The University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering includes researchers who devote their technical skills to making the world a more equitable place, including through provision of basic services such as clean drinking water and sanitation.
Dr. Beata Gorczyca is an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests are in the area of potable water treatment and she is part of the university’s Water Rights Research Consortium.
Dr. Gorczyca received her PhD from the collaborative program in environmental engineering at the University of Toronto. She also has an M.A.Sc. in geological engineering from the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy in Poland.
Dr. Gorczyca is affiliated with the International Water Association, the Particle Separation Specialist Group, the Western Canada Water Works Association, and three water-treatment technical committees of the Canadian Standards Association.
Dr. Polyzois is associate head of civil engineering at the University of Manitoba and a fellow of Engineers Canada. Over the past 20 years, his work has involved developing wind energy systems for remote communities, exploring new materials for use in northern housing, and developing standards to improve housing conditions that affect the health and education performance of children in Aboriginal communities in Canada.
First Nations housing has been characterized as substandard, “Third World,” inadequate, unsuitable, overcrowded, mouldy, unhealthy, in need of major repairs, of poor quality, and more. The demand for engineered solutions for northern housing is a high priority. In 2011, Dr. Polyzois received nearly a half a million dollars in funding from the Collaborative Health Research Projects Program (combined support from NSERC and CIHR) to develop a protocol for housing renewal. This interdisciplinary research project draws on the expertise of professionals from engineering, medicine and education that will lead to knowledge and technologies that will improve First Nations health and education.
Polyzois is also a co-principal investigator on an NSERC-CREATE program to “CREATE Sustainable Engineering in Remote Areas.” The $1.65 million over five years, recently approved by NSERC, will support the development of university-based engineering training and educational programs for Aboriginal youth. These youth will become active partners and technical leaders in sustainable northern development, capable of transferring innovative research into sustainable energy and housing projects in remote areas, and equipped with the skills to address housing and energy issues unique to remote communities.