Rebecca Solinger

Numerical Modelling of STAR to Optimize Smouldering Combustion for NAPL Remediation

Improper storage and disposal of industrial contaminants over the past century has caused widespread soil contamination. “Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation”, or STAR, is an emerging technology that uses smouldering combustion to remediate NAPL impacted soils. My research uses a two-dimensional numerical model to study the sensitivity of large scale, commercial applications of STAR to site conditions and system design parameters. Studies are currently looking at the effects of soil permeability, NAPL saturation, injected air pressure, and location of the air injection well screen on the ultimate extent of remediation. The findings of this research will contribute to the optimization of STAR for rapid and cost effective soil remediation, as well as help identify limits to its application.

Personal Background

Rebecca graduated from Western in April 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a specialization in International Development. During this time, she completed a 12-month internship with Imperial Oil as a project manager for contaminated sites, and an undergraduate thesis project with the RESTORE research group. Rebecca is passionate about international development work related to safe drinking water and sanitation, and has completed a summer placement in Northern Madagascar, and worked for a local non-profit in Calgary, CAWST.


  • Geosyntec Student Paper Competition - 3rd place, 2016
  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology - 2015-2016
  • Environment and Sustainability Graduate Student Award - 2015, 2016
  • Environment and Sustainability Travel Award - 2016
  • Y.F. Eric Chung and Ruby Chung Graduate Scholarship - 2015-2016
  • Deans Honor List - 2011, 2012, 2014
  • Global Opportunities Award - 2011
  • Western Scholarship of Distinction - 2009