Living Lab

What is the Living Lab?

The Living Lab facilitates sustainability-themed research at SFU by creating structured collaborations between staff, faculty and graduate students. The program aims to provide opportunities for applied research and experiential learning that improve the sustainability of SFU's three campus communities where we study, work and live.

Research projects

Examining the Carbon Impact of Streaming Media in University Teaching and Learning

To reduce the invisible environmental impact of information and communications technologies, Yani Kong measures university’s outputs and develops education and policy shifts for SFU.

LCA Analysis for SFU Fleet Electrification (PICS-Living Lab Scholar)

Kamaria Kuling investigates the benefits and challenges of replacing SFU’s operational vehicle fleet with low or zero emission vehicles.

Sustainable Living Indoor Gardens Utilizing Energy-efficient and Renewable Energy Technology

Afagh Mohagheghi aims to utilize renewable energy and energy savings strategies to develop sustainable indoor gardens at SFU’s Surrey campus.

Sustainability & Management of Bioplastis (Re-Use for Good project)

Despite a growing awareness, there's still misinformation about bioplastics. Nadia Springle researches sustainable single-use alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.

Meet our scholars

Afagh Mohagheghi
Afagh is a doctoral candidate in the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at SFU.

Kamaria Kuling
Kamaria is a Master's of Applied Science student in the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering.

Nadia Springle
Nadia is a Masters of Resource Management (planning) student and member of the Food Systems Lab at SFU.

Yani Kong
Yani is a doctoral candidate in the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

Program Criteria

  • Research teams: Each Living Lab research team is made up of one graduate student researcher who will be the research project lead, as well as one faculty member and one staff member in a university operations role. All current SFU graduate students from all faculties are eligible to apply.
  • Thematic focus: SFU’s Living Lab is currently supporting the implementation of SFU’s Strategic Sustainability Plan 2020-2025 (SFU 2025) and its targets.
  • Knowledge Mobilization and Transfer: Living Lab seeks to support projects that actively engage in knowledge mobilization effort. Research teams are asked to develop ways to share their findings with the university operations and practitioners using methods that are feasible and appropriate.
  • All Living Lab projects are required to address EDI and Reconciliation considerations, with action plans developed and implemented throughout the project life cycle.
  • All teams have 12 months to complete the project.

For more information about our program requirements, please refer to our Call for Proposal (from Round 1).

Why participate in SFU’s Living Lab?

A Living Lab project team consists of SFU faculty, staff and graduate students, and work on a sustainability challenge facing our campus.

For Graduate Students

Living Lab gives opportunities for graduate students to work on research projects right here on campus, developed by the SFU faculty and staff. Graduate students will be able to access research funding and networking opportunities. Each graduate student researcher will receive $10,000 stipend and have access to $2,500 to cover research-related costs.


For Faculty

The Living Lab creates campus-based research opportunities where faculty members can apply their expertise to University projects and use these projects as sites for research study


For Staff

The Living Lab provides valuable connections to leading sustainability experts and opportunities to pilot solutions and make operational improvements to help meet institutional sustainability targets. The Living Lab can uncover meaningful opportunities to pilot solutions to your operational challenges.

Living Lab Advisory Committee Members

  • Zafar Adeel (Professor of Professional Practice, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering)
  • Lupin Battersby (Knowledge Mobilization Officer) 
  • Nastenka Calle Delgado (SFU Program Manager, PICS)
  • John Clague (Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth Sciences)
  • Maya Gislason (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences)
  • Dan Cooper (Associate Director, Buildings & Grounds, Facilities)

Please note that committee members are allowed to submit proposals and will be asked to recuse themselves from the evaluation of their proposals

  • Shane Gunster (Associate Professor, School of Communication)
  • Anil Hira (Professor, Department of Political Science)
  • Sid Mehta (Senior Director, Ancillary Services)
  • Gretchen Ferguson (Director, Global Engagement, SFU International)
  • Taco Niet (Assistant Progessor of Professional Practice, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering)
  • Cindy Xin (Director of Research, Faculty of Education)
  • David Zandvliet (Professor, Faculty of Education)

For more information, please contact