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Canadian water policy expert to speak in Fredericton

Author: Communications

Posted on Apr 10, 2012

Category: UNB Fredericton

Perhaps no province in Canada has faced more water issues than Alberta.  And Kim Sturgess, founder and CEO of Alberta WaterSMART, has dealt with them all.  She is an expert on the often competing demands of agriculture, industry, environmentalists and the household user.

On Tuesday, April 10, Ms. Sturgess will speak on “Water Security:  Global Problem – Local Solutions.”  Hosted by the University of New Brunswick’s Andrews Initiative, her talk will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Wu Conference Centre at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.  Admission is free.

The demand for water around the world will increase dramatically over the next 25 years driven by population growth and the accompanying demand for increasing food production.  Changing climate patterns suggest that Canada and particularly the Prairies will be one of the few places in the world able to increase food production.  The tension between water use for agriculture and for energy production will continue to increase challenging water managers and politicians to improve practices and transparency in water use.  The trade-offs between food production, energy generation, water for people and water for the environment are driven by local concerns, complicating development of water policy across regions in Canada.  Collaboration is key to meeting the water needs of all.

Kim Sturgess is CEO and founder of Alberta WaterSMART, a not-for-profit organization committed to developing and improving the management of Alberta’s water resources. She also serves on the Expert Panel for Water Use in Canadian Agriculture sponsored by the Canadian Council of Academies, and is a sought-after speaker and advisor on water issues in Canada and Alberta.

Ms. Sturgess graduated with a degree in Engineering Physics from Queen's University in 1977 and an MBA with Distinction from the University of Western Ontario in 1984. She completed the ICD Corporate Governance College Directors Education Program in 2006.  She is a registered Professional Engineer and a Fellow and current President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Ms. Sturgess began her career at the National Energy Board as a gas pipelines engineer, and then spent five years at Esso Resources Canada Ltd. as a reservoir engineer and business analyst.   Upon completion of her MBA, she spent four years at McKinsey and Company as a management consultant focusing on technology, energy and transportation projects.  In the early 1990s, she led the spin-out of Revolve Technologies from NOVA, and served as the CEO of Revolve Technologies and, subsequently, Revolve Magnetic Bearings until the company was sold to SKF, a Swedish bearing company, in 2001. 

In addition to serving on the boards of her own companies, she currently serves on the boards of CCI Thermal Technologies Inc., the Calgary Airport Authority, and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.  She has also served on the boards of the National Research Council, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Pressure PipeLine Inspection Company, the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, the Alberta Economic Development Authority, the Alberta Water Council, the Trustees of Queen’s University, Queen’s Centre for Enterprise Development, and the Calgary Science Centre. 

Ms. Sturgess is a life member of the Queen’s University Council and a member of the World Presidents’ Organization and the International Women’s Forum.  Kim has been honoured with both the Distinguished Service Award and the Alumni Achievement Award from Queen’s University, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Science and Technology, the Alberta Centennial Medal, and in 2007 was named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and a Woman of Vision.

Kim Sturgess is the fourth speaker in the Andrews Initiative Year of Water Speakers Series at UNB.  In September, David Grey, Visiting Professor of Water Policy, Oxford Water Futures Programme, University of Oxford, will be in New Brunswick. 

Additional speakers and events are planned for the fall. For more information on the Year of the Water Speaker Series, visit www.unb.ca/initiatives/andrews .

For media inquires, contact:

Jennifer Gavin
UNB Communications and Marketing
506-453-4990
jgavin@unb.ca