#SFTop25 finalist 2017 - Nabaa Alam
Hometown: Lethbridge, Alberta
Nabaa has always aspired to impact the world and help those around him positively. This trajectory began when he was a player on the Canadian Men’s Under 18 National Soccer Team, where he wanted to be a role model for other young athletes. After an injury had ended his soccer career, he started a not-for-profit organization based on helping those with sports-related injuries.
Continuing on this path, Nabaa entered an engineering program where his intention was to pursue biomedical engineering to help injured athletes above and beyond his not-for-profit organization. It was during a required internship for his engineering program that led Nabaa to living and working in Fort McMurray, with companies such as ConocoPhillips and Suncor Energy. Living and working in such close proximity to open pit mines, tailing ponds and operating plants inspired Nabaa to change his path to one of an environmental advocate with the intention to tackle climate change.
Nabaa is now a community leader, inspiring Canadians to participate, engage, and contribute to the environmental movement both home and abroad. He was the lead process designer and economics lead for the fractionation portion of a biofuels project working on developing sustainable and reusable fuels from canola.
The process involves converting canola into three products: biojet fuel, renewable gasoline, and renewable diesel, which is an astounding achievement. The conversion process was invented by SBI BioEnergy and their CEO, Dr. Singh. The pilot plant for this production will be capable of processing 10 million liters of canola by the end of 2017, and there are plans to increase the capacity of the plant to process 240 million liters annually by the end of 2018.
In a traditionally oil-driven economy, SBI BioEnergy’s innovative design is a game-changing design and is the first of its kind to receive government funding as part of the Climate Leadership Program. In turn, it’s initiated the recent investments in the renewable energy industry by the Alberta Government. The outcomes of this project could decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta by 112,000 tonnes by 2020, and reduce the necessity to import renewable diesel from overseas. This is equivalent to removing 23,000 cars from the road for one year!
Further to his work in the private sector, Nabaa is also a process engineering specialist at Imperial Oil Limited. In this position Nabaa has helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions each year by improving plant efficiency, reducing energy consumption and ensuring reliable operations, thus preventing the unnecessary loss of containment resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Nabaa is the future of Canada, promoting a very material and obtainable future for Alberta and Canada’s energy profile, while preserving the environment. There is no doubt that his leadership skills and technical expertise will project him further into the environmental history of Canada, while continuing to inspire and educate others adults about how technological innovation can save the environment.
At Imperial Oil, he is an Ecocampus Ambassador, a program that diverts waste from landfills, helping people avoid waste management fines and raise money for charity by donating refundable bottles.
Within the community, Nabaa was able to partake in the Climate Leadership Team established by the Alberta Provincial government.
Nabaa took on a leadership role when the Fort McMurray fires took place in June 2016, leading an initiative to plant approximately 1,000 trees in the region to help start rebuilding the environment and community.
He hopes SBI BioEnergy’s renewable energy plant design spreads across Canada in the next five to ten years, to increase the sustainability capacity of the region and country as a whole.