About WISA

The Challenge

The air transport industries connect people around the world, drive cultural and economic exchange, create millions of jobs, and provide limitless opportunities for innovation.

But to be viable over the long term, aeronautics needs more sustainable solutions and practices—and that requires social, environmental, and economic change. 


How we work

By facilitating direct partnerships with industry, government, and academia, we develop solutions and outcomes that respond directly to the sustainability challenges of the air transport sector. Driven by Waterloo’s unique mix of experiential learning and real-world impact, WISA is equipping the next generation of aeronautics leaders and building a sustainable future. 

Our Solution

The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) is the world’s leading hub for sustainable aeronautical research, technology, and education.

Designed to be different, WISA mobilizes the interdisciplinary research capacity of all six faculties at the University of Waterloo to drive meaningful and lasting change within the aviation, aerospace, and space industries.



WISA was approved by the University of Waterloo Senate on June 21, 2021. The proposal to create WISA received broad endorsement across the University, with generous support from the Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Provost, and the Deans of the other five Faculties (Arts, Engineering, Health, Mathematics, and Science). 


To be the world’s leading hub for sustainable aeronautical research, technology, and education. 


To foster interdisciplinary inquiry, cross-sector partnerships, and experiential education that creates innovative solutions, informs public policy, and supports a sustainable future for the aviation, aerospace, and space industries. 


Sustainability – Creating meaningful and lasting social, environmental, and economic change 

Exploration – Investigating emerging challenges, questions, and disciplines 

Connection – Fostering interdisciplinary research, partnerships, and community 

Creation – Innovating real-world solutions for global impact 

Diversity – Advocating for inclusive, equitable, and accessible systems 

How we support Waterloo’s strategic goals

At WISA, our work is directly aligned with the University of Waterloo’s strategic plan, specifically in these key areas:  

Developing talent for a complex future 

Professions in aviation and aerospace are rapidly evolving as new technologies and practices emerge. To work in this sector, future professionals will need to adapt to changing contexts and challenges. Delivering experiential learning, collaborative research, and professional development, WISA equips the next generation of aeronautics leaders to thrive through change and uncertainty. 

Advancing research for global impact 

Sustainable aeronautics tackles increasingly complex challenges that transcend disciplinary lines. WISA mobilizes interdisciplinary research that includes all six faculties at Waterloo and our global partners to develop evidence-based solutions. Leveraging Waterloo’s unique entrepreneurial ecosystem, WISA aligns research capacity with global challenges and brings sustainable aeronautics innovations to market. 

Strengthening sustainable and diverse communities 

Diversity and inclusivity are major sustainability challenges in the air transport sector today. WISA is a leader in inclusive and equitable practices on campus and within the aviation and aerospace industries. We research inclusive workforce and industry practices, and promote the advancement of racialized, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups.