Main Branch. Admission is free.