Thursday, March 23, 2023

Waterloo rises in QS World University Rankings

The University of Waterloo sign.

By Jon Parsons.

The University of Waterloo rose three spots in the rankings of the best schools for computer science to take 22nd globally.

In electrical and electronic engineering, Waterloo rose four spots to 29th. Rounding out Waterloo’s best showing in the rankings was a finish of 43rd globally in mathematics.

The rankings are the latest annual release of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, which rank universities globally in 54 academic disciplines.

Waterloo is strongest in subject areas in engineering and technology, with top 100 standings in electrical and electronic engineering, civil and structural engineering, mechanical, aeronautic and manufacturing engineering and chemical engineering.

The University also holds down impressive rankings in anatomy and physiology, hospitality and leisure management, sports-related subjects, statistics and operational research, materials science, physics and astronomy and environmental sciences.

Check out all of Waterloo’s top 100 global subject areas in the rankings. Note that QS indicates some of the rankings as a range.

  • Computer Science & Information Systems – 22
  • Engineering: Electrical & Electronic – 29
  • Mathematics – 43
  • Anatomy & Physiology – 51-100
  • Engineering: Civil & Structural – 51-100
  • Hospitality & Leisure Management – 51-100
  • Sports-related Subjects – 51-100
  • Statistics & Operational Research – 51-100
  • Engineering: Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing – 56
  • Materials Science – 82
  • Physics & Astronomy – 85
  • Engineering – Chemical – 89
  • Environmental Sciences – 98

Subject areas in which Waterloo ranks between 101 and 200 include:

  • Accounting & Finance: 101-150
  • Architecture / Built Environment: 101-150
  • Geography: 101-150
  • Chemistry: 142
  • Earth & Marine Sciences: 151-200
  • Geology: 151-200
  • Geophysics: 151-200
  • Psychology: 151-200

The methodology for the QS World University Rankings by Subject incorporates data including research quality as measured by citations per paper, as well as h-index, which measures scholarly output and impact. Check out the full methodology on the QS World University Rankings website.

Based on the number of overall top 100 showings by Canadian universities, Canada is home to the fifth strongest higher education system in the world.

Celebrating excellence in online teaching

A message from the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL).

Every year the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic and the Centre for Extended Learning recognize the great work that Waterloo’s instructors are doing in the virtual classroom. Please help us identify these remarkable people by nominating an instructor or an online course author.

Were you a student in a fully online (ONLN) course this term? If you had an exceptional experience in your online course, consider nominating your instructor for the Online Teaching Award.

Students, teaching assistants, instructors, chairs, directors and deans can also submit nominations for the Online Course Design Award.

The University of Waterloo’s Online Teaching Awards recognize teaching and course design excellence in fully online undergraduate or graduate-level courses.

Waterloo prepares for Ontario District FIRST Robotics Competition

The FIRST Robotics competition in the Physical Activities Complex.

Photo by Ymaphoto.

The annual Ontario District University of Waterloo FIRST Robotics Competition will be hosted at the Physical Activities Complex on March 24 and 25. 

Thirty-two teams of high school students will be designing, building and programming robots.

In this year’s CHARGED UP challenge, teams are inspired to see the potential of energy storage in a new light as they compete to charge up their communities by storing and delivering renewable energy to those who need it. The competition supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #7, ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

The competition begins with qualification rounds on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, followed by elimination matches and final rounds on Saturday afternoon. This is a free event, open to the public. 


  • Friday, March 24, from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Activity: Practice rounds, opening ceremonies and qualification rounds 

  • Saturday, March 25, from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Activity: Qualification rounds, elimination matches and awards

W Store and W Print - quick, easy and convenient

A collage of products sold by Print + Retail Solutions

A message from Print + Retail Solutions (P+RS).

Print and Retail Solutions (P+RS) offers a personalized experience to help you find exactly what you are looking for with quick, reliable and convenient service.  

Our experts are available to facilitate your orders and offer advice and support while providing the resources and products you need. We carry a diverse selection of innovative products as well as the ability to create and order custom-branded products for your department or faculty.  

Look no further than W Store and W Print for everything you need, whether it’s retirement gifts, tokens of appreciation for special guests, custom swag, bulk orders, stationery favourites, books, essential technology and so much more. Our experts will make the process as easy as possible by sourcing from the best vendor and ensuring quick turnaround. Avoid the hassle of having to coordinate with external suppliers directly and let P+RS do the work!  

We have the expertise to provide the service you require and find the products you need, quickly and within your budget. It’s never too late to get your orders in! Note that all purchases from P+RS made by internal account number are tax-free, and in-stock UWaterloo-branded items charged to an internal account at W Store (SCH or MC) are eligible for a 15 per cent discount (some exclusions apply).

Don’t know where to start? Email Erin ( for custom orders, John ( for all technology inquiries, or or if you’re unsure whom to contact, and we’ll connect you with the right person for the job. 

GreenHouse announces winter term winners of the Social Impact Fund

GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase participants in a group photo.

A message from the United College’s GreenHouse.

The Social Impact Showcase celebrates the amazing work that GreenHouse students have accomplished throughout their social innovation journeys. This term, 11 teams pitched and 5 were awarded funding to support their ventures from the Social Impact Fund, established by United College.

And the winners are…

  • Merge2Own, awarded $1,500, is lowering the barriers to home ownership for first-time buyers by introducing a vetted matching process and is led by Chinazom Uwaoma and Ernest Onuorah (Faculty of Engineering).
  • NewGen Health, awarded $1,500, is creating a non-invasive rapid test for the early detection of kidney disease, and is led by Mazhar Shahen (Alumni, Faculty of Health), Zaid Mubeen (Alumni, Faculty of Science), and Shiv Naik (Alumni, Faculty of Science).
  • Electric Boats Inc., awarded $5,000, cleans local waterways of floating plastic debris using electric boats and is led by Chanakya Ramdev (Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Environment).
  • Entomatia, awarded $10,000, is developing an alternative to fetal bovine serum for research and development applications and is led by Nicholas Cheng (School of Pharmacy).

Over 1,200 community members also voted in the People’s Choice Awards and selected the Waterloo Alt Protein Project (pitched by Marie De Mey, Faculty of Engineering and Rikard Saqe, Faculty of Math) as the winner of an additional $1,000 towards accelerating the progress of the alternative protein industry with their design team and research efforts.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Winter 2023 Social Impact Showcase and thank you to all the support from the University of Waterloo community. Cheers to our students and their continued success!

Reminder: Eagle Staff Welcome Ceremony on Monday; other notes

Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Myeengun Henry holds an eagle feather.

Ceremonies on the morning of Monday, March 27 will accompany the arrival of an Eagle Staff on the University of Waterloo campus, and there's still time to register and participate.

Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Myeengun Henry will introduce an Eagle Staff to the University of Waterloo in a ceremony at Federation Hall at 10:00 a.m. Monday. Prior to that, a sunrise ceremony will begin outside Federation Hall at 7:00 a.m.

"An Eagle Staff is an important element of the Indigenous relationship to mother earth and those that have protected it," says the original invitation email. "Through the introduction of the Eagle Staff, the University of Waterloo honours the responsibility to take on Indigenous perspectives, ensuring that they are reflected in the governance, structure, and intent of the University. A symbol of Indigenous acknowledgement, the Eagle Staff will serve as a beacon of reconciliation throughout our shared future."

The entire University community is invited to participate in this ceremony, which is expected to take up to 90 minutes, including an opportunity for refreshments afterwards.

Register to attend the events

The Music department's end-of-term concerts continue this weekend with two choral performances.

Members of the Chamber Choir sing on stage.

The University of Waterloo Chamber Choir presents Gloria on Saturday, March 25. "The Chamber Choir will sing a wide range of music including motets celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Byrd’s death in 1623, tintinnabuli music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, and Vivaldi’s effervescent Gloria!" says a note from the Music department. "Directed by Dr. Mark Vuorinen, this 25-voice choir will give you a beautiful concert to remember on a cold winter day."

The concert takes place Saturday March 25 at 7:30 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church on 22 Water Street in Kitchener. Tickets are available at the door - $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

The University Choir sings in a church.

Not to be outdone, the University Choir presents Finding Together on Sunday, March 26. "Come and join the University Choir as they explore themes of being together through repertoire by Schütz, Mendelssohn, Saindon, Runestad, and Pasek & Paul," says the Music department. "Directed by Liska Jetchick, this 60 voice choir is guaranteed to delight the audience with their wide range of musical pieces."

The concert takes place on Sunday, March 26, at 4:00 p.m., at St. John the Evangelist Church on 22 Water Street in Kitchener.  $5 students/$10 general. Tickets are available at the door - $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

Link of the day

World Meteorological Day

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, immigration consulting, 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 (

Faculty, staff, post-doc and graduate student instructors can find upcoming teaching and learning workshops, self-directed modules and recordings of previous events on Centre for Teaching Excellence Workshops and Events page.

Instructors can access the EdTech Hub to find support on Waterloo’s centrally supported EdTech tools. The Hub is supported by members of IST’s Instructional Technologies and Media ServicesCentre for Teaching ExcellenceCentre for Extended Learning and subject matter experts from other campus areas.

Supports are available for employees returning to campus. Visit IST’s Hybrid Work and Technology guidelines and workplace protocols to assist with the transition.

Students with permanent, temporary and suspected disabilities and disabling conditions (medical conditions, injuries, or trauma from discrimination, violence, or oppression) can register with AccessAbility Services for academic accommodations (classroom accommodations, testing accommodations, milestone accommodations).

Instructors can visit AccessAbility Services' Faculty and Staff web page for information about the Instructor/Faculty role in the accommodation process. Instructors/Faculty members are legally required to accommodate students with disabilities. AccessAbility Services (AAS) is here to help you understand your obligations, and to offer services and resources to help you facilitate accommodations.

Did you know that the Writing and Communication Centre offers many in-person and virtual services to support you with any writing or communication project? This term we've added The Write Spot: a new student space in South Campus hall, complete with bookable workspaces, drop-ins with our peer tutors, and free coffee and tea. We also have one-to-one appointments with our writing and communication advisors and peer tutors, email tutoring for grads and undergrads, drop-ins at Dana Porter Libraryonline workshopswriting groupsEnglish conversation practice, and even custom in-class workshops. For any communication project, the Writing and Communication Centre is here to support you.

Research Ethics: Find yourself with an ethical question, unsure if your work requires an ethics review, or need advice about putting together a research ethics application? Reach out to one of our friendly staff by booking a consultation or email us with your questions.

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) has services and programs to support undergrads, grad students, postdocs, alumni, and employees in figuring out what they value, what they’re good at, and how to access meaningful work, co-op, volunteer, or graduate/professional school opportunities. Questions about CCA's services? Live chat, call 519-888-4047, or stop by our front desk in the Tatham Centre 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Drop-in to in-person Warrior Study Halls on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in DC and DP. Join a Peer Success Coach to set goals and work independently or in groups each week.

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

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.

The Library is here to help, both in person and online. Our spaces are open for access to book stacks, study spaces, computers/printers, and the IST Help Desk. For in-depth support, meet one-to-one with Librarians, Special Collections & Archives and Geospatial Centre staff. Visit the Library’s home page to access our online resources for anywhere, anytime learning and research.

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 Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-racism (EDI-R) works with students, faculty and staff across campus to advance equity and anti-racism through evidence-based policies, practices and programs. If you have a concern related to anti-racism and/or equity, please complete our intake form.

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 Office of Indigenous Relations is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the University's Indigenization strategy.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, based at United 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 - MATESGlow CentreRAISEWomen’s Centre - Click on one of the links to book an appointment either in person or online for the 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. 

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

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.

GSA-UW supports for graduate students: 

The Graduate Student Association (GSA-UW) supports students’ academic and social experience and promotes their well-being.

Advising and Support - The GSA advises graduate students experiencing challenges and can help with navigating university policies & filing a grievance, appeal, or petition.

Mental Health covered by the Health Plan - The GSA Health Plan now has an 80 per cent coverage rate (up to $800/year) for Mental Health Practitioners. Your plan includes coverage for psychologists, registered social workers, psychotherapists, and clinical counselors.

Dental Care - The GSA Dental Plan covers 60 to 70 per cent of your dental costs and by visiting dental professionals who are members of the Studentcare Networks, you can receive an additional 20 to 30 per cent coverage.

Student Legal Protection Program - Your GSA fees give you access to unlimited legal advice, accessible via a toll-free helpline: +1-833-202-4571. This advice covers topics including housing disputes, employment disputes, and disputes with an academic institution.

The Graduate House: Open Monday to Tuesday 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We’re open to all students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Graduate House is a community space run by the GSA-UW. We’re adding new items to the menu. Graduate students who paid their fees can get discounts and free coffee.

When and Where 

Fitness and Personal Training - Registrations opened January 5 this winter with Personal Training and Small Group Training as well as a Free Warrior Workout Program.

Waterloo Warriors Youth Camps. Spring and Summer camps available for Boys and Girls ages 5-18. Baseball, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Hockey and Multi-Sport and Games. Register today.

Student Health Pharmacy in the basement of the Student Life Centre is now offering Covid booster shots (Pfizer and Moderna) and flu shots. Call 519-746-4500 or extension 33784 for an appointment. Walk-ins always welcome.

Portia's Julius Caesar, Wednesday, March 22 to Saturday, March 25, Theatre of the Arts.

Equitable Recruitment and Selection, Friday, March 24, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon, online.

Knowledge Integration Senior Honours Projects Symposium, Friday, March 24, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV3-1408.

Gloria: Chamber Choir, Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Church, 22 Water Street, Kitchener. Tickets $5 students/$10 general, available at the door.

NEW - Finding Together: University Choir, Sunday, March 26, 4:00 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Church, 22 Water Street, Kitchener.  $5 students/$10 general. Tickets available at the door.

NEW - Eagle Staff welcome ceremony, Monday, March 27, sunrise ceremony at 7:00 a.m., welcome ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Federation Hall. Register now.

University Senate meeting, Monday, March 27, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

NEW - Introduction to Disability Justice – Debrief Session, Tuesday, March 28, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon, online. 

Research Talks – “Sustainable Urban Environments,” Tuesday, March 28, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Four Fathers Brewing Co., Cambridge. Please register as seating is limited.

PhD oral defences

Geography and Environmental Management. Perch Kohsah, Effects of seismic lines on peatland function in boreal Alberta, Canada”. Supervisor, Maria Strack. Available upon request from the Faculty of Environment, Administrator, Graduate Studies. Oral defence Monday, March 27, 1:00 p.m.

School of Pharmacy. Jacky Yu, “Pharmacokinetic and economic implications when switching between hemophilia A treatments.” Supervisor, Dr. Andrea Edginton. Please visit the Faculty of Science Thesis Submission Notices website for details on requesting a copy. Oral defence Thursday, March 30, 9:30 a.m., remote via MS Teams.

Environment, Enterprise and Development. Sisir Pradhan “Social-ecological systems analysis of the dried fish value chain for community wellbeing in the Bay of Bengal coast of Odisha and West Bengal, India”. Supervisor, Prateep Nayak. Available upon request from the Faculty of Environment, Administrator, Graduate Studies. Oral defence Tuesday, April 11, 8:00 a.m.

Environment, Enterprise and Development. Sadaf Mollaei, “An analysis of Canadian young adults’ eating behaviours towards sustainable food choices.” Supervisor, Goretty Dias. Available upon request from the Faculty of Environment, Administrator, Graduate Studies. Oral defence Tuesday, April 11, 10:00 a.m.