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Director's Message: COVID-19

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Good morning,

With COVID-19 being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, both the University of Alberta and the Government of Alberta have begun taking significant steps to reduce the rate of transmission of the disease. One of these measures is the temporary banning of large gatherings, and suspension of in-person classes. Medically at-risk individuals, those displaying symptoms, or those who have been directed to self-isolate by Alberta Health Services, are urged or required to remain at home. Future Energy Systems fully supports such measures and our administration team is committed to the health and well-being of our community. We urge all personnel to take whatever steps they deem necessary and practical to protect their health, and the health of their teams.

Thus we are postponing all Energy Week activities that had been planned for May 2-9, 2020. This includes the Energy Fair, Research Symposium, Energy Day, the public panel, and the TELUS World of Science Showcase. We thank the more than 70 people who had already volunteered to support those events, and the more than 150 people who submitted abstracts for our symposium. Until such time that all your safety, and the safety of attendees, can be better assured, I cannot sanction any activities that would require large gatherings. We will watch as the pandemic evolves and make a decision about whether and when to set a new date for Energy Week 2020 activities.

While the university response does not forbid the continuation of research, we understand that the global pandemic and the University of Alberta’s response may impact your research timelines and travel plans, and could alter your milestones and budget accordingly. We must continue both the midterm and annual reporting processes as per our previously set schedules so that we can meet CFREF due dates. Many of you already addressed budget issues, but we will continue to do our best to accommodate unspent travel budget and changing timelines due to closures, staff shortages, and other unforeseen consequences. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact fesfin@ualberta.ca and/or email me directly to discuss.  

Whenever the developing situation impacts FES operations, our team will contact you directly via email. For general updates regarding COVID-19, we refer you to the information provided by the University of Alberta here, and the Government of Alberta here

We hope that all members of the Future Energy Systems community remain safe and healthy during the coming weeks and months. We are in a challenging time, here and around the world, but we will get through it together. 


M Anne Naeth