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SYP Structure


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The lead position is the SYP Chair. The Chair oversees and supports the activities of the SYP committees and chapters. However, the real action happens within the local chapters, which are strongly linked to the CWRA Branches. Each chapter organizes its own activities to meet the objectives of the CWRA in their local communities.

The National SYP Committee has a Chair and three National Board of Director Representatives, as well as a number of functioning sub-committees, which are described below.


2017 SYP National Appointments

SYP Co-Chairs


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Dr. Nilufar Islam is a Project Engineer at the City of Vancouver’s Sewer and Drainage Design Branch.  She completed her PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, where her research was focused on the water quality management at distribution networks. Nilufar is involved in research related to water quality modeling at the source, risk analysis, and infrastructure management. She is a recipient of multiple national level research awards, and has experienced Canada-wide exposure on water quality issues. Previously, Nilufar worked as a designer in WSP/MMM Group Ltd. in Edmonton. Nilufar also worked as a design engineer in DaRam Engineering Inc. to design drainage systems for Houston, Texas. Originally, Nilufar is from Bangladesh and finished her BSc in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Nilufar is extremely passionate about organizing events. She was elected in multiple voluntary positions in Canada including being the vice-president for Canadian Water Network Students and Young Professionals Committee (CWN SYPC), chair for CWRA  SYP BC Branch and chair for CWRA SYP Vancouver Chapter. Besides professional activities, she enjoys doing oil painting, sketching, singing, contemporary dancing, acting, and movie editing.


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David McCaffrey is an M.Sc. student in Geography at the University of Lethbridge, studying with Dr. Chris Hopkinson. His research focuses on the application of remote sensing techniques like lidar, synthetic aperture radar, and repeat photography to measure and monitor hydrologic change in alpine and prairie regions. Alongside a group of dedicated students in southern Alberta, David is currently involved in reviving the Lethbridge chapter of SYP. He hopes to be a resource for students and young professionals looking to start new SYP chapters, nationwide.

National Board of Director Representatives

Cynthia Volmar (Montreal)
Lea Braschi (Halifax) 

Volunteer Coordinator


Mentorship Program Coordinator

Meg Olson Pic

Meg Olson (Toronto)

Meg Olson is an EIT in the Water Resources department at WSP and a member of the CWRA Ontario Board of Directors.  She completed her B. S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia, and her M. U. P. in Urban Planning and M. Sc. in Civil Engineering at the University of Washington in 2013. Meg founded the SYP Toronto chapter in 2014 and currently helps plan meetings for the group in conjunction with Blue Drinks Toronto.  She has been organizing the Ontario Branch mentoring program since 2015.  Please get in touch with her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions about mentoring contacts or starting a mentoring program in your SYP group or Branch.

CWRA Communications Committee Rep


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Vancouver)

Amir is a civil/hydrotechnical engineer with Ph.D. degree in Water Resources Engineering from Kyoto University, Japan. He has several years of professional experience in Canada, Japan and Iran in river flow and morphology, erosion and sedimentation, storm water management plans and flood management projects. Amir is currently working in “Associated Engineering (AE)”, in Vancouver, BC, as a Water Resources Engineer. In 2015, he was exposed to CWRA SYP and became involved as a volunteer in the Vancouver branch. In his free time, Amir loves to develop web-based applications and websites for different non-profit organizations. Recently, he has been involved in launching “Answers by Engineers”, an online forum which provides a state-of-the-art platform to aid all local BC engineers and geosciences professionals in their projects, and help them with their professional development. 

Advisor (Past Chair)












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Greg Schellenberg lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba and works at Hatch as a Hydrotechnical Engineering Intern. Greg is both an “S” and a “YP” as he is also working on finishing his M.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering (Water Resources) at the University of Manitoba. During a summer research term at the University of Manitoba, Greg was exposed to CWRA SYP and became involved as a volunteer in the Winnipeg chapter. He enjoyed the informal yet professional style of the SYP group and eventually became the chapter’s Team Leader. In 2015, Greg joined the National CWRA Board of Directors as a SYP Representative after helping to organize SYP events of the 2015 National Conference. Passionate about water resources, the environment, the Jets, and the Jays, Greg also loves meeting enthusiastic SYPs from across the country!

SYP National Sub-Committees


The purpose of the CWRA SYP mentoring program is to promote the management of Canada’s water resources by strengthening the professional capacity of students and young professionals through meaningful mentorship opportunities and/or relationships. While mutually benefiting students, young professionals, and CWRA professionals, this program will foster a larger professional water community.

For further information, check out the SYP Mentorship Program or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Volunteer Coordinator

The volunteer coordinator communicates with volunteers at the national, committee and chapter level. The coordinator is the person designated to field conversations, emails and chats with the SYP volunteer network. They gauge energy levels, discuss whether people are satisfied with their current roles and duties, connect people with similar interests, get people in touch with appropriate committee leaders if they are interested in getting involved with a committee or project, and ensure chapter and committee leaders are notified when new/special projects arise.


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