Engineering alumnus making waves in hydrogeology

Author: UNB Engineering

Posted on Sep 30, 2021

Category: Alumni Spotlight

University of New Brunswick civil engineering alumnus, Dr. Barret Kurylyk has been recognized by the International Association of Hydrogeologists-Canadian National Chapter (IAH-CNC). Presented with the Early Career Hydrogeologist award for 2021, Dr. Kurylyk’s contributions to the hydrogeological community have been labeled ‘outstanding’ by the IAH-CNC.  

A two-time UNB alumnus, Dr. Kurylyk completed his bachelor of science in civil engineering in 2009, and his PhD in civil engineering in 2014. When asked about his time at UNB, Dr. Kurylyk says “UNB provided me an exceptional undergraduate education in civil engineering through hands-on laboratories, opportunities to develop relationships with classmates who later became colleagues and valuable one-on-one time with professors who knew my name.” 

Currently an assistant professor in the department of civil and resource engineering at Dalhousie University, and a Canada Research Chair in Coastal Water Resources. Dr. Kurylyk is also an associate editor for Water Resources Research and Hydrogeology Journal and sits on the executive for multiple organizations such as the Canadian Geophysical Union and IAH-CNC. 

Dr. Kurylyk’s current research explores how hydrologic systems respond to a change in the environment and the various interactions between aquifers (an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, rock fractures or other materials such as gravel or sand) and surface water. His research is focused on the response in coastal and cold regions.  

Already making waves in hydrogeology, this award recognizes his many accomplishments he has already made early in his career. “It's great to see that Barret’s outstanding early-career research, teaching and professional service are being recognized at the national and international, level.” says UNB civil and geological engineering professor, Dr. Kerry MacQuarrie, “He is clearly making many positive contributions to our field.” Dr. MacQuarrie was Dr. Kurylk’s supervisor during his PhD work at UNB. 

Although he is still in the early stage of his career, Dr. Kurylyk already has a large peer-reviewed publication record and a notable collaborative field and numerical analysis research program.  

About Civil Engineering at UNB 

The first Civil Engineering lecture in Canada was held at UNB in 1853. Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment which takes place in the private, municipal and federal sectors. The Civil Engineering program at UNB is available as a major as part of a four-year Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree. 

Geological engineering 

At the University of New Brunswick, this program is delivered collaboratively by the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Earth Sciences. Geological engineers play key roles in the exploration, protection, and responsible development of Earth’s natural resources. They also ensure that structures such as bridges, dams and buildings are designed for long-term stability and safety, taking current and future geologic conditions and hazards into account.