Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Remembering Professor Safieddin Safavi-Naeini

Professor Safieddin (Ali) Safavi-Naeini.The Faculty of Engineering has announced that Professor Safieddin (Ali) Safavi-Naeini passed away on October 10 after a recent illness.

Safavi-Naeini was a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS). As the NSERC/C-COM Industrial Research Chair in Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems for Next Generation Millimeter-Wave Mobile Communications, he was a globally recognized researcher in the field of electromagnetics.

Ali received his BSc degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tehran and his MSc and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ali joined the University of Waterloo in 1996 as an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and was cross-appointed to Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. He was appointed full Professor in July 2002.

"Since the news of his passing, I have heard from many of Ali’s current and former students who spoke of the CIARS research group as a family," wrote Dean of Engineering Mary Wells in a message sent to the faculty yesterday. "They specifically noted that Ali connected with his students beyond the role of research supervisor. Through his compassionate and caring spirit, he strived to be a research mentor and a friend. His dedication to his research and his ability to create a world-leading facility in electromagnetics and wireless technology at the University of Waterloo was an inspiration to many."

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ali’s wife Marzieh and his sons Kasra and Amir who is an alumnus of our electrical engineering program," Wells writes. "Details on how we will honour Ali’s life and contributions will be shared as they are made available."

If you are struggling with this news, there are supports available. The Employee Family Assistance Program provided by Homewood Health has counselling/bereavement services for employees at 1-800-663-1142 or by visiting

Students can contact the University’s Campus Wellness services. There are also community supports, including:

Waterloo co-op program sets record highs in post-pandemic workforce

The Tatham Centre as viewed through the South Campus entrance.

By Stephanie Longeway. This the third in a series of articles focused on the developing talent framework as outlined in Waterloo's strategic plan.

When “business as usual” came to a screeching halt in March 2020, the University of Waterloo quickly pivoted to develop new ways for students and employers to continue to realize the co-op advantage. This resilient response helped retain 78 per cent of Waterloo’s co-op students through the beginning stages of the pandemic, and supported the shift to a remote, online workforce.

Rising to employment challenges experienced nationally and globally was not an easy feat, but demand for the Waterloo co-op program continues to rise.

In 2021, more than 23,760 students have been hired for co-op work terms— a record high for the number of employed students in the University’s history.

“We are now seeing 10,000 plus, students scheduled out for this upcoming winter 2022 work term, which is remarkable. It’s also the most ever for a single term at Waterloo and for any Canadian institution,” says Norah McRae, associate provost of Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE).

This is partly due to the number of students who enrol in co-op, which continues to increase year-over-year, but also due to the University’s strong employer network who continue to hire Waterloo students amidst the pandemic.

Evolving alongside our employer network

Waterloo has always been a pioneer in experiential learning. The University was established in 1957 in conjunction with local industrialists concerned with foreshadowed skilled labour shortages — establishing a hyper-focus on co-operative education to develop talent for the workforce of tomorrow.

Today, amid a pandemic, the value of resilient and skilled talent has never been more important. Waterloo continues to build on the strength of industry partners to create educational opportunities that tool students to become changemakers and leaders in a complex future.

“At Waterloo, we’re very fortunate to have such an extensive and global network of employer partners — and we strive to maintain strong partnerships with these employers and with our broader campus community,” McRae says. “This ongoing support and dedication for our students has offered much-needed supports through a challenging year, especially since many organizations have adapted to hire students for remote work terms.”

To help employers adapt to remote working, Waterloo introduced flexibility in the recruitment process to allow for quicker hiring cycles and the capacity to “bulk hire” hundreds of students to support their changing needs. The University also expanded its employer network by connecting with smaller businesses that needed additional support to pivot their services online.

For many employers, this was the first time they’ve recruited, onboarded and managed talent remotely. Waterloo’s Co-operative and Experiential Education team developed a tool-kit of resources to support co-op employers and ease the transition to remote managing.

Equipping students for success

Waterloo also developed resources to support students who were experiencing their first remote work term. Co-op students were offered free Digital Skills Fundamentals courses in conjunction with industry partners like ShopifyVidyard and Kiite Academy to prepare them for drastically changing workplaces.

The pandemic put many businesses at risk because they lacked a strong digital approach. By equipping students with these digital skills, it helped them to find work and make a significant contribution to organizations of all kinds.

Demand for co-ops showing no signs of slowing down

Industry partners, including Deloitte, Manulife, Microsoft, Vidyard and D2L, have enthusiastically welcomed these changes. Businesses from across sectors continue to employ Waterloo co-op students at record numbers with 7,204 placements in the current Fall 2021 term — the highest Fall term in the University’s history.

The pandemic has also not slowed down the demand from students to participate in co-op work terms. Co-op enrolment at Waterloo increased during the pandemic by more than nine per cent from fall 2019 to fall 2020. Co-op students currently make up 64.8 per cent of all undergraduate and graduate-level students.

“Waterloo’s co-op program started in 1957 with the idea that work and learning do not need to be mutually exclusive. When it is well-organized, well-integrated and supported, it empowers students to develop the most in-demand, transferable skills needed for success in an evolving and unpredictable future workforce,” McRae says. “I’m very proud of how we’ve weathered the pandemic. The future looks bright and I know our talented students will be at the forefront of our post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Cheriton School of Computer Science tops Maclean's rankings for second year

The Davis Centre.

This article was originally featured on the School of Computer Science website.

Waterloo’s Cheriton School of Computer Science has again been ranked first in Canada according to the Maclean’s 2022 university rankings just released. Based on program and research reputation, computer science at Waterloo shared the podium for first place with the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia.

“It’s gratifying to see the Cheriton School of Computer Science in the top spot nationally once again,” said Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science.

“Our undergrad and graduate students are truly exceptional and they excel both in their computer science studies and in their extracurricular activities, including entrepreneurial pursuits that lead to innovative start-ups and top placements at international programming contests. As well, each year our faculty receive many prestigious honours, awards and recognitions — from international fellowships, accolades and lifetime achievement awards to early career researcher awards to numerous best paper awards.”

The University of Waterloo continues to excel overall. Waterloo was ranked number one by Maclean’s in the innovation category, thanks to its tech start-up culture and the ongoing work of researchers in computer science who break new ground across a range of research areas. The university also remained number one for experiential education, spurred on by the co-operative education and internship model embedded as fundamental components of degree programs.

The results of the Maclean’s 2022 university rankings were released on October 7, 2021. Find out more about Maclean’s university rankings methodology for 2022.

Read more about the university’s ranking in the article on Waterloo News.

Free workplace yoga program continues in the fall term

A woman does yoga on an exercise mat.

A message from the Workplace Yoga Program.

Staff are invited to participate in the Free Workplace Yoga Program, which is currently happening virtually with our wonderful instructors Eva and Joshua (Kunga).  Classes are at 12:05-12:55 p.m. on Tuesdays with Eva and on Wednesdays with Joshua.  Something new: on the first Tuesday of every month, Eva will be teaching Pilates!

To participate in the Tuesday class, please send a request via Microsoft Teams to join the Keep Well Yoga/Pilates lesson Teams channel or contact Lisa Liu (

To participate in the Wednesday class, please send a request via Microsoft Teams to join the Yoga with Joshua Teams channel or contact James French (

Both classes are following the campus return to work plan and the hope is for an eventual return to campus when safe and as resources allow.  Please stay tuned for further details.

Your Daily Inspiration continues, Sustainability Action Fund, and other notes

Daily Inspiration Keeping Well at Work banner.

Today's Daily Inspiration

It's KW@W Conference Day 1

Don't miss:

Registration is still open.

See all Daily Inspirations on the Keeping Well at Work conference site. Questions and contest entries can be sent to or tweet @OHDuwaterloo.

Green plant shoots.

The Sustainability Action Fund (SAF) is now receiving applications for campus projects that advance Waterloo’s sustainability efforts, according to a note from the Sustainability Office.

The SAF launched in 2017 and has funded over 20 projects generated by students, staff, and faculty to improve campus sustainability. These have included events and marketing campaigns, infrastructure improvements, and new technology solutions. If you have a project idea that would improve the campus’ environmental footprint or would engage students and employees in sustainability topics, you can apply for between $2,000 to $30,000 in funding.

Applications are due by November 12. For more information and to view the application form, visit the Sustainability website. Projects will be reviewed by the President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability.

Naismith Classic UW Athletics banner.

The Naismith Classic Basketball Tournament is just around the corner, running from October 14 to 16. Cheer on your Warriors as they battle against teams across Ontario. Purchase your tickets today.

Tickets on Sale for Athletics events.While we're on the subject of sports tickets, this is a reminder that Warriors Game Day tickets and season passes are now on sale. Tickets for football, hockey, basketball and volleyball games are available.

Link of the day

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, leadership development, exchange and study abroad, and opportunities to get involved.

Instructors looking for targeted support for developing online components for blended learning courses, transitioning remote to fully online courses, revising current online courses, and more please visit Agile Development | Centre for Extended Learning | University of Waterloo (

Instructors can visit the Keep Learning website to get support on adapting their teaching and learning plans for an online environment.

Course templates are available within your course in LEARN to help you build and edit your content and assignment pages quickly.

The following workshops, webinars, and events are offered by the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

Employees can access resources to help them work remotely, including managing University records and privacy of personal information. Here are some tips for staying healthy while working from home.

Stay informed about COVID cases on campus by consulting the COVID case tracker.

The Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help undergrads, grad students, postdocs and faculty members with academic writing.

Co-op students can get help finding a job and find supports to successfully work remotely, develop new skills, access wellness and career information, and contact a co-op or career advisor.

The Centre for Career Action (CCA) is offering some in-person services for fall 2021. The Tatham Centre is open with front-desk support, limited in-person appointments and co-op consults. Services are also available virtually. Book an appointment online or Live Chat with our Client Support Team. The CCA is here to help.

If you feel overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please contact the University’s Campus Wellness services, either Health Services or  Counselling Services. You can also contact the University's Centre for Mental Health Research and TreatmentGood2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline available to all students.

While the Library continues to focus on digital resources and consultations, our spaces are open for the fall term. Dana Porter Library is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Davis Centre Library is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for drop-in individual study space, bookable individual study rooms, drop-in access to computers and printers, book pick-up services and IST Help Desk support. Special Collections & Archives and the Geospatial Centre will be accessible by appointment. Library staff are available for questions via Ask us. Full details on current services and hours are available on the Library’s COVID-19 Update webpage

The Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the FAUW blog for more information.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the UWSA blog for more information.

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) supports all members of the University of Waterloo campus community who have experienced, or been impacted, by sexual violence. This includes all students, staff, faculty and visitors on the main campus, the satellite campuses, and at the affiliated and federated Waterloo Institutes and Colleges. For support, email: or visit the SVPRO website.

The Indigenous Initiatives Office is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the university Indigenization strategy.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, based at St. Paul’s University College, provides support and resources for Indigenous students, and educational outreach programs for the broader community, including lectures, and events.

WUSA supports for students:

Peer support  - MATES, Glow Centre, RAISE, Women’s Centre - Visit to book an appointment either in person or online for the Fall term!

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk 24/7 in the Student Life Centre. Drop off locations are also open again in SLC, DC, DP, SCH and all residences.

Co-op Connection all available online. Check for more details.

Centre for Academic Policy Support - CAPS is here to assist Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals. Please contact them at caps@wusa.caMore information is available.

WUSA Student Legal Protection Program - Seeking legal counsel can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time facing a legal issue. The legal assistance helpline provides quick access to legal advice in any area of law, including criminal. Just call 1-833-202-4571

Empower Me is a confidential mental health and wellness service that connects students with qualified counsellors 24/7. They can be reached at 1-833-628-5589.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Healthy Warriors at Home (Online Fitness)

Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. Join your fellow Warriors, donate blood and help us win the Blood Battle against Laurier for a second year in a row. Set up a profile or add the PFL code: UNIV960995 to your account if you have a account already. Questions? Contact

Drop-in to Warrior Virtual Study Halls on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come together in this virtual space to set goals and work independently or in groups each week.

Renison English Language Institute continues to offer virtual events and workshops to help students practice their English language skills.

NEW - W Store Faculty and Staff Appreciation sale, Tuesday, October 12 to Friday, October 15. Visit for more information.

Keeping Well at Work conference, Wednesday, October 13 and Tuesday, October 19.

Naismith Classic Basketball Tournament. Thursday, October 14 to Saturday, October 16. Cheer on your Warriors as they battle against teams across Ontario. Purchase your tickets today.

NEW - IT Seminar: Online Faculty Application System (OFAS), Friday October 15, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Join online.

NEW - University Senate meeting, Monday, October 18, 3:30 p.m.

Spanish and Latin American Studies presents Dr. Dolores Figueroa Romero, Binational Dialogues on the Challenges to Document Violence Against Indigenous Women in Mexico and Canada,” Tuesday, October 19, 11:00 a.m. RSVP to Jorge Castaneda Ochoa,

GEDI Exchange Webinar - A 30 Minute Exchange with Metagenom Bio and Ceragen, Tuesday, October 19, 1:00 p.m. Join this discussion with Metagenom Bio and Ceragen as they discuss Microbiomes: Building a business and feeding the world. Register online.

NEW - WaterTalk: Water Resources and Food Supply Chains, Presented by Megan Konar, Thursday, October 21, 10:00 a.m.

2021 Benjamin Eby Lecture, “Composing Louis Riel's Dream: Exploring the history of the Red River Settlement through family stories and music”, Thursday, October 21, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College. Virtual event.

Warriors Football vs. Western. October 23, 1:00 p.m. Think Pink in support of the Breast Cancer Cause at the Canadian Cancer Society, Donor Appreciation Day. Purchase tickets.

NEW - WaterLeadership training seminar: Create engaging virtual presentations, Presented by Elise Vist, Tuesday, October 26, 1:00 p.m.

Pivot-RP Training Session for Waterloo faculty and staff who support research proposal development. Tuesday, October 26, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please register to receive a link to this session on Teams.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2021-6763 - Employee Benefits Specialist - Human Resources, USG 8 - 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7322 - Instructional Support Coordinator - Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Programs, USG 8 - 10
  • Job ID# 2021-6621 - Administrative Officer - WUSA, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2021-7307 - Coordinator, International Student Experience - Student Success Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2021-6976 - Information Technology Specialist - Optometry and Vision Science, USG 9 - 11
  • Job ID# 2021-7120 - Manager, Systems Development and Operations - Information Systems and Technology, USG 14
  • Job ID# 2021-7286 - Communications Specialist - Co-operative and Experiential Education Business Services, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7310 - Director, Instructional Technologies and Media Services - Information Systems and Technology, USG 16
  • Job ID# 2021-7312 - Lead Hand - Science Technical Services, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7108 - Finance and Operations Officer - Centre for Extended Learning, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7109 - Learning Services Coordinator - Centre for Extended Learning, USG 5 - 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7315 - Student Service Specialist - Student Service Centre, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2021-7324 - Procurement Specialist - Procurement, USG 11
  • Job ID# 2021-7292 - Undergraduate Advisor & Coordinator - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7301 - Building Attendant - Plant Operations, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2021-7302 - Building Serviceperson I - Carpenter - Plant Operations, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2021-7326 - Business Systems Administrator - Plant Operations, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7334 - Horticulturist - Plant Operations, CUPE

Secondments/Internal temporary opportunities

  • Job ID# 2021-7296 - Graduate Coordinator - Cheriton School of Computer Science, USG 5 - 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7306 - Coordinator, International Student Experience - Student Success Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2021-7308 - Coordinator, New Student Transition - Student Success Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2021-7314 - Outreach Coordinator - WiCS - Cheriton School of Computer Science, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2021-7319 - Co-ordinator, Desk Services and Operations - Campus Housing, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7311 - Computing Consultant (Quality Assurance Analyst) - Information Systems and Technology, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2021-7293 - Graduate Studies Coordinator, MAcc, Part time - School of Accounting and Finance, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7320 - Educational Research Associate - Centre for Teaching Excellence, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2021-6590 - Communications Officer - Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7037 - Associate Director, Technical Facilities - Institute for Quantum Computing (Org 8610), USG 12
  • Job ID# 2021-7304 - Institutional Analyst - Institutional Analysis and Planning, USG 8-9
  • Job ID# 2021-7347 - Fire Systems Serviceperson - Plant Operations, CUPE

Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo opportunities