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2019 Student Bursary Awardees

Sustainable Buildings Canada is pleased to announce that in 2019 we will be supporting 3 college students in the pursuit of their educational goals. After a review of potential candidates, SBC has selected the following individuals as recipients of a $1,000 bursary:

  • Jean-Francois Brodeur
  • Kyle McGowan
  • Priyanka Pai

How does the bursary program work?

Candidates for the bursary must be enrolled in a post-secondary education institution and provide proof of acceptance and enrolment. Programs eligible for the bursary should be focused in engineering, environmental, building science and planning, or trades training that support those disciplines, however candidates in other disciplines that support the industry in areas such as policy, law and finance are also be considered. Candidates should have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a career in the sector and have experience volunteering or supporting SBC programs and initiatives. The Board of SBC selects candidates at its sole discretion on the basis of recommendations from stakeholders, partners and academia.

Read more about this year’s successful candidates:

Jean-Francois Brodeur

Ever since becoming aware of pollution as a young boy, Jean-Francois has wanted to make a difference and restore the balance. Nowadays, being a carpenter and a builder, he has witnessed and experienced the harsh reality that the construction industry is responsible for a very high amount of waste and pollution.Having started his building career as a timber framer, and having a strong interest in natural buildings from the beginning, Jean-Francois often uses structures from the Middle Ages as a reference for sustainability. Those buildings might not have been perfect in every way however we can draw inspiration from the principles and concepts that are still relevant today. If we use technology with a strategic approach, there are no valid excuses not to reach a high level of comfort while at the same time minimizing the impact on the ecosystem. Jean-Francois remains continuously open and flexible to new ideas and to changing his habits, and is well positioned to influence and educate the population into taking incremental steps towards sustainable construction.

Kyle McGowan

A passion for learning and commitment to environmental sustainability have guided Kyle through his career and educational pursuits. With a background in carpentry, he was formally introduced to sustainable building and building science while working with one of the leading residential renovation companies in Toronto. As an employee, on top of his daily tasks, he elected to take on key roles in the company’s waste management, air tightness, and indoor air quality programs. It was through hands-on experience while building healthy and energy efficient homes that he was inspired to enter the Architectural Technology program at George Brown College. During his educational tenure, Kyle has been committed to using his knowledge of building techniques to help influence innovative and functional design. In addition, Kyle aspires to effect change on a policy level as we move towards a more sustainable urban agenda with the ultimate goal of carbon and energy neutrality in our cities.

Priyanka Pai

Priyanka is an architect and artist with a strong affinity for languages in her final semester in the Energy Management PG program at Algonquin College. She worked for the Ottawa chapter of SBC while graduating with a degree in Green Architecture in 2018. She is an honest and driven individual whose professional career has been a direct product of her learnings in undergrad school about art, and architecture and how buildings work. However, she believes what refined her focus and approach to things early on was the way she was made to read a lot as a child by her mother, and the way her art teacher’s lectures would completely transform the way she would grow to perceive the world. They left her with skills that would help her become a successful combatant if this world were a battlefield. With her undying passion for sustainability, she relentlessly advocates judicious management of resources and utilities and hopes to contribute to reducing the global carbon footprint in every way that she can. She strongly believes that change begins from oneself and tries her best to influence her microcosm. She associates herself with the word Meraki, defined as: (v.) “to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work.” Any work. And she truly lives by that. With her enthusiasm and perseverance, she is prepared to dive into the workforce shortly with a vision of fostering a sustainable and harmonized world for the future generations that is filled with creative, regenerative solutions that are climate-responsive.

Find out more about our 20182017 & 2016 Student Bursary awardees.

Natalia Ortiz Moreno

Natalia Ortiz, student of Project Management Environmental (PME) program in Seneca Polytechnic, has an Environmental Engineering background completed at Universidad El Bosque in Colombia. She has always been involved in sustainability roles and projects that included Environmental Management Systems implementation, Water Treatment Systems’ design and operation, Hazardous and Conventional Waste management and minimization practices, as well as Ecosystem’s Conservation and Energy
Efficiency programs.

For the PME – Applied Project Management Course, Natalia developed a Green Roof Assessment Tool for Seneca Polytechnic’s Office of Sustainability, with the aim to provide green roof technology recommendations best suited to a particular scenario, taking into consideration multiple aspects of green roofs and buildings; infrastructure, design, materials, environmental factors, and costs, as well as the Toronto Municipal Code – Green Roof bylaw. Natalia also has a scientific journal publication as the main author of the project “Selection and sizing of industrial wastewater treatment units required at the
new maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) aircraft facility owned by Avianca S.A. in Rionegro Antioquia” in the El Bosque University Journal of Technology.

Natalia strongly believes there are several research topics left to be developed, and the importance of
working towards Sustainability from different backgrounds, knowledge, and cultures to build strong, productive, and resilient communities.
With the vision of growing cities and infrastructure along with nature, always preserving and respecting the ecosystems’ attributes and services, Natalia would like to keep researching and acquiring more experience in Sustainability roles.



Emily Smit

Emily is a second-year PhD student in Geography at the University of Toronto, and a co-operator of a small home renovation company, Magnus Home Improvements. Her research seeks to determine how single-family homes can quickly and best be retrofit to achieve Toronto’s emissions reductions targets – including net-zero by 2040 – as part of the TransformTO climate action plan. Specifically, she will assess the impact of municipal home energy reporting and disclosure programs, as well as produce recommendations for growing the retrofit labour force in ways that attend to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Further, her research seeks to understand how home retrofit activities can be regenerative and produce net-positive impacts for humans and the environment towards transformative, place-based sustainability. When not at her computer, Emily can be found cycling with her kids to and from school or making funky sounds on her analog synthesizer.

Bofa Udisi

Bofa is a sustainability professional with over seven years in the energy and environment industry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Energy and Petroleum Studies from Novena University in Nigeria and graduate certificates in Energy Management and Environmental Project Management from Seneca College in Toronto. In 2020, he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Environment and Business degree. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Building Science program at Toronto Metropolitan University, researching whole-life carbon reduction in new construction and building renovations.

Bofa‘s work experience is primarily in the built environment, working in the private and public sectors in roles that involve structural and environmental assessment of building structures, HVAC engineering design and sales, and facilities management. Bofa is a member of several industry associations, such as the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). SBC’s bursary will go a long way in supporting Bofa‘s research and his desire to learn.