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Lassonde School of Engineering hosts Arctic Water Research Symposium


In December 2022, the Lassonde School of Engineering hosted the first York University Arctic Water Research Symposium in partnership with the Borealis Council at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University. Led by Dr. Stephanie Gora, assistant professor in the Civil Engineering department, the event was complementary to the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, an annual multi-disciplinary conference about Arctic research that was held in Toronto in 2022. 

For this event, Lassonde welcomed both domestic and international professionals from the Government of Greenland and the Government of Nunavut, faculty members and students from York University and the University of Ottawa, and members of the public – all with research interests or projects related to water resources and water infrastructure in the Arctic.

“The decision to run the event in hybrid mode allowed us to welcome attendees from across Canada and around the world including the United States and India,” said Dr. Gora. “Learning about water infrastructure design and management from experts from Greenland and Nunavut was a special highlight for me.”

The symposium was an opportunity to share research projects related to Arctic water and included panels and talks that gave attendees a chance to engage with academics and professionals in the field. Relationships developed through this event will also serve as a basis for the development of future research projects related to water resources and water infrastructure in the Arctic.

Lassonde School of Engineering hosts the first Arctic Water Research Symposium, December 2022, University of Ottawa Assistant Professor Stéphanie Guilherme speaks to the hybrid in-person and online audience about her work with the Water Research Council in Nunavik
University of Ottawa Assistant Professor Stéphanie Guilherme speaks to the hybrid in-person and online audience about her work with the Water Research Council in Nunavik

Keynote speaker, Stéphanie Guilherme, assistant professor in the department of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa, delivered a talk on strategies to ensure that water research conducted in Arctic communities is inclusive, collaborative, and in line with community priorities. Attendees were invited to ask questions and provide input, which created engaging discussions surrounding the research that was presented.

“This event was a great opportunity to engage with professionals within government in Northern environments – Canada and Greenland,” said attendee Caroline Duncan, a PhD Candidate at Lassonde. “It was also a terrific chance to hear about the engineering projects and challenges that government employees deal with. I liked the relaxed structure and panel questions which helped facilitate discussion. It was also great to see the hybrid approach work so well, allowing more individuals to join the session and share their views.”

Lassonde School of Engineering hosts the first Arctic Water Research Symposium, December 2022, audience listening during the symposium
Lassonde School of Engineering hosts the first Arctic Water Research Symposium, December 2022, panel discussion during the symposium

Panel discussion during the symposium

“The monetary and in-kind support provided by Borealis, the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, the Lassonde School of Engineering, and the Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) office was invaluable,” said Dr. Gora.

Learn more about water research at Lassonde by visiting our website.