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  • In the news

  • Waterloo's top male athlete an Olympic hopeful
  • Oleg Chernukhin, honoured last week with the University of Waterloo's 2008 Totzke Trophy for Male Athlete of the Year, is currently in Montreal trying out for Canada's Olympic swimming team. The third-year mechatronics engineering student has had an impressive Waterloo Warrior career that includes four firsts in this year’s Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships in swimming. Chernukhin competes today, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Canadian Olympic trials. His results will be posted online.
  • Media coverage ranges from pot hole solutions to land mine detections
  • Waterloo Engineering has been in the news recently for an expert opinion on road maintenance and an innovative mechatronics project. Civil and environmental engineering professor Susan Tighe was featured on CBC's Sounds Like Canada for a segment on the season of the pothole. Tighe, Canada Research Chair in Pavement and Infrastructure Management, was interviewed for her expertise on what causes potholes and the Waterloo Engineering research being done to either avoid or fix them. Mechatronics student Matt Rendall was interviewed by CTV news for his design team's fourth-year project — a unique robotic solution for effective land mine-detecting.

Volume 5, Issue 7 | April 2, 2008

Making music robotically

Take three mechatronics students and give them a fourth-year project. Add a love of music and over 300 hours of work. The mechteam_Apr 02 08result? A robotic guitar that was part of the mechatronics design symposium that took place March 31 in the university's Student Life Centre.

Greg Fitzgerald, left, Deryk Morrish, centre, and Stephen Tufts designed the computer-controlled guitar called the Robot Johnson.

The guitar is comprised of three independent mechanisms to control the instrument's fretting, strumming and muting. Controlled by a computer or a game controller with chords pre-programmed into the buttons, the guitar covers a three octave range.

"Rock and blues songs sound great on it and anything with a lot of finger-picking works well too. The Robot Johnson can also do some things that a person would find quite difficult to do, such as play a melody and the accompaniment at the same time," says Tufts.

While one of the other 35 projects at the symposium was designed to detect land mines (see In The News) and many others were aimed at helping the environment and the disabled, the Robot Johnson team members wanted to design something for pure enjoyment.

"We're all really into music and into guitar," says Tufts. "And this one has some pretty cool applications."


Achievements and Awards

Engineering students named as top teachers

Two engineering graduate students are among three campus-wide who will receive the University of Waterloo’s 2008 Distinguished Teaching by a Student Award. The award, one of the university’s highest, will be presented to Andrew Dilts of management sciences and Amirhossein Hajimiragha of electrical and computer engineering during the convocation ceremony in which they graduate.


Events and More


Dates: March 28 to April 4
Conestoga Mall, King St., Waterloo

A team of Waterloo architecture students is participating in this fund raising competition to design and build sculptures from food cans. Money raised will support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

Waterloo Engineering Jazz Band

Date: April 8
7 p.m.
Humanities Theatre

Proceeds from the concert featuring Waterloo Engineering's With Respect to Time jazz band will go to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Engineers Without Borders. Tickets are available for $10 at the Humanities Theatre box office. Check out the band playing It Don't Mean a Thing (If Ain't Got That Swing).

Chemical engineering lecture series

Dates and Times: Various
Location: all lectures will be held in DWE, room 2529

A number of different lectures will be presented by Waterloo's chemical engineering department this spring. [more]

2008 Swing2Cure Golf Tournament

Date: July 9
Location: Rebel Creek Golf Club

Organized by CBET students this second annual golf tournament raises money for Grand River Hospital's Regional Cancer Centre. Registration is required.

Events for Waterloo Engineering alumni

Check out upcoming events taking place in Waterloo and throughout the world.


Notice Board

Spring/summer term software installation

Please let Daniel Delattre know what software needs to be installed in the engineering computing public computer labs for the next term.

Call for Excellence in Education Award nominations

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Excellence in Education Award honours secondary and post-secondary educators who have encouraged students in the development of sustainable communities. This year's nomination deadline is May 31, 2008. CMHC will send a small gift to those who submit a nomination.