Humanitarian Water Engineering Intensive Course
York University Keele Campus, Toronto, Canada
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this course is being re-scheduled to a later date. Submit an Expression of Interest to receive updates.
The Humanitarian Water Engineering Intensive Course is an opportunity to acquire technical knowledge and skills in water engineering for humanitarian response.
Participants will learn the fundamentals of theory and practice of getting safe water from source to users in humanitarian crises through problem-based learning, curated online reading modules, and expert facilitation.
A certificate will be offered to participants upon successful completion of the intensive course. This course can be considered for credentialing as part of York University's forthcoming Certificate, Diploma, or Masters Degree in Humanitarian Water Engineering.
The Humanitarian Water Engineering Intensive Course is offered by the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, Lassonde School of Engineering, and Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation.
At the end of the Intensive Course, participants will have gained theoretical and practical understanding of the four technical domains essential for getting water from source to users in humanitarian emergencies:
- Water source identification and development (groundwater and surface waters)
- Water quality characterization and risk assessment
- Water treatment methods, process selection and design
- Water distribution and delivery
Participants will gain an understanding of the operational context of humanitarian response by engaging with the following themes throughout the course:
- Humanitarian principles, structures, and standards
- Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and public health
- Program strategy and project design & management
- Logistics and supply
- Field assessments, monitoring, evaluation & learning, and modeling
- Emerging questions and operational research
The Humanitarian Water Engineering Intensive Course uniquely focuses on developing rigorous technical knowledge as it applies to real-world humanitarian operations. Three pedagogical tools are used: problem-based learning, self-directed study of curated readings, and expert facilitation.
The course is structured around a week-long case study simulation exercise. Participants will collaboratively design a safe water supply intervention strategy for the Rohingya refugee crisis at the Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.
Participants will gain a firm handle of subject-matter content through pre-course readings, framed by guiding questions and learning objectives and goals. Reading material is curated by a group of experienced humanitarian aid workers and engineering researchers, and is delivered through an online platform.
Subject matter experts and York University faculty will lead seminars and guide the case study simulation exercise.
This course will especially benefit individuals looking to build on their existing skillsets, knowledge, and experience in order to enter humanitarian field work. Applications are encouraged from professionals and graduate students with diverse disciplinary and experiential backgrounds. The most important qualification is a clear and demonstrated interest in and capacity to advance your technical skillset for work in humanitarian response.
Dr. Syed Imran Ali, PhD
Research Fellow, Global Health and Humanitarianism, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
Dr. Imran Ali is an aid worker and academic focused on humanitarian challenges at the intersection of the environment and public health. He has worked in crisis zones and led research with Médecins Sans Frontières and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and taught at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the inaugural Global Health & Humanitarianism Research Fellow at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research.
Prof. Satinder Kaur Brar, PhD
James and Joanne Love Chair in Environmental Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering
Professor Satinder Kaur Brar is the James and Joanne Love Chair in Environmental Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering. Her work concerns the impact of environmental engineering on the overall wellbeing of the global community. As Chair, her role is to enrich faculty and student research, broaden and enliven the research and teaching endeavor, and inspire a deep sense of environmental stewardship in graduates.
Prof. James Orbinski, OC, MSC, BSC, MA, MD
Director, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
Dr. James Orbinski is a medical doctor, a humanitarian practitioner and advocate, a best-selling author, and a leading scholar in global health. He believes in actively engaging and shaping our world so that it is more just, fair and humane. James holds a BSc from Trent University, an MD from McMaster University, and an MA in international relations from the University of Toronto. He provided medical humanitarian relief in situations of war, famine, epidemic disease and genocide with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders. He co-founded Dignitas International, which researched health systems, training and clinical care, and supported more than 370,000 people with full treatment for HIV and AIDS in Malawi. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and received the Meritorious Service Cross for his leadership in providing direct medical relief in Kigali during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
Prof. Ali Asgary, PhD
Associate Director, Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation
Ali Asgary is an associate professor of Disaster & Emergency Management and the Associate Director of Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation (ADERSIM) at York University. Dr. Asgary teaches Advanced Disaster and Emergency Management and Business Continuity and conducts research in areas such as organizational resilience, risk assessment, GIS, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, agent-based modelling and simulations , and exercises in disaster & emergency management operations, logistics, and recovery. Dr. Asgary has published significantly in scholarly journals and professional magazines. He has been the recipient of research leaders award from York University in 2015 and 2019.
Matthew Arnold, MSc
Hydrogeologist and Water Resource Specialist, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
Matt Arnold is a hydrogeologist focused on public health and water quality. He worked for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders as a Water & Sanitation Advisor at the HQ level and as field staff since 2003. In 2018, Matt joined the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research.
Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
The Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research is committed to effectiveness, excellence and equity in global health. In order to participate in shaping a socially just global health, we engage transdisciplinary teaching, research, policy and practice that addresses major 21st century challenges of the global commons impacting global health. We are home to the highest caliber of global health research with real-world impact. Through research, we engage health policy, practice and science on the world stage and work towards a more just, fair and humane world. Our work is collaborative and transdisciplinary – the challenges of global health aren’t limited by academic categories, so neither are we.
Lassonde School of Engineering
Between now and 2050 we face great challenges: climate change, clean water, energy, cyber security, to name just a few. The opportunities are even greater: big data, driverless cars, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and many more. What do all these questions have in common? They are complex, they are borderless and they transcend traditional divides.
To solve these big problems and to seize these enormous possibilities, the world needs engineers who are more than just technical experts. The world needs a different kind of engineer, employers want a different kind of engineer, and students expect a different kind of engineering education to prepare them for the next 50 years.
The Lassonde School of Engineering has been created to be the home of the Renaissance Engineer: a place where students are free to explore their passions and gain different perspectives from the world around them.
Renaissance Engineers think in big systems not little silos, design with people in mind and embrace ambiguity.
Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation
The goal of the Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation (ADERSIM) is to evaluate and enhance disaster and emergency planning and rapid emergency response strategies by governmental, non-governmental and private sector organizations in Ontario, across Canada and around the world. ADERSIM conducts disaster research and training and provides supports to its governmental, non-governmental, and private sector partners through its state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Centre.
Expressions of Interest
The current COVID-19 pandemic brings urgent attention to the need for skilled humanitarian responders at the same time that it acts a barrier to in-person professional development programs. The Dahdaleh Institute therefore calls for Expressions of Interest, so that we can all move forward appropriately as the situation develops.
Please fill in the form below to express your interest in the Humanitarian Water Engineering Intensive Course.
Dr. Syed Imran Ali, Course Director