RESTORE News

December '12

RESTORE presents research at AGU Fall Meeting
A number of RESTORE members attended the largest academic conference in the field to present their research, including chairing sessions and giving oral presentations:

  • Microorganisms, Colloids, Engineered Nanoparticles, and Emerging Contaminants in the Environment I (session chaired by D. O'Carroll)
  • Imaging the Transport of Silver Nanoparticles Through Soil with Synchrotron X-ray Microtomography (I. Molnar)
  • Comparing risk assessment at the site and community scales via Monte Carlo simulations with a new coupled groundwater-vapour-indoor air model (talk co-authored by J. Gerhard and N. Mustafa)
  • New Developments in Contaminant Remediation by Smoldering Combustion (J. Gerhard)
  • Evaluating time-lapse ERT for monitoring DNAPL remediation via numerical simulation (C. Power)
  • Impact of thermally induced buoyant flow on contaminant transport in homogeneous and layered systems (M. Krol)

RESTORE make the news at Western
RESTORE's involvement in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Reinvent the Toilet Challenge is covered by Western News (click here) and the Western Gazette (click here).

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November '12

RESTORE at the Geological Society of America Meeting
Dr. Robinson co-chaired a session at the GSA meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on 'Groundwater-Coastal Water Interactions' and gave an oral presentation on 'The response of a subterranean estuary to an offshore storm event'. The session had a great turn-out and was a tremendous success!!!

RESTORE at the Great Lakes Beach Association Meeting
Dr. Robinson co-chaired a session at the GLBA meeting in Mackinac Island, Michigan on 'Physical and Hydrological Aspects of Beaches' and gave an oral presentation on 'The occurrence of arsenic in a freshwater beach'.

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October '12

RESTORE Successful in Grant Examining Impact of Groundwater on Water Quality in the Great Lakes
Drs. Robinson and O'Carroll are lead investigators, in collaboration with Drs. Van Cappellen from University of Waterloo and Drs. Edge and Crowe from Environment Canada, on a recently awarded NSERC Strategic Project Grant. The collaborative project entitled the 'Contribution of Groundwater to Water Quality on Beaches of the Great Lakes' will support a number of graduate students and post-doctoral researchers working with RESTORE over the next three years. This project will combine field work, laboratory investigations and advanced computer modeling to tackle some of the big issues impacting the beaches of the Great Lakes. Bring on the fun summer field work on beaches!

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September '12

RESTORE at the IAH Congress in Niagara Falls
RESTORE co-directors and students dominate at the IAH Annual Congress in Niagara Falls. RESTORE co-chaired two sessions, had 3 oral presentations and 5 poster presentations. A super fun meeting for RESTORE members.

RESTORE builds Green Roofs across Canada
RESTORE builds advanced green roof experimental arrays in London, Halifax and Calgary. These advanced research facilities will be used to quantify the performance of green roofs these three distinct Canadian Climates.

RESTORE is expanding!!!
RESTORE welcomes 6 new graduate students and 2 new post doctoral research fellows at the start of the fall term!! Welcome everyone!

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August '12

RESTORE student Jessica Barker travels to Bangladesh for field work
MESc student, Jessica Barker, travelled to Bangladesh for two months this past fall to complete field work on her project Feasibility of Aquifer Storage, Transfer and Recovery in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh. She worked with researchers from Dhaka University to install monitoring wells at a study site in the southwest of Bangladesh. There, she collected data on tidal influence and groundwater electrical conductivity to better characterise sites and improve model prediction.

RESTORE Part of Team Awarded Third Prize in 'Reinvent the Toilet' Challenge
Dr. Jason Gerhard is part of the research team, led by University of Toronto, and with collaborators at OCAD and University of Edinburgh, to present their proof-of-concept design for a new toilet at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Eight teams were funded over the past year to produce a "Toilet 2.0", which disenfects all waste in 24 hours and produces energy or useful agricultural products while not requiring any electricity, water, or sewer infrastructure. The Toronto-Western-Edinburgh team received one of the three prizes awarded for best design and enjoyed the opportunity to present their design concept, and their real-time working demonstration model, to Bill Gates himself and his science advsory team. RESTORE and U. Edinburgh helped develop the solids destruction unit, proving that feces could be destroyed via self-sustaining smouldering combustion (i.e., their STAR technology) using the energy embedded in the waste itself.

See here for details on the original challenge:
See here for several news articles discussing the Reinvent the Toilet Fair and the winning teams:
Flushed with Pride
Game of Thrones
Poo Powered Celebrated

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June '12

Successful First Test of Ex Situ STAR Reactor
RESTORE, in collaboration with SiREM/Geosyntec (Guelph) and GTI (London) and Chevron (US, AU), successfully completed the first ever pilot trial of STAR treatment technology as an ex situ remedy for contaminated sites. The 3 m high, 1 m diameter pilot reactor was tested at their research facility in London Ontario, completely destroying approximately 100 kg of oil in less than 12 hours with minimal energy input. Future testing will evaluate the system for destroying crude oil sludge with respect to to speed and cost efficiency.

Another Successful MESc Thesis Defense
Congratulations to RESTORE graduate student Madiha Salman for her successful MESc thesis defense. Madiha's thesis is titled "Smouldering of Vegetable Oil for Remediation of Trichloroethylene Contaminated Soils".

Dr. Robinson awarded an Early Researcher Award
RESTORE co-director Dr. Clare Robinson was awarded an Early Researcher Award funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation for her work on understanding the influence of dynamic interactions on the contribution of groundwater to lake water quality.

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April '12

RESTORE awarded a Canadian Research Network Grant
RESTORE co-directors Drs. Clare Robinson and Jose Herrera are awarded a CWN Research Grant to develop a model to forecast lead levels in water distribution systems. The collaborative project with Dr. Basu at Carleton University will support a number of graduate students working with RESTORE over the next three years.