Roger W. Watt

A brief history of time

I retired in 2007, after 39 years in user-support services, facility management, and technology planning for central computing, campus network, and Internet services at the University of Waterloo. It was a wonderful place to spend 44 years (the first 5 as a student: BSc 1966, MMath 1968).

Retirement is a FINE way of life. I divide my time between a condo in Waterloo and a cottage on Lake Huron in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township. In Ontario's 2006 municipal elections, I became the first seasonal resident of ACW to run for Council. In 2010, I ran again and won. I was re-elected in 2014 and was made Deputy Reeve. I ran for Deputy Reeve in the 2018 elections, and was acclaimed. Council changed the title from "Reeve" to "Mayor" in 2019, so I am now the Deputy Mayor. Here is my council blog, and here is my resume.

How to reach me

I am rwwatt [at] and I check for mail several times a day, unless I am in some delightful place where that isn't possible.

What I want to be when I grow up

I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out.

These are a few of my favourite things ...

Self-help books that did

Sayings, from others

Sayings, mine

My advice

Value vision and decisiveness. Condemn complexity. Remember compliments, forget insults. Disagree without being disagreeable. Motivate others to greatness. Retire early.

What I am doing with my time


Sue and I are blessed with two daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, and a grandson, all with quick minds and kind hearts.

Here is my Father of the Bride speech at daughter Jessica's wedding. In addition to their other accomplishments, both daughters are very artistic and have their own websites: Lindsay Calcerano Photograpy and Lady Woodfield Designs.

Cottage life

Our cottage is in the Ashfield ward of ACW Township (northwest corner of Huron County). I have been Vice President, President, and am now Secretary of the Huron Sands Beach Association. I am the Huron Sands communications coordinator for the Ashfield Colborne Lakefront Association, and a member of the ACLA Steering Committee. I maintain the HSBA and ACLA websites.

2006 campaign sign 2018 campaign sign

In the 2006 municipal election, I became the first seasonal resident to run for Councillor in ACW. I ran again in 2010 and won. In 2014, I was re-elected and appointed Deputy Reeve, which also made me a member of Huron County Council. I ran for Deputy Reeve in the 2018 election, and was acclaimed. Here is my campaign blog.

My resume contains a full list of the groups and organizations in which I am (or have been) involved in the lakefront community, the Township, and the County.

Wind Turbines

I worry about the impact of noise and low-frequency vibration from industrial-sized wind turbines. The Kingsbridge I project in ACW Township has 22 1.8mw turbines, the K2 Wind project has 140 1.8-2.3mw turbines, and there is always the possibility of the province approving additional projects. Here are the concerns I expressed to ACW Council some years ago. I also submitted this article Bad Vibrations -- Where's the Science? to Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights website in response to the Ministry of the Environment's Regulation 359/09. I believe the setbacks allow turbines to be too close to homes by a factor of four.

As a Councillor in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, I authored a resolution that Council passed calling on the province to impose a moratorium on wind-engery facilities until proper scientific research has determined setbacks that will guarantee that the health and well-being of all people and animals are protected from any negative effects of being in proximity to those facilities.

I also represented ACW Council on a Huron County committee to investigate actions that might be taken against problems caused by low-frequency noise. I assembled a collection of notes that I submitted to the LFN Committee. However, County Council terminated the committee before it had time to present a final report; a majority of them were content with the province's position that there is no proven scientific evidence of a health-impact case against wind farms. I don't agree; as Carl Sagan said, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

On 2011-12-16, MOE released Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound Associated With Wind Turbine Generator Systems: A Literature Review, a report it had commissioned some yeers before and had had in its possession since before the 2011-10-06 election was called. The press release states that the review analyzed the latest findings on low frequency noise and infrasound from wind turbines and concluded there is no direct health risk from wind-turbine sound at Ontario's regulated setback distance. I think the "no direct health risk" wording is intentionally misleading. The report cites other reports showing that low-frequency emissions are highly annoying to a non-trivial percentage of the population, and that this on-going annoyance increases stress that can lead to serious health-related impacts. The report also makes favourable comments about Denmark's low-frequency regulation, which is based on summing the sound-power levels at 13 frequencies from 10 hz to 160 hz. For details on these aspects, read "Jurisdictional Review" on page 31, "Conclusions" 5 and 6 on page 39, and "Recommendations" 2 and 3 on page 41. I believe that the government should incorporate low-frequency limits into Regulation 359/09, and that, until independent health-impact research proves some other measurement to be more precise, it should do so using Denmark's regulation.


Here are my favourite recipies. Some I found in books, and others were acquired from friends. Over the years, I have adapted them to suit my own I-like-hot-and-spicy tastes.

Tai Chi

I'm always trying to learn and improve. I was a member of the Canadian Tai Chi Academy until the local branch disbanded, after which I eventually joined the local branch of the Taoist Tai Chi organizetion.

I think I started back around 1997. I remember that I took "beginner" classes at least three times, and that it took me at least the first four years of "continuing" progams to "burn in" the sequence of the full 108-moves set. I also learned a 32-move sword set (which I liked but have since forgotten), plus a little of Qigong (I like it) and the first 30 moves of the Lokhup set (it didn't much appeal to me).

In 2012, I began learning a 53-move sword set (I love it, but I still get lost when I do it on my own). Some day, I also want to learn a short-staff set, and perhaps a sabre set.


my first camera

When I was nine, my mother gave me her 1931 Kodak "Rainbow Hawkeye 2A Model B" box camera (it still works, if you could find 116 roll film). That was the start of a passion with film that progressed through a Brownie StarFlash, a Minolta A4, a Zenit E, 30 years with a Minolta X700 and Tokina lens (17,35-200,500), and a brief fling with a medium-format Mamiya 645. Some day I intend to tackle 40 years of aging slides with my Epson 3170 scanner.

I abandoned film in 2004 and "downsized" to a digital 35-420mm Panasonic DMC-FZ10. In 2009, I entered the DSLR world with a Canon 500D and lenses (18-55,55-250). In 2013, I became intrigued by small devices that have a built-in camera ... first with a BlackBerry Playbook, and then an iPad Mini; they're okay if you can clamp them in a vise.

Here are some of my favourite pictures (those with *s are mine).

My years at the University of Waterloo

I retired in 2007, after 44 years at the University of Waterloo (5 getting BSc and MMath degrees, and 39 managing computing, campus network, and Internet systems and services). In 2008, I was made an Honorary Member of the University. Here is a profile that appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of WATtimes, the newsletter of the UW Retirees Association.

Honorary Member of the University
awarded at Fall Convocation, 2008
Information Systems and Technology
2005-2007: Director, Network Services
1997-2005: Group Director, Systems
Department of Computing Services
1990-1996: Associate Director, Distributed Computing
1987-1990: Associate Director, User Services
1981-1987: Associate Director, Systems
1979-1981: Associate Director, User Services
1974-1979: Manager, User Services
Computing Centre
1972-1973: Manager, Consulting and Educational Services
1969-1972: Coordinator, Consulting Services
1968-1969: Consultant
1968: M.Math (Computer Science)
1966: B.Sc (General)
1963: arrived (from KCVI in Peterborough, Ontario)

Here are my final IST Friday-morning seminar, Watt's Last Stand, its summary in UW's Daily Bulletin (2007-04-16), my full resume, and summaries of my involvement in network-building initiatives and work-related external organizations.

Things I enjoyed doing

Work isn't work if it's fun. When I was 21, the wife of a mentor read my palm and told me I was going to be a writer. I'm glad I took Typing in Grades 9&10, because I've had a keyboard in front of me almost every day since 1966. Things I have enjoyed the most, most of the time ...

My philosophy on infrastructure planning

  1. Develop an end-point vision of the direction in which technology is moving, as far into the future as you can comfortably predict.
  2. Do not spend money on things that do not move in that direction.
  3. Move forward in steps large enough to provide immediate benefits that improve the environment for one or more subsets of the community.
  4. Select products that are in the early part of their life cycle. Prefer standards-based products that have achieved dominance in the "open systems" marketplace.
  5. It's a cyclic process.