Benjamin Sanchez is a doctoral student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo and an Energy Council of Canada Energy Policy Research Fellow, at the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE). Ben’s research explores the valuation and monetization of the environmental impacts of the residual life of building stock in North America. The first stage of his research involves adding a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) perspective to the decision-making methodology involved in adaptive reuse of buildings. The aim is to contribute to the sustainability in construction and climate change through mitigation of negative environmental impacts such as energy demand, carbon emissions, and water depletion, among others. The second stage focuses on the optimization process to assist in maximizing the environmental benefits in the process of adaptive reuse. The final stage will extend the analysis across the building stock market in North America to determine the potential environmental benefits in a typical city.
Benjamin is a Civil Engineer with a Master in Engineering from the University of the Americas. He is originally from the city of Puebla in Mexico. Before initiating his doctoral studies, he worked as an Environmental Inspector of the State of Puebla. Puebla is the fourth largest state in Mexico with 6 million inhabitants. Some of his duties were to verify the fulfillment of the applicable laws inside of the environmental jurisdiction for new and existing buildings. Later, he had the opportunity to become Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Technological Institute of Monterrey campus Puebla (ITESM). His effort and dedication have allowed Benjamin to participate in research projects in collaboration with universities and investigation centers in Mexico, U.S.A., Canada, and Sweden.
Hsiu-Chuan Chang is a MASc student at the Department of Management Sciences in the University of Waterloo. He is interested in optimization, stochastic process, production planning and scheduling, and data analysis. His current research is working on the allocation of community energy storages for households, and he focuses on the optimization of solar system using machine learning as well.
Prior to coming to the University of Waterloo, Hsiu-Chuan worked for 7 years as a production planner at SunEdison Semiconductor Ltd., which calculated production yield and estimated bottleneck, modified priorities for product manufacturing, and negotiated with department heads to optimize production decision-making. He also formed a global supply chain network with production planners in Italy, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the United States.
Nicholas holds a BSc in Biology, and MSc in Bioscience, Technology, and Public Policy from The University of Winnipeg. As a doctoral student at the University of Waterloo and ECC Energy Policy Research Fellow, he will focus on research seeking to integrate community-based energy systems as an alternative to conventional energy systems by creating functional linkages between local energy production and consumption that matches local needs, values, and resources. In developing and understanding of how local perspectives and values shape transition processes towards low-carbon futures, he believes research can maximize empowerment and engagement towards realizing flexible and integrated energy infrastructures. By advocating for clean innovation policy that is adaptive and tailored to the local context, Nicholas hopes to conduct research that works towards strengthening Canada’s policy framework by promoting a diversity of technologies and learning opportunities that may be shared at national and international levels.
Nick Mercer is pursuing PhD studies at the University of Waterloo, Department of Geography and Environmental Management. My research focuses on renewable energy as a tool for community sustainability, particularly in Atlantic Canada, and in remote off-grid communities throughout Canada.
Nitin Padmanabhan received his Bachelor’s degree (B.Tech) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and the Master’s degree (M.Tech) in Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) from the University of Calicut, Kerala, India in 2007 and 2010, respectively. He worked as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Vidya Academy of Science & Technology, Thrissur, Kerala, India from 2009 to 2014. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His research interests include demand response, energy storage applications, electricity market modeling & design, and optimization of power systems. He is a recipient of the Energy Council of Canada Energy Policy Research Fellowship and the Faculty of Engineering Fellowship, University of Waterloo. He has also received the Best Teaching Assistant Award for exemplary teaching from department of ECE, University of waterloo. He has been serving in various volunteer positions in IEEE Kitchener Waterloo Section, Canada and Kerala Section, India.
Truzaar’s research examines financial system stability in the face of rapid decarbonization policies, to enhance the role of the private sector in mobilizing green financing. Specifically, Truzaar is interested in the systemic consequences of decarbonization and stranded assets in asset pricing and portfolio allocation strategies. His research utilizes advancements in computational finance to develop a robust method of portfolio allocation that minimizes systematic risk affiliated with rapid decarbonization and stranded carbon assets.
Scott Morton Ninomiya
Scott Morton Ninomiya is a sustainability scholar, energized by working across sectors and disciplines to find creative solutions to big problems at local and global levels. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Burch, Scott is pursuing his PhD in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. As an Energy Council of Canada Fellow, he led a participatory action research project in 2016-17 investigating a local decarbonization project in Waterloo Region, Canada’s technology hub. Scott is also a research team member of the GATE project, (Governing and Accelerating Transformative Entrepreneurship), a collaboration of leading international scholars investigating the transformative potential of entrepreneurs in sustainability governance. Scott is a leader of Climate Action Waterloo Region’s committee that engages the local Industrial/Commercial sector in innovative solutions to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions. Scott has held several leadership positions in his diverse career. He directed pioneering programs in justice and housing within provincial and municipal government contexts and headed two civil sector organizations working on conflict resolution, restorative justice and refugee advocacy.