Executive Board

IWA YWP Canada aims to be an inclusive, forward-thinking, and supportive community for all early-career Canadians working in the water sector. Our goal is to gather together early career professionals working in our country’s water sector to network, provide opportunities, collaborate, empower, and support them. 

  • Establish, grow, and maintain a strong, high quality, professional, and multi-disciplinary network for IWA Young Water Professionals.
  • Deliver opportunities for Professional Development
  • Collaborate with other IWA YWP country chapters
  • Contribute and advocate IWA’s vision
  • Advocate and empower IWA YWPs
  • Nurture a culture of open, supportive, and respectful knowledge exchange

IWA YWP Canada is part of the IWA global network.

The Executive Board manages the overall development and maintenance of the IWA YWP Canada network. The Executive Board is led by the Chair, Co-Chair and Secretary. Other positions on the Executive include Communications, Treasurer, and regional representatives for 5 regions across Canada. Meet the members of our board!

Farokh Laka Kakar


Farokh is a Ph.D. Candidate at Ryerson University. Her research focuses on resource recovery from municipal wastes such as sludge and food waste. She is a professor at George Brown College with 6 years of experience in academia. She is the Chair of the IWA YWP Canada Executive Committee and Vice President of Young Professionals in CAWQ. She is chairing the upcoming IWA YWP National Conference in Canada. In addition, she is leading the women’s coffee club at the Society of Women Engineers.

Connect with Farokh on LinkedIn

Gamze Kirim


Gamze joined the YWP Canada Executive Team as the communication director in 2020. She is a PhD candidate at Université Laval in the modelEAU team. She is an environmental engineer with experience in modelling wastewater treatment processes and management. Her research focuses on energy and resource optimization in nitrogen-removing systems. She is on the management committee of the IWA Specialist Group on Modelling & Integrated Assessment and is an active member of Québec Water Research Center (CentrEau). She also contributed to the organization of several IWA international conferences and workshops.

Connect with Gamze on LinkedIn

Karen Mesta Ortega


Karen is an MSc Student in Water Engineering at Université Laval. Her research is based on quantifying the amount of oxidizable material in raw wastewater by using an automated respirometer, with the main objective of developing a digital twin model. Motivated to contribute more in the water research field, she became an IWA YWP Canada volunteer in 2020, and she is now delighted to help the group and the community as a Secretary.

Connect with Karen on LinkedIn

Sylvie Spraakman


Sylvie is a Senior Water Resources Engineer at the City of Vancouver, where her focus is on the implementation of green infrastructure in the public right-of-way. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto with a focus on the long-term performance of bioretention systems. She is passionate about improving water quality, the development of young professionals, and diversity and inclusion in engineering.

Connect with Sylvie on LinkedIn

Frances Amoye

Communication Director

Frances is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University with Resource Recovery from Wastewater sludge as her primary focus. She joined IWA-YWP as a volunteer in 2019 and is eager to take on a more active role in her new position. When not doing research, Frances spends her time volunteering in STEM education for young girls and community support initiatives.

Connect with Frances on LinkedIn

Hadi Mokarizadeh

Communication Director

Hadi is a Ph.D. student in Environmental Engineering at University of Alberta with a background in Chemical Engineering. His previous research was about applying membrane separation processes for industrial wastewater treatment. Currently, he is developing novel and environmentally friendly materials for the degradation of toxic contaminants via solar-driven advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). Passionate about improving water quality and environmental equity, he joined IWA-YWP as a volunteer in March 2022. In addition, he is leading the Iranian Students’ Association of the University of Alberta (ISAUA).

Connect with Hadi on LinkedIn

Amr Ismail

Partnership Director

Amr is a Structural Engineer turned Environmental Engineer. Following his enthusiasm towards water and sanitation, he attained a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Western University, specializing in pretreatment technologies and anaerobic co-digestion of organic wastes. His research also involves developing and integrating wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion, and water chemistry models. He started volunteering for IWA YWP Canada since 2020, and has been part of the chapter ever since.

Connect with Amr on LinkedIn

Calvin Chung

Publishing Director

Calvin is a Ph.D. student in Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. His research interests lie in the area of microbial electrochemical technologies (METs), where he primarily focuses on emerging MET applications, such as environmental monitoring, food waste valorization, and CO2 reduction. Besides research, Calvin provides services to the Canadian Symposium on Water Quality Research, Water Science and Technology Journal, and other organizations at the University of Alberta. As a recipient of prestigious awards including the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship and Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarship, he looks forward to leading IWA YWP Canada’s publications!

Connect with Calvin on LinkedIn

Nitish Sarker

Programming Director

Nitish Sarker is a doctoral candidate and part-time professor at the University of Toronto. His research interests include but are not limited to innovation and policy interventions in the global WASH sector, SDG implementation, and decarbonization of energy systems. Nitish’s doctoral study focuses on improving the maintainability of renewable-powered water treatment solutions for rural and off-grid applications by utilizing computational imaging and data-driven forecasting methods. As the program director of the Canadian International Water Association Young Water Professionals, he is enabling knowledge transfer, networking, and active collaboration between academic and industrial young water professionals in Canada.

Connect with Nitish on LinkedIn

Weiyun Lin

Atlantic Regional Director

Dr. Weiyun Lin is a Program Manager of PEOPLE Network, a Pan-Canadian research and training network on Persistent, Emerging, and Organic Pollution in the Environment, led by Memorial University. Her background in Environmental Engineering and passion for student service work and professional training have led her to the current role, where she interacts with academia, industry, government, and NGO collaborators in Canada and beyond to support highly qualified personnel training.

Connect with Weiyun on LinkedIn

Alexandra Webb

Regional Director: Quebec

Alex recently completed her Master’s in Integrated Water Resource Management at McGill, with the goal of transitioning to the ‘decision side’ after having worked on the ‘supply side’ at an industrial valve and pipe distributor as a business development manager. In addition to coursework, her master’s research included Maritime Canada on Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring programs and work on game theory for negotiations between environmental and economic interests in Haifa, Israel.

Connect with Alex on LinkedIn

Hayat Raza

Regional Director: Ontario

Hayat Raza currently works as Applications Specialist with Continental Carbon Group, Inc. in Ontario, Canada. His work involves providing air and water solutions to clients utilizing carbon adsorption technology. Hayat obtained his bachelor’s and master’s in chemical engineering with research in the areas of Ozone and Supercritical Water Oxidation. Hayat also works with Water for People (WFP) in helping create awareness and solve drinking water challenges for populations in third-world countries.

Connect with Hayat on LinkedIn

Kelsey Shaw

Regional Director: Pacific

Kelsey is a Master’s student in Civil engineering at the University of Victoria. Her research is at the crossroads of public health and environmental engineering. She has a passion for water and sanitation-related projects, especially providing access to equitable and sustainable decentralized sanitation technologies in resource-constrained contexts. 

Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn

Shaghayegh (Shaya) Goudarzi

Regional Director: Ontario

Shaya is a Ph.D. candidate at Ryerson University where she has received several awards and scholarships. She is the regional (Ontario) director of the IWA-YWP Canada executive committee and a young professional member of the CAWQ organization. “Providing clean and affordable water is one of the modern-times hurdles. Finding new remedies could mean saving thousands of lives. Therefore, through my Ph.D. I strive to find out strategies to remove contaminants — hydrocarbons, heavy metal, antibiotics and pharmaceutical discharges — from water to provide clean water by developing novel adsorbent systems”.

Connect with Shaya on LinkedIn

Basem Zakaria

Regional Director: Western

Basem is a Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Science at the University of Alberta. He has over 10 years of experience in Environmental biotechnology including metagenomic analysis of microbial populations derived from environmental samples, waste to bioenergy processes, nutrients and chemicals recovery, and emerging contaminants in wastewater. He has made some outstanding achievements through publishing several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. During his studies, he has received several prestigious awards including but not limited to Killam Memorial Scholarship.

Connect with Basem on LinkedIn

Farhad Ismail

Membership Director

Farhad recently joined  McMaster University, as a research scientist after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Alberta. His research expertise is in thermal engineering, experimental and computational fluid dynamics, water treatment, and environmental impact assessment. He has extensive experience in organizing academic and cultural events, workshops, and seminars. He enjoys travelling and exploring new places, and playing sports like soccer, badminton, and cricket.

Connect with Farhad on LinkedIn

%d bloggers like this: