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Where Are They Now? 2020 Bursary Awardee: Suzana

Since 2016, Sustainable Buildings Canada has been supporting 3 deserving students per year in the pursuit of their educational goals through a $1,000 dollar bursary. We will be catching up with some of our past Bursary Awardee’s in the coming weeks.

In 2020, Suzana Espindola was one of the deserving students who received a bursary.

What is Suzana up to now?

“My Ph.D. research focused on addressing the construction industry’s challenges in engaging in sustainable development. The study introduces two comprehensive documents that detail the scope of sustainable development and how to implement it in practice:

  1. The 100 Sustainable Development Indices (The 100 SDI) – is a consolidation of sustainability targets from 13 noteworthy standards that span environmental, social and economic domains. The merger resulted in a set of sustainability targets for the building construction industry and their contribution to the SDGs. The 100 SDI helps the organization identify the scope for managing and reporting the construction industry impact on the SDGs.
  2. The Sustainable Development Management Body of Knowledge (SDMBOK)- is a framework detailing the implementation at the strategic and tactical levels for sustainable development. The framework is based on models from the literature and best practices from across the industry. The SDMBOK is founded on proven methods, familiar to industry leaders in form but innovative in content. It also introduces templates to help organizations to implement the framework at the strategic level.”

Read Suzana’s full dissertation: A framework for sustainable development management in the construction industry

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.