RESTORE News

October '09

STAR Team Successfully Undertake its First Field Trial
The STAR team successfully undertook its first field trial on the site of a former cresol manufacturing facility in the North-eastern United States. Partnering with SiREM Laboratories (Guelph), the team successfully initiated the STAR process at 9 feet depth and monitored self-sustaining, in situ coal tar destruction for 9 continuous days. It is estimated that greater than 350 kg of coal tar was destroyed in situ with minimal energy input or byproducts. Plans are underway to expand the testing to a larger area in the next phase of the trials.

STAR Team Receive Award for Innovation in Combustion Engineering
Congratulations to the STAR team for receiving the 15th Lord Ezra Award for Innovation in Combustion Engineering. The award was given to the STAR (Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation) academic team of inventors for their novel soil remediation technology based upon liquid smouldering combustion to destroy toxic industrial pollutants.
The award was given on 8th October 2009 at the House of Lords, Westminster (i.e., UK parliament building), by the UK Combustion Engineering Association for "outstanding achievement in the study of combustion engineering". The lunch was hosted by Lord Howie of Troon, Civil Engineer and MP in the United Kingdom. Members of the STAR academic team in attendance were Dr. Jason Gerhard, Dr. Jose Torero, Dr. Christine Switzer and Dr. Guillermo Rein (absent: Dr. Paolo Pironi).

The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion officially opens its 'green' doors
The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion, the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building on The University of Western Ontario campus, officially opened its doors during Homecoming celebrations. The $22-million, 45,000 square-foot building will house research on green technologies, processes and materials and, at the same time, the building itself will feature advanced environmentally sustainable construction technologies and methodologies.
Click here to read more about the opening event.

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September '09

Opening of the CMLP Graduate Office and Laboratory
The new RESTORE graduate office and laboratory were opened in the new Claudette-Mackay-Lassonde Pavilion (CMLP) building which recently finished construction.
Click here to read more about the CMLP building.

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August '09

2009 John Booker Award
PhD student Christopher Power and MESc student Andrew Oleniuk are jointly awarded the 2009 John Booker Award by the Geotechnical Research Centre for excellence in research contributions.

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July '09

Dr. Clare Robinson joins RESTORE
New Co-Director of RESTORE, Assistant Prof. Clare Robinson joins the Department. Clare's research interests focus on using groundwater and water quality modeling to investigate the behaviour of water-borne contaminants, in particular to develop understanding of the interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes. Clare completed her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia and post doctorate at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Upon joining the RESTORE group, Clare had the following to say: "It is a great pleasure for me to join such an active, dynamic and supportive research group. RESTORE is working on a diverse range of exciting and cutting edge research projects and I look forward to complementing the group with my groundwater and water quality modeling expertise. It is great to be a part of a team that fosters such a collaborative and friendly atmosphere whilst simultaneously striving for excellence."

Invited Guest Lecture at International Summer School on Role of Interfacial Area
Dr. Jason Gerhard was one of 8 invited guest lecturers at an International Summer School on 'Role of Interfacial Area in Multi-Phase Flow and Transport in Porous Media: Theory, Experiment, Models' at the University of Ultrecht, the Netherlands.
For further details, click here.

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June '09

International Conference on Environmental Implications and Applications of Nanotechnology
RESTORE group members gave three presentations at the International Conference on Environmental Implications and Applications of Nanotechnology in Amherst, MA, USA.

  • Removal of Cadmium by Zerovalent Iron Nanoparticles (H.K. Boparai, D.M. O' Carroll)
  • Mobility of Carbon Nanoparticles in the Subsurface at the Field Scale (E.A. Cullen, D.M. O' Carroll, E.Y. Yanful and B.E. Sleep)
  • Enhanced Stability and TCE Dechlorination of Synthesized Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron (N. Sakulchaicharoen, D.M. O' Carroll and J.E. Herrera)

nZVI work presented at International Conference on Surface and Colloid Science
RESTORE's strong nZVI work was presented at the IACIS International Conference on Surface and Colloid Science and the 83rd ACD Colloid and Surface Science Symposium in New York, NY, USA:

  • Investigation of the Mobility and Deliverability of Nano-Scale Zero-Valent Iron for Source Zone Remediation (C.M. Kocur, D.M. O'Carroll, N. Sakulchaicharoen and B.E. Sleep)
  • The Stability and Mobility of Surface-Modified Iron Nanoparticles in Soil Column Tests (B. Jung, D.M. O' Carroll and B.E. Sleep)

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May '09

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Spring Joint Assembly, Toronto, ON, Canada
RESTORE established a significant presence at the Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union in Toronto, ON. Dr O' Carroll co-chaired the session entitled Recent Advances in Remediation of NAPL-Contaminated Sites, while RESTORE postdoctoral fellow Dr. Nathapan Sakulchaicharoen presents her talk entitled Electrostatic and Steric Contributions to nZVI Stability.
Oral and poster presentations by the group included:

  • Electrostatic and Steric Contributions to nZVI Stability (N. Sakulchaicharoen)
  • Mapping Subsurface Remediation with Ground Penetrating Radar (C. Power)
  • Mobility and Modeling of Nano-Scale Zero Valent Iron in Porous Media with Residual NAPL (C. Kocur)
  • Removal of Trichloroethylene and Heavy Metals by Zerovalent Iron Nanoparticles (H. Boparai)
  • The Wettability of a Multi-Component DNAPL on Quartz and Iron Oxide Sands (I. Molnar)
  • Numerical Modelling of Smouldering Combustion as a Remediation Technology for NAPL Source Zones (S. MacPhee)
  • The role of wettability in dynamic capillary pressure effects: fundamental considerations (K. Mumford)

RESTORE members in attendance included J. Gerhard, D. O' Carroll, J. Herrera, K. Mumford, N. Sakulchaicharoen, C. Power, C. Kocur, S. MacPhee, I. Molnar, H. Boparai, A. Oleniuk, S. Drake, A. Chowdury and N. Mattison.

AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award
Postdoctoral fellow Kevin Mumford recently received an Outstanding Student Paper Award from the Hydrology Section at the AGU Joint Assembly in Toronto for his presentation entitled Spontaneous expansion and mobilization of discontinuous gas above DNAPL pools given at the AGU Fall Meeting in December 2008. The award is given to recognize student excellence in geoscience research and presentation. Portions of the paper, co-authored by James E. Smith and Sarah E. Dickson of McMaster University, were recently published in the May 2009 issue of Vadose Zone Journal.

Dr. George Pinder visits Western
RESTORE were privileged to host Dr. George Pinder who gave a research presentation to the group entitled Optimal Search Strategy for the Definition of a Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) Source. Dr. Pinder, who is a director of the Research Centre for Groundwater Remediation Design at the University of Vermont, is a distinguished alumnus of Western (BSc '65) and also earlier presented a general talk entitled Groundwater Contamination Litigation at Woburn Massachusetts: My Role as an Expert Witness.
Click here to see a media release about Dr. Pinder and his visit to Western.

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April '09

2009 Green Award
Congratulations to Dr. O'Carroll for being awarded the 2009 University of Western Ontario 'Green Award'. This prestigious honour is granted to individuals or groups that raise the profile of Sustainability both within the university and beyond the campus. Dr. O'Carroll is being honored for his work in the Faculty of Engineering, in particular the ECO-Lab group, and developing green and educational plans for the new $22-million Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion, set to open in September. Dr. O'Carroll is recognized for excellence in incorporating environment and sustainability issues into his teaching, his research, and his outreach activities and in so doing is providing leadership in this key area. Click here to obtain more information about Dr. O'Carroll and his nomination. In the photo below, he is flanked by Green Awards sponsors Roy Langille (AVP, Physical Plant & Capital Planning Services) and Gitta Kulczycki (VP, Resources & Operations).

NSERC Graduate Scholarships
RESTORE congratulates MESc Andrew Oleniuk and MESc Stephanie Drake on their outstanding success being recognized by NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships.

CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award
Post-doctoral Fellow Dr. Kevin Mumford has been unanimously nominated to represent McMaster University in the field of Engineering/Medical Science/Natural Science for the CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award Competition. This is a major academic achievement in its own right, and we congratulate Kevin and wish him every success at the national level of the competition.

Shawn Whitehead Scholarship
RESTORE MESc student Ahmed Ishtiaque Amin Chowdhury was awarded the Shawn Whitehead Scholarship. The Shawn Whitehead Scholarship is awarded once a year to two (in each category) full-time members/current students who were a member in the last year of the Graduate Teaching Assistants' Union at Western.

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January '09

Western News Article
RESTORE student Stephanie Drake makes the front page of Western News for her outstanding work related to the design of instrumentation for the new Green Roof.

Vadose Zone Journal
Dr. O`Carroll becomes and Associate Editor for the Vadose Zone Journal. The journal brings together a wide range of disciplines that involve the vadose zone, including those that address broad scientific and societal issues (e.g., climate change, biofuels, sustainability, nanotechnology).