Laxmi Sushama

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

Ph.D.

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 Sustainability in 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 climate research on land-ocean-atmosphere interactions and feedbacks using high-resolution climate models 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. The group’s recent work on interactive modelling of permafrost in climate models has enabled to identify vulnerable regions for various emission scenarios and to propose infrastructure adaptation/retrofitting in these regions that are sustainable.

Dr. Sushama was previously Professor and Canada Research Chair in Regional Climate Modelling at the Centre ESCER of UQAM. She has led many major Networks including the recent NSERC-CCAR funded Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes (CNRCWP.uqam.ca). The main goal of this Network is to quantify and reduce uncertainties in climate projections and weather predictions for Canada’s northern and Arctic regions. Dr. Sushama collaborates with researchers from across Canada from academia, public (Environment and Climate Change Canada) and private sectors as well as with non-profit organizations (Ouranos and Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium) in this Network. Dr. Sushama’s previous projects and Networks were funded through various NSERC programs (CRD, Discovery, CREATE, Engage), CRC, MITACS, CFCAS, FQRNT, Ouranos and PCIC.

Unit: 
Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics
Degree(s): 
  • PhD Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia (1999)
  • MS Applied Hydrology, National University of Ireland (1995)
  • ME Hydromechanics and Water Resources Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (1992)
  • B-Tech Civil Engineering, University of Kerala (1990)
Area of expertise: 
  • Climate Change and Sustainability in Engineering and Design
  • Regional Climate Modelling and Land-Atmosphere Interactions
  • Weather and Climate Extremes and their Impacts on Infrastructure
  • Renewable Energy
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Engineering Hydrology
  • Cold Region Processes and Engineering
Courses: 

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

Decision making for sustainable engineering

Selected publications: 

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.

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.

2016

  • Ganji, A. and L. Sushama, 2016. Improved representation of surface water – groundwater interactions.
  • 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.

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: http://dx.doi.org/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.
  • 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.

Projects: 
  • Canadian Network for Regional Climate and Weather Processes (funded by NSERC-CCAR)
  • Land surface processes and land-climate interactions in high-latitude regions (funded by NSERC-Discovery)
  • Multi-resolution lake-river framework for simulating streamflows from regional climate model generated runoff for the Nelson-Churchill watershed (funded by NSERC-Engage - completed)
  • A regional climate modelling system for climate/hydrology process and feedback studies (funded by NSERC-CRD/HydroQuebec/Ouranos)
  • Simulating climate and weather processes with high resolution regional climate model (funded by MITACS - completed)
  • Modélisation à haute résolution et évaluation des impacts des changements climatiques sur les ressources en eau de l'Inde à l'aide du Modèle Régional Canadien de Climate (funded by MDEIE - completed)
  • Canadian Regional Climate Modelling and Diagnostics Network (funded by CFCAS - completed)
  • Technical assistance for CRCMD network (funded by CFCAS - completed)
  • Assessment of climate change impacts on Canadian water resources using an ensemble of RCM simulations (funded by CFCAS - completed)
Specialization: 

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