Melissa Hardy

STAR Industrial Project

Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) is an emerging remediation technology based on the principles of smouldering combustion that has demonstrated technical effectiveness and sensitivity to parameters such as NAPL concentration, water content, mean grain size, and air flux. By providing a sufficient oxidant flux and an initial source of thermal energy, a controlled flameless smouldering front will ignite and propagate through the contaminated porous media, destroying the NAPL without any additional energy input. As a result, STAR technology has a significantly increased energy efficiency, and thus reduced operating costs relative to traditional methods of soil remediation.

Personal Background

Melissa is currently in her 3rd year of completing a Bachelor’s Degree in the Environmental Engineering Co-op Program at the University of Guelph (Class of 2021). She officially began her 8-month work term with RESTORE at Western in January 2019 under the supervision of Dr. Gerhard, focusing on STAR Industrial Research. Previously, Melissa had worked as a NSERC funded undergraduate research position at the University of Guelph School of Engineering from May – August 2018 with a focus on statistical analysis of hydrological data from extreme rainfall events, sparking her passion for research. Melissa is also an Engineering Ambassador for the Environmental Engineering department at the University of Guelph and is a seasoned executive on Engineers Without Borders Guelph Chapter.

STAR Research Topics

  • Emissions recycling
  • Heat transfer in porous media
  • Field soil treatability studies
  • Effects of varying organic fuel content and applied pressure on smouldering combustion


  • Engineering Dean’s Award – University of Western Ontario – 2019
  • SWILP Co-op Bursary – ECO Canada – 2019
  • Dean’s Honour List – University of Guelph – Fall 2016 – 2018
  • NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award – University of Guelph – 2018
  • Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship – University of Guelph – 2016
  • Sustainability Bursary Recipient – Markham District Energy Inc. – 2016