SAIT launches new Integrated Water Management Diploma
As concerns about sustainable water issues begin to gather mainstream attention, SAIT honoured UN World Water Day by hosting two major events and announcing a new program for students interested in a career in this field.
On Tuesday March 19, SAIT held an event in Heritage Hall to announce the launch of a new program called the Integrated Water Management Diploma. The two-year program is a partnership with Imperial Oil, who contributed $1 million to the program.
The event featured speeches by SAIT president Dr. David Ross, and Theresa Redburn, Senior Vice President of Commercial and Corporate Development at Imperial.
“Our energy-rich resources come with great responsibility, and water management is a critical piece between new process and improved operations,” said Ross, adding that Alberta’s rapid growth put pressure on sustainable water management.
Redburn highlighted the growing role water professionals have in industry, as it becomes more important to industrial processes.
The program will offer students an opportunity to learn from current industry professionals.
“One feature that makes this program a standout is the built-in mentorship from water experts in industry,” said Redburn.
James Guthrie, Water Lead at Imperial, was also on hand at the program announcement.
Guthrie stressed the need for new programs like this because water management is of major concern for energy companies.
“It’s becoming important for us to think ahead,” said Guthrie.
“Water is coming into a lot of different aspects of the energy sector, not just using it, but also making sure you don’t have an effect on it.”
Later that week on Friday March 22, SAIT also held the Paint it Blue reception at SAIT Tastemarket to commemorate the new program.
The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), a partner for both the program launch and the reception, was on hand at both events displaying work from their youth-oriented Wavemakers program.
The Wavemakers program engages youth in grades 7-12 with water and sanitation issues. Students from across Calgary were present to show off projects and give speeches related to sustainable water management.
Pablo Pina, Academic Chair for Water and Wastewater Treatment Operations, hosted the reception at Tastemarket, and spoke passionately about the need to connect students and emerging professionals with the current industry leaders.
According to Pina, graduates of the new program will have a wide variety of careers before them, and skills to create solutions for a wide range of clientele.
“They have a huge gamut of options, and to empower that piece of entrepreneurship, we want to have a lot of events like this where they can interact with professionals,” said Pina.