Susan J Gaskin

Associate Professor
Academic title(s): 

Eng, Ph.D.

Contact Information
Fax number: 
Email address: 
susan.gaskin [at]

Professor Gaskin joined McGill in 1997, adding to the environmental engineering expertise in the Department. Environmental hydraulics and water resources is her specialty. Her teaching includes open channel flow, hydraulics, river engineering and water sustainability. Her research is in the general area of environmental fluid mechanics and water resources management. Specifically looking at topics in experimental fluid mechanics: modeling of jets and plumes, river engineering, sediment transport in surface waters, and in water resources management: sustainable water supply management and basin wide hydrologic modeling.

Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics
  • CIVE 206 Dynamics 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 428 Water Resrces & Hydraulic Eng. 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 577 River Engineering 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 677 Water-Energy Sustainability 4 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Doctoral Commonwealth Scholarship held at University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Current research: 

Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory (Director)

The laboratory has a 1.5 m x 6 m x 1 m glass towing tank. Experiments can be run in a quiescent and turbulent ambient or in a simulated flow. The approximate homogeneous turbulent ambient with no mean flow is created using a random jet array (1.5 m x 1 m). A large recirculating shallow flume 1.5 m x 9 m x 0.2 m can be used for shallow flow (river) studies. Two small shallow flumes can be used for sediment and recirculation studies. Experimental data on flow velocities and concentrations can be acquired using particle image velocimetry (PIV), acoustic Doppler velocimetry (ADV) and planar and point laser induced fluorescence (LIF) at high spatial and temporal resolution (100 μm at 1600Hz), 3-D particle tracking velocimetry (3D PTV) at high spatial and temporal resolution. The equipment available includes a 5 W argon ion laser, a number of CCD digital cameras, a Nortec ADV and assorted optics.

Graduate supervision: 

Masters Students

  • Kareem Fanous (M.Eng. 2016), Copper levels in municipal drinking water.
  • Angela Huston (M.Sc. 2015), Investigating improved drinking water: The service reality of standtaps, the central utility and community water in Buea, Cameroon.
  • Hauke Blanken (M.Eng. 2015), Arctic Oil Spills: a risk assessment of transport in sea ice and ocean surface waters from current exploration sites, (co-supervised with Bruno Tremblay, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences , McGill University and Alexander Slavin, Environment Canada).
  • Leila Pike (M.Eng. 2015), The Dynamics of Glacial Till Erosion: Hydraulic Flume Tests on Samples from Medway Creek, London, ON, (co-supervision with Peter Ashmore, Geography, University of Western Ontario).
  • Hasina Andriamanamihaja (M.Eng. 2014), Erosion and stream sedimentation due to pipeline construction in laterite soils – Madagascar.
  • Claire Murray (M.Eng. 2014), Eddy diffusivities from a doubly-periodic quasi-geostrophic model of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, (co-supervision with Jaime Palter and David Straub, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University).
  • Dan Robb (M.Eng. 2013), Smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of freely moving solid objects in a free-surface flow with applications to river ice dynamics, (collaboration with Groupe Conseil LaSalle and Andritz Hydro Vevey).
  • Sylvana Hochet (M.Eng. 2013), A comparative study on the effect of a eucalyptus and a mixed acacia-eucalyptus plantation on the water balance of a small Ecuadorian Andes catchment.
  • Simon Dagher (M.Eng. 2012), Inter-basin water transfer and its role in modern society: a non-technical and technical review.
  • Zian Sally (M.Eng. 2012), Stakeholder participation and sustainability challenges confronting a small urban community managed water supply project, (collaboration with with Sunny Kometa, Geography, University of Buea).
  • Matthieu Baccard (M.Eng. 2012), Estimation of sediment loadings in a small steep tropical catchment impacted by quarrying activities: a case study of the Acono River catchment, Trinidad, West Indies, (co-supervision with Vincent Cooper, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of the West Indies).
  • David Morisette (M.Eng. 2009), Parametric study of vortex formation at a hydropower intake.
  • Julian Gacek (M.Eng. 2007), Numerical simulation of flow through a spillway and diversion, (collaboration with Groupe Conseil LaSalle).
  • Fernando Jaramillo (M.Eng. 2007), Estimating and modelling soil loss and sediment yield in the Maracas-St. Joseph catchment with empirical models (RUSLE,and MUSLE) and a physically based model (EROSION 3D), (co-supervision with Vincent Cooper, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of West Indies).
  • Karen Ng (M.Eng. 2006), Two dimensional hydraulic-habitat modelling of a rehabilitated river.
  • Devin Hayward (M.Eng. 2006), Sustainable waste management systems and their application in Trinidad and Tobago, (co-supervision with Vincent Cooper, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of West Indies).
  • Elizabeth Jamieson (M.Eng. 2005), Experimental investigation of recirculating flow in an open channel embayment using three-dimensional particle tracking.
  • Walid Khawam (M.Eng. 2004), Water demand management in the Caribbean: a case study in Barbados.
  • Tarek Hamade (M.Eng. 2004), An experimental study on a fish louver system, (collaboration with Groupe Conseil LaSalle).
  • Linda Kemp (M.Eng. 2002), Photo-tagged particle tracking: An investigation of recirculating flow in an embayment.
  • Abdellatif Al Shafie (M.Eng. 2001), Erosion of post-glacial clay due to waves in the St. Lawrence River, (collaboration with Serge Lapage, Centre St. Laurent, Environment Canada).
  • Furong Xue (M.Eng. 2000), The effect of ambient turbulence on the concentrations of a plane jet in a shallow coflow.
  • Anne-Titia Bove (M.Eng. 2000), Photo-activated tracer particles - a preliminary study.
  • Matthew McKernan (M.Eng. 2000), The effect of ambient turbulence on a plane jet in a shallow coflow.

Ph.D. Students

  • Alejandro Perez Alvarado (Ph.D, 2016) Effect of background turbulence on scalar mixing in an axi-symmetric turbulent jet (co-supervision with Laurent Mydlarski, Mechanical Engineering, McGill)
  • Yulia Akutina (Ph.D. 2015), Experimental investigation of the flow structures in a shallow embayment using 3D-PTV, (co-supervision with Laurent B. Mydlarski, Mechanical Engineering, McGill University).
  • Fidelis Folifac (Ph.D. 2013), Towards Improving Knowledge Management and Collaborative Action in Potable Water Delivery at the Local Level: Case of Buea, Cameroon, (co-supervision with George Nkeng, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Travaux Publics, Yaounde, Cameroon).
  • Frank Suerich-Gulick (Ph.D. 2013), Axial stretching, viscosity, surface tension and turbulence in free surface vortices at low-head hydropower intakes, (collaboration with Groupe Conseil Lasalle, VATech, HydroQuebec, Ansys).
  • Babak Khorsandi (Ph.D. 2011), Effect of background turbulence on an axi-symmetric turbulent jet, (co-supervision with Laurent B. Mydlarski, Mechanical Engineering, McGill University).
  • David Carre (Ph.D. 2011), Flow dynamics and sediment transport around paired deflectors for fish habitat enhancement: a field study in the Nicolet River. (co-supervision with Pascale Biron, Geography, Concordia).
  • Jamie Carrera (Ph.D. 2007), Spatio-temporal analysis of aquifer recharge and groundwater potentiometric levels in the Basin of Mexico through the development of a regional database and an open source tool for groundwater flow modelling.
  • Kameel Virjee (Ph.D. 2006), Willingness to Pay for Change: The use of contingent valuation and choice experiments in the Trinidad and Tobago water services sector.
  • Thomas Lavertu (Ph.D. 2006), Differential diffusion in a turbulent jet, (co-supervised with Laurent B. Mydlarski, Mechanical Engineering, McGill University).
Areas of interest: 
  • Experimental investigations of environmental hydraulics problems (turbulent jets and mixing) using laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and particle image velocity (PIV) Experimental environmental hydraulics
  • Numerical and physical modeling of hydraulic structures Numerical and physical modeling of hydraulic structures
  • Habitat restoration and sediment transport in rivers Habitat restoration and sediment transport in rivers
  • Water resources: sustainable water supply management Water resources  (with funding from NSERC, FQRNT, CFI and, municipal and industrial collaborators)
Professional activities: 
  • Brace Associate Professor in Civil Engineering
  • Associate Member, McGill School of the Environment
  • Member of International Association for Hydraulic Research
  • Member of the Global Environmental and Climate Change Centre (GEC3)