Tarek Rashwan

Smouldering as a Novel Disposal Method for Biosolids

As demands on wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) increase and current infrastructure continues to age, there is a need for innovation and improvement in current practice. Particularly, in managing WWTPs solid by products, biosolids, as biosolids management remains one of the most difficult and expensive challenges for WWTPs. This research will focus on a novel approach to managing biosolids by applying Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) technology to smoulder the material, while exploring its economic feasibility in a WWTP. Under the guidance of Dr. Gerhard, this project is expected to build on understanding the smouldering characteristics of fuel within an inert porous medium and coincide with the other STAR related research at Western, most notably being the Gates' funded: Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.

Personal Background

Tarek graduated from Western University in April 2013 with a Bachelors degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. While at Western, Tarek had completed two summers of NSERC funded research under Dr. Gerhard, primarily focused on various STAR treatability studies, in addition to an Undergraduate Thesis focused on the mobility of various liquid fuels under smouldering conditions. Tarek is an active member of the RESTORE group and is excited to see where the next four years lead.


  • Winner of the Graduate 2017 Western's Ideas for Sustainability and the Environment (WISE) Competition - 2015-2016
  • Y.F. Eric Chung and Ruby Chung Graduate Scholarship - 2014-2015
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Industrial Post-Graduate Scholarship - 2014-2016
  • Vander Laan Undergraduate Scholarship in Engineering - 2012
  • Lloyd W. Bracewell-Bracewell Engineering Inc. Award - 2011
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Undergraduate Summer Research Award - 2011, 2012