Dr Shawn Charles has completed his doctoral studies from New Zealand’s #1 ranked university, The University of Auckland.
Charles has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, focusing on the development of a resilience-oriented framework for managing post-disaster reconstruction projects. The quality of his thesis earned him a place on the Dean’s Honour List which recognises students who have demonstrated excellence in academic performance by being in the top 5% of their year of study.
Dr Charles hails from Victoria, St Mark. He is a past student of the Bonaire Government School, St Mark’s Secondary School, and the Grenada National College, now T A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC).
During his first tenure with the National Water and Sewerage Authority (Nawasa) for 7 years, he attained a Diploma from the University Twente in the Netherlands and an Executive Diploma in Management from the Institute of Business of The University of the West Indies.
For a further 17 years, he worked with Grenada Electricity Services Ltd (Grenlec). During this time, he pursued his first Master’s degree in Geo-information Science with specialisation in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Netherlands, and another Master in Disaster Management with Distinction from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Charles then followed to his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the same university.
Dr Charles is now a geomatics engineer, civil engineer, and disaster management specialist. While an employee of Grenlec, Dr Charles served as the first president of the Grenlec Management Staff Association (GMSA), president of the Grenlec Sports Club, and Chair of the Caribbean Association of Electric Utilities GIS committee, facilitating over 15 regional utilities with the GIS implementation.
Dr Charles has had over 15 years of local and regional experience with developmental projects and consultancy in GIS and Disaster Management in his journey to attaining his doctorate. For over 18 years, Dr Charles has been a resource person to the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA), a member of the National Sustainable Development Committee, and has assisted in the Tsunami Hazard Mapping for St Patrick, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. He has served as a director on local statutory boards to include the Physical Planning and Development Board, and as Chairman of the Grenada Postal Corporation. Dr Charles also represented Grenada as a Director at the regional Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ECTEL).
Dr Charles’ dissertation entitled, “A resilient-oriented framework for managing post-disaster reconstruction projects’ projects” provides a renewed focus on a multi-faceted approach to factoring both structural (materials and engineering) and non-structural (socio-economic, emotional and psychological) aspects to the reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure projects, after a disaster. Particularly ensuring that the needs of the people (beneficiaries) with the rebuilt projects (housing and infrastructure) are satisfied, and the projects have improved robustness in anticipation of future disasters.
Presently, Dr Charles chairs the Board of Directors of his former employer, Grenlec. He is charged with advancing the renewable energy initiatives of the Government of Grenada while maintaining the company’s service reliability and profitability towards a more resilient and future-ready energy provider.
In reflecting on his academic journey, Dr Charles expresses appreciation to all those who supported and wished him well, including his wife, mom and the rest of his family, people of victoria, his friends at Grenlec, Nawasa, and throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Dr Charles expresses much gratitude to God Almighty, then the Government and people of New Zealand, and the Government and people of the Netherlands, through the Government of Grenada, for providing the means and resources to pursue this journey.