Jennifer Drake, PhD, P.Eng.
Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, University of Toronto
By the time Jennifer Drake was finishing up her PhD at the University of Guelph, her research on the effectiveness of permeable pavements in reducing stormwater volume and pollution levels in drainage systems was impacting stormwater management across North America. Her strong record of achievement as an undergrad and graduate engineering student (including publishing three papers) paved the way to a faculty position at the University of Toronto (U of T) six months before completing her doctorate.
Dr. Drake is currently an assistant professor in the U of T’s Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering and is cross-appointed with the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. In her first year at U of T, she published three more papers in peer-reviewed publications and obtained significant funding from NSERC, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and other government agencies to continue her research on watershed planning and stormwater systems and management.
In 2018, Dr. Drake was awarded an Early Researcher Award by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation for her work on Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater management and the impact of LID technologies on aquatic environments, urban water security and wet weather policy. In 2014, she developed new regional flood equations for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) for ungauged watercourses, replacing MTO’s Modified Index Flood Method and Northern Ontario’s Hydrology Method. The new equations provide more accurate representation of current watershed and stream flow conditions, as well as standardized peak flood estimation methods for the entire province.
Dr. Drake has been extremely successful in providing trainees with the expertise required to pursue careers in water resources, municipal drainage and environmental engineering. She has trained 30 graduate students and 15 undergraduate students. Past students are now working in water resources engineering for firms such as Hatch and JR Burnside, and in the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
Dr. Drake currently serves on TRCA’s Board of Directors and Regional Watershed Alliance, and is committed to increasing the public’s knowledge and understanding of issues related to urban flooding and flood prevention.