Shad Waterloo

Program Directors

Rob Gorbet, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Knowledge Integration

Rob (he/him/his) has been involved with Shad since 2008, as Faculty at the Waterloo (2008-2013) and Queen’s (2015) programs, and Program Director for Waterloo from 2016-2021. Shad has been a transformative experience for Rob, and one he very much looks forward to building and sharing with the staff and Shads each year in July.

Rob holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and taught courses in Professionalism, Technical Writing, Robotics, Embedded Microcontrollers, and Technology Art in Waterloo’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, from 2000-2010. In 2010, he had the opportunity to move to a new interdisciplinary honours program at Waterloo built on the principles of Shad, the Department of Knowledge Integration. In KI, Rob teaches group dynamics, collaboration, and museum exhibit design.

Rob’s research has included advanced materials for the automotive industry, interdisciplinary collaborative learning, and next-generation architecture. He has also collaborated with architects, artists and designers to help them integrate technology into their creative works. He is a principal at Gorbet Design, and his award-winning interactive works have been exhibited around the world.

Rob has three adult kids who grew up with Shad, and two of them are now Shad Alumni. He is passionate about relationships, words, interfaces, design, art, learning, and so many other things. He looks forward to sharing his passions and inspirations with the Shad Waterloo staff and Shads, and learning from theirs!

Lydia Notten, BEd


Lydia (she/her) has been working with Shad since 2016, with 5 awesome Julys at Shad Waterloo, and 2 fabulous Julys with Shad online. She has held a number of positions with the program, including Recreation Director, Assistant Program Manager, and Community Coordinator. Lydia finds herself coming back each year for the incredible shads and team members she gets to work with, the deep sense of community, and the way that Shad always provides everyone with opportunities for growth.

She completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo in Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies, with minors in Peace and Conflict Studies and English Literature. She then went on to her Bachelor of Education with Niagara University, and is currently a middle school teacher in Toronto. With this intersection of degrees and experience, she is always keen to explore and talk about social justice and how we can create more inclusive and culturally conscious classrooms.

In her free time, Lydia loves drawing, reading, hanging out with friends and dogs, playing video games, and spending time at the cottage. She has also recently gotten into playing Dungeons & Dragons. She loves learning about other people’s passions, whether it’s a school subject, a nerdy interest, a random niche topic, or an all-expansive vision for the future. She is so excited to hear about the interests of this year’s Shads!