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2022 Student Bursary Awardees

Sustainable Buildings Canada is pleased to announce that in 2022 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:

  1. Breanne Belitski
  2. Omkar Nitin Devasthali
  3. Melina Sirati

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:

Breanne Belitski

Breanne Belitski is a builder, grower, and maker. A graduate of University of Toronto, she spent the following years developing a wide range of skills and hobbies and traveling extensively. Our world is currently facing the intense pressures of climate crisis and housing insecurity. It seems obvious that the problems should be addressed simultaneously. Breanne is dedicated towards finding solutions for a housing crisis that respect the environment today, and for years to come. The Sustainable Building’s Canada grant will assist towards the completion of a Master’s of Building Science at Ryerson University (renaming in progress), where she hopes to learn a number of strategies and ideas to make housing more affordable for people, while being respectful of the planet we all share.

Omkar Nitin Devasthali

Omkar Nitin Devasthali is currently a student of the Project Management Environmental (PME) program in Seneca College. He is quite passionate about the Construction Industry and has completed his Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Savitribai Phule Pune University, India and Construction Project Management Program from Canadore College, Canada where he was a recipient of the Program Achievement Award. He began his journey at Seneca to gain skills towards building resilient and sustainable infrastructure. He has worked in estimation and project engineering departments on projects spread across India, USA and Canada and expects to advance his career in sustainable management of construction projects.

Melina Sirati

Melina Sirati holds a BSc (2018) in Mechanical Engineering from K. N. Toosi University of Technology in Iran. She is currently an MSc student in the Civil Engineering department at Carleton University. She started her research in Summer 2021 by focusing on human and buildings interaction. Her study aims to find the impact of teleworking (working from home) and partial occupancy on energy consumption and GHG emissions, focusing on residential buildings. To this end, her research investigates the effect of thermal zoning, HVAC control configuration, occupant behavior, and use of smart thermostats on energy consumption and thermal comfort with partial occupancy. Her findings can lead to considering partial-time or full-time teleworking as a future lifestyle. Furthermore, she is trying to answer this question: Is it beneficial to design homes with more than one thermal zone?

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.