STEWARD – Systems Training and Education in Water Assets Research and Development

People on project:

Graham GagnonRob JamiesonCraig LakeMargaret WalshWendy Krkosek


NSERC/CRSNGQueens UniversityGeoEngineering Centre - Queen's University

STEWARD – Systems Training and Education in Water Assets Research and Development

Funded by NSERC, STEWARD is a collaborative NSERC CREATE graduate training program between Dalhousie University and Queen’s University, which aims to build a unique training environment for research on buried water infrastructure. The aim is to create exceptional training experiences in a unique learning environment that integrates traditional engineering silos. Here, trainees will gain the capacity to understand, analyze and solve multifaceted problems associated with buried infrastructure.  The program has four main themes:

A. Water Quality in Distribution Systems
B. Buried Pipe Infrastructure Design, Assessment and Repair
C. Water Protection Issues Associated with Buried Infrastructure
D. Sustainable Distribution and Collection System Design and Optimization


STEWARD aims to:

  1. Develop a multi-institutional, trans-disciplinary training program that is unique in North America, and a template that can seed substantial changes in personnel development across the field;
  2. Build a research team with unequalled breadth and quality to study buried infrastructure for water and wastewater management;
  3. Develop highly qualified personnel (HQP) that are able to understand and communicate the technical and social complexities of water and wastewater systems;
  4. Provide students with new professional skills in management and strategies for sustainability, that will enable them to take a leadership role in coordinated efforts to improve substantially the ability of Canadian municipalities to construct, manage and repair buried water and wastewater infrastructure.

The STEWARD Program

STEWARD students engage in transdiciplinary research. The program offers seminars from leading experts in academia and industry. Each STEWARD student completes an 8-week industrial internship with STEWARD partners. Students participate in an annual symposium held either at Dalhousie or Queen’s where they have the opportunity to present their research and network with students and industry professionals. Additional skills development is provided through short courses on specific technical aspects of buried water infrastructure as well as soft skills which assist students with workforce integration and hireability.


Dalhousie University Queen's University
Dr. Graham Gagnon Dr. Ian Moore
Dr. Craig Lake Dr. Yves Filion
Dr. Rob Jamieson Dr. Kerry Rowe
Dr. Margaret Walsh Dr. Andy Take
Dr. John Newhook Dr. Richard Brachman
Dr. Gordon Fenton Dr. Neil Hoult
Dr. Mysore Satish Dr. Pascale Champagne

Join the Team!

STEWARD provides full stipends for highly motivated Undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral students.  Students must have an A- average to apply (>3.6/4.3 or 3.4/4.0).

Application deadlines are three times per year:  July 30th, Sept 30th, and Jan 30th.  Interested students are encouraged to contact a STEWARD researcher to develop a research outline.  The research outline, transcripts and letters of reference are application requirements.  Application forms can be downloaded from the links on the right.

For more information on the program or application process, please contact