Volunteers needed for fall move-in
"As the fall term approaches, Campus Housing is preparing for another busy move-in," wrote Chris Read, associate provost, students in a memo circulated to faculty and staff this morning. “Similar to last year, we are implementing procedures to ensure the process is safe for each student.”
"This year, residence move in will take place between September 1 and September 6. Each resident will be permitted to have two companions support their move. Like in previous years, we need your help to make the move-in experience memorable and positive.”
"I invite you to join me and the many others involved in welcoming our fall 2021 incoming class, and their families, to the University of Waterloo. We want to ensure our students are safe but also feel welcomed and connected to campus."
Members of the University community can get involved by volunteering to be one of the daily 15-50 volunteers needed during the move in period. Each volunteer shift is 2 hours in length.
Volunteer duties include:
- Active Screening volunteers: As an active screening volunteer, you are the first point of contact when our residents arrive on campus. Your role will be to welcome them to Waterloo, ensure that they have the appropriate move in appointment based on their arrival time, and verify that those arriving have completed their pre-arrival active screening questionnaire and are safe to move in. Please note that active screening volunteers will be outside for the duration of their shift and will be asked to wear a non-medical face covering.
- Directional volunteers: As a wayfinding volunteer, you’ll be a friendly face helping our residents follow the right path to their right destination. Your role will be to help point people in the right direction to find the right parking lot, building, or suite. Please note that wayfinding volunteers will be outside for the duration of their shift and will be asked to wear a non-medical face covering
- Sanitization volunteers: As a sanitization volunteer, you’ll be helping our residents keep their new home safe by asking them to sanitize their hands as soon as they enter their building. You will be standing by a hand sanitizing dispenser and encouraging all those who enter to sanitize their hands effectively or helping to sanitize high tough surfaces across residence. Please note that sanitization volunteers will be inside for the duration of their shift and will be asked to wear a non-medical face covering.
Volunteers will attend a virtual training session on August 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. If you are unable to make the training, a recording will be available. Questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Sign up online to volunteer.
Q and A with the experts: The long-term effect of wildfires in Canada
The most harmful air pollutant worldwide is fine particular matter. In Canada, the biggest natural source of this pollutant is wildfires. Winds can spread wildfire smoke over a wide area, affecting areas hundreds of kilometres downwind. Professor Rebecca Saari, who studies the consequences of climate change and climate policy on human health and environmental inequality, examines what causes these wildfires and the long-term effect on society.
How do wildfires affect air quality and our health?
Significant wildfire activity can result in poor air quality with high levels of pollutant concentrations resulting from wildfire smoke. We have seen dangerous levels of air pollution near the fires across British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario, but also, for example, in downtown Toronto due to winds spreading the smoke.
Wildfire releases smoke and gases that include a harmful mixture of pollutants. Individually, many of these pollutants are known to affect our health. We might experience irritation in our throat, coughing, headaches, or other respiratory symptoms when exposed. People with underlying health risks, especially respiratory and cardiovascular illness, are at higher risk for more serious outcomes, like asthma attacks, that may require hospitalization.
What long-term effect may wildfires cause on air quality?
The effects of wildfires on air quality are most severe while fires are actively burning. Thus, the worst effects are short-term. The chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere mean that some effects can last for weeks and others for years, but these processes are complex. Over the long term, more frequent wildfires could continue to lead to more frequent days with poor air quality in affected areas.
Is climate change or something else to be blamed for the numerous wildfires?
Specific wildfires can have particular causes. Climate change is a change in the average weather. It plays a role in creating the weather conditions that make fires more likely to start, persist, and spread. The recent Sixth Assessment Report by Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes the role of climate change in making wildfires more likely to occur over the last century and predicts future increases over parts of North America. Other reports, including Canadian academic studies, have suggested that conditions leading to unmanageable fires can more than double in parts of the country due to climate change this century.
What needs to be done to lessen wildfires?
Preventing wildfires and their effects is a complex challenge. Focusing on the atmospheric-related factors, we have increasing evidence that reducing the emissions causing climate change can help prevent some of the conditions that make wildfires more likely to occur and spread uncontrollably. We can also take multiple concrete steps to prevent some of the health-related effects of poor air quality on our health. For example, we can reduce other sources of air pollution to avoid some of the worst air quality and chronic exposure to poor air. We can continue to invest in systems that provide warnings and advice to lower exposures to wildfire smoke. Lastly, we can work to protect public health through prevention, targeting underlying health risks that make people vulnerable to poor air, and building public health systems resilient to future risks from wildfires.
Rebecca K. Saari is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Saari studies the consequences of climate change and climate policy on human health and environmental inequality. Her research interests include air quality impacts of energy and climate policy, environmental inequality, and air quality policy analysis.
Securing our energy infrastructure
By Brian Caldwell. This article was originally published on Waterloo News.
Just over $400,000 in federal funding was announced recently for a cybersecurity project led by a Waterloo Engineering professor.
Sebastian Fischmeister, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, heads a six-member team developing an enhanced cybersecurity system to protect Canada’s energy infrastructure.
The project, which is backed by Natural Resources Canada, also involves Bruce Power and Palitronica Inc., a startup company with roots in Fischmeister’s lab, the Real-time Embedded Software Group.
"In today's world of connected safety-critical systems, it's no longer enough to deliver just safe systems; systems must now be safe and secure," Fischmeister said.
"As a part of a comprehensive research agenda on safety and security in my group, this project creates and tests new technology to mitigate security threats in the supply chain when sourcing parts and systems out of region."
The innovative hardware assurance system being developed by researchers will detect compromised parts and devices to help ensure the safety and reliability of the country’s energy delivery.
That is especially important as growing complexity in supply chains makes it more difficult for organizations to identify and mitigate potential risks as they can lose sight of the supply chain security practices of their vendors and suppliers.
'Investing in cutting-edge technologies'
“Our lives have become increasingly digital which means the security threats we face are also becoming digital," Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr. said in a media release.
"We’re investing in cutting-edge technologies with universities and industry leaders to protect Canada’s energy sector from cyber threats and keep our critical infrastructure secure.”
Bruce Power will provide equipment, evaluate machine learning processes and evaluate the overall performance of the new system. Palitronica, a Kitchener-based cybersecurity hardware and software company, is providing hardware sensors to enable development of the technology.
The University of Waterloo and Bruce Power are also contributing financially, bringing total investment in the project to over $830,000. The work is scheduled to continue until next spring.
"Cybersecurity is a core area in the University’s research profile,” Mary Wells, the dean of Waterloo Engineering, said in the release. “We are delighted to employ our research excellence to advance the state of the art in a sector as important to the Canadian public as the energy sector.”
Remembering Professor Emeritus Roger Green, bridge builder
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has announced that Professor Emeritus Roger Green died on August 11.
Born in London, UK, Green received an engineering degree from University College, London and emigrated to Canada in 1955. He completed his MSc in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University and an MSc in Applied Mathematics at Waterloo in 1962. He completed his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin with the help of a Ford Foundation grant.
Green joined the University of Waterloo as a Lecturer in December 1960, becoming an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering in 1965 and in January 1967 was appointed Associate Professor, reaching full Professor in July 1975.
Professor Green’s research related to bridge design and evaluation, and building columns in frames, with topics of particular interest including vibration, safety, foundation design, analysis and the interaction of columns with frames.
Professor Green chaired and served on a number of provincial and national design code writing committees. At Waterloo, he taught structural concrete design, structural steel design, bridge design, structural synthesis and statics. In 1970 he won a C.D. Howe Memorial Fellowship.
While gathering to celebrate Roger’s life will not be possible immediately due to current COVID-related restrictions some memories were shared by email from those who recently learned of his passing. “Roger was an expert in bridge design who was well-known as a “character” and highly engaging instructor with a great sense of humour and an unrivalled level of enthusiasm for his field of expertise,” says Professor Scott Walbridge. “He contributed to the development of bridge design standards for the CSA for many years in a variety of areas and was a regular presence on campus who was particularly generous with his knowledge and time long after he retired.”
As former Professor Jeff West recalls, when he started at Waterloo in 2002: “Although Roger had already retired, he was frequently on campus and became a mentor to me and a good friend. He was very generous with his time and offered valuable advice and support on teaching and research. He happily shared his course notes and hundreds of photos of structures for me to use in my lectures. He had a love for bridges, big or small, and I have many fond memories of field trips we made in southern Ontario to look at bridges of all types and conditions.”
Professor Marianna Polak remembers Roger as “a great colleague, friend and a mentor”, who made important contributions to the work of the American Concrete Institute (ACI). Professor Giovanni Cascante confirms: “He was indeed a great structural engineer with a strong interest in foundations and a great sense of humour” and adds: “I had the fortune of enjoying his company and stories of bridges many times in my trips to Toronto to attend the monthly seminars of the Canadian Geotechnical Society with my students and Roger. The one in the group with the best attitude to learn and the most interesting questions was Roger!”
Retired University of Western Ontario Professor Michael Bartlett recalls: “My first TA as a new MASc student at Waterloo in the fall of 1979 was for Roger’s CIVE 414 Advanced Concrete Design Course. He was always patient and very helpful – and it was quite inspiring to interact with someone so supremely technically competent.” Waterloo Region Bridge Engineer John Stephenson remembers learning very early on that no technical meeting with Roger could begin without coffee. “I’ll miss our coffee-fuelled get-togethers...and Roger’s passionate napkin sketches, and the distinct “hmmm?” with which he always punctuated his explanations, to make sure you were following along.”
Green retired from the University in July 1996, one of 14 members of the Civil Engineering department to take early retirement as part of Waterloo’s Special Early Retirement Program (SERP). From May 2005 to July 2017, he worked part-time in Civil and Environmental Engineering as an adjunct faculty member.
He is survived by his wife Connie, his two children and 5 grandchildren. A family service will be held to celebrate his life on Saturday, August 21 at All Saints’ Anglican Church.