Tirupati Bolisetti looks at a project by student Digvijaysinh BorasiyaCivil engineering professor Tirupati Bolisetti looks at a project by student Digvijaysinh Borasiya on World Water Day.

Student researchers address world water crisis

The next time you look at a river, think of engineering students Andrew Bastable, Larissa Dushime, Celia Dycha, and Stefano Kerr.

The team studied the effects of climate change on the Petawawa River with the goal of preventing flooding by adding a hydraulic structure to monitor and control the river flow.

“The river is challenging as the widths change throughout,” Dushime said.

Her team’s research project was one of 50 posters presented by undergraduate and graduate students of civil and environmental engineering at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation on Wednesday, March 22, to mark World Water Day.

Dean of engineering Bill Van Heyst and Chris Houser, interim vice-president of research and innovation, were guest speakers at the event.

“Climate change is here to stay, and we must adapt,” said Dr. Van Heyst. “Our challenge now is how to mitigate as much damage as possible for future generations.”

Dr. Houser also waded into the theme of the 2023 event: accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.

“There is no life without water, and now more than ever we need to find innovative approaches to the sustainable use of water,” he said. “The research presented at the WWD event will support the sustainable use of freshwater and improve the quality of life for others around the world.”

In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 the annual observance of World Water Day. This is the 10th year UWindsor engineering students in professor Tirupati Bolisetti’s class have presented posters of their water-related research to mark the day.

“The efforts of the students are commendable,” Dr. Bolisetti said. “They started with no knowledge in the subject and built complex hydrological models to analyze and find solutions to real-world problems.”

To learn more about World Water Day, visit the UN’s World Water Day website.

—Naomi Pelkey