Alexandra Thompson is helping to devise a vision for future scientific exploration, as a Program Leader with the National Research Council of Canada. She manages a large team and a portfolio of science and engineering projects focused on a strategic goal. Specifically, that goal is focused on the ‘High Performance Buildings’ program.
This program, established in 2013, aims to reduce energy emissions in buildings by identifying the industry, scientific, technological and societal issues that could stall the adoption of new technologies. Alexandra is working at knowledge mobilization (the translation of science to action) to ensure the science is used for environmental change. She also has the chance to encourage younger researchers to develop their careers, scientific interests and to have confidence in their abilities.
In 2007, Alexandra obtained her PhD in environmental psychology and human factors from the University of Southampton in the UK. She says her training has aided greatly with, among other things, knowledge mobilization.
“My psychology training has enabled me to ensure good scientific methodologies and statistical analysis are used and the ethics of a project are considered. Also, working in an engineering multi-disciplinary environment understanding the human and societal implications of an engineering project has helped with the applicability of projects to real world conditions or expectations.”
As climate change becomes more and more devastating, and as environmental concerns become the number one national priority, programs like ‘High Performance Buildings’ will be at the forefront of the effort to curb emissions. Knowledge mobilization to that effect is becoming more critical than ever. We’re glad that Alexandra Thompson, and others like her, are working on those exact things. Bringing about the change that is needed to tackle the most serious issue of our time.