Sustainability will be one of engineering’s main themes in the 21st century

Fall 2012

The new Sustainability Institute will use resources in multiple ways to assist professors, graduate students and undergraduates to provide intellectual leadership and promote university outreach and public interaction.

During discussions with alumnus Lorne Trottier it became clear that he and the Faculty shared a common vision of how his gift could enable McGill Engineering to contribute more meaningfully to an understanding of sustainability.

  • The Trottier gift will provide administrative support to help professors in numerous areas of teaching and research. Specifically, it will help them to obtain matching funds from external sources; form partnerships with industry, national laboratories and foundations; work with other Quebec universities, such as École Polytechnique, to develop joint programs; share best practices; promote student interaction and choose research areas with a public policy dimension. Particular attention will be paid to the work of junior faculty—rising stars with the potential to make important contributions.
  • Priority research areas have been identified, too: energy (particularly renewable energy with a strong focus on electricity); photovoltaics and clean combustion; sustainable manufacturing; green information technologies; green aviation; sustainable urban transport; and urban development.
  • In terms of undergraduate education the Trottier funding will complement current and planned initiatives to help ensure that sustainable engineering components are present in all undergraduate programs. There are plans to develop a Minor in Sustainable Engineering, new Impact of Technology courses and pilot projects and case studies to help professors incorporate sustainable engineering concepts into their teaching and research.
  • The benefits for graduate students include a proposed Professional Master’s Degree in Sustainable Engineering and activities to enable TISED Fellows to interact as a true community of scholars.

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