An interesting article about some co-op student efforts in one of our research labs. I learned about Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition, which is an interesting application of nanoscience and materials engineering.
With the help of seven University of Waterloo co-op students, Canada’s first Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (SALD) system is up and running. At the celebratory ribbon cutting on May 10, 2018, project leader Professor Kevin Musselman said he couldn’t have done it without the co-op students who helped design and build the machine. “I was sitting at my desk the whole time. I don’t think I ever lifted a finger so it was entirely built by the students,” laughs Musselman.
Source: Co-op students build first-of-its-kind machine in Canada | Engineering | University of Waterloo
There is a perception out there that Waterloo Engineering is a great place for a practical undergraduate education (I won’t argue with that), but when it comes to more theoretical graduate studies and research in Canada you should look to one of the other big names. I will argue with that, and of course present some data for analysis. Continue reading
UWAST’s autonomous sailboat in action
Anderson: I didn’t know we had a robotic sailing team! I learn something new every day.
Source: Rough waters turn to smooth sailing for student team | Engineering
By Nancy Harper
The University of Waterloo Autonomous Sailboat Team (UWAST) may be new to robotic sailing, but like every hardworking engineering team with one eye on the horizon, its goal is to win, not just compete.
That mindset served UWAST well in June at the 2017 International Robotic Sailing Regatta in Annapolis, Maryland.
UWAST team members Seamus Johnston, Richard Li and Jessen Liang are congratulated by event chairman Paul Miller (left).
With five main challenges over five days, UWAST members proved they were up to the task of facing seasoned veterans. The team finished sixth overall — not bad for a university that had entered this kind of international competition just once before in 2006.
Team leads Richard Li and Seamus Johnston were joined by Lily Liu, Jessen Liang, Jonathan Parsons, Chris Carnduff, Trevor Van Leeuwen, Dominic Faryna and Julian Howarth, plus faculty advisor Professor Jan Huissoon.
Representing the full spectrum of engineering – from mechatronics and mechanical, to electrical and chemical – members are optimistic they set the stage in Annapolis for future success. Continue reading
An interesting competition event showcasing environmental water quality innovations by student groups. Sponsored by the Water Institute at Waterloo, one of the research centres I belong to.
The AquaHacking 2017 semi-final competition unfolded last week at CIGI. By the end of the evening, five teams were chosen to move on to the final competition at Waterloo on September 13. It was a difficult decision for the five judges, as all 17 teams that competed offered innovative ideas that tackled the challenges and opportunities facing Lake Erie.
Source: University of Waterloo students make a big splash in the 2017 AquaHacking semi-finals | Water Institute
One of our most valuable resources for finding out about an engineering education and co-op work experiences is our students. We have quite a few volunteer Engineering Ambassadors who attend open houses, do tours and the Shadow Program, and are generally enthusiastic about sharing their experiences at Waterloo, both good and bad.
Our annual March Break Open House (March 18, 2017) is one opportunity to meet them, but there are lots of applicants who can’t attend for scheduling reasons or due to long distances. So new this year, the Ambassadors have launched EngChat, where you can sign up to meet online (Skype) and have a discussion about Waterloo with a current student. I’m looking forward to hearing how this goes, but it seems like a good and valuable resource for applicants (and perhaps their parents too).
For those who can’t visit campus, another useful resource is the Engineering Virtual tour below. It gives a nice overview of various places on campus (although I note that it doesn’t show any scenes from winter, which is a pretty time of year in its own way!).
(The following is a brief description and link to a nice summer enrichment program, for students from outside Canada finishing Grade 10 and 11, or equivalent. It combines the elements that we strive for in Engineering education, namely hands-on experience, interdisciplinary thinking, and creativity/innovation. For more information or to consider participating see the link below. Prof. Bill Anderson)
IDEAS: A summer enrichment program for international high school students Poverty. Global warming. The digital divide. It takes big ideas to solve problems like these. Join high school students from around the world at IDEAS Summer Experience, and use your big ideas to try to solve some of society’s most serious challenges.
IDEAS is a 2-week summer enrichment program at the University of Waterloo, ranked as Canada’s most innovative university for the past 25 years.
With help from our award-winning professors and IDEAS mentors, you’ll learn to look at global problems in new ways, use hands-on activities to develop your research and communication skills, apply problem-solving techniques from the fields of engineering, health sciences, the humanities, and more. You may not solve the world’s problems in 2 weeks. But you will learn valuable skills, experience what it’s like to study and live at one of Canada’s top universities, and make friends from other countries.
Source: University of Waterloo | IDEAS Summer Experience
Our annual Fall Open House at Waterloo is coming up on November 5 2016, and more details are available here. It’s a good opportunity for students in Grades 11 and 12 (and even younger) to have a look around, see displays, and talk to current students to find out what might be of interest in Engineering or other programs.
This year I’ll have to miss the Open House, since we’re travelling to New York and San Francisco to attend the NACAC STEM College Fairs on October 29 (NY) and November 6 (SF). Here’s a video about the one we attended in Houston in September (https://vimeo.com/184338009) which went very well. We’re looking forward to meeting some of our prospective applicants at these fairs. If anyone is in the NY or SF area and can’t make it to a fair but wants to meet and learn more about Waterloo, you can email us at email@example.com and we will try to set up something.
Also in NYC, we’ll be at a Waterloo event hosted by our friends at the company Venmo, who employ our alumni and co-op students. This mixer event is for New York area Waterloo alumni, co-op students, and prospective students & their families too. Space is limited, so if you’d like to attend and talk to various people about Waterloo you can get tickets at this link.
We’ll also be visiting a few select schools in NY and SF, where I’ll give some short lectures on math, physics and/or chemistry topics, and Engineering design examples.
A contact lens developed by a team of University of Waterloo engineers can monitor the blood sugar levels of diabetics and transmit that data to a person’s smartphone in real time.
Source: Smart contact lens for diabetics developed by Waterloo engineers wins James Dyson Award – Kitchener-Waterloo – CBC News
It’s the start of a new academic year and lots of new students are beginning their transition from secondary school to university. That transition can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including being away from home, new community, different teaching styles, etc. For some students, a big source of stress comes about half-way into the term when they start to see their grades and realize that they are quite different from what they were used to in high school. I think that our instructors are generally quite up-front about what to expect, i.e. that grades will typically drop about 15 to 20 percentage points from high school, but I suspect that a lot of students assume that will happen to someone else and not them. So let’s look at some data from a past year that compares high school grades (admission averages) with averages at the end of first year engineering, for the same group of students. Continue reading
For the new students joining us in September, it may be tempting to think ahead to a relaxing summer vacation before starting university. Perhaps, but there are some things that you could or should consider doing. They will make your life much easier in those first few months of university as you adjust to the new pace and demands of a co-op program. So, here’s my list of recommended summer activities that will have you ahead of the crowd when starting university: Continue reading