Carrefour de l'actualité

Professor Michèle Prévost elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering

August 9, 2021 - Source : NEWS

Full Professor Michèle Prévost from the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, received the distinction for her exceptional achievements and long service to the profession of engineering.

Full Professor Michèle Prévost from the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering (Photo: Tom Morin)

Professor Prévost is one of 52 new Fellows elected by their peers to the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAG), which brings together some of Canada's most experienced engineers who have demonstrated their dedication to the application of the principles of science and engineering for the benefit of the country and its industries.

“Michèle Prévost is a recognized world expert in drinking water from source to tap. As an Industrial Chair in Drinking Water, Professor Prévost has contributed exceptionally to this discipline finding innovative solutions to treat and and distribute drinking water and providing evidence for the development of effective water quality standards," states the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

“Professor Prévost's research is conducted in close partnership with drinking water producers, technology providers, governmental agencies and municipalities to deliver sustainable solutions. Recognized as a world leader, her work has had measurable impacts in Canada and internationally, contributing to the improvement of drinking water the protection of public health."

Michèle Prévost has over thirty years of experience in research and technology development in the fields of drinking water treatment and distribution. A McGill University graduate who studied renewable resources, she also holds a Master's of Civil Engineering as well as a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Polytechnique Montréal. Michèle Prévost began her teaching career at Polytechnique in 1992 as an Assistant Professor. She then rose to the rank of Associate Professor in 1995, and moved to Full Professor in 1999.

Since 1992, Professor Prévost has held the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Industrial Chair in Drinking Water at the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, a department whose work address the protection of drinking water sources, innovative treatment processes and water quality in the distribution networks. In 2003, Professor Prévost founded the Center for Research, Development and Validation of Technologies and Processes in Water Treatment (CREDEAU), whose research themes comprise the entire water cycle and include drinking water treatment, water collection and distribution network hydraulics and management, wastewater treatment, as well as sludge and odour management. The latter research center is the result of a consortium of Polytechnique Montréal, the Université de Montréal, the École de technologie supérieure, and McGill University. Professor Prévost's work focuses on R&D for the protection of water sources, water treatment, and various aspects of water distribution networks.

Via a series of laboratory, field, and epidemiological studies, she led a major Canadian initiative to reduce lead at the tap resulting in a significant reduction of lead standards. Since 2009, Professor Prévost has been leading cooperative Canadian research on the treatment of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) in order to identify innovative solutions to eliminate toxins in drinking water.

Her recent work on legionella - the leading cause of infections associated with drinking water - seeks to identify effective prevention strategies in water networks and cooling towers. In close collaboration with building managers, public regulators and health establishments, Professor Prévost has carried out several studies demonstrating that the implementation of water and energy saving measures can increase the risk of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks. Numerous building managers - including hospitals - have as a result, already adopted the strategies identified by her work in order to prevent Legionella infections and outbreaks. Evidence provided by Professor Prévost has also contributed to the establishment of effective standards and regulations in Canada and internationally for the management of legionella, to the scientific consensus of the National Academies of Sciences of Engineering & Medicine (NASEM) on the management of Legionella, and the development of procedures for the safe return to service of buildings following closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prestigious awards

In addition to the title of Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, in recent years Michèle Prévost has received several awards and distinctions in recognition of her research activities and her contribution to engineering.

In 2017, she received the 32nd Prix Michel-Jurdant en sciences de l’environnement from ACFAS, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of science in Québec and the Canadian Francophonie. The latter prize is awarded yearly to a researcher, and highlights the excellence and influence of their work and acts in the field of environmental sciences.

In 2016, Professor Prévost received the AP Black Research Award from the American Water Works Association (AWWA), an international non-profit, scientific and educational association dedicated to improving quality and water supply. This award recognizes an individual's outstanding contributions to scientific research in the field of water and water supply throughout their career. It was the first time since its creation that the prize was awarded to a researcher from Québec.

Additionally in 2015, she received the Prix Hubert Demard from the Association Réseau Environnement, which brings together experts from the public, private, and para-public fields who work in the water, residual materials, air, climate change, energy, soil, groundwater and biodiversity sectors. Awarded annually, this prize is given to an individual in recognition of their contribution and of their entire career dedicated to an environmental cause. Michele Prévost is the 31st individual to obtain this distinction in Polytechnique's history. In fact, Professor Prévost is the second woman to receive this honour, the first of whom was Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire in 1991, former Chair of the Polytechnique Montréal Board of Directors.

Congratulations to Professor Michèle Prévost!

Learn more
Professor Michèle Prévost expertise
Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering website (In French only)
Canadian Academy of Engineering website

Suggested Reading

April 27, 2020

COVID-19 : water management and analysis tools to prepare for deconfinement

March 6, 2018

Science and Innovation: Minister Joly’s briefing at Polytechnique Montréal