Providing Sustainable Potable Water and Greenhouse Crops

Project Overview

Water, energy and food security are some of the most pressing challenges to our global community. This project – funded through a prestigious Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships Advanced Scholars (QES-AS) Program – addressed these issues by providing opportunities to changemaking researchers. The program aimed to strengthen and broaden existing partnerships with institutions in developing countries by enhancing their capacity around clean technologies that integrate water, energy and food security.

The project - successfully completed in December 2021 - was co-led by Prof Majid Bahrami, Canada Research Chair in Alternative Energy Conversion Systems, and Dr Zafar Adeel, Executive Director of Pacific Water Research Centre.

The global impact of this program has been two-fold. Not only did the research provide sustainable solutions for millions of people worldwide, but the partnership helped build research capacity in selected low- and middle-income countries.

The four-year program supported doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows recruited from lower- and middle-income countries to complete research-based projects in the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering (MSE) and the School of Resource and Environmental Management (REM) at Simon Fraser University (SFU) with research placement partners.  

Research Targets

Development of sustainable technology, leadership, and community were the focus of this collaborative, interdisciplinary project. It comprised training activities and research that:

  1. enhanced the knowledge and leadership skills of selected QES-AS scholars
  2. introduced new approaches to sustainable clean energy-water management

  3. developed an array of innovative, clean technologies that utilized solar-thermal energy or waste-heat to:

    a) produce potable water,

    b) store thermal energy; and

    c) control the temperature and humidity in semi-closed greenhouses for optimal crop growth.   

Industry Partnerships

QES-AS scholars also engaged with the community and industry through pilot research projects, educational displays and presentations at conferences and public events. Through SFU's existing partnerships with industrial collaborators and international NGOs, the QES-AS scholars received guidance and training from industrial leaders in the area of clean water-energy-food. This project identified and supported the next generation of leaders in clean water-food-energy technologies.  

Scholars and alumni formed a nucleus for future international activities that develop innovative solutions to global challenges at the nexus of clean water-energy-food security.