News Releases

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REF NO.: 99

SUBJECT: Speaking of Engineering …

DATE: Nov. 15

Have you ever wondered how engineering can help predict floods and droughts? The ability to predict and forecast the rate of the rise of rivers has important implications for many Canadians. We are all too aware of the devastation caused by flooding in places such as southern Manitoba in 1997, the Saguenay region of Quebec in 1996 and closer to home, Bishop's Falls in 1983, Badger in 2003 and Stephenville this past September. While floods capture our attention, it is, in fact, drought that has a greater economic impact in our country and of lesser prominence but greater relevance to our day-to-day lives are the quantities of stream flow necessary for pollution abatement, water supply, transportation and recreation. The ability to model these flows and associated soil moisture is an important component of effective water resource management. This requires sophisticated computer programs that simulate evaporation, snow melt and frozen ground. These programs, or models, are becoming increasingly inter-woven into the same systems that predict weather and warming associated with climate change.

Join Dr. Ken Snelgrove for Extreme Engineering as he talks about research currently underway at Memorial on stream flow within weather prediction models and climate forecasts, translating the impact of tomorrow’s thunder storm into flood warnings and global climate change into effective management of our future water resources.

Speaking of Engineering is hosted by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University and the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Extreme Engineering takes place on Thursday, Nov. 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the S.J. Carew Building lecture theatre (room EN-2006), Memorial University, St. John’s campus. Admission is free. All are welcome. Reception will follow. Parking is available in lot 16.

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For further information, please contact Michelle Osmond, communications coordinator, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, 709-737-8287, 709-691-5027 or


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