Dr. Peter Vanrolleghem Awarded Prestigious NSERC Prize
CAWQ is very pleased to share the exciting news that our friend and colleague, Peter Vanrolleghem of the Université Laval has been awarded the prestigious NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research. Dr. Vanrolleghem (just Peter to most of us) is a longtime member of CWWA and a longtime leader of the Canadian Association on Water Quality (CAWQ). Peter has represented Canada to the International Water Association (IWA) and will be the Congress President when Canada hosted the IWA’s World Water Congress & Exhibition in Toronto in August 2024.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) celebrates exceptional examples of research excellence with a wide range of prizes. Individual awards focus on accomplishments that range from innovative discoveries by young researchers to lifetime achievement and influence. The Donna Strickland Prize is awarded annually to an individual or team whose outstanding research, conducted in Canada in the natural sciences or engineering, has led to exceptional benefits for Canada’s society, environment and/or economy.
Peter Vanrolleghem, a widely recognized expert in the field of water engineering, is the recipient of the NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research. Professor Vanrolleghem has focused on developing and implementing advanced methods for modelling water quality in integrated urban wastewater systems, such as sewage and stormwater systems. His research has resulted in practical applications and helped to improve the health of humans and the environment.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, stated, “Thanks to the researchers honoured today, we are able to make tremendous contributions to science and research that help guide our decisions and create a culture of innovation in Canada. Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the prestigious NSERC Prizes, who are leaders, pioneers, and also great sources of inspiration for the next generation of scientists and engineers.”
Dr. Vanrolleghem’s profile from the NSERC website:
As climate changes produce more violent storms that damage urban infrastructure, optimal management of urban wastewater during heavy rainfall is becoming increasingly important. Throughout his research career, Professor Peter Vanrolleghem has focused on developing and implementing advanced methods for modelling water quality. His research has resulted in practical applications and helped to improve the health of humans and of the environment. He is now one of the most widely recognized experts in the field of water engineering.
Vanrolleghem’s team is currently supporting the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and Quebec’s regional public-health authorities in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. This team has played a key role in deploying epidemiological monitoring of wastewater in Canada. Dr. Vanrolleghem is an ardent champion of free access to data, a model that fosters openness, standardization and accessibility and facilitates the implementation of similar wastewater-monitoring systems elsewhere in the world, for a greater societal impact.
Dr. Vanrolleghem is the director of a consortium that specializes in water research and thus serves as an intermediary between the government and the research community for structural projects such as the Québec Water Strategy. As Director of International Water Association Publishing, he strives to maintain the impact of this organization at the international level, for the benefit of research teams in developing countries, which often do not have access to the resources of university libraries.