Position Type:

  • Lassonde Undergraduate Research Award- summer research
  •  NSERC USRA

Position Title:  Research Assistant/summer researcher

Location: BRG

Professor: Usman T Khan

Department: Civil Engineering

Contact for Professor (Email, phone): Usman.Khan@Lassonde.yorku.ca

# of positions available: 2

Project Description:

Globally, the number of people living in urban areas is increasing, and this trend is projected to continue in the future creating numerous sustainable development challenges. Future cities will have a higher risk of floods due a combination of: climate change - which will increase the frequency of extreme precipitation; and urbanisation - which will increase impermeable surfaces (such as roofs, roads, parking lots). Both factors contribute to more flooding. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) are a set of new infrastructure technologies (e.g. green roofs, rain gardens, etc.) which increase the permeability of the land surface in cities to reduce flood risks. These technologies are particularly useful in cities where limited space prevents the use of traditional flood protection systems. SUDS provide numerous co-benefits (e.g. improving air quality, providing additional green spaces), thus offering several types of (dis)advantages for urban inhabitants. Planning and designing infrastructure in these areas must therefore include attention to the fairness of distributions of these (dis)advantages for all inhabitants. Thus, there is a need to develop spatial and distance based metrics to select the optimal location of the placement of SUDS to minimize flood risk and maximize co-benefits. This research project will investigate various optimization algorithms to achieve this goal.

Duties and Responsibilities of the student:

  • Collect flood risk maps from the TRCA, along with data relating to asset value and population from Statistics Canada for Toronto.
  • Testing several distance-based optimization methods to place SUDS within the City of Toronto
  • Participate in weekly meeting with the PI and larger research team
  • Present research at monthly team meetings

Skills and Qualifications:

  • MATLAB proficiency
  • Interest in multidisciplinary research related to sustainable communities

Degrees, courses and Disciplines prerequisite*:  Civil, Mechanical, Geomatics students preferred

Stipend: TBD

Willing to host external students?  No

Duration:  16 weeks minimum

Start Date:  05/01/2018 (estimated)

End Date:  08/31/2018 (estimated)

If you are interested in this research project, please contact Dr. Usman Khan at Usman.Khan@Lassonde.yorku.ca