Stephanie McPhee

Numerical Modeling of Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR)

Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) is a very promising novel remediation technique that takes advantage of the combustible nature of many NAPLs. It involves ignition of a self-sustaining smouldering reaction to achieve contaminant destruction. Smouldering is a slow burning, lower energy form of combustion when compared with flaming and takes place on the solid surface within a porous matrix resulting in a highly efficient and cost effective remediation option. The aim of Stephanie’s project is the development of a 2D numerical model capable of simulating STAR to explore and optimize its applications in the field.

Personal Background

Stephanie is going into the second year of the MESc program at Western and is interested in potential remediation options for a class of contaminants known as Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPLs). NAPLs are among some of the most problematic compounds affecting groundwater sources are very difficult to remediate with very few effective solutions available. Stephanie graduated from Mount Allison University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and mathematics. Her graduation was followed by a year of travelling throughout Asia and Australia.
As long as she can remember she has always been very interested and passionate about environmental issues and this coupled with her background in Physics and mathematics attracted her to Environmental Engineering. Upon returning home after her travels she attended Dalhousie University where she graduated in 2006 with Bachelor of Environmental Engineering. Stephanie joined the RESTORE group at Western in September 2007. What attracted her most to RESTORE and her project in particular was the cross-disciplinary aspect of the STAR project along with STAR’s potential to effectively deal with a contaminant with no current remediation solution.

Travel and Awards

  • May - August 2008: Summer Research Position, BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
  • June 2008: R.M. Quigley Award, Geotechnical Research Centre, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.