Laxmi Sushama

Title: 
Professor and Trottier Chair in Sustainability in Engineering and Design
Academic title(s): 

Ph.D.

Laxmi Sushama
Contact Information
Address: 

Macdonald Engineering Building
817 Sherbrooke Street West, 475D

Phone: 
514-398-5993
Fax number: 
514-398-7361
Email address: 
laxmi.sushama [at] mcgill.ca
Biography: 

Dr. Laxmi Sushama is professor in Civil Engineering and holds the Trottier Chair in Sustainability in Engineering and Design. Her research group - Climate Change and Sustainable Engineering and Design (CCaSED) - brings together the fields of engineering and natural sciences, to develop and support integrated innovative approaches to sustainable engineering in the context of a changing climate. The group performs targeted super-resolution climate simulations and machine learning-based emulations to inform engineering systems and operations including renewable energy systems, cold regions engineering, water resources engineering, engineering hydrology, transportation engineering, urban planning and design. The group studies extreme events, their causality and projected changes in future climate and impacts on infrastructure design and operation. Knowledge of land dynamics and its climate interactions are important and determine the evolution of many near-surface/sub-surface climate variables, which are relevant for engineering applications. Her group therefore also focuses on increasing the range and physical realism of surface types and processes represented in high-resolution climate models, through development and/or adaptation of appropriate parameterizations. 

Dr. Sushama collaborates with researchers from across Canada and internationally from academia, federal and provincial organizations, private sector and non-profit organizations. Dr. Sushama’s projects are/were funded through various NSERC programs (CRD, Discovery, CREATE, Engage), CRC, MITACS, CFCAS, FRQNT, and other federal/provincial organizations and NGOs. Dr. Sushama was previously Professor and Canada Research Chair in Regional Climate Modelling at Centre ESCER. She has led many major Networks including the NSERC-CCAR funded Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes.

Degree(s): 
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles; University of Quebec at Montreal
  • PhD Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • MS Engineering Hydrology, National University of Ireland
  • ME Civil Engineering (Hydromechanics and Water Resources Engineering), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • BTech Civil Engineering, University of Kerala
Areas of expertise: 
  • Climate Change and Sustainability in Engineering and Design
  • Super-resolution climate modelling for Engineering Applications
  • Weather and Climate Extremes and their Impacts on Infrastructure
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Engineering Hydrology
  • Cold Region Processes and Engineering
  • Urban Systems Modelling
Courses: 

CIVE 320 Numerical Methods 4 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SEAD 515 Climate Change Adapt&Eng Infra 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

SEAD 550 Dec-Making for Sust: Eng & Des 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Research areas: 
Environmental Engineering
Selected publications: 

2022

  • Teufel, B., L. Sushama, 2022. High-resolution modelling of climatic hazards relevant for the northern transportation sector. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-022-06265-6
  • De Toldi, T., S. Craig, L. Sushama, 2022. Thermal mass for passive cooling: global limits, ideal quantities, and embodied emissions. Buildings and Cities, DOI: 10.5334/bc.156
  • Angeles, E., M. Balci, M. Kumral, L. Sushama, 2022. Quantification of relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and equipment management in mineral industries. Process Integration and Optimization for Sustainability, DOI: 10.1007/s41660-022-00239-1

2021

  • Teufel, B., L. Sushama, V. Poitras, T. Dukhan, S. Bélair, L. Miranda-Moreno, L. Sun, A. P. Sasmito, G. Bitsuamlak, 2021. Impact of COVID-19-Related Traffic Slowdown on Urban Heat Characteristics. Atmosphere, DOI: 10.3390/atmos12020243
  • Wu, Y., B. Teufel, L. Sushama, S. Belair, L. Sun, 2021. Deep learning-based super-resolution climate simulator-emulator framework for urban heat studies. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2021GL094737
  • Atrill, J., L. Sushama, B. Teufel, 2021. Clear-air turbulence in a changing climate and its impact on polar aviation. Safety in Extreme Environments, 3, 103–124
  • Dukhan, T., L. Sushama, 2021. Understanding and modelling future wind-driven rain loads on building envelopes for Canada. Building and Environment, DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.107800
  • Teufel, B., L. Sushama, 2021. 2 °C vs high warming: transitions to flood generating mechanisms across Canada. Water, DOI: 10.3390/w13111494
  • Huziy, O., B. Teufel, L. Sushama, R. Yerubandi, 2021. Heavy lake-effect snowfall changes and mechanisms for the Laurentian Great Lakes region, DOI: 10.3390/atmos12121577
  • Oh, S., L. Sushama, 2021. Urban-climate interactions during summer over eastern North America. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-021-05852-3
  • Xu, M., S. Akhtar, M. Alzoubi, L. Sushama, A. Sasmito, 2021. Asymptotic analysis of a two-phase Stefan problem in annulus: Application to outward solidification in phase change materials. Applied Mathematics and Computation, DOI:10.1016/j.amc.2021.126343
  • Baijnath-Rodino, J.A., A. Albizua, L. Sushama, E. Bennett, B.E. Robinson, 2021. Determining freshwater lake communities’ vulnerability to snowstorms in the Northwest Territories. Water, DOI : 10.3390/w13131816

2020

  • Diro, G., L. Sushama, 2020. Contribution of snow cover decline to projected warming over North America. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2019GL084414
  • Zhao, K., L. Sushama, 2020. Aircraft Takeoff Performance in a Changing Climate for Canadian Airports. Atmosphere, DOI: 10.3390/atmos11040418
  • Oh, S., L. Sushama, B. Teufel, 2020. Arctic precipitation and surface wind speed associated with cyclones in a changing climate. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05425-w
  • Diro, G., L. Sushama, J. Scinocca, Y. Jiao, 2020. Impact of soil moisture on the dominant modes of North American temperature variability. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05537-3
  • Teufel B., L. Sushama, 2020. Reply to: Permafrost thaw and northern development. Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0862-5

2019

  • Diro, G., L. Sushama, 2019. Simulating Canadian Arctic climate at convection-permitting resolution. Atmosphere, 10(8), 430
  • Liang, J., L. Sushama, 2019. Freezing rain events related to atmospheric rivers and associated mechanisms for western North America. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2019GL084647
  • Jeong, D.I., L. Sushama, 2019. Projected changes to mean and extreme surface wind speeds for North America based on regional climate model simulations. Atmosphere, DOI: 10.3390/atmos10090497
  • Teufel, B., L. Sushama, 2019. Abrupt changes across the Arctic permafrost region endanger northern development. Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/s41558-019-0614-6
  • Oh, S., L. Sushama, 2019. Short-Duration Extreme Precipitation Characteristics over Canada in a Warmer Climate. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05126-4

2018

  • Teufel, B., L. Sushama, O. Huziy, G.T. Diro, D.I. Jeong, K. Winger, C. Garnaud, R. deElia, F.W. Zwiers, D. Mathews, V.T. Nguyen, 2018. Investigation of the mechanisms leading to the 2017 Montreal flood. Climate Dynamics. DOI:10.1007/s00382-018-4375-0
  • Diro, G., L. Sushama, 2018. Snow-precipitation coupling and related atmospheric feedbacks over North America. Atmospheric Science Letters. DOI: 10.1002/asl.831
  • Roberge, F., L. Sushama, 2018. Urban heat island in current and future climates for the island of Montreal. Sustainable Cities and Society. DOI:10.1016/j.scs.2018.04.033
  • Jeong, D.I., L. Sushama, M. Vieira, K.A. Koenig, 2018. Projected changes to extreme ice load for overhead transmission lines across Canada. Sustainable cities and society, DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2018.03.017
  • Teufel, B., L. Sushama, V. Arora, D. Verseghy, 2018. Impact of dynamic vegetation on the simulated pan-Arctic land surface state. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-018-4142-2
  • Ganji, A., L. Sushama, 2018. Development of a Groundwater Scheme for Simulation of Surface-Groundwater interaction in Canadian Land Surface Model. International Journal of Climatology

2017

  • Diro, G.T. and L. Sushama, 2017. The role of soil moisture-atmosphere interaction on future hot-spells over North America as simulated by the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM5). Journal of Climate. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0068.1.
  • Jeong, D.I. and L. Sushama, 2017. Rain-on-snow events over North America based on two Canadian regional climate models. Climate Dynamics. DOI:10.1007/s00382-017-3609-x.
  • Jeong, D.I. and L. Sushama, 2017. Projected changes to extreme wind and snow loads for buildings and infrastructures in Canada. Sustainable cities and society. DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2017.10.004
  • Shrestha R., V. Arora, J. Melton and L. Sushama, 2017. An assessment of geographical distribution of different plant functional types over North America simulated using the CLASS-CTEM modelling framework. Biogeosciences. DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-4733-2017
  • Pausata, F.S.R., K.A. Emanuel, M. Chiacchio, G.T. Diro, Q. Zhang, L. Sushama, J.C. Stager and J.P. Donnelly, 2017. Tropical Cyclone activity enhanced by Sahara greening and reduced dust emissions during the African Humid Period. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619111114.

  • Teufel, B., G.T. Diro, K. Whan, S. Milrad, D.I. Jeong, A. Ganji, O. Huziy, K. Winger, J. Gyakum, R. de Elia, F. Zwiers and L. Sushama, 2017. Investigation of the 2013 Alberta flood from weather and climate perspectives. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-016-3239-8.

  • Diro, G.T., L. Sushama and O. Huziy, 2017. Snow-atmosphere coupling and its impact on temperature variability and extremes over North America. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-017-3788-5.

2016

  • Yang Kam Wing, G., L. Sushama and G.T. Diro, 2016. The Intra-annual variability of Land-Atmosphere coupling over North America in the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM5), Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere. DOI:10.1002/2016JD025423.
  • Huziy O. and L. Sushama, 2016. Impact of lake-river connectivity and interflow on the Canadian RCM simulated regional climate and hydrology for Northeast Canada. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-016-3104-9.

  • Huziy O. and L. Sushama, 2016. Lake-river and lake-atmosphere interactions in a changing climate over Northeast Canada. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-016-3260-y.

  • Jeong D.I., L. Sushama, G.T. Diro and M.N. Khaliq, 2016. Projected changes to winter temperature characteristics over Canada based on an RCM ensemble. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-015-2906-5.

  • Jeong, D.I., L. Sushama, G.T. Diro, M.N. Khaliq, H. Beltrami and D. Caya, 2016. Projected changes to high temperature events for Canada based on a Regional Climate Model ensemble. Climate Dynamics, DOI:10.1007/s00382-015-2759-y.

  • Jeong D.I., L. Sushama and M.N. Khaliq, 2016. Attribution of spring snow water equivalent (SWE) changes over the Northern Hemisphere to anthropogenic effects. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 1007/s00382-016-3291-4.

2015

  • Alexandru, A. and L. Sushama, 2015. Impact of land-use and land-cover changes on CRCM5 climate projections over North America for the twenty-first century. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-015-2896-3.
  • Chacon, A., L. Sushama and H. Beltrami, 2015. Biophysical impacts of land-use change over North America as simulated by the Canadian Regional climate model. Atmosphere, DOI:10.3390/atmos7030034.
  • Ganji, A., L. Sushama, D. Verseghy and R. Harvey, 2015. On improving cold region hydrological processes in the Canadian Land Surface Scheme. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, DOI:10.1007/s00704-015-1618-4.
  • Garnaud, C. and L. Sushama, 2015. Biosphere-climate interactions in a changing climate over North America. Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1002/2014JD022055.

2014

  • Alexandru, A.,  and L. Sushama, 2014. Current climate and climate change over India as simulated by the Canadian Regional Climate Model. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2350-y.
  • Diro, G.T., L. Sushama, A. Martynov, D.I. Jeong, D. Verseghy and K. Winger, 2014. Land-atmosphere coupling over North America in CRCM5. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 119, 11955-11972.

  • Garnaud, C., L. Sushama and D. Verseghy, 2014. Impact of interactive vegetation phenology on the Canadian RCM simulated climate over North America. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2397-9.

  • Jeong, D.I., L. Sushama, M.N. Khaliq, and R. Roy, 2014. A copula-based multivariate analysis of Canadian RCM projected changes to flood characteristics for northeastern Canada. Climate Dynamics, 42, 7-8, 2045-2066.

  • Jeong, D.I., L. Sushama, and  M.N. Khaliq, 2014. The role of temperature in drought projections over North America. Climatic Change, 127, 289-303, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-014-1248-3.

  • Khaliq M.N., L. Sushama, A. Monette and H. Wheater, 2014. Seasonal and extreme precipitation characteristics for the watersheds of the Canadian Prairie Provinces as simulated by the NARCCAP multi-RCM ensemble, Climate Dynamics, 44, 1-2, 255-277.

  • Paquin, J.P., and L. Sushama, 2014. On the Arctic near-surface permafrost and climate sensitivities to soil and snow model formulations in climate models. Climate Dynamics, 44, 1-2, 255-277.

  • Sushama, L., S. Ben Said, M.N. Khaliq, D. Nagesh Kumar and R. Laprise, 2014. Dry spell characteristics over India based on IMD and APHRODITE datasets. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2113-9.

  • Thiery, W., A. Martynov, F. Darchambeau, J.-P. Descy, P-D. Plisnier, L. Sushama, N.V. Lipzig, 2014. Understanding the performance of the FLake model over the African Great Lakes.  Geoscientific Model Development, 7, 317-337.

Projects: 
  • Climate change adaptation of urban overpasses subject to flash floods
  • Hydrokinetic resources estimation for the Canadian Arctic for current and future climates
  • Understanding and modelling Canadian urban systems and their climate interactions for resilience building and developing climate change adaptation measures
  • High-resolution climate modelling and analysis of the St. Lawrence seaway in current and future climates
  • Sustainability in engineering and design
  • Engineering climate simulations and thresholds for nunavut
  • Pavement resilience in a warmer climate for cold regions (PI: G. Doré)
  • Dynamic flood inundation modelling in regional earth system models guided by space-based observations and machine learning
  • La Congélation des sols basée sur les énergies renouvelables comme solution d'adaptation pour une exploitation minière durable dans le Nord sous un climat changeant (PI: A. Sasmito)
  • Predicting the future of renewable energy in Canada's north (PI: A. Monahan; completed)
  • Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes (completed)
  • Land surface processes and land-climate interactions in high-latitude regions (completed)
  • Multi-resolution lake-river framework for simulating streamflows from regional climate model generated runoff for the Nelson-Churchill watershed (completed)
  • A regional climate modelling system for climate/hydrology process and feedback studies (completed)
  • Simulating climate and weather processes with high resolution regional climate model (completed)
  • Canadian Regional Climate Modelling and Diagnostics Network (completed)
  • Technical assistance for CRCMD network (completed)
  • Assessment of climate change impacts on Canadian water resources using an ensemble of RCM simulations (completed)
Specialization: 

Climate change and sustainable engineering, applied hydrology, water resources engineering

Back to top