Water: Most Precious Commodity
During this century, water is destined to replace oil as the world's most valuable commodity. Canada's most pressing concerns are to make sure that we conserve our water, and to ensure that the industries that rely upon its use are environmentally sound and sustainable.
Gregory Lawrence is driven by a desire to solve the problems associated with the use and misuse of water - problems that are in essence issues of fluid mechanics. One of the research projects he intends to lead is the investigation and development of techniques to minimize the environmental impact of waste discharges and to restore water systems that have already been affected by pollution.
In order to develop solutions to pressing water quality problems, it is essential that Canadian scientists have the technical expertise, be it numerical modelling or laboratory work. Building that expertise is another one of Lawrence's goals.
Lawrence has already demonstrated the practical relevance of his work. He has been involved in efforts to rehabilitate Chain Lake and Menzies Lake in British Columbia, and Amisk Lake in Alberta. He developed a technique for predicting the depth of water cover needed to prevent the re-suspension of mine tailings in disposal ponds. He is investigating the factors affecting water quality in Hamilton Harbour, one of Canada's most polluted bodies of water.
Awarding Lawrence this research chair will enable him to remain a world leader in his field, and to guide engineering practices that will keep our water clean and safe. His existing publications are already benchmarks in the field of environmental engineering. This chair will boost Canada's capacity in this crucial area and help Lawrence fulfill his destiny as a leader in the next generation of researchers.