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Opportunities

Students interested in studying issues pertaining to sustainable energy as part of a master's or PhD program can apply to graduate programs, such as Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Geography, or Planning.

With Professor Goretty Dias, research opportunities in the following areas exist:

  • eco-life cycle assessment (LCA) of bioenergy and biofuel options (energy analysis and ecosystem services);
  • identifying sustainable bioenergy production opportunities in Ontario (food and fuel) through industrial ecology and natural capitalism principles; and
  • full LCA accounting of bioenergy systems (going beyond carbon footprints).

With Professor Paul Parker, potential research topics for prospective graduate students include:

  • improving residential energy efficiency through design decisions and retrofit action;
  • understanding resident priorities for smart home energy systems;
  • replacing diesel with renewable energy in remote communities; and
  • promoting the green economy through renewable energy and conservation projects.

Professor Ian Rowlands has openings for research students in two related areas.

  • First, there are projects that examine the ways in which sustainable energy technologies in buildings (both energy efficiency- and renewable energy-related equipment) are used by occupants, and how occupants’ interests affect the design of the same (e.g., Energy Hub Management System Project and the NSERC Smart Net-zero Energy Buildings strategic Research Network (SNEBRN)).
  • Second, there are projects that focus on broader social science issues associated with the development of sustainable energy, generally, and the smart grid, in particular. This may involve governmental policies, business strategies and/or reflections upon the development of alternative smart grid agendas (e.g., Canada-U.S. clean energy dialogue (PDF)). Students who have understanding of, and interests in, building technologies, decision-making, policy-making, governance and/or the social construction of knowledge (against a background of ‘sustainable energy’) could well find some of this work interesting. They are free to contact Professor Rowlands for more details.