UBC Okanagan engineers find innovative solutions to help urban environments address climate change

Research Excellence | Strategy 9: Knowledge Exchange
Theme: Innovation
Engineering professor Dr. Kasun Hewage at the Engineering, Management and Education Building at UBC’s Okanagan campus

Climate and population growth are important drivers in how cities and communities evolve around the world — and the challenges arising from these factors will only intensify as urbanization increases and global climates change.

Historical climate data from the Government of Canada and the US-based National Centers for Environmental Information reveals that 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, ultimately raising the temperature of the Earth’s bodies of water and impacting climates around the world. Data from the United Nations estimates that by 2030, 60 per cent of the world’s population will call an urban settlement ‘home.’

“We look at our research as a ‘start-to-finish’ process that truly gauges where solutions can be found in important areas,” explains Dr. Kasun Hewage, Associate Director, Development, with UBC’s Clean Energy Research Centre, and co-lead of UBCO’s Life Cycle Management Lab. “We’ve learned that if you fail to take this sort of big picture approach, you’ll inevitably impact areas you may not have expected.”

Through a focus on four key research pillars, Dr. Hewage and his team are now developing tools for stakeholders in the areas of building and energy usage. “From policy to smart buildings, from electric vehicle infrastructure to carbon capturing, our research team is seeking out a path to empower decision-makers with tools to make our communities more sustainable.”

Read the full story on the UBC Okanagan Stories site to learn more about how UBC is committed to improving the ecosystem that supports the translation of research into action, in support of Strategy 9: Knowledge Exchange.