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Current Winner - 2023

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

Peter Vanrolleghem

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

Department of civil engineering and water engineering

Université Laval

As climate changes produce more violent storms that damage urban infrastructure, optimal management of urban wastewater during heavy rainfall is becoming increasingly important. Throughout his research career, Professor Peter Vanrolleghem has focused on developing and implementing advanced methods for modelling water quality. His research has resulted in practical applications and helped to improve the health of humans and of the environment. He is now one of the most widely recognized experts in the field of water engineering.

Vanrolleghem’s team is currently supporting the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and Quebec’s regional public-health authorities in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. This team has played a key role in deploying epidemiological monitoring of wastewater in Canada. Vanrolleghem is an ardent champion of free access to data, a model that fosters openness, standardization and accessibility and facilitates the implementation of similar wastewater-monitoring systems elsewhere in the world, for a greater societal impact.

Vanrolleghem is the director of a consortium that specializes in water research and thus serves as an intermediary between the government and the research community for structural projects such as the Québec Water Strategy. As Director of International Water Association Publishing, he strives to maintain the impact of this organization at the international level, for the benefit of research teams in developing countries, which often do not have access to the resources of university libraries.

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