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2021 Student Bursary Awardees

Sustainable Buildings Canada is pleased to announce that in 2021 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:

Elsa Le M.Arch. student at Dessau International Architecture, Germany.

Hannah Villeneuve- Third-year undergraduate studying Environmental Engineering at Carleton University.

Erika Ponce Acosta- Project Management Environmental Graduate Certificate – Seneca College

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:

Elsa Le

Elsa Le is currently a M.Arch. student at Dessau International Architecture, in Germany. With a strong drive and enthusiasm about shifting architecture towards a sustainable future, she actively seeks to pursue and address buildings’ environmental performance, energy efficiency, and resilience of communities in the field of green construction. With a Bachelor degree in Biology specializing in Ecology and Environment, and a second one in Architecture from the University of Montréal, in Canada, she worked extensively in Indonesia, Argentina, Germany, and China. These professional experiences solidified practical insights into how different parts of the world deal with resilient buildings’ and with urban spaces’ design strategies, as well as emerging green technologies.

Hannah Villeneuve

Hannah Villeneuve is a third-year undergraduate studying Environmental Engineering at Carleton University. She is interested in learning more about making buildings more sustainable, functional for occupants, and resilient in the face of climate change and hopes to pursue graduate studies in this field. The past two summers, she has assisted with research related to the built environment and sustainability. In 2019, she researched indoor environmental quality in Canadian homes by text-mining Airbnb reviews. In 2020, she and an interdisciplinary team of researchers explored changes to residential energy usage among teleworkers after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. When she is not studying, Hannah can be found biking, gardening, playing piano, and spending time with family.

Erika Ponce Acosta

Erika Ponce is currently a student of the Project Management Environmental (PME) program in Seneca College. She has always been passionate about sustainability and environmental projects that help reduce in any way the effects of climate change within the community. With a background in Environmental Engineering, completed at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, she participated as the main author of the research on the “Optimization of a Gas Chromatography Methodology for Biodiesel Analysis”, just recently published in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry, where a cost-effective methodology for biodiesel characterization was developed.  Having acquired some experience in the Municipal Sector of her city, she knows how important project planning is, which is why she expects to keep learning about it and gain enough experience to integrate sustainability in the management of diverse projects and contribute to Canada’s vision of a more sustainable and green future.

Find out more about our 2020201920182017 & 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.