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The Concordia Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainable Systems

CIWESS-thumb Capilano River, at Capilano River Regional Park, 20 May 2006, Author: Arnold C. From Wikimedia Commons

A brand new Institute is born following the approval of Concordia's Senate on November 2. The Concordia Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainable Systems will train students to be at the forefront of sustainable development practices. It will also promote research into new systems, technologies and solutions for water, energy and resource conservation. While the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science is the home base of the Institute, under director Catherine Mulligan, the Institute's activities include all of Concordia's four faculties and will also provide opportunities for collaborations with industry and communities. The Institute will welcome its first cohort of students in 2013.

Following the official go-ahead from Senate, Dean Robin Drew said, "This is the culmination of many years of hard work and the start of an ambitious new era for our Faculty. I'd especially like to recognize Catherine Mulligan, whose tireless efforts made this Institute possible."

[See the announcement regarding Senate approval]
Earlier this year, the proposed Institute received a major boost when the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) gave $1.64 million for the training of graduate students in the area of sustainable systems. It was the first grant under the CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience) program to ever go to Concordia University only one of three grants given in 2012 to a Quebec university.

[See the Concordia announcement on CREATE.]

The mission of the Institute is:

To nurture multidisciplinary research and training in the design of systems, solutions and technologies for water, energy, and resource conservation.
--Foster internal collaborations across diverse fields
--Provide a unique platform for graduate training through internships
--Enhance Concordia's external research profile
--Diversify collaborations with industry, community and sustainability institutes
The research of the Institute will be wide-ranging, from exploring ways to providing and treating water in a more energy efficient manner, to helping unleash the potential of wind and solar energy, as well as organic waste, for various uses in residential and commercial buildings.

The research mandate of the Institute is to:
--Ensure sustainable water quality and supply in rural/urban settings;
--Provide energy-efficient water supply, wastewater and water that reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
--Integrate renewable energy resources (wind energy, solar photovoltaics, and organic waste) in an urban environment;
--Formulate new evaluative tools to measure sustainability performance;
--Inform public policy by incorporating social science/business research into technology development.

Over the following weeks and month, expect more news about current and upcoming Institute activities, to be featured here on the Faculty website, in the upcoming edition of Concordia Engineering News, and on the Concordia website.

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