Shoshanna Saxe, P.Eng., wins 2019 OPEA Engineering Medal – Young Engineer

Shoshanna Saxe, PhD, P.Eng.
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto


shoshana saxe young engineerAn assistant professor with the University of Toronto’s Civil and Mineral Engineering faculty, Dr. Shoshanna Saxe’s research examines the societal impact of infrastructure, with a focus on sustainable urban infrastructure, mega infrastructure, transit infrastructure and urban materials flows.

Her main expertise is in life cycle greenhouse gas evaluation of horizontal infrastructure (roads, rail, pipes), including the impacts of construction, operation, travel behaviour and interactions with land use. A civil engineer by training, she was employed at Arup Toronto, where she worked on the design and construction of four Toronto subway stations and the Billy Bishop Airport tunnel. During this time, she co-created iBorehole, an Apple app for geotechnical borehole logging.

After returning to academia to work on her PhD, Dr. Saxe conducted a detailed analysis of the London Underground’s Jubilee line extension and Toronto’s Sheppard subway. She gathered data on the greenhouse gases produced during construction and operation of the line, and saved from travel and land use change, to calculate the GHG payback period for rail construction. The work highlights the environmental implications of infrastructure construction and the need for significant changes in planning, construction and management of infrastructure to meet sustainability commitments.

Dr. Saxe developed the new University of Toronto graduate class “Large Scale Infrastructure and Sustainability,” which explores what sustainability means in the context of infrastructure development, examines infrastructure needs and sustainability at the global and project scale, and provides students with the necessary tools to have an impact on infrastructure sustainability.

Her published work includes: “Measuring the completeness of complete streets,” Transport Reviews; “The greenhouse gas impact of the Sheppard Subway Line” Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment; “The Relationship between Airport Infrastructure and Flight Arrivals in Remote Northern Canadian Communities.” Artic; and “Accessing the Toronto Subway: Access by Mode and Catchment Area.” Transportation Research Record.

Dr. Saxe is an alumna of Action Canada, a member of the Transportation Research Board’s standing committee on Transportation and Sustainability, and sits on Waterfront Toronto’s Capital Peer Review Panel.

For more on this year’s OPEA Gala and all of the award winners, visit

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