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Campus Life - Okanagan

Sustainability expert to lead new College diploma program

Okanagan College Media Release

Amy VaillancourtAmy Vaillancourt, an expert in sustainability assessment, has joined Okanagan College as the lead instructor and program Chair for the College’s new Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) program.

Vaillancourt brings a unique blend of international education and work experience in sustainable development and environmental engineering to the position, making her an ideal fit to guide the SCMT program through its launch in September 2014.

“What drew me to Okanagan College is its reputation for innovation and being at the forefront of sustainability education,” said Vaillancourt. “The College implements programs needed by industry, giving students valuable opportunities to help meet those needs.”

“The goal of the SCMT program is to train students in new ways of doing things, and to prepare them for jobs opening up in the sustainable construction field,” explained Vaillancourt. “As older workers retire, gaps are created and a new generation of workers needs to have the knowledge and skills to work with changing building codes and new industry and government regulations.”

Vaillancourt earned a B.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Fredericton, and then completed a Master’s in Sustainable Development at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. She returned to UNB Fredericton to pursue a PhD in civil engineering.

Work experience as an engineering consultant in environmental engineering, and for the provincial government Department of Transportation and Infrastructure in New Brunswick have given Vaillancourt a broad skill set and range of perspectives.

Her current research interests are focused on implementation of sustainability assessments for municipal infrastructures, which include urban forestry, transportation, water and wastewater, and energy.

“The SCMT study stream aligns closely with my research,” said Vaillancourt. “The program takes a lifecycle approach that has students acquire knowledge of every building lifecycle phase -- from resource extraction through construction and concluding with end-of-life.”

The SCMT program is the only one of its kind in B.C. Program students will have the opportunity to learn in Okanagan College’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation in Penticton, one of the most sustainable buildings of its type in world.

“The zero-energy building itself is the classroom,” said Vaillancourt. “It has visible geo-thermal heating and cooling, screens that display energy conservation, solar water heating, and more. It’s the perfect environment for students, and will definitely be an important part of the learning experience.”

The Sustainable Construction Management Technology program is a three-year diploma, which provides students with the technical, business and interpersonal skills to successfully manage construction projects of varying size and complexity, with an emphasis on sustainable design principles.


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