Sustainability

2009 Winners

Dr. Denis O'Carroll (Faculty, Engineering) - Dr. O’Carroll has been involved in a number of initiatives that support positive environmental outcomes and a sustainable environment. He joined Western in 2005 and immediately became involved in the new engineering green building design (CMLP building) as the course coordinator for fourth year civil and environmental engineering students developing preliminary designs for the new building. The goal of this project was to have a building “designed by students for students”. With his mentorship the students developed building plans for a functional engineering building that minimized the faculty’s environmental footprint. They proposed a number of innovative and environmentally friendly building design options that are now currently being implemented in the final building design (eg: ground loop heating/cooling system, rainwater collection system, atrium). In addition he has taken a leadership role in developing the Eco-lab project for the new building. Dr. O’Carroll also organized the SyNRGS symposium that brought 80 participants (15 professors, 50 graduate students, 8 industry reps & 7 government reps) in May 2008 from across Ontario and Quebec to the University of Western Ontario to discuss groundwater resources and contamination. At this symposium student attendees presented their research and discussed the sustainability of Canada’s groundwater resource. He is also involved in a number of committees on campus and internationally. Of note he is a member of the Centre for Environment & Sustainability Advisory Committee. This committee is currently making important decisions regarding the development of the new School. Finally, Dr. O’Carroll is heavily involved in curriculum development for courses linked to the environment. For example he has introduced new classes, including an undergraduate Drinking Water Quality course, and three graduate courses dealing with environmental issues: Groundwater Flow and Transport, Environmnetal Chemistry & Drinking Water Quality. In the graduate Drinking Water Quality course Dr. O’Carroll organized a 3 day field trip for the students to spend time at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre pilot plant. At this field trip the students learned the importance of safe drinking water and methods to ensure this could be delivered.

Undergraduate Medical Students from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry (Students, Schulich) - In 2007, the medicine classes of 2009 and 2010 initiated a project which has had a tremendous impact on the lives of students, faculty and staff at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. In 2005-2006, The Dr. Don Rix Clinical Skills Learning Building was constructed along the face of Elgin Drive, adjacent to the Medical Sciences Building. A small courtyard area was left between the existing wings of the Medical Sciences Building and the new building, with only one tree preserved from the previous landscape. The Quadrangle Beautification Project was initiated by students “to fill the area with gardens and seating for all members of the faculty, staff and student body to enjoy.” The garden layout and species selection was done by Amy Glover (Meds 2009) with input from Amanda Gardhouse (Meds 2010) and dozens of students worked hard to plan and physically plant the flowers, trees and plants and lay paving stones. The Global & Ecosystem Health Interest Group (GEHIG) is a group established by Schulich Medical students to promote a broad understanding of health that includes the vitality and sustainability of the socio-economic, political and biological ecosystems which human communities are a part of. The Mug Program was started by Nitasha Puri in 2007/08 as a first year medical student. Since then, she has received help from Emma Love (Meds 2011) and Kara Schneider (Meds 2012) as well as a couple of other people as part of the Environmental Initiatives Project under the Global and Ecosystem Health Interest Group. The Environmental Initiatives Group has just recently put into place a composting program at the School.