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
(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
First Month of Waterloo Engineering / Bo Peng’s World.
I like these student blogs that give an example of what university life can be like in one of our programs.
There is lots of interest in the Admission Information Form (AIF) and how it is scored (or probably more accurately, how to get the best score). Therefore let’s review how this process works. The actual AIF content was discussed in another post, so I won’t repeat that. Once we get enough AIF submissions to get started (around mid-January), this is generally what happens. Continue reading
Although Grade 12 English (or something equivalent) is one of our admission requirements, we sometimes get applicants who question what it’s good for, and why should it hurt their chances of admission if they got low marks in that subject. After all, engineering is just about physics, calculus, problem-solving, writing code, designing bridges and other hardware, …, isn’t it? Continue reading
The Bank of Montreal (BMO) recently released an interesting survey (summarized here) that ranks the qualities that business leaders look for when hiring new grads from college and university. Basically, the ranking is: Personality traits > Skill set > Work experience > References > Degree/school.
Not particularly surprising. Nobody is going to hire someone whose personality is a “bad fit” for their organization, no matter what their degree says or how great their reference letters are. Likewise, a great fit with good experience and skills will get snapped up even if their degree is from the University of Neverheardofit.
I didn’t see any details, but I would assume that this ranking is based on an interview process. How else would one determine the “personality traits”? So what about the earlier stages of a job search, when employers are deciding who to interview? I suspect the ranking remains similar but without the personality traits, i.e. Skill set > Work experience > References > Degree/school. At least, that’s what I usually look for in the hiring I’ve been involved with.
The take-home message? If you’re working on building your career, focus on the top three things (personality, skills, experience). For the degree and school, do whatever works best for you and your situation, because it probably doesn’t matter all that much in the long term. Just my opinion anyways.
A new survey and article in the Chronicle of Higher Education looks at the disconnect between students’ criteria for picking a college (university) and what employers care about. Basically it says that applicants who spend a lot of time and effort trying to pick a university with the best “reputation” are possibly wasting their time. Continue reading
One of the best ways to find out about a university and its programs is to meet and talk to the people that are experiencing it every day. This includes our faculty, who can give broad and experienced insight into curriculum, careers, and the engineering profession. But many applicants find it easier and more interesting (sorry faculty!) to talk to current students, who were applicants themselves just a few months or years ago. There are several ways for people to connect with our current students. Continue reading
June 18 is the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the final major clash between Napoleon’s French Imperial forces and the Anglo-Dutch and Prussian allies arrayed against him, near a small village in modern-day Belgium. The battle clearly resonated throughout the western world, resulting in the eventual use of the name “Waterloo” for a county and village in Ontario, and a university named after the city where it was founded. There is also a Waterloo in Quebec, Iowa, New York State, New Zealand, and many other locations according to Wikipedia. You might wonder what history has to do with the theme of this blog, but I’ve managed to find a connection. Continue reading