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Current Winner - 2022

NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering

Kerry Rowe

NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering

Department of Civil and Resource Engineering

Queen's University

Dr. Kerry Rowe is a pioneer of geoenvironmental engineering who has single-handedly transformed the knowledge foundation of landfill barrier systems around the world. Rowe’s early research identified how large municipal and industrial waste landfilling sites were being approved without regard for landfill design measures that could prevent long-term leakage and escapes of leachate to the environment. His research and experimentation identified newly engineered criteria for landfill design that could prevent significant groundwater problems. This work has resulted in two commercialized computer-modelling tools, named POLLUTE and MIGRATE, that are widely used to guide the safe development of waste containment sites around the world. These sophisticated but convenient programs are used globally by engineers to evaluate the suitability of proposed landfill designs and to establish systems that will result in safer landfill facilities. His research is also used for waste containment applications, including bottom liners and covers for mine waste and containment systems for chemical spills.

Rowe’s research has had a remarkable influence in Canada and around the world. His work has impacted regulations, design practice and construction practice worldwide. He has advised over 180 waste disposal, contaminant remediation, hydrology, dam and tunnelling projects and has provided innovative solutions for environmental cleanup at geographical sites extending from Canada’s Arctic to the Antarctic. Moreover, his work has significantly impacted landfill standards on three continents.

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