Speakers and Events

2011-2012 Speakers and Events

Doors Open London - Tours of the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion

On Saturday, September 17, 2011 Western Engineering participated in Doors Open London - a unique two-day event that opens up spaces throughout London, free of charge, for local residents and visitors to engage with. Visitors enjoyed a tour of Western University's first LEED Gold-certified building, the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion. The 45,000 square foot, $20-million facility features advanced environmentally sustainable construction technologies and methodologies. Visitors toured labs, student work spaces, and the green roof. Unique areas of the building include a green roof covered with flats of drought-resistant sedum, a hardy garden plant. A wind turbine and solar panels are also located on the roof to help generate electricity. It is the second building in London to achieve LEED Gold status.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation BioDynamic Garden Unveiling

On Monday, September 19, 2011 Western Engineering celebrated the official unveiling of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation BioDynamic Garden. This garden demonstrates air, water and soil benefits to the environment. The garden draws attention to the environmental curriculum and laboratory testing being done in the Faculty of Engineering, particularly in the Claudette Mackay-Lassonde Pavilion (Western’s first Gold LEED certified building with alternative energy sources such as wind power, solar power and geothermal power.) The garden is located in a central area frequented by the Engineering community and is bordered by a thoroughfare that brings Londoners to Alumni Hall, parking, and the Thompson Athletic Centre. We expect that this natural space with native plants will be a home to birds and butterflies, as well as a tranquil space for people. This project was made possible through the generous gift of $35,000 from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Huffing and Puffing and Blowing it Down: Wind Research at Western

On Thursday, October 13, 2011 Western Engineering researcher and professor, Greg Kopp, delivered a community lecture about wind research at Western. This talk was part of Western's monthly community lecture series, Classes without Quizzes.

61st Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE 2011)

Western Engineering hosted the 61st Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE 2011) on campus from Sunday, October 23 - Wednesday, October 26, 2011. This year’s conference highlighted three main Symposia themes: Innovation, Industry and Internationalization, which we believe to be important issues facing Chemical Engineers living both in Canada and globally. Plenary speakers included Rakesh Agrawal, Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University. Agrawal presented, "Chemical Engineering Innovation Needs for a Future Solar Economy." John C. Chen, Emeritus Carl R. Anderson Professor and Dean of Engineering at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was also a guest speaker. Chen presented, "Energy for the World - Today and Tomorrow - A Perspective."

Colloquium of Water and Environmental Research

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Western Engineering participated in the Colloquium of Water and Environmental Research, hosted by the Water and Wastewater Student Society at Western University. This was the first ever graduate research colloquium on water and environmental research and was held in the Claudette Mackay-Lassonde Pavilion (Western’s first Gold LEED certified building). The theme for the colloquium was “Moving towards Water Sustainability” and included poster sessions, research presentations and tours of several Western Engineering laboratories with in-lab presentations of research projects.

Open House of ICFAR and of the LIDAR facility based at Western's Environmental Field Station

The Faculties of Engineering and Science joined forces to offer an Open House of the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) and of the LIDAR facility based at Western's Environmental Field Station. Tours ran Saturday, November 12 from 5 pm until 8 pm.

Western Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series - Inclusive Innovation Driving a Sustainable Future

Douglas Muzyka, BESc’77, MESc’79, PhD’85, shared his perspective on the passion and yearning for science in developing countries, the opportunity for collaboration to unlock the potential for science to create sustainable solutions to major global challenges, and the attributes that will determine success in the future. The lecture took place Thursday, November 17, 2011 in the Spencer Engineering Building.

New Frontiers in Bioremediation

Elizabeth Edwards of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, presented a talk on "New Frontiers in Bioremediation," on Friday, Jan. 20. She spoke about the serious threats of groundwater contamination to global health and prosperity and how through the use of new molecular biology and genomic tools, researchers are able to explore how natural microbes are capable of detoxifying a broad range of contaminant. This discovery can help us take advantage of their abilities to clean up the environment.

From the Ground Up - Rebuilding Afghanistan

On Thursday, March 8, Major Warren Miron shared his experiences of work the Canadian Forces are doing in Afghanistan in a talk, entitled, “Canadian Forces Military Engineering support to stability and counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan” on Thursday, March 8. The event was part of the Western Engineering and International Development Seminar Series. Later that evening, WEAID hosted an International Development program awareness night, featuring guest speaker, Paul Loney from Pinchin Environmental.

Canadian Oil Sands - Canada's Energy Advantage

Don Thompson, Executive Advisor, Sustainability and Oil Sands Outreach, visited Western Engineering on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 to lead a discussion about Canadian Oil Sands.

Western Research Showcase

On Wednesday, March 28, 2012 faculty members from Western's faculties of Science, Engineering and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry showcased their latest research advancements at the Western Research Showcase. The showcase included more than 45 research displays in the areas of environment and energy; imaging; materials and biomaterials; and software and telecommunications.

Geotechnical Research Centre Distinguished Alumni Speaker

Dennis Becker, senior geotechnical engineer and principal of Golder Associates, presented, "Slope Stabilization of a Section of the Welland Canal" on Tuesday, April 3. His presentation described a case history of an anchored caisson wall that was constructed in 2001 to stabilize a problematic section of the Canal in St. Catharine’s, ON.

2010-2011 Speakers and Events

As part of Western Engineering’s Lecture Series, we hosted the following speakers who presented topics related to sustainability:

  • Fred H. Kulhawy, Professor Emeritus of Civil/Geotechnical Engineering, Cornell University, and Consulting Geotechnical Engineer, Ithaca, New York presented "Past, Present and Future Use of Underground Space" on September 23, 2010.
  • Michelle Chislett, BESc'03, (MBA, York) joined as the guest speaker for the 2011 Lynda Shaw Memorial Distinguished Lecture Series on March 31, 2011 to present, "The Engineer's dilemma- sustainable innovation." Michelle is currently the Vice President, Solar Development of International Power Canada, Inc.
  • Dr. Yung Duk Kim, graduate of Western's Civil Engineering program and current chair of DVS American Inc., in New York presented, "Beyond the Common Sense, My Life as a Geotechnical Engineer" on March 10, 2011.

2009-2010 Speakers and Events

Climate Change Speakers Series

The issue of climate change and its impact on our environment is an important subject that attracts significant interest. Given the importance of the topic, not only from societal and economic aspects, but also as an opportunity for research and exploration, Western Engineering arranged a healthy discussion on the topic by inviting Dr. Slobodan Simonovic, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Dr. Christopher Essex, Department of Applied Math to each give a one hour talk debating the global climate change issue. Dr. Simonovic presented “Climate Change: It’s All About Feedbacks” on Thursday, February 18, 2010. Dr. Essex is presented “Why the Scientific Problem of Climate is Not Solved” on Thursday, February 25, 2010.

Canadian Oil Sands Discussion

Marcel Coutu, CEO of Canadian Oil Sands and Chair of the Board of Syncrude, Canada’s largest oil sands mining operation, will be visiting Western Engineering to talk about the impact of Canada’s oil sands on SW Ontario. He’ll provide an update on recent developments in the oil sands, talk about their economic impact to both Canada and Ontario, and speak to continual improvements the industry is making on their environmental performance. He’ll also provide you with a window on opportunities for business and industry in Ontario and London.

There will be a panel discussion with researchers and community members and then an Information Session and Dialogue for students where he can hear about what the people in London and at Western think about this issue.

Distinguished Lecture Series

As part of Western Engineering’s Distinguished Lecture Series, we hosted Dr. Donald Wallace, Executive Director, Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy on Thursday, November 26, 2009. He spoke to students, faculty, staff and community members about initiatives of the Centre and how engineers can get more involved in public policy development.

Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion Grand Opening

The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion, Western's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building, officially opened its doors Saturday, October 3, 2009. The new four-floor building houses space for student engagement and educational experiences through hands-on design opportunities. Areas are available to promote collaborative learning, graduate student educational facilities, office spaces, and areas designed to promote informal idea and information exchange. As well, two floors of the building house laboratories for leading-edge environmental research. The day involved tours and researchers speaking to the community and current students about their environmental projects. (Read more)

The Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources Grand Opening

Western researchers are engineering new technology that converts agricultural waste into bio-oil – the essential building block of countless fuels, chemicals and plastic materials – in a new research facility known as The Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR). The new research facility, led by Engineering professors Franco Berruti and Cedric Briens, officially opened October 16, 2009 and will help place Ontario at the forefront of global biofuel research. (Read more)

Go ENG Girl

For the fifth year in a row Western Engineering participated in the province-wide initiative, Go ENG Girl. Michelle Chislett, a Western Engineering alumna, delivered the keynote address at the full-day event at Western. Michelle lets her passion and interests light her career path and she spoke about this and about her position as Vice-President of Solar Power at SkyPower Inc. (Read more)

2010 WORLDiscoveries Research Showcase

Western’s Faculties of Engineering, Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry hosted WORLDiscoveries Research Showcase at the London Convention Centre on February 5, 2010. The event included over 100 poster presentations highlighting the latest advances coming from the University, including the area of Environment and Energy Research. Jason Gerhard, CRC in Geoenvironmental Restoration Engineering delivered a “Tech Talk” at the event on the topic: Brownfield Restoration: Addressing the Industrial Pollution of Urban Environments. (Read more)