Sustainable Engineers Association to host annual conference

The Sustainable Engineers Association (SEA), will be hosting their annual sustainability conference on January 31, 2015 at the Bahen Centre at U of T. The conference will bring experts together to discuss sustainability issues surrounding Toronto’s infrastructure, water, and community share initiatives. Topics will also include energy and the future of transportation.

“University of Toronto’s Sustainability conference is an annual event where great minds gather for their shared passion of a more sustainable future,” Kevin Lee, the operational director for this year’s conference and an electrical engineering undergraduate student at U of T, says. The theme of this year’s conference is creating a sustainable future for Toronto.

“Sustainability is how we use our resources,” says Will Lin, one of the co-directors of the conference. “Sustainability is important because it directly impacts the quality of life for us and for future generations,” he continues. According to Lin, sustainable systems are also resilient in times of crisis. Lin expands with an example of an independent energy generator for households that would triumph a blackout crisis otherwise experienced by households that all rely on a common power source.

Both Lee and Lin encourage undergraduates to attend the conference and take part in this collaborative effort that envisions a sustainable future for Toronto. The conference features eight interactive workshops — including green building design, sustainable construction, water, and community-share, the future of transportation, solar transportation, and energy storage — where participants can provide their own input. Lin himself is particularly looking forward to attending the workshop on the future of transportation to hear from Kevin Mclaughlin, the founder of his favourite company, Autoshare.

“I am excited to see how passionate some of these workshops will be,” says Lee.
Along with the workshop, the final round of the case competition in association with Celestica, a multinational electronics manufacturing company, will give individuals a chance to apply their critical thinking skills to solve a case. The finalists will present their solutions and get a chance to showcase the best green ideas. Apart from the workshops and case competition, the conference also features a trade show.

Engaging students and motivating them to invest in a sustainable future is one of the goals of the event. “The conference will allow everyone to debate, discuss and envision a more sustainable future for Toronto and share stories of actions that have already been set in motion,” says Lee.

Registration for the conference closes this Thursday, January 29.

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