CASES Students & Postdocs (Past)

These talented students and Post Docs have moved on in their careers after contributing to the CASES Partnership project. Read their bios below.

Picture of Dr. Vikas Menghwani

Dr. Vikas Menghwani PhD CASES Post Doc

Vikas has a PhD from the Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability at University of British Columbia. He has worked on energy poverty in developing countries. His doctoral work includes addressing challenging energy access problems through modeling based methods, and conceptualizing (energy) justice concerns in the context of (lack of) electricity provision. He completed his Mechanical Engineering (with a Masters degree in Energy Technology) education in 2009 from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He worked in the area of climate change consulting for 3 years, covering renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across India and South East Asia, followed by 2 years in the area of business research.

Picture of Dr. Chad Walker

Dr. Chad Walker PhD CASES Post Doc

Chad Walker (he/him) is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist with interests around justice, equity, and public support for low-carbon transitions. Recent research includes studying the impact of environmental justice in shaping support for wind energy, critically investigating the meaning of community energy, and using diverse methodologies to better understand reconciliation, autonomy, and pathways for improved health via Indigenous-led renewable energy development (see A SHARED Future). During his time in the United Kingdom, he studied user engagement and public participation through the development of Smart Local Energy Systems (see EnergyREV). Through these projects, he has used a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, spurring a keen interest in the ways we think about and practice mixed methods. Chad has a PhD from Western University (2017) and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen’s University (2017-2019) and the University of Exeter (2019-2021). In June 2021, Chad joined the University of Saskatchewan as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the SSHRC-funded Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) initiative.

Picture of  Bobbie Balicki

Bobbie Balicki BSc Former CASES Student (UofS)

Bobbie Balicki is an M.Sc. student in the University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture & Bioresources (Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics). Bobbie grew up in Prince Albert and has family roots in Northern Saskatchewan.  After completing her degree in Renewable Resource Economics and Policy at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012, she spent over four years in the Indigenous business development sector, working on over 150 business planning projects with Metis entrepreneurs and economic development organizations throughout Saskatchewan. Bobbie has also worked in the electrical utility sector, as an Environmental and Communications Specialist in both the public and private sectors. She brings a wealth of experience  on the social and economic impacts of northern development and how the utility sector can play a critical role in Northern, Indigenous, and Remote communities. Her career passion is in stakeholder engagement and policy and program analysis using benefit-cost analysis (BCA). 

Picture of  Minika  Ekanem

Minika Ekanem MSc Former CASES Student (UofS)

Minika recently defended her Master's degree in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. With a background in Business Information Technology, she has worked as a Project Manager and Business Developer on various marine/maritime projects and recently on projects related to the Blue Economy in Norway. Her research for the CASES project focused on decentralized energy systems. Minika plans to continue her education and pursue her PhD in energy systems.

Picture of  Renata Leonhardt

Renata Leonhardt BSc Former CASES Student (UofS)

Renata is a geologist enthusiastic about the energy sector. Her career in the energy sector started in 2015 while working on research projects with leading petroleum companies in Brazil. In 2019, she started exploring the renewable energy sector at the University of Saskatchewan where she received a master’s degree from the Department of Geography and Planning and worked as a research assistant at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Her research portfolio includes studies on energy policy, Indigenous and local renewable energy projects and renewable energy clusters. Currently, she is a Senior Policy Analyst in Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Energy and Resources working with Indigenous engagement and participation and Carbon Capture and Storage.

Picture of  Rhys  McMaster

Rhys McMaster BSc Former CASES Student (UofS)

Rhys completed both a Bachelor of Science Honours in Environmental Earth Science and a Master of Science in Geography at the University of Saskatchewan. Rhys’ undergraduate research focused on wind energy environmental assessment requirements and processes across the Canadian jurisdictions. Through the CASES project, her graduate research focused on attributes of socio-technical baseline capacities for energy transition in the north, and opportunities and challenges for Gwich’in communities in the Northwest Territories. Rhys was a two-time recipient of the Indigenous Graduate Scholarship through the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Currently Rhys is an Environmental Planner at Stantec.

Picture of  Kate Robb

Kate Robb BA Former CASES Student (UofW)

Kate completed both a BA in Environmental Studies and a Master's in Development Practice in Indigenous Development at the University of Winnipeg. Through the CASES project, her graduate research focused on public participation in state-level energy strategies as well as the licensing processes for hydroelectric development in Canada. Following an internship with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) in the summer of 2021, Kate began a research fellowship with ACEP and CASES where she continues to expand her knowledge of energy policy and renewable energy in the north.

Picture of  Michael Kvern

Michael Kvern CASES Student (UofW)

Michael recently graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a B.A. Honours in Geography. He is interested in the nexus between energy, land use, and resilience. His undergraduate thesis developed the foundations of a community energy plan for Churchill, Manitoba by providing energy consumption data and facilitating a vision and priorities to guide future energy planning. It also served to inform a new regional scale definition of energy security. Working with Dr. Patricia Fitzpatrick, Michael has researched small-scale renewable energy in Manitoba and how local agency can lead to a diverse energy system. In the fall, Michael will be starting a master’s in planning at the University of Guelph, where he will focus on how provincial land use policies can contribute to a low carbon energy transition.

Picture of  Camila Martins Godinho

Camila Martins Godinho BSc CASES Mitacs Intern (UofS)

Camila is Master’s student in the Geography and Planning department at the University of Saskatchewan. Her project is focused on environmental impact assessment, more specifically on identifying environmental and socio-economic impacts and their mitigation actions from wind energy projects in western Canada. Camila completed her B.Sc. honours in Business and Economics in Brazil. Her focus was on managing impacts from government projects in remote communities in Brazil and Spain. In addition to her thesis project, she also works as a research assistant for Prof. Greg Poelzer studying policies for renewable energy projects in partnership with indigenous communities and energy security.

Picture of Layane Fernandes de Sousa Moura

Layane Fernandes de Sousa Moura CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Layane is a Brazilian environmental engineer who is now pursuing a professional master's degree in Environmental and Sustainable Management at the University of Saskatchewan. Layane is currently developing a project for First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) in partnership with CASES where she is creating an education hub on their website, which is highly relevant due to the current COVID19 pandemic. This project aims to develop tools and resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency education with Indigenous communities.

Picture of Ali  Yousry

Ali Yousry BSc CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Ali has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and a minor degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is currently pursuing a professional master’s degree in Environmental and Sustainable Management and is a prospective master’s student of Economics (Fall 2020). He is currently working on a project in partnership with CASES looking at energy security in northern and indigenous communities in Saskatchewan.

Picture of  Rory Wheat

Rory Wheat CASES MSs Student (UofS)

Rory is in his final year of the Master of Sustainability - Energy Security program at the University of Saskatchewan. Previously, he completed a Bachelors in Science in Environmental Biology at the University of Saskatchewan along with a certificate in Biological Research. Rory works as a fundraising coordinator and proposal writer for Student Energy, a global non-profit that provides energy education, training programs and project funding for young professionals around the world. Rory's graduate research project is examining the development of Canada's biomass energy industry as it relates to Northern remote communities.

Picture of  Stephanie Lukowski

Stephanie Lukowski CASES Undergraduate Student (UofS)

Stephanie attends the University of Saskatchewan and is in her final year of her Bachelor of Arts and Science (Honours) in Environment and Society. In the second year of her degree, she had the opportunity to live and volunteer in rural Dominican Republic. The farming cooperative where she spent much of her time volunteering aimed to improve the quality of life of rural communities. One of the ways that they did this was through improving energy security. Stephanie was able to see first-hand the impacts that these initiatives had, leading to her keen interest in this topic. She had the opportunity to be part of the CASES team while doing her Honours project on community energy; an opportunity for which she is extremely grateful. She is looking forward to contributing to an area which she is enthusiastic about and is excited about all the knowledge and experiences she will gain in doing so.

Picture of  Natasha Tinis

Natasha Tinis BSc CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Natasha is a proud mother of two boys and has spent the last 6 years devoting herself to staying fit, healthy, and happy, while maintaining the livelihood of her family. She graduated from University of Alberta with a bachelor’s in environmental-civil engineering and has 4 years experience working in the geo-environmental consulting industry throughout all areas of Alberta. Her real home is the prairies and forests of Saskatchewan, from which she has Cree and Anishinaabe family all over the province, on reserves and in the cities. She has a deep love for her people and will do anything required to forward the interests of maintaining indigenous identity and lifestyles, beginning with energy security for remote Indigenous communities.

Picture of  Danielle Poulin

Danielle Poulin CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Danielle Poulin is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and a Master’s in Sustainable Environmental Management (MSEM) student at the University of Saskatchewan. She is a graduate of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan and currently works as a grade 8 Elementary teacher. She lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and is a proud mom to three young boys. She is passionate about finding clean energy solutions and addressing energy poverty within Indigenous communities.

Picture of  Rosa Brown

Rosa Brown CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Rosa is a student of the University of Saskatchewan’s Master of Sustainability program, following the Energy Security stream. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree with an Honours Specialization in Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph and began her career working on wildlife co-management in the Yukon. In her current position as Energy Coordinator with the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, Rosa is part of a team working to develop community-owned, clean energy alternatives to diesel generation for the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation community of Old Crow, Yukon.

Picture of  Jordan Koe

Jordan Koe CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Jordan Koe is a member of the Tetlit Gwich'in First Nation and a graduate of the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. He is passionate about Harm Reduction, Housing, and First Nation Energy Governance. Currently working as the Housing Manager at Tsawout First Nation in Victoria British Columbia, you can hear Jordan on his radio show Land Back Radio on CFUV 101.9 FM showcasing indigenous punk music from across turtle island.