The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) announced a proposed partnership with the University of Toronto (UofT) to establish a Masters Program designed to develop the next generation of hydro professionals.

“I commend the leadership of the University of Toronto in [its] recognition of a need for a comprehensive curriculum that will undoubtedly prepare the next generation of waterpower industry leaders,” said Paul Norris, president of the OWA. “We look forward to working with and supporting UofT in this exciting opportunity.”

Led by PhD Candidate Sharon Mandair, the proposed program recognizes that waterpower is an interdisciplinary field but that the current education system does not reflect this reality. The Masters program is being developed to teach the next generation of hydro professionals everything they need to know about waterpower—from planning, design, construction, operations to decommissioning. The OWA will support this program through its extensive membership network of waterpower professionals.

“For many years we have tended to be a little complacent about our hydro resources, having a kind of ‘been there, done that’ attitude,” said Dr. Bryan Karney, associate dean of cross-disciplinary programs at UofT. “Yet, this presumption of having solved all the key issues in no way matches reality.”

“Hydro power stations are increasing complex and being called on to do more than ever for both power production and to stabilize the entire system,” added Karney. “This proposed multi-disciplinary program aims to quickly develop the conceptual understanding of this crucial resource system with the goal of accelerating the full and renewed integration of this flexible hydro resource into the modern electrical grid.”


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