Laxmi Sushama

Professor and Trottier Chair in Sustainability in Engineering & Design

 

Phone:

514-398-5993

 

Email:

laxmi.sushama@mcgill.ca 

 

Address:

475E Macdonald Engineering Building,

817 Sherbrooke Street West

Montreal, H3A 0C3

The Climate Change and Sustainable Engineering and Design (CCaSED) lab brings together the fields of engineering and natural sciences, to develop and support integrated innovative approaches to sustainable engineering in the context of a changing climate. The group performs targeted climate research on land-ocean-atmosphere interactions and feedbacks using high-resolution climate models and climate-infrastructure interactions through CFD modelling to inform various engineering systems and operations such as renewable energy systems, cold regions engineering, water resources engineering, transportation engineering and urban engineering systems. The group studies extreme events, their causality and projected changes in future climate and impacts on infrastructure design and operation. Knowledge of land dynamics and its climate interactions are important and determine the evolution of many near-surface/sub-surface climate variables that are relevant for engineering applications. The group therefore also focuses on increasing the range and physical realism of surface types and processes represented in high-resolution models, through development and/or adaptation of appropriate parameterizations in climate models.

Expertise
High Resolution Climate Modelling

Innovative research in the area of ultra-high resolution climate modelling to generate climate change information at engineering temporal and spatial scales to address the grand climate resiliency challenges that we face today

Climate-Infrastructure Interactions

Numerical modelling of infrastructure response to changing climatic loads/thresholds for different climatic regions; e.g. permafrost-infrastructure (linear and vertical) interactions for cold regions

Sustainability in Engineering and Design

Assessment of the potential for renewable energy for communities and resource development activities; Science-informed planning for green infrastructure through integrated modelling

Extreme Events and Climate Loads

Understanding and modelling of extreme events such as floods, droughts, heat waves, wildland fire and storms to develop design/climatic loads for infrastructure and operations

Arctic Engineering Systems

Study (numerical, experimental, observational) of Arctic engineering systems in a holistic and responsive manner and to innovate, develop and adapt sustainable technologies and practices for the changing Arctic environment with collaborators of the Canadian Arctic Responsive Engineering Network

Urban-Climate Interactions

Numerical modelling and observational studies to understand mechanisms and feedbacks for differently configured cities (e.g., coastal vs inland cities) to build greener, sustainable, climate resilient cities

Projects
  • Understanding and Modelling Canadian Urban Systems and their Climate Interactions for Resilience Building and Developing Climate Change Adaptation Measures (funded by NSERC)
  • Engineering climate simulations and thresholds for Nunavut (funded by Transport Canada)
  • Sustainability in Engineering and Design (funded by TISED)
  • Predicting the future of renewable energy in Canada's North (PI: A. Monahan; funded by MEOPAR)
  • Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes (funded by NSERC - completed)
  • Land surface processes and land-climate interactions in high-latitude regions (funded by NSERC - completed)
  • A regional climate modelling system for climate/hydrology process and feedback studies (funded by NSERC/HydroQuebec/Ouranos)
  • Simulating climate and weather processes with high resolution regional climate model (funded by MITACS - completed)
  • Modélisation à haute résolution et évaluation des impacts des changements climatiques sur les ressources en eau de l'Inde à l'aide du Modèle Régional Canadien de Climate (PI: R. Laprise; funded by MDEIE - completed)
  • Canadian Regional Climate Modelling and Diagnostics Network (funded by CFCAS - completed)
  • Technical assistance for CRCMD network (funded by CFCAS - completed)
  • Assessment of climate change impacts on Canadian water resources using an ensemble of RCM simulations (funded by CFCAS - completed)
Team
Bernardo Teufel
PhD

Effects of climate change (permafrost degradation and associated soil moisture changes) on engineering infrastructure in Canada's North

Caio J Ruman
MEng

Renewable energy assessments for Canada’s North through improved understanding and representation of the planetary boundary layer

Tarek Dukhan
MEng

Spatial and temporal variability of wind-driven rain loads on building envelopes for Canada in a changing climate and detailed CFD modelling of selected high-risk buildings

Yijie (Katherine) Zhao
MEng

Aircraft takeoff performance (in terms of weight restriction days and/or hours and unfavourable wind conditions) at Canadian airports in a warmer climate

Mojdeh Sharafi
MEng

Active transportation and climate linkage studies for the city of Montreal to support decision-making (co-supervised with Prof. Sun)

Seok-Geun Oh
PDF

Urban-climate interaction studies to inform climate-resilient infrastructure for the southern urban regions of Canada

Vincent Poitras
RA

High resolution climate and wave modelling for the Canadian Arctic; interactive modelling of flood inundation areas in the high-resolution climate model

Luis Duarte
RA

Multi-scale climate modelling framework to inform engineering applications; testing and integration of new modules

Publications

Featured

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06
AUG
2019

Simulating Canadian Arctic climate at convection permitting resolutions

This study reported ultra high resolution application of the limited-area version of the Global Environmental Multi-scale (GEM) model over the Canadian Arctic. Results ...indicate that although some aspects of the seasonal mean values are deteriorated at times, substantial improvements are noted in the ultra high resolution simulation compared to a simulation performed at 12 km resolution. The representation of extreme precipitation events during summer and the simulation of winter temperature are better captured in the 3 km simulation. Moreover, the observed temperature–extreme precipitation scaling is realistically reproduced by the higher resolution simulation. These results advocate for the use of convective-permitting resolution models for simulating future climate projections over the Arctic to support climate impact assessment studies such as those related to engineering applications and where high spatial and temporal resolution are beneficial.

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29
OCT
2019

Abrupt changes across the Arctic permafrost region endanger northern development

This study projects abrupt decreases in soil moisture in response to permafrost degradation over areas of the present-day permafrost region based on analysis of transient climate ...change simulations, for RCP8.5 scenario, performed using a state-of-the-art regional climate model. This regime shift is reflected in abrupt increases in summer near-surface temperature and convective precipitation, and decreases in relative humidity and surface runoff. Of particular relevance to northern systems are increases in the potential for intense rainfall events and increases in lightning frequency. Combined with increases in forest fuel combustibility, these are projected to abruptly and substantially increase the severity of wildfires, which constitute one of the greatest risks to northern ecosystems, communities and infrastructure.

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11
FEB
2021

Impact of COVID-19-related traffic slowdown on urban heat characteristics

In this study, super-resolution urban climate simulations over Montreal are used to assess the direct impact of the decrease in traffic-related heat emissions due to COVID-19 on urban ... temperature characteristics. Two simulations, one with normal and the other with reduced traffic, are used to assess the impacts throughout the year. The results show that an 80% reduction in traffic results in an up to 20% reduction in hot hours (when temperature exceeds 30 °C) in the traffic corridors during the warm season, which can be beneficial to pedestrians and bicyclists. As no substantial changes occur outside of traffic corridors, potential reductions in traffic would need to be supplemented by additional measures to reduce urban temperatures and associated heat stress, especially in a warming climate, to ensure human health and well-being.

Outreach
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CCaSED members and collaborators from Mining Engineering were present at the annual MSSI symposium to discuss their integrated northern climate-engineering systems work

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CCaSED/CNRCWP in collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE) funded NGEE-Arctic, organized an international two-day workshop on Arctic Terrestrial Modelling at the University of Oxford in 2017 September.

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CCaSED members participate in a meeting with the Scientific Advisory Committee of CNRCWP, NSERC and partners

Opportunities

We are looking for highly motivated students at both MEng/MSc and PhD levels to undertake research in the areas of sustainable engineering and design, high-resolution climate modelling for engineering applications, climate-infrastructure interaction studies through CFD modelling, extreme events and climatic loads, land dynamics and land-atmosphere interactions with a focus on engineering applications. Interested candidates may send a complete curriculum vitae and motivation letter to: laxmi.sushama@mcgill.ca. Canadian and international students interested in summer internships can also send their curriculum vitae and motivation letter to: laxmi.sushama@mcgill.ca

Contact