Volunteers needed for Fall Convocation
A message from Community Relations and Events.
Want to be part of the most exciting time on campus and grow your UWaterloo network? Join the growing group of convocation volunteers who will bring this celebration to life.
There are four ceremonies taking place on October 21 and 22, we need over 100 volunteer and volunteer supervisor shifts to make this important milestone a success. We are also looking for volunteers who can be trained on site this fall in support of spring convocation next June, where many more volunteers are required to support our 14 ceremonies.
This is an opportunity to be the first to congratulate students as they prepare to cross the stage, assist with hoods and gowns, and interact with students and their guests throughout their celebration.
Training is provided; new volunteers can sign up for newly created “Shadow Shifts” where you are invited to work alongside previous convocation volunteers who will share their tips and tricks.
Want to learn more and sign up? Visit the convocation website for role descriptions and available shifts.
Managers, please consider releasing your staff to contribute to this important time for the University. Further information can be found on the convocation website.
United Way Campaign releases annual report for 2021
A message from the University of Waterloo United Way Campaign.
Our campaign in 2021
This was our second year of “going red” during a pandemic. As with 2020, we needed to keep our community safe so we continued with a virtual approach to our campaign. This meant a little more creativity and ingenuity – but like any other United Way Campaign, we were blown away by the generosity of the University of Waterloo and their ability to come together in a crisis.
The best and brightest moments
As we gear up for the 2022 United Way Campaign, we’d like to share our appreciation for the hard work, support, and enthusiasm from our campus community – committee members, volunteers, and donors – during our 2021 campaign. Whether you attended a virtual event, executed a fundraising activity within your department, or made a donation, every little bit helps. Your support helped to raise over $230,000 for the 2021 campaign. Read the full report online.
- Over 480 individual donors gave to United Way (employees, retirees and students).
- 126 new donors supported the campaign.
- Our Ambassadors executed 10 events, plus the four events organized by the Core Committee.
- University of Waterloo Deans auctioned delicious food and unique items to raise over $1,700.
- We repeated our popular cooking show, making butternut squash polenta.
- New virtual events; House Plants 101 and Yoga Session, with over 170 participants between them.
Impact of your investment
Our campaign efforts contributed to:
- Funding programs to help those in need of counselling and mental health services.
- Supporting programs helping youth enhance their social and educational skills.
- Funding programs connecting local immigrants to their community.
- Supporting programs that help those living in poverty in our community.
2022 campaign is coming soon
As we look ahead to our 2022 campaign in October, we don’t want to forget our “every little bit counts” sentiment. By coming together as a campus community, we can help those who need it most.
Register for next Wednesday's online Safeguarding Science workshop
A message from the Office of Research.
Interested in learning about possible threats to research and how to mitigate them? Don’t forget to register for the Safeguarding Science workshop taking place on Wednesday, September 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Faculty members, staff (i.e., Research staff, Safety Office staff, Research Ethics staff, and Information Systems & Technology staff involved in research using biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear materials or technology) and students are invited to join Public Safety Canada (PSC) for this workshop.
Making a breakthrough in bricks
By Brian Caldwell. This article was originally published on Waterloo News.
A project inspired by a co-op work term on a construction crew has put a Waterloo Engineering student in the running for an international invention prize.
Adrian Simone, who is in his fourth year of the civil engineering program, was announced today as a national runner-up in the 2022 James Dyson Award competition for a proposal to make bricks using bacteria.
Bio-Brick, the project entered by startup MicroBuild Masonry, is now up against student inventions from 28 other countries for two top prizes of US $45,000. A short list of 20 international finalists will be announced in October from an initial field of almost 1,700 entries.
Simone was doing a co-op term as project manager for a crew laying asphalt when he was struck by the apparent impact of the hot, dirty work on the health of the workers.
“I started thinking there has to be a better way to do this,” he recalled.
Several pivots and iterations later, Simone is now working on a process that uses recycled aggregate and a natural microbial process to form it into masonry units with the same strength and durability as regular bricks.
Bio-Brick tackles two problems at once by reducing carbon emissions from production, a significant issue in the construction supplies industry, and the need for new raw materials in a carbon-neutral solution.
“The solution came from research on self-healing cement where microbes were used to fill gaps in cracked concrete,” Simone explained in his submission. “By readjusting this process we can create supplies with similar properties and a competitive price that makes the manufacturing process completely sustainable.
“There is a microbial process in which certain bacteria, in the right conditions, can create stone out of easy-to-find minerals. These bacteria are suspended in an aggregate and saturated using these minerals suspended in water.”
Track record of success
Waterloo Engineering has a long track record of success in the annual competition, which was launched by James Dyson, inventor of the popular bagless vacuum cleaner, to challenge university students to develop innovative products that solve problems.
“Young design engineers have the ability to develop tangible technologies that can change lives,” he said. “The James Dyson Award rewards those who have the persistence and tenacity to develop their ideas.”
Last year, two recent nanotechnology engineering graduates of Waterloo Engineering – Anneke van Heuven (BASc ’21) and Elias Trouyet (BASc ’21) – made the list of 20 international finalists for a flame-retardant product inspired by seaweed and that they pursued with a startup company called AlgoBio.
Exposure is 'incredibly helpful'
MicroBuild Masonry, which was co-founded by Rania Al-Sheikhly, a master of business, entrepreneurship and technology (MBET) student at Waterloo, previously enjoyed success in pitch contests through the Velocity incubator and the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business.
"Having exposure on this level is incredibly helpful," Simone said of its success so far in the Dyson contest. "It tells us that what we are doing is something that people are interested in learning about and that can lead to a lot more opportunities."
Main photo by Andre Moura from Pexels
Taming the Black Swan and other notes
The Next 100 Symposium will be held next week from Wednesday, September 21 to Friday, September 23. Co-hosted by the Balsillie School, CIGI and GARI, the Next 100 Symposium is a unique and highly curated event where top minds in energy, defence, economy, and policy meet with the top minds in technology and natural science. The theme of the symposium is "Taming the Black Swan."
University of Waterloo speakers at the event include David Welch, Jatin Nathwani and Andrew Thompson.
Find out more online.
This is a reminder that the University of Waterloo's Student Mental Health Research Conference will be taking place on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 during Thrive. Campus Wellness is "inviting abstract submissions for presentations on student and emerging adult mental health, with an emphasis on the following key themes:
- Promotion of mental health-care strategies;
- Suicide prevention;
- Impact of trauma and sexual violence;
- Equity and mental wellness e.g., effects of inequities on the mental health of equity-deserving groups such as Indigenous, Black and other racialized people, LGBTQAI2S+, people with disabilities;
- Harm reduction approaches to substance use; and
- Impact of COVID-19 and mental health."
The call for abstracts has been extended to 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 28. Visit the Thrive website to submit your abstract.