dinsdag 24 juni 2014

Friday: a more relax and easy day

13 June 2014, by Leonie de Mulder (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences)

This day started with a good breakfast and a speaker from Warren’s Waterless printing. This guest speaker told us the difference between a normal printer and a waterless printer. And also a little bit about business marketing. After the breakfast speaker we had about one and a half hour to work on the cases and after lunch we went to another campus tour. This time the tour was hold in Digital Media Zone. We got a few presentations about the marketing of businesses and starters. The tour was about the Digital Media Zone and what the relations were.
After the tour we were already late to search for an orange bar so we stayed in the shopping center and watched the game at the sports bar there. The soccer game Netherlands-Spain was a real surprise to watch. We were in less number of people cheering for Holland but we were the loudest there. Some people left before the game but most people were there and we had a lot of fun and a great time.
After the game we had free time to get some food or relax before we’re going to celebrate the victory. Karen, Kim and I went shopping in the big Toronto Eaton Center. We searched for souvenirs but all we found was clothes and shoes, not that it was a big problem. When we went back to the illc nobody had dinner neither had we, we went out real fast and found a pizza place on the way.

Around 7 pm we went to the Royal Ontario Museum, because there was a big party. In the museum was the opportunity to walk around the whole museum and dance a bit between the dinosaurs and meteorites. We were there for 4 hours and around 11 pm we went to a student party nearby. This was a row of four houses al put together, with some bars and a club. Everybody had an amazing time. This day was a more relax and easy day.

zondag 15 juni 2014

Friday June 13th and the state of my water utilities

13 June 2014, by Brian Hanna (Ryerson University)
What a coincidence that while taking part of the wetskills event I come home to find a 1 sqft hole in my bathroom:


Quite an impressive hole, isn't it? I figured that since it's caused me so much trouble today I might as well make some use of it by using it to underscore the importance of maintaining water utilities in a building.
Unfortunately due to this massive hole, I was unable to watch the soccer match where Holland was able to score five goals. While not a huge sports fan it would have still been fun to get swept  up in the victory with my friends from the Netherlands (and the americans too). Everyone has been extremely friendly, and I especially enjoy the time I spend with my specific group.

Aside from that part of my day, I did quite enjoy the tour through Ryersons DMZ. It's very reassuring to see that my school provides such services to new business, especially in a time where employment for young professionals is hard to come by in Toronto.

Anyways, I really would have liked to go the Royal Ontario Museum as well with the others, but I could not thanks to the giant hole that's currently invading my life. I'm actually quite a bit sad about that, as I was telling the group all week how much fun it really is on friday nights. There's still more time to enjoy with them though, I'll try my best to take advantage of it.

An ordinary working day

12 June 2014, by Arun Raj (University of Waterloo)

It has been three days since the Wetskills participants in Toronto were assigned their respective case studies. Needless to say, every group has been hard at work. Although, each group is focusing on a different water related problem; they all have something in common - a unique perspective by which they view the problem itself. With advancement in the field of sustainability a more sustain-centric worldview is evolving  globally. Particularly young people see no reason why we cannot achieve this paradigm shift. Topics such as waste management and toxic effluents are not perceived as problems anymore but as potential recoverable resources.

This is evident particularly amongst all the Dutch participants at Wetskills, many of whom are working on similar topics. The Kingdom of Netherlands being a pioneer in the field of water management have been working extensively on technologies to reclaim waste water, metals, and other precious resources to eliminate the concept of waste. 

This morning we also had a stimulating talk by Nick Reed from Ontario Clean water agency (OCWA) who echoed the same vision. Amongst other things he highlighted how OCWA strives to minimize waste 
production within their areas of operation. He highlighted the efforts of the Canadian government such as Ontario Centre of excellence (OCE) and Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (MaRS) aimed at helping students realize their revolutionary ideas in the field of water management.

Wetskills has definitely been an amazing platform to bring young people from different disciplines together to help make the world more sustainable!

Pitch & Poster

11 June 2014, by Stacey Kondrakiewicz (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)

We woke up to a rainy Toronto. After breakfast at the hotel, we made our way to the Engineering building where we met with guest speaker Wayne Galliher from the city of Guelph. He talked to us about Guelph’s Water Conservation and Efficiency Program. He spoke about all the projects they are implementing in Guelph to reach their goal of “using less water and energy per capita than any comparable Canadian city.”

After Wayne’s presentation, there was a brief break before we “dove” into our pitch and poster presentation training, where we learned about the rules for our 2 minute pitch and our poster which will be created in Microsoft Power Point. After looking at 9 previous posters, we got a good idea for what to do and what not to do. We also watched 3 different pitches and commented on what we liked about them and what we didn’t like. As we watched the pitch presentations, we realized how fast 2 minutes goes.
For the rest of the day, it was group work time where we continued to work on our case studies. Once work seized for the day, around 6:30, we all were excited for the free night ahead. This was the first night since we had been here that we didn’t have anything planned. So we had the whole evening to ourselves to grab dinner, and relax. I grabbed dinner with my American counterpart, Chesten, from the Metro Market that is less than a 30 second walk from the hotel (ILLC). We grabbed dinner to bring back to hotel, as well as buying groceries for the next couple of days. Luckily, there is a fridge in the lounge on our floor. The fridge is getting pretty full now but there’s still room for more! I spent the rest of the night, curled up with a book and my computer.

From Working to Barbecuing

10 June 2014, by Saalih Shamead (Ryerson University)

I usually try to abide by the old proverb that "Early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." However, due to the brain hurricane or "brain tsunami" as others have coined it I awoke slightly later than my usual time. My group, Team 3, were the first to begin work on their case in room KHE 323A and I was rather glad that we were the first to our Plan of Action (POA) before the 11 am deadline.

Once the POA was submitted we each began working on our individual sections, I chose to work on exploring the different decentralized WWTP technology options that existed, how dual or separated flow systems would work and cost and help Rik on checking how rough the terrain was using GIS for our pipe options as that is my area of expertise. However, finding information on the removal rates of decentralized WWTP technology options was not as easy as I had hoped and so I think I'll have to visit the library and hopefully I'll have better luck there. Overall I think we did pretty well at the discussion on our POA with Johan, and two of my old professors Darko and Vadim.
While I had planned to use the time to catch up on my other work commitments as I am also simultaneously working on revisions to my thesis which are due by June 19 and my work for the City of Toronto I am glad I went to the Toronto Island BBQ. Each team was in charge of buying food for themselves and the supervisors who provided the charcoal and cutlery. While I have lived in Toronto for almost 9 years now, this was only my second time boarding the ferry and so it was still a new experience for me and the City's skyline looks quite beautiful from the water.

At the BBQ everyone was so hungry that many decided to eat salad as we waited for the charcoal grill to heat up. I had always thought charcoal was very slow but thanks to the special lighter fuel Pim got at the store he got the grill going in no time. As all seafood is halal I had put the two salmon burgers that I bought on the grill and that was more than enough for me. I must say we had quite a lot of veggies that were also roasted on the grill and so I also ate some corn and asparagus as well. My friends from Netherlands also had their first experience for what a smore was once all the major cooking was done.
While I have lived in Toronto for 9 years I had also never been on the Islands that late. The sky was pitch black but the City looked quite beautiful and at the moment I realized that Wetskills would be one of those experiences that I would remember for the rest of my life. 

vrijdag 13 juni 2014

Words from main partners Wetskills-Canada 2014

9 June 2014, by Jeanine de Vos (Deputy Consul General Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) and Angela Murphy (Projects Manager Ryerson Urban Water &, Ryerson University)
It is a real pleasure for the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to be part of such an exciting program as Wetskills and to bring it to Toronto together with Ryerson University and the Ryerson Urban Water Centre. Wetskills Canada 2014 promises to be a wonderful opportunity to bring water experts from leading Canadian and Dutch companies, government and knowledge institutes (the case owners) together to find innovative, out-of-the-box solutions to pressing water issues with the new generation of bright water professionals from the Netherlands, Canada and the US.
After a couple of days team building, Wetskills started the formal part of the program on Monday  June 9th with the “Brain Hurricane.” Industry and governments from The Netherlands and Canada collaborated and developed 5 challenging cases for the Wetskills teams to resolve. Teams then met with experts from water sector, both industry and government, to pose questions and receive guidance. 
Everyone is looking forward to seeing the case solutions of these 20 international water professionals of the future. Come and support them at the Ryerson Urban Water Day on June 17th from 1-4pm (245 Church Street, ENG 103)!


donderdag 12 juni 2014

BrainHurricane (part 2)

9 June 2014, by Karen Scheffers (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences)
The day started with an early breakfast around 8:30 p.m. After everybody finished the breakfast, we went to the Cara Commons at the Ted Rogers School of Management. This was de location for the brain hurricane, where all students, case owners, and experts gathered for the start of the first working day (with enthusiasm).

I am in Team 1 and our case is about the storm water management in the City of Toronto. We have to design green streets for the entertainment district in Toronto. The day started with the introduction of the cases, after that we had the opportunity to speak with our case owner (Mr. Patrick Cheung).  And it was a very interesting conversation about the case. We also had some conversations with experts with different backgrounds, including biologists, engineers, economists, business managers, etc. These conversations helped us a lot because all the experts had a different point of view on our case. Not every one of them was convinced that a green street actually has green on it. With all the new information we had from the experts, we again went to talk to our case owner during lunch. With him we came to new outcomes and actually more and more questions. But first we had to make a start with our case, because when we would investigate we probably come up with new questions.

After we had our first group brainstorm session, it was time to wrap it up for the day. And because yesterday, June 9, was also my birthday we went out for dinner with a whole group.

It was a busy, tiring, but also interesting, nice, and great day. I learned a lot and I am looking forward to see the results of every group. Good luck every one!