Featured Student: Madeline Collins
Class of 2018
Education: Bachelor of Engineering—Civil Engineering and Society, McMaster University
Madeline Collins is a second year student in the MScSM program and is a prime example of utilizing the MScSM program to explore her interests. She continues to use her background knowledge and seek out additional opportunities in order to create a well-rounded experience during her time in the program.
In her first year of the program, Madeline attended the WEFTEC conference organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), a not-for-profit technical and educational organization. The conference was held in New Orleans and was composed of engineers and scientists in the water sector. Madeline found this conference to be the perfect opportunity to network with individuals in the field and listen to key note speakers who specialized in water and sustainability. She was encouraged to attend this conference after re-launching and running the Water Environment Association of Ontario at McMaster University.
Madeline's passion for water treatment and resource management, coupled with her engineering background led to her internship at Enviro-Stewards, a company who helps individuals and corporations in the GTA conserve their resources, lower their footprint and address environmental liabilities. During her internship, she looked at energy efficiency, food waste, and safe water. In terms of energy efficiency, the projects she worked on helped companies save over 20% of their electrical and natural gas consumption by offering simple solutions that resulted in under one year paybacks. For food waste, Madeline conducted research about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste to help food and beverage manufacturers assess their environmental footprint. In addition, Madeline took part in the Safe Water Project at Enviro-Stewards, an initiative that trains locals to build, sell, and maintain bio-sand filters to supply safe and clean water in their communities. For this, she created resource documents for entrepreneurs to follow to start their similar projects. This February, she will be helping to run a workshop on this topic at the African Bio-sand Filter Implementers Network (ABINET) conference in Malawi.
Within the program, Madeline and fellow MScSM student Sandra Espinosa are working together on a capstone project that looks at sustainable tourism in the Northern Bruce Peninsula. Recently, this spot has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction, impacting locals and the surrounding environment. Madeline and Sandra are currently working with a sustainable tourism consulting company to evaluate the current tourism assets in the area and provide future recommendations. For part of the project, they attended a workshop in November that involved select members of the local community to hear their concerns and hopes for the future of the area.
In terms of her future endeavors, Madeline was recently hired by Enviro-Stewards upon graduation. She will be working with the energy team and hopes to also continue her involvement with the Safe Water Project.