Talk of the campus Fall 2014

What's new at Waterloo and beyond?

Heather Moyse celebrates Waterloo Reunion

Heather Moyse (BSc ’00) brought her gold-medal personality to the University of Waterloo’ Reunion on September 27. In her keynote address, "Unlikely, But Possible," Moyse talked about moving beyond injury to achieve success as an athlete. She and bobsled partner Kallie Humphries won gold in women’s two-man bobsled in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games.

See the highlights from Moyse's visit to campus

Heather Moyse poses between two Waterloo students


Waterloo names new chancellor

Tom Jenkins

Graduates will be greeted by a new chancellor during spring convocation next June. Tom Jenkins assumes his role May 1, taking over from Prem Watsa, chair of Fairfax Financial Holdings. Jenkins is executive chair of OpenText, a developer of data-management software. The company's roots go back almost 25 years to a University of Waterloo project.


Research leader

University of Waterloo’s president and vice-chancellor, Feridun Hamdullahpur, has been appointed chair of the U15 association of Canada’s research-intensive universities for a fixed two-year term, and has also been named a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers. Hamdullahpur, who previously served as U15 vice-chair, assumed the leadership role of that group in August from outgoing chair Amit Chakma, Western University’s president and vice-chancellor.

The president’s appointment as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, a recognition of his leadership in the fields of engineering and university research and education, was announced in June.

Historic discovery

Robert Park, a professor of anthropology in the Faculty of Arts, was part of a team in the High Arctic that in September found a large iron object which led to the historic discovery of one of the two Franklin Expedition ships that disappeared 166 years ago. The found relic, stamped with a British Royal Navy stamp, led to a renew ed underwater sonar search in the vicinity and the eventual discovery of the HMS Erebus.

Robert Park


State of the University

State of the University Report coverWaterloo’s first State of the University Report will provide a snapshot of institutional strengths and priorities, recent achievements and plans for future growth. It explores the strengths that set Waterloo apart — entrepreneurship, experiential education and world-changing research — as well as the core strengths that make Waterloo a world leader — top students, academic excellence and a commitment to building a better tomorrow.

A limited number of print copies will be available. Watch for the print and digital versions early in the new year.

Most innovative and best overall

 The University of Waterloo is the most innovative university in Canada for the 23rd consecutive year, according to rankings released by Maclean’s magazine on Oct. 30, 2014. In addition, Waterloo moved up in the magazine’s 2015 national reputational rankings to become the Best Overall university in Canada as well as the one most likely to produce Leaders of Tomorrow.

The Maclean’s reputational rankings result from a national survey of high school guidance counsellors, university officials, heads of national organizations, recruiters and CEOs of companies across Canada.

Waterloo Hack the North

 A thousand students from 100 institutions around the world parked themselves at the University of Waterloo for Hack the North September 19 to 21. Hosted by Techyon, a student-run non-profit at Waterloo, the hackathon challenged participants to come up with better tech tools and apps in 36 hours. Teams closed with a pitch to a panel of judges, including Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator and Eric Migicovsky, creator of the Pebble smartwatch.

See this year's Hack the North highlights and winners

Webster takes charge of athletics

Roly Webster took over as the University of Waterloo’s director of athletics and recreation in September. He succeeds Bob Copeland, who stepped down in November 2013. The job carries a big responsibility — 32 varsity teams, 80 coaches and 600 players, plus another 200 programs that attract students to the University’s recreation facilities every term. Webster worked for Wilfrid Laurier University for almost 20 years.

Awards and honours

Recent recognition for University of Waterloo researchers includes:

  • Dmitry Abanin, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship
  • Bovas Abraham, Shewhart Medal
  • Raouf Boutaba, McNaughton Medal
  • Murchison Callender, Canadian Society for Biomechanics Career Award Murchison, Callender MICA Award for Excellence
  • Melanie Campbell, 2014 CAP-INO Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Photonics
  • Cora Cluett, Sam and Adele Golden Foundation Artist Residency Award
  • Martin Cooke, Angus Reid Practitioners/ Applied Sociology Award
  • Brian Dixon, Synergy Award for Innovation, Small and Medium Sized Companies, NSERC; and Partners In Research National Award
  • Sherry Dupuis, Canadian Women Changing Healthcare Award
  • Chris Eliasmith, Named to The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada
  • Adrian Gerlich, Industrial Research Chair, NSERC/TransCanada
  • Kelly Grindrod, Wellspring Leadership Award, Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy
  • Ralph C.G. Haas, Roy W. Crum Award in Recognition of Outstanding Achievement in Transportation Research
  • Chris Hadfield, Officer of the Order of Canada
  • David Hammond, Applied Public Health Chair, Canadian Institutes of Health Research; and William E. Rawls Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society
  • Peisong Han, David. P. Byar Award
  • John Hirdes, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
  • John Honek, Canadian Society for Chemistry Bernard Belleau
  • Lyndon Jones, lenn A. Fry Lecture Award; and Dr. Donald R. Korb Award
  • Mohamed Kamel, Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Scott Leatherdale, Applied Public Health Chair, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Ondrej Lhotak, Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award
  • Juewen Liu, Canadian Society for Chemistry Fred Beamish Award
  • Linda Nazar, Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher
  • Jake Thiessen, Pillar of Pharmacy Award (Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy)
  • Susan Tighe, Named to The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada
  • Zhou Wang, EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship