The Recycling Economy

Resource Recovery Partnership Conference

For the sixth year, I’ve been helping organize the “Resource Recovery Partnership” conference in collaboration with industry, government, and academic colleagues. This year’s event is on Thursday September 19, 2019, and registration is free for either in-person or webcast attendance. The final agenda is available, and anyone interested in the ideas behind sustainable materials, recycling, circular economy, zero waste, or materials and energy recovery might want to attend some of the webcast sessions. There are a range of speakers and panelists covering various aspects of policy development, technologies, and current statistics and trends. The talks are not highly technical, and anyone could benefit from some of the insights available here.

As our landfills (and oceans) fill with wastes, it has become clear to most people that solutions are needed to reduce wastes and to recover some value from the remaining waste materials. This is easier said than done, and requires a comprehensive approach incorporating technology, smart policies, economic drivers, and societal buy-in. These conferences have tried to bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds and interests, to try to advance progress in waste reduction. It’s a long and slow progress, but momentum seems to be building around the globe.

Engineering 7 Building Impressions

I was at a conference and missed the official E7 building opening, but below is a video showing some of the facility highlights.  I walk through the building frequently, and I really like the environment.  Nice open spaces, well lit, great and vibrant “energy”.  There are always people around, talking, having events, and working together in one of the many gathering areas, drawing diagrams on the walls.  Definitely seems like a pleasurable place to be.

Houston STEM Fair

We will be in Houston, Texas for the NACAC STEM Fair on Sunday November 5 2017.  This is the last of this year’s College STEM fair schedule in the U.S., and we’re looking forward to meeting lots more high school students and families.  In past fairs I’ve met with a lot of sophomore and junior students who were checking out their options in various fields, and that’s very commendable.

We will probably be doing some more school outreach classes on engineering design, as I described in a previous post.  As always, if there are any students/families, or guidance counselors who want to meet us but can’t attend the fair event, we can schedule something else if you contact us at assoc.dir.admissions.eng@uwaterloo.ca

 

Open House November 4 2017

Waterloo’s Fall Open House is coming up soon, on Saturday November 4.  Registration and other information is available online.

These open houses are a very important opportunity to find out more about different programs, curricula, co-op, career paths and various other aspects.  As I’ve noted before, you want to go into a program for all the right reasons and this is a chance to gather information and formulate those reasons.

It doesn’t even have to be Waterloo’s open house!  If you want to find out more about mechanical engineering (for example), your local university probably does something similar if Waterloo is too far away.  Educationally, most accredited engineering programs across North America have similar course content within the same discipline, so what you find out about Chemical Engineering education and careers at Ryerson University will be more or less similar for the universities of Waterloo, Toronto, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, British Columbia, etc.

At Waterloo (or anywhere else), some of the best people to talk to are the students.  They will give you their impressions about the program, examples of what they are doing or have done on co-op or internships, and information about student life.  Talk to more than one student however, since everyone has a different experience, background, and perspective.  Staff and faculty are good to talk to also, of course, since they can give a broader overview of things and have a longer-term connection with the program and its evolution.

Ontario Universities Fair 2017

A crowd around the Engineering area of Waterloo’s booth.

As usual, the Ontario Universities Fair was a busy place last weekend as high school students and families talked to people from all the universities in Ontario gathered in the Toronto Convention Centre.  Here is a photo I snapped while taking a quick break from the crowd.  We had dozens of faculty, staff and current students there to answer questions about our programs.  There are always some common questions, so here are some of them with a quick answer. Continue reading