2020 Student Bursary Awardees

Sustainable Buildings Canada is pleased to announce that in 2020 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:

Suzana Espindola  – Ph.D. Candidate at UBC – Project & Construction Management

Lizeth Rivera – MASc student at University of Toronto – Civil and Mineral Engineering Department

Megan Haley – Dalhousie University – Combined honours undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Environment, Sustainability, and Society (ESS)

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:

Suzana Espindola

Suzana is passionate about driving process and strategic innovation and assisting organizations with adapting to change and improving process management. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in project and construction management at UBC-Vancouver, focusing on Sustainable Development Management in the Construction Industry. She has committed her career to researching and developing management and quality processes, identifying key strategies for improvement, maximizing growth opportunities. She has a background in business and engineering and is passionate about identifying process improvements to help organizations work effectively. This interest has led her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in business, an MBA focuses on people management, a master’s degree in Production Engineering and currently her doctoral studies in project and construction management, developing a framework for sustainable development management in the building construction industry and identifying the contribution of this field to the SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. As an active member of academia and 15 years of experience in the industry, she tries to bring forward unique perspectives on innovations and best practices. She believes in the importance of interdisciplinary studies and the power of using technology to connect people and process and improve communication in accomplishing significant goals.

She acknowledges the financial support from the Brazilian Government – CAPES, UBC, UVIC, and now the SBC in achieving her educational goals.

Lizeth Rivera

Lizeth Rivera is a MASc student in the Civil and Mineral Engineering Department at the University of Toronto. Her research is on improving building sustainability from a life cycle assessment standpoint. She is working on a project with partners and funding from EllisDon, WSP, Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada and Ontario Centres of Excellence. More specifically, Liz is investigating the trade-offs between embodied and operational greenhouse gas emissions in high-rise building enclosures, determining the implications of various energy efficiency measures on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. Liz’s passion for sustainable solutions in the building sector began early in her career path. As part of her undergraduate thesis, completed at the Industrial University of Santander (UIS), Colombia, she designed a system that results in water savings of more than 40% in single family dwellings. Her professional and academic experience in civil engineering has provided her with a multidisciplinary grasp of sustainable building design. She is excited about expanding her contributions to the building science and sustainability community from a professional position, envisioning far-reaching academia-industry collaborations.


Megan Haley

“I am an enthusiastic third year student pursuing a combined honours undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Environment, Sustainability, and Society (ESS) at Dalhousie University. In high school I was active in student government, volunteered as a junior leader for Girl Guides of Ontario Sparks group, and loved to read the daily morning announcements! Since starting my studies in Sustainability I have really grown to value community, and brought this to my role as president of YESS, the student society for the ESS program. I worked to create a space for open discussion and building a community of students, educators, and community members who are actively creating a more sustainable world. I have worked in local community gardens, and am currently helping populate a map of Eco-Artists around the world, so I am enthusiastic to keep learning and sharing the fantastic community developments taking on our global environmental issues.

As an environmental scientist, I hope to work in communicating science, and build community engagement in the environment.”


Find out more about our 2019, 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.