Thursday, April 6, 2023

Retiring Board Chair, governors honoured at luncheon

Achim Kempf, Carol Cressman, Susan Grant, Cindy Forbes, Catherine Dong, Matthew Schwarze, and Stephanie Ye-Mowe.

Achim Kempf, Carol Cressman, Susan Grant, Cindy Forbes, Catherine Dong, Matthew Schwarze, and Stephanie Ye-Mowe.

Cindy Forbes, outgoing Chair of the University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors, was recognized for her service to the University at a luncheon held Tuesday, April 4 in the Black and Gold Room  in the Student Life Centre. Also celebrated at the luncheon were a number of governors whose terms of office expire this year.

“It’s my pleasure to thank Cindy Forbes, our chair, for her service to the Board of Governors,” said President Vivek Goel. “She’s been a member of the Board since 2012 and served as Chair since 2017. She has sat on almost every committee on the Board and served as Chair of several of those committees over the past ten years.”

“Cindy has been a longstanding supporter of the University, as an alumna of the Faculty of Math, and has provided support in many ways, including the Cindy Forbes Entrance Scholarship in Mathematics, awarded annually to an outstanding international student from Asia, which comes from her own experience working in Asia with Manulife, where she had a distinguished career. She has been recognized in many ways, and she was named one of Canada’s most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network.”

“I’m also really pleased that Cindy will continue to be involved in the work of our sector as she provides service on the province’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Financial Sustainability in the Post-Secondary Education sector,” Goel said.

President Goel invited Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations Jean Becker to present Forbes with an original piece of artwork sculpted by Indigenous artist Todd Longboat.

AVP Indigenous Relations Jean Becker presents Board Chair Cindy Forbes with a carving representing collaboration and interdependence.

Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations Jean Becker presents Board Chair Cindy Forbes with a carving representing collaboration and interdependence.

“For Indigenous people, gift-giving is a way of life,” Becker said, “a way of building and maintaining good relationships, alliances, and business ties. It also creates a culture of generosity. Gift-giving is all about reciprocity and kinship.”

The carving presented to Forbes represents the “Three Sisters” recognized by many Indigenous communities: corn, bean and squash.

“The Three Sisters illustrate interdependency, and we believe this particular gift was suited for you because of the role you played here,” Becker said to Forbes. “You have been a leader who knows how to work in collaboration in building good relationships, you’ve provided us with fabulous guidance and leadership and you’ve created an environment where we’ve been successful.”

President Vivek Goel, Board Chair Cindy Forbes, AVP Indigenous Relations Jean Becker.

President Vivek Goel, Board Chair Cindy Forbes and Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations Jean Becker.

Retiring governors at the luncheon included Carol Cressman, Catherine Dong, Matthew Schwarze, Achim Kempf, Stephanie Ye-Mowe and Susan Grant. Retiring governors not able to attend the luncheon included Peter Barr, Sheryl Kennedy, Nyla Ahmad, Naima Samuel, Mary Robinson and Lori Curtis.

“It’s my pleasure to thank all of the governors, retiring and continuing for your service to the University of Waterloo,” said President Vivek Goel. “Our governance works because we bring so many people together into our process.”

Pitching to win

Esch Foundation trustees Ross McGovern, Jim Sharples and David Esch; Waterloo Engineering dean Dr. Mary Wells; Bexter team Heidi (Daeun) Han, Osose Itua, Ihn Hwan Kim, Stephen Del Grosso Milek and Dylan Policelli.

From left to right: Esch Foundation trustees Ross McGovern, Jim Sharples and David Esch; Waterloo Engineering dean Dr. Mary Wells; Bexter team Heidi (Daeun) Han, Osose Itua, Ihn Hwan Kim, Stephen Del Grosso Milek and Dylan Policelli. Photo credit@ Brett Nelson, P.Eng, PEO Grand River Chapter. 

By Charlotte Danby.

Ten senior student teams from the Faculty of Engineering competed in this year’s Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Awards for Capstone Design, pitching their startup ideas to a panel of judges tasked with awarding $60,000.   

All 10 pitches showcased innovative thinking and entrepreneurial skills. The teams presented creative solutions to challenges ranging from an affordable at-home robot that helps non-verbal autistic children learn how to communicate, to a smart intervention that prevents tennis elbow.

“When it comes to innovation, engineers have a tendency to put the solution first which can result in a very cool project, but might not solve a real-world problem,” says Osose Itua, the fourth-year mechatronics engineering student who delivered a winning pitch for the Bexter team. “My entrepreneurial pursuits so far have taught me that it’s critical to put the end-user's needs first so that regardless of how cool the solution seems, it gets to the heart of a problem that actually exists.

“Supporting entrepreneurial engineers with funding is so important because it helps us deliver much-needed innovation faster. Thanks to this grant we plan to move forward with R&D and apply for a patent!”

Back live and in-person after two years of COVID-19 restrictions, the pitch contest was packed to the brim and buzzing with excitement as emcee and alumnus Dr. Matthew Stevens (BASc ’04 and PhD ’08, chemical engineering) timed each team’s three-minute pitch down to the second.

Six teams delivered winning pitches and walked away with $10,000 each to invest in their projects’ commercialization.

A seventh team claimed $6,000 for the Sedra People’s Choice Award as voted on by the event’s lively audience in Engineering 7.

An impressed Stevens summed it up well, “Waterloo grows great engineers.”

The Esch pitch winners

Bexter (Ihn Hwan Kim, Daeun Han, Dylan Policelli, Stephen Del Grosso Milek and Osose Itua – interdisciplinary team) for an at-home robot that teaches non-verbal autistic children how to communicate using an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) board.

extensiLE (Cedric Attias, Milena Galaszewicz, Rebecca Wyllie and Teresa Marotta – biomedical engineering) for a preventative solution for tennis elbow that includes tensile inserts and an app to analyze wrist flexion, improve form and prevent injury based on data feedback.

PoweRFul Meter (Tom Paraschuk, Francis Chambers, Richard Joung, David Hardy, Jonathan Singh and Erik Kuhne – electrical and computer engineering) for a cheap, portable device that can help companies and business owners without specialized RF knowledge measure the effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) at the rated industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) band and get their wireless/IoT products off the ground with the necessary FCC government regulatory approval.

Siliboat Coat (Alice Tong, Jazmin Catly, Angeline Nguyen-Dang and Danielle Joy Vinzon – chemical engineering) for an eco-friendly antifouling boat coating to protect fibreglass-bottom boats with a safer and more effective alternative to antifouling boat coatings with biocidal properties.

SWEATsens (Alyssa Leon, Kate Pearson, Paul Shen, Teresa Tang and Xinmei Yan – nanotechnology engineering) for a wearable sweat-based biosensing health monitoring patch with integrated sweat stimulation to allow for continuous measurement of blood analyte levels.

VIZZ (Simon Yan, Max Zhu, Sebastian Ouslis and Jason Liu – electrical and computer engineering) for a tool that allows developers to understand how different components in their code call other files and microservices without having to read any code, thus improving their understanding of complicated and interconnected systems.

The Sedra People’s Choice Award went to SmartWalker (Andrea Chakma, Kamila Neliba, Lania Philia Terisno, Joanna Diao, Longchen (Mason) Niu – mechatronics engineering) for an assistive device that uses smart grip and obstacle detection technologies to make rollaters safer for users.

The pitch competition’s 10 qualifying teams were drawn from more than 300 projects developed by over 1,500 fourth-year engineering students and showcased at the University’s annual Capstone Symposia.

The pitch competition, funded by the Esch Foundation, launched in 2014 to support creative and entrepreneurial senior engineering students who are pursuing research and development and its commercialization for the benefit of Canada.

Call for expressions of interest in biomedical and bioscences research funds

A researcher in full PPE handles volatile liquids.

A message from the Office of Research.

University of Waterloo researchers are invited to apply for the Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (CBRF-BRIF). The purpose of these funds is to build on existing assets and infrastructure, forge partnerships across multiple sectors, including industry and government research facilities, and ensure Canada is prepared for future pandemics by increasing domestic capacity through investments and partnerships to produce life-saving vaccines and therapeutics.

Funding Information

  • CBRF: up to $215M over four years, with $500K to $5M per project per year
  • BRIF: up to $360M (maximum of $277M for infrastructure and $83M for associated operating costs)

Important Deadlines

  • Expression of interest (EOI) - April 27, 2023
  • Notice of intent (NOI) - June 8, 2023
  • Full application - September 7, 2023
  • Results announced - March 2024

For the program overview and available support and resources, please visit Waterloo’s CBRF-BRIF webpage. Please contact Grace Gomashie at to express your interest and be added to the Teams site for updates.

What's open and closed on the long weekend; other notes

It is Easter weekend, with the Good Friday statutory holiday set for tomorrow. On Easter (also known as Pascha outside the English-speaking world), Christians around the world mark the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Other celebratory traditions have become part of the broader cultural landscape such as the Easter Bunny, egg-painting, and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.

There will be a number of closings and service modifications to note for the long weekend, including:

  • All W Store, W Store Essentials and W Print locations will be closed on Friday, April 7 for Good Friday. All locations will re-open for regular business hours starting Monday, April 10.
  • The Dana Porter Library and Davis Centre libraries will both be open from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. Check the Library's operating hours page for more details.
  • Most Food Services operations will be closed on Good Friday, with the exceptions of The Market at UWP (open from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.), Mudie's in Village One 1 (open 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.) and REVelation in Ron Eydt Village (open 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) Visit the Food Services locations and hours page for more details.
  • The Student Life Centre (SLC) and the Turnkey Desk will be open throughout the long weekend.

 Aiming for Net Zero banner image.

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) and the Department Of Chemical Engineering are presenting a Sustainable Futures Perspectives Event entitled Recycling battery materials: Aiming for net zero.

"The Department of Chemical Engineering and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology are partnering to organize a series of discourses on technology-based solutions to global challenges linked to UN Sustainable Development Goals," says a note from event organizers. "We are pleased to present the second discourse in our series: Recycling Battery materials: Aiming for Net Zero."

In this event, Khalil Amine, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and the leader of the Advanced Battery Technology team at Argonne National Laboratory, will be joined by Professors Zhongwei Chen, Jeff Gostik and Michael Fowler.

The event will take place on Wednesday, April 12 in the Engineering Faculty Hall (E7-7303/7363) from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is required. Refreshments will be provided.

Register now.

And finally, have a great long weekend, everybody. The Daily Bulletin will return on Monday, April 10.

Link of the day

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

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.

I Don't Know It Lights Up Or Something opening night reception, Thursday, April 6, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Flex Studio, East Campus Hall.

Good Friday holiday, Friday, April 7, most University buildings and operations closed.

Lectures and classes end, Monday, April 10. Please note: The loss of Friday classes on April 7 will be made up by following a Friday schedule on Monday, April 10.

Waterloo Staff Conference, Tuesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 12.

President’s Forum: Waterloo at 100, Tuesday, April 11, 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Staff registration. Faculty registration.

Webinar: Disability Justice for 2SLGBTQIA+ Employees, Wednesday, April 12, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Share how you experience the UWaterloo campus in the Inclusive Physical Space Framework survey for a chance to win a $50.00 on a WatCard. Survey closes midnight on Friday, April 21.

NEW - Call for Expressions of Interest: Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (CBRF-BRIF), due Thursday, April 27. Learn more about the process.

PhD oral defences

Earth and Environmental Sciences. Nahyan Rana, “Global Study of Tailings Dam Failures by Statistical and Remote Sensing Methods.” Supervisor, Dr. Stephen Evans. Please visit the Faculty of Science Thesis Submission Notices website for details on requesting a copy. Oral defence Friday, April 14, 10:00 a.m., EIT 2053.

Computer Science. Wenhan Zhu, "Using Crowd-Based Software Repositories to Better Understand Developer-User Interactions." Supervisor, Dr. Michael W. Godfrey. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Friday, April 14, 10:00 a.m., online and in DC2564.

Sociology and Legal Studies. Matthew Perks, "Developing a Community: Qualitative Approaches to Understanding the Role of Community Engagement in Gameswork." Supervisor, Dr. Jennifer Whitson. Available upon request from the Faculty of Arts, Graduate Studies and Research Officer. Oral defence Monday, April 17, 2:00 p.m. remote participation.

Chemistry. Yutong Liu, “Defect Investigation on Hematite Photoanodes.” Supervisor, Dr. Rodney Smith. Please visit the Faculty of Science Thesis Submission Notices website for details on requesting a copy. Oral defence Monday, April 17, 1:00 p.m., Chemistry 2 Building (C2) Room 361.