PhD candidate receives CWRA award for wastewater treatment research

Western Engineering News | November 18, 2020

sadaf-300x320.pngEach year, The Canadian Water Resources Association awards five scholarships to graduate students from across Canada whose programs of study focus on applied, natural, or social science aspects of water resources.

Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD candidate Sadaf Mehrabi received the 2020 Ken Thompson Scholarship, valued at $2,000, for her work in using biofilm reactors to remove nitrogen from municipal wastewater.

“As a young professional in the water industry, my dream is to become an active contributor towards developing environmental integrity and equity in the community,” says Mehrabi. “I want to help bridge the gap between the technical world of the water industry and the policy-makers.”

Increased urbanization, population, and industrial production over the last few decades have led to an increase in the production of massive nutrient loads in wastewater. To help alleviate this issue, Mehrabi’s research focuses on nitrogen removal from municipal wastewater using a green, sustainable, and energy-saving technology called Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR).

Implementing this biofilm system could result in considerable energy savings that would benefit the wastewater treatment industry on a global scale and provide more people with access to clean water. 

“When a notable organization like CWRA acknowledges my work as a young engineer who’s just starting my career, it makes me feel extremely grateful and motivated to never give up,” says Mehrabi.