Shaping our Future: Engineers’ Role in Addressing Climate Change
Extreme weather and rapid alterations to Canada’s climate are risks to both public safety and the reliability of Canada’s infrastructure. The disruption and cost to Canada’s economy when infrastructure is damaged or destroyed by extreme weather events is growing and becoming more frequent across Canada with engineers having a significant role to play in addressing climate change issues.
Join us as we celebrate National Engineering Month and World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development to explore the many ways the engineering community is coming together to protect present and future generations and why adaptation and mitigation of climate change is relevant to all engineers regardless of their professional discipline.
When: Friday, March 4, 2022, 1:00pm ET
Where: Zoom (register here)
Welcoming remarks: The Honourable Rosa Galvez, Senator
Moderator: Jeanette Southwood, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Partnerships
- John Gamble, CEO, ACEC
- Boris Martin, CEO, Engineers Without Borders
- Shanleigh McKeown, President, Canadian Federation of Engineering Students
- Louise Millette, Professor - Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering (CGM), Head - Office of Sustainable Development, Polytechnique Montréal
- Harshan Radhakrishnan, Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability Initiatives, Engineers and Geoscientists BC
About Senator Galvez
Rosa Galvez, originally from Peru, is one of Canada’s leading experts in pollution control and its effect on human health. She has a PhD in Environmental Engineering from McGill University and has been a professor at Université Laval à Québec since 1994, heading the Civil and Water Engineering Department from 2010 to 2016. She specializes in water and soil decontamination, waste management and residues, and environmental impact and risk assessment.
Throughout her career, she has been requested by private, governmental, and community organisations to offer expert advice. She has also advised a number of international organisations including on Canada-US and Quebec-Vermont agreements regarding the protection of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. She also conducted an important study on the catastrophic oil spill at Lac-Mégantic.
Senator Galvez is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, and Engineers Without Borders. Her research has led her around the world to countries such as France, Italy, Belgium, Japan, and China.
Senator Galvez was appointed to the Senate on December 6, 2016, representing Québec (Bedford). She lives in Quebec with her partner, Luke, and has three children, Virginie, Lydia and Francisco.
About the moderator
Jeanette Southwood, an award-winning engineer and leader, is Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Engineers Canada. Before joining Engineers Canada, she led the Canadian Urban Development and Infrastructure Sector and the Global Sustainable Cities teams at an international consulting firm where she was the first Black woman to be appointed to the senior leadership position of Principal globally.
About the panellists
John Gamble is a licensed professional engineer who is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert and spokesperson on engineering, business, and public policy.
Mr. Gamble’s success is built upon combined experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Before joining the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada (ACEC) as president and CEO, he held management and executive positions in a number of professional and industry associations. Prior to that, Mr. Gamble served as a senior advisor to cabinet ministers in the Ontario provincial government. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Queen's University and spent the first 10 years of his career practicing environmental engineering in a leading consulting firm serving both public and private sector clients.
Throughout his career, John Gamble has promoted the importance of engineering to our social, economic, and environmental quality of life to a wide range of industry, government, academic and public organizations. In 2006, he became the first recipient of the ACEC Chair's Award for his “exceptional contribution to the consulting engineering industry.” In 2019 he was recognized for his contribution to engineering excellence by the Queen's University Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science as part of its 125th anniversary.
Boris Martin is the CEO of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada, an impact-first organization that mobilizes engineering talent to support social enterprises in Africa who address issues of poverty, inequality, and adaptation to climate change through technology innovation.
Boris joined Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada's executive team as Vice President of Strategy and Investment in 2011 after volunteering three years in Burkina Faso, West Africa. He has served as CEO to EWB Canada since 2014.
Boris is also the President of the Board at Engineers Without Borders International and a founding member of the Advisory Committee of FinDev Canada - Canada's Development Finance institution aiming to empower women and fight climate change through private sector investments.
Boris holds a PhD in engineering and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation.
Shanleigh McKeown is a fourth-year Environmental Engineering, Ethics, and Professional Communications student at the University of Saskatchewan and the President of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES). The CFES is a bilingual national student organization, uniting 54 engineering student societies at 44 higher education institutions across the country and providing the unified voice of the 85,000 engineering students in Canada. This is Shanleigh's third year as a Board of Directors member of the CFES, having served two consecutive terms as the CFES West Ambassador and Western Engineering Student Societies Team (WESST) President prior to this academic year. Outside of student government and her academics, Shanleigh has worked with Actua, the largest STEM outreach organization in Canada, for the last three years at the University of Saskatchewan. As a supervisor, she focused on girls' coding and robotics program development and Indigenous community outreach. Shanleigh is on track to graduate in Spring 2023.
Louise Millette has been an associate professor at Polytechnique Montréal since 2002 and was director of the Civil, Geological, and Mining Engineering Department until June 1, 2021. A civil engineering graduate from Polytechnique, she obtained a PhD in environmental engineering from Polytechnique after a Master's degree from UBC. She joined the ranks of Polytechnique after having worked for 12 years at Bell Canada, ending her career as deputy divisional chief-environment.
While supporting major academic programs consolidation and managing the ten-fold increase in the number of students enrolled in the department, Ms. Millette has supported Polytechnique’s commitment to sustainability. In 2004, she proposed its first environmental policy and later created the Office of Sustainable Development, whose action plan led to the obtaining of STARS Gold accreditation in 2019.
She has worked at integrating sustainable development principles into the training of engineers in many ways, for example, through the creation of the sustainable development capstone projet (ING8971), the thematic orientation in sustainable development and several MOOCs, including SDES101 Engineers Canada – Sustainability in practice. Ms. Millette is involved in many committees, including the CIRODD Direction Committee and the IET Board of Directors. A long-time partner of the University of Montreal, she sits on two working groups of the initiative Construire l’avenir durablement. Her involvement has earned her several distinctions, including the title of Fellow of Engineers Canada, the prize of the Ministre de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec in the category « Ouvrages multimedia » and the 2019 Prize of the Réseau des femmes d’affaires du Québec in the catégory « Organisme public ou parapublic ».
Harshan Radhakrishnan is the Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability Initiatives for Engineers and Geoscientists BC, where deals with:
- Management of programs and initiatives that help to address sustainability and climate change adaptation and mitigation in the practice of the professions.
- Outreach to provincial and municipal governments, technical groups, and others in relation to climate change and sustainability strategies.
Harshan is a professional engineer registered with Engineers and Geoscientists BC and APEGA with 10+ years of experience in environmental regulation, oversight of regulatory programs, as well as an in-depth understanding of the municipal, provincial, and federal regulatory requirements. He provides staff support for Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Climate Change and Sustainability Advisory Groups and plays a key role in supporting the implementation of Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Climate Change Action Plan.