Susan J Gaskin

Academic title(s): 

Brace Professorship in Civil Engineering

Eng, Ph.D.

Susan J Gaskin
Contact Information
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: effect of ambient turbulence on turbulent jets, hydraulics of hydropower, river engineering, sediment transport and fluvial erosion of cohesive sediment, and in water resources management: sustainable water supply management, basin wide hydrologic modeling and potable water quality.

Link(s): Google Scholar Profile

Areas of expertise: 

Environmental Engineering: Hydraulics and Water Resources

  • 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

Full Professor
Research areas: 
Water Resources Engineering
Brace Water Centre
Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

Doctoral Commonwealth Scholarship held at University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Selected publications: 

Ettema, R., Zhu, D., Gaskin, S.J., Mulligan, S., Lyons, T.C., Boes, R.M., Chan, S.N., Lee, J.H.W. (2023) Vortex-Flow Intakes , IAHR Water Monographs, 140 pages, doi: 10.3850/978-90-833476-0-8_IAHR_Watermonograph_002

Kohan, K.F. & Gaskin, S.J. (2023) Scalar interfaces in the near field of a unity velocity ratio coaxial jet, Physics of Fluids, DOI: 10.1063/5.0145183. (Editor’s Pick)

Kohan, K.F. & Gaskin, S.J. (2022) On the scalar turbulent/turbulent interface of axisymmetric jets, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 950, A32, doi:10.1017/jfm.2022.825

Sahebjam, R., Kohan, K.F. & Gaskin, S. (2022.) The dynamics of an axisymmetric turbulent jet in ambient turbulence interpreted from the passive scalar field statistics, Physics of Fluids, 34, 015129 (2022), doi: 10.1063/5.0071023. (Editor’s Pick)

Avan,A., Członkowska, A., Gaskin, S. Granzotto, A., Sensi, S.L. & Hoogenraad, T.U. (2022) The role of zinc in the treatment of Wilson’s disease, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23, 9316.

Huston, A. Gaskin, S., Nabunnya, J., Moriarty, P. & Watsisi, M. (2023) Scenarios for public systems transition using learning alliances: the case of water supply in Uganda, International Journal of Water Resources Development, 39:1, 48-69, DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2021.1969223

Kohan, K.F. & Gaskin, S.J. (2020) The effect of the geometric features of the turbulent/non-turbulent interface on the entrainment of a passive scalar into a jet, Physics of Fluids, 32, 095114 (2020); (Editor’s Pick)

Blanken, H., Tremblay, B., Gaskin, S., Slavin, A. (2017) Modelling the long-term evolution of worst-case Arctic oil spills, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 116(1-2): 315-331. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.12.070

Robb, D., Gaskin, S.J., Marongiu, J-C (2016) SPH-DEM model for free surface flows containing solids applied to river ice jams, Journal of Hydraulic Research, 54(1): 27-40. doi: 10.1080/00221686.2015.1131203

Suerich-Gulick, F., Gaskin, S.J., Villeneuve, M. & Parkinson, E. (2014) Free surface intake vortices: theoretical model and measurements, Journal of Hydraulic Research, 52(4): 502-512. doi:10.1080/00221686.2014.896425

Khorsandi, B., Gaskin, S.J. & Mydlarski, L.M. (2013) Effect of background turbulence on an axisymmetric turbulent jet, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 736:250–286. doi:

Carrera-Hernandez, J.J & Gaskin, S.J. (2009) Water management in the Basin of Mexico: current state and alternative scenarios. Hydrogeology Journal, 17:1483-1494. doi: 10.1007/210040-009-0442-2

Gaskin, S.J., McKernan, M. & Xue, F. (2004) The effect of background turbulence on jet entrainment: an experimental study of a plane jet in a shallow coflow. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 42(5): 531-540.


Current research: 

Areas of research

  • Experimental environmental hydraulics: effect of ambient turbulence on turbulent jets, shallow flow mixing. Experimental investigations using laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and particle image velocity (PIV)
  • Numerical and physical modeling of hydraulic structures mainly for hydropower
  • Habitat restoration and sediment transport and cohesive sediment erosion in rivers
  • Water resources management: sustainable water supply management
  • Potable water quality and ecotoxicology

Funding from NSERC, FQRNT, CFI, NFRF and, municipal and industrial collaboration

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

  • D. Alejandro Camargo Quiroga (in progress) Hydro-power as energy storage to facilitate integration of renewables
  • Olivia Seamone (in progress) Point-of-use potable water treatment for arsenic and bacteriological contamination: co-supervision with Prof. S. Omelon
  • Samantha Gangapersad (in progress) Increasing phosphorous bioavailability in activated sludge: co-supervision with Prof. S. Omelon
  • Niki Mahmood Zadeh (2023) Copper and lead contamination of potable water at point of use in schools
  • Sara Ghandour (M.Sc. 2022)Environmental copper exposure as a modifiable risk factor in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Experimental Medicine: co-supervision with Dr. Koren Mann,
  • Javier Restrepo Grisales (M.Eng. 2022) Improvement to the particle tracking velocimetry method and its application to the study of the development region of a shallow turbulent mixing layer.
  • Dorothy Yeats (M.Eng. 2021) Fluvial erosion of glacial tills in Ontario: erosion mechanics,critical shear stress and geotechnical properties.
  • Liliane Gonthier (M.Eng., 2022) Fluvial erosion of St. Lawrence and Ottawa River valleys: erosion mechanics, critical shear stress and geotechnical properties.
  • Philippe Holas (M.Eng. 2019 ) Hydroelectric energy requirement for full transition to private e-car fleet in Quebec.
  • Mehdi Badel (M.Eng. 2019) Lead levels at point of consumption.
  • Amirhossein Afrooz (M.Eng. 2019) Effect of ambient turbulence on entrainment into an axisymmetric jet.
  • Minsoo Cho (M.Eng. 2018) A review of drinking water standards for copper and investigation of copper levels in drinking water in institutional buildings.
  • Stephen Camozzi (M.Eng. 2017) Quantification of biogenic turbulence, Mechanical Engineering (co-supervision with L. Mydlarski, Mechanical Engineering).
  • Gilbert (Max) Milanovic (M.Eng. 2017) The Developing Region of a Turbulent Coaxial Jet, Mechanical Engineering (co-supervision with L. Mydlarski, Mechanical Engineering).
  • Michel Samson (M.Eng. 2018) Réduction des émissions d’oxydes d’azote d’une turbine à gaz aérodérivée
  • Claudio Consuegra-Martinez (M.Eng. 2017) A near-field study of a shallow mixing layer between coflowing streams using 3D-PTV.
  • Aaron Manzali (M.Eng. 2018) Increasing dissolved oxygen concentration using aerating draft tubes (collaboration with Andritz Hydro Canada Inc.)
  • 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

  • Pouria Rahmati (in progress) Oxygenation and bubble dynamics in a turbulent flow with an application to hydro turbine design
  • Khashayar Kohan (in progress) The effect of background turbulence on the turbulent/non-turbulent interface and the entrainment mechanisms in jets.
  • Rana Sahebjam (Ph.D., 2022 ) The dynamics of an axisymmetric turbulent jet and of a passive scalar patch in ambient turbulence interpreted from the passive scalar field statistics.
  • Angela Huston (Ph.D. 2021 ) Complexity-awareness for strengthening and monitoring water, sanitation, and hygiene service delivery : Learning from local systems to achieve systems-change at scale. (co-supervision with Patrick Moriarty, IRC, Netherlands).
  • Maria Garcia Holguera (Ph.D. 2018) Ecomimetics: An ecosystem-based biomimetic design method for innovative built environments (co-supervision with Grant Clark, Bioresources Engineering, McGill University and Aaron Sprecher, Architecture, McGill University).
  • Jennifer Thompson (Ph.D. 2017) Women and water wahala – picturing gendered waterscapes in Southwest Cameroon (co-supervison with Claudia Mitchell, Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University.
  • 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).
Professional activities: 
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Hydraulic Research
  • Member of Brace Water Centre at McGill University
  • Associate Member, McGill School of the Environment
  • Member of Trottier Institute of Sustainable Engineering and Design
  • Member of International Association for Hydraulic Research
  • Member of the Global Environmental and Climate Change Centre (GEC3)
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