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June '13

The Symposium for New Research in Groundwater Studies (SyNRGS) is coming to Western! The two day symposium will be held at Western on September 20th and 21st. The symposium's objective is to bring together researchers and industry experts to discuss and collaborate on projects relating to the following fields;

  • Surface and groundwater interactions
  • Contamination transport in the environment
  • Water related research
  • Tools and Techniques for tracking pollution in the environment
  • Soil and groundwater remediation

Registration opens on Monday, July 29th 2013. For more information please visit our symposium website here.

May '13

RESTORE co-director Jason Gerhard was a guest blogger for CIBC Solutions Blog featuring his work on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. View the article here to learn more about RESTORE's partnership with the University of Toronto and University of Queensland and their winning design.

April '13

RESTORE's Jessica Barker (M.E.Sc.) travelled to the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida for the IAHS Groundwater Quality 2013 Conference. It was a great learning experience and will help Jessica with her upcoming thesis defence.


March '13:

RESTORE and 'Thinking outside the bowl'
Western Engineering focus on RESTORE and their successful and ongoing involvement in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. Click here to view the article entitled 'Thinking outside the bowl'. focus on RESTORE chose RESTORE as a focus of a recent highlight article, citing STAR technology as an example of successful environmental technology developed through research and transitioned to commercial applications. The article can be found by clicking here.


RESTORE in Popular Science
RESTORE co-director Jason Gerhard was interviewed by Popular Science for a feature on the project to Reinvent the Toilet for the Developing World. Full story and a design sketch of the system can be found by clicking here.


December '12:

RESTORE presents research at AGU Fall Meeting
A number of RESTORE members attended the largest academic conference in the field to present their research, including chairing sessions and giving oral presentations:

  • Microorganisms, Colloids, Engineered Nanoparticles, and Emerging Contaminants in the Environment I (session chaired by D. O'Carroll)

  • Imaging the Transport of Silver Nanoparticles Through Soil with Synchrotron X-ray Microtomography (I. Molnar)

  • Comparing risk assessment at the site and community scales via Monte Carlo simulations with a new coupled groundwater-vapour-indoor air model (talk co-authored by J. Gerhard and N. Mustafa)

  • New Developments in Contaminant Remediation by Smoldering Combustion (J. Gerhard)

  • Evaluating time-lapse ERT for monitoring DNAPL remediation via numerical simulation (C. Power)

  • Impact of thermally induced buoyant flow on contaminant transport in homogeneous and layered systems (M. Krol)

RESTORE make the news at Western
RESTORE's involvement in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge is covered by Western News (click here) and the Western Gazette (click here).


November '12:

RESTORE at the Geological Society of America Meeting
Dr. Robinson co-chaired a session at the GSA meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on ‘Groundwater-Coastal Water Interactions’ and gave an oral presentation on ‘The response of a subterranean estuary to an offshore storm event”. The session had a great turn-out and was a tremendous success!!!

RESTORE at the Great Lakes Beach Association Meeting
Dr. Robinson co-chaired a session at the GLBA meeting in Mackinac Island, Michigan on ‘Physical and Hydrological Aspects of Beaches’ and gave an oral presentation on ‘The occurrence of arsenic in a freshwater beach’.

October '12:

RESTORE Successful in Grant Examining Impact of Groundwater on Water Quality in the Great Lakes
Drs. Robinson and O’Carroll are lead investigators, in collaboration with Drs. Van Cappellen from University of Waterloo and Drs. Edge and Crowe from Environment Canada, on a recently awarded NSERC Strategic Project Grant. The collaborative project entitled the ‘Contribution of Groundwater to Water Quality on Beaches of the Great Lakes’ will support a number of graduate students and post-doctoral researchers working with RESTORE over the next three years. This project will combine field work, laboratory investigations and advanced computer modeling to tackle some of the big issues impacting the beaches of the Great Lakes. Bring on the fun summer field work on beaches!

September '12:

RESTORE at the IAH Congress in Niagara Falls
RESTORE co-directors and students dominate at the IAH Annual Congress in Niagara Falls. RESTORE co-chaired two sessions, had 3 oral presentations and 5 poster presentations. A super fun meeting for RESTORE members.

RESTORE builds Green Roofs across Canada
RESTORE builds advanced green roof experimental arrays in London, Halifax and Calgary. These advanced research facilities will be used to quantify the performance of green roofs these three distinct Canadian Climates.

RESTORE is expanding!!!
RESTORE welcomes 6 new graduate students and 2 new post doctoral research fellows at the start of the fall term!! Welcome everyone!

August '12:

RESTORE student Jessica Barker travels to Bangladesh for field work
MESc student, Jessica Barker, travelled to Bangladesh for two months this past fall to complete field work on her project Feasibility of Aquifer Storage, Transfer and Recovery in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh. She worked with researchers from Dhaka University to install monitoring wells at a study site in the southwest of Bangladesh. There, she collected data on tidal influence and groundwater electrical conductivity to better characterise sites and improve model prediction.

RESTORE Part of Team Awarded Third Prize in 'Reinvent the Toilet' Challenge
Dr. Jason Gerhard is part of the research team, led by University of Toronto, and with collaborators at OCAD and University of Edinburgh, to present their proof-of-concept design for a new toilet at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Eight teams were funded over the past year to produce a "Toilet 2.0", which disenfects all waste in 24 hours and produces energy or useful agricultural products while not requiring any electricity, water, or sewer infrastructure.  The Toronto-Western-Edinburgh team received one of the three prizes awarded for best design and enjoyed the opportunity to present their design concept, and their real-time working demonstration model, to Bill Gates himself and his science advsory team.  RESTORE and U. Edinburgh helped develop the solids destruction unit, proving that feces could be destroyed via self-sustaining smouldering combustion (i.e., their STAR technology) using the energy embedded in the waste itself.

See here for details on the original challenge:
See here for several news articles discussing the Reinvent the Toilet Fair and the winning teams:|newe|8-15-2012|3102315|35901487|


             Research Team with Gates Foundation Award                                    Research team presenting live demo of 

                                                                                                         smouldering  soil column to Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold



June '12:

Successful First Test of Ex Situ STAR Reactor
RESTORE, in collaboration with SiREM/Geosyntec (Guelph) and GTI (London) and Chevron (US, AU), successfully completed the first ever pilot trial of STAR treatment technology as an ex situ remedy for contaminated sites.  The 3 m high, 1 m diameter pilot reactor was tested at their research facility in London Ontario, completely destroying approximately 100 kg of oil in less than 12 hours with minimal energy input.  Future testing will evaluate the system for destroying crude oil sludge with respect to to speed and cost efficiency.

STAR Pilot Ex Situ Treatment Reactor

Another Successful MESc Thesis Defense
Congratulations to RESTORE graduate student Madiha Salman for her successful MESc thesis defense. Madiha's thesis is titled "Smouldering of Vegetable Oil for Remediation of Trichloroethylene Contaminated Soils".

Dr. Robinson awarded an Early Researcher Award
RESTORE co-director Dr. Clare Robinson was awarded an Early Researcher Award funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation for her work on understanding the influence of dynamic interactions on the contribution of groundwater to lake water quality.





April '12:


RESTORE awarded a Canadian Research Network Grant
RESTORE co-directors Drs. Clare Robinson and Jose Herrera are awarded a CWN Research Grant to develop a model to forecast lead levels in water distribution systems. The collaborative project with Dr. Basu at Carleton University will support a number of graduate students working with RESTORE over the next three years.



December '11:


RESTORE presents research at AGU Fall Meeting
A number of RESTORE members are headed to the largest academic conference in the field to present their research, including invited, oral and poster presentations:

  • Non-Equilibrium Capillarity Effects – Insights from REV and pore scale experiments (invited talk by D. O'Carroll)
  • A field scale study of nZVI Mobility (D. O'Carroll)
  • Combined Influences of Tides and Seasonal Inland Groundwater Fluctuations on Aquifer-Ocean Exchange in an Unconfined Coastal Aquifer (talk co-authored by C. Robinson)
  • Influence of tides on the transport and fate of groundwater-derived nutrients to coastal waters (C. Robinson)
  • Effect of heterogeneity on enhanced reductive dechlorination: Analysis of remediation efficiency and groundwater acidification (co-authored by C. Robinson & J. Gerhard)
  • Impact of Subsurface Heterogeneities on nano-Scale Zero Valent Iron Transport (M. Krol)
  • Mapping Site Remediation with Electrical Resistivity Tomography Explored via Coupled-Model Simulations (C. Power)

  • Exploring the use of synchrotron radiation to image silver nanoparticles in a porous media (I. Molnar)




November '11:


RESTORE presents work in Florida
RESTORE co-director Dr. Clare Robinson and Masters student Nawrin Anwar attended the 21st Biennial Conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dr. Robinson gave an oral presentation entitled 'Dynamic effects of oceanic forcing on flow and transport in a subterranean estuary', while Nawrin presented her work entitled 'Nutrient transport and transformation in a tidally influenced subterranean estuary: Model Development'.


RESTORE at the Para Pan American Games
RESTORE undergraduate student Simon Hodge travelled to Mexico with the Canadian Paralympic Athletics team to compete at the 2011 Para Pan American Games. Simon ran as a guide for Jacqueline Rennebohm - a visually impaired sprinter, and fellow Western Mustang track athlete. They had a fantastic experience, and finished 6th in both the 100 and 200 metres. Simon also ran in the 5000 metres as guide for Jason Dunkerley, another visually-impaired athlete whose typical guide runner injured himself days before competition. Jason showed why he’s one of the best runners in the world, winning a bronze medal, and earning them a spot on the podium to receive a medal in a stadium full of 15,000 cheering fans (see figure below). Simon will continue to run as they take another step towards the 2012 Paralympics.




September '11:


Dr. Gerhard Down Under
RESTORE co-director Dr. Jason Gerhard is undertaking a 4-month research visit to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). As a guest of Dr. Ling Li, he is coupling his multiphase flow expertise to their expertise in coastal hydrodynamics to collaborate on innovative modelling and experiments studying the air/water interface.


Dr. Robinson presents work in Indiana
RESTORE co-director Dr. Clare Robinson attended the Great Lake Beach Association (GLBA) conference in Michigan city, Indiana where she gave an oral presentation entitled "Importance of dynamic groundwater-lake interactions on beach water quality" and a poster presentation "Nutrients and heavy metal concentrations in the groundwater at beaches of the Great Lakes".


August '11:


NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship
Christopher Power (Ph.D.) was awarded an NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship (IPS). SiREM are sponsoring the scholarship, and as part of the scholarship, Christopher will be spending time working for the company. The collaborative project will help evaluate and develop geoelectrical methods for detecting and mapping subsurface contamination and remediation.


July '11:


RESTORE Successful in Large, Collaborative Grant for Innovative Remediation Technologies
Drs. Gerhard and O’Carroll are lead Principal Investigators, in collaboration with Brent Sleep and other researchers from University of Toronto and Queen’s University, in the recently announced Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence Water Round. The interdisciplinary project, entitled “Innovative Combined Treatment Technologies for Remediating Contaminated Groundwater” has been awarded $3.2M from 2011 – 2016 from by Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation; approximately 50% of the total award is for work led by RESTORE. This is in addition to the approximately $4M of industrial cash and in-kind committed to the project by key RESTORE industrial collaborators CH2MHill and Geosyntec Consultants, as well as valuable contributions from numerous other corporate and institutional partners. This grant, the highest awarded to an academic-led proposal, will support a significant number of graduate students and post-doctoral researchers working at, and in collaboration with, RESTORE over the next five years on innovative remediation technologies.

Western Partnering with University of Toronto on Smouldering Toilet
Cheap, waterless toilets that can turn human waste into clean water and fertilizer within 24 hours are being designed and built by eight engineering teams around the world, including one from Canada. The Gates Foundation awarded a collaborative team led by University of Toronto $400,000 to develop a prototype toilet that aims to revolutionize waste treatment in the developing world, thereby protecting the environment and reducing disease. Dr. Jason Gerhard and Jose Torero (University of Edinburgh) are collaborators on a University of Toronto project, which utilizes a reactor to destroy waste via smouldering: a process that, together, RESTORE and University of Edinburgh have proven to be a self-sustaining process for destroying contaminants in the STAR project ( Significant media attention has surrounded the announcement of the awards made by the Gates Foundation:

Dr. O’Carroll Down Under
RESTORE co-director Dr. Denis O’Carroll is welcomed at University of New South Wales (Australia) where he is spending 12 months as a Visiting Professor. Dr. O’Carroll is using his sabbatical to develop collaborative research with the well regarded water research group at UNSW while continuing to advance his ongoing RESTORE projects.

NEW Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Laboratory

BESc 4th year student Kristina Nangle is working in collaboration with Drs. Magdalena Krol, Chris Smart and Denis O’Carroll to determine a water balance model for the CMLP’s green roof. The key interests are quantifying the green roof’s ability to attenuate and reduce storm water runoff. Among the instrumentation being used on the roof is the currently under construction green roof test cell that will utilize five lysimeters to compare the performance of soil covered with plants and bare soil. BESc 4th year student Phil Santana has also started work on the green roof. His focus is the green roof’s energy balance and he will also be utilizing the green roof test cell to quantify the role plants play in keeping the roof cool during the warm months.





June '11:


RESTORE Welcomes New Research Assistant
Dr. Richard Liu (PhD, Auburn University) has joined RESTORE as a research assistant. Richard has extensive experience with metals in soils and nanotechnology, which he brings to the STAR and nZVI projects. Richard has more than 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including first-author publications in Chemosphere and Environmental Science and Technology.

RESTORE Welcomes Back Post-Doctoral Fellow
RESTORE is very pleased to welcome back Dr. Nataphan Sakulchaicharoen (Phd, University of Oklahoma) after her maternity leave. Mai continues to be a core team member on the nZVI project, synthesizing innovative nanoparticles for a variety of laboratory and field-based remediation trials.

Congratulations to RESTORE Graduate Entering Industry
RESTORE MESc graduate Stephanie Drake, who recently completed her graduate degree on the wettability of diesel fuel in the subsurface, was recruited by consultant Worley Parsons in Calgary in the Site Remediation group.

Dr. Jason Gerhard in Swtizerland
RESTORE co-director Jason Gerhard recently completed four months as a Visiting Professor at École Polytechnique Féderale de Lausanne. He was a guest of Prof. Andrew Barry and the Ecological Engineering Research Laboratory where he had the pleasure of interacting with a wide array of outstanding faculty and graduate research students. On weekends, he conducted high-speed research on high-altitude precipitation in alpine environments.

Study at Argonne National Laboratories

PhD candidate Ian Molnar and BESc 4th year student Kristina Nangle travelled to Argonne National Laboratories to utilize the Advanced Photon Source as part of on-going research. An imaging technique known as x-ray microtomography was used to detect the presence of silver nanoparticles and their preferential flow paths through various types of porous media.

Nanometals for Source Zone Remediation Meeting
A meeting was held at the University of Western Ontario to discuss recent progress related to Nanometals for Source Zone Remediation. The meeting was well attended by many industry partners including CH2M Hill Canada Ltd., Geosyntec Consultants Inc., and AMEC Geomatrix. Students and fellows in RESTORE, as well as students from the University of Toronto, presented their recent advances in nZVI research followed by discussion of the future work and direction on the emerging technology. The meeting highlighted some of the exciting fundamental work being done within the group and also reviewed several recent field trials that provided successful results due to the collaborative effort of the supporting organizations. Other partners in attendance included Forces Canada, Dow Chemical, Royal Military Collage, and the University of Guelph.

NEW Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Laboratory

Renovations have been completed for a new RESTORE laboratory that will be used to conduct leading research on groundwater-surface water interactions. The laboratory will be equipped with cutting-edge infrastructure from a $557,000 CFI grant (Leaders of Opportunity Fund) awarded to Dr. Robinson.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship Award
We are pleased to announce that PhD student Ian Molnar has recently been awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship to fund his studies on the fate of engineered nanoparticles in the subsurface.

85th ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium
RESTORE's strong nZVI work was presented at the 85th ACD Colloid and Surface Science Symposium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada:

  • Nanometal particle mobility, reaction, and characterization following field scale injection (C. M. Kocur, D. M. O'Carroll, A. I. Chowdhury, H.K. Boparai, N. Sakulchiacharoen, K. Weber, B. E. Sleep, M. Krol, L. Austrins and C. Peace)
  • Characterization, surface properties and reactivity of nano- and micro-scale zerovalent iron (H K Boparai, A.I.A. Chowdhury and D. M. O'Carroll)
  • Challenges and opportunities of electrokinetics for enhanced NZVI delivery through porous media (A. I.A. Chowdhury, D. M. O'Carroll, Y. Xu and B. E. Sleep)
  • Modelling field scale nano-zero valent iron transport (M. M. Krol, A. J. Oleniuk, D. M. O'Carroll and B. E. Sleep)
  • Transport and persistence of pathogens in beach sediment: Numerical investigation (K. P. Weber, D. M. O'Carroll, C. Robinson)



May '11:


RESTORE Welcomes 2 Summer Research Students
Kristina Nangle (3rd year Environmental Engineering) and Tarek Rashwan (2nd Year Environmental Engineering) are warmly welcomed to RESTORE. They each secured an NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA) which allows top undergraduate students to obtain first hand research experience. Kristina is leading the collection of data on green roof performance while Tarek is conducting research on the STAR remediation technology.

RESTORE wins Major Award for Teaching and Grad Student Mentoring
Dr. Denis O’Carroll, RESTORE co-director, was awarded the R. Mohan Mathur Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award is presented annually to an outstanding Western Engineering faculty member to recognize his or her exceptional contributions to University teaching and the promotion of academic excellence amongst our students. In announcing the award, the Dean of Engineering Andy Hrymak, said:
“Dr. O’Carroll has developed four courses since joining the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering which have strengthened the environmental engineering program both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Once of the courses was also introduced for the International Development option and has a strong focus on developing underserviced communities, both in Canada and abroad, a new emphasis for the Department and Faculty. As a part of this course, he developed a strong hands-on laboratory component and has introduced new equipment and testing methodologies.

Dr. O’Carroll coordinated multi-disciplinary 4th year student groups who proposed designs for the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion, the first ‘green building’ at the University. Many of the student designs were incorporated into the new building. In conjunction with Physical Plant, architects, and engineers, Dr. O’Carroll worked to develop the new building as a ‘living laboratory’. He brought together many faculty members to explore and utilize the building as a teaching tool. His initiatives with the CMLP earned him the 2009 UWO Green Award.

In the past 5 years, Dr. O’Carroll has supervised/co-supervised 13 undergraduate (4th year projects, NSERC undergraduate research students), 14 masters, and 3 doctoral students as well as 7 postdoctoral fellows. In addition he has examined 28 graduate student theses and dissertations since 2006. Many of the undergraduate students he has supervised since joining the Department have stayed to complete a masters degree and Ph.D. , which is a testament to the overall positive experience they have had working with Dr. O’Carroll. He continues to achieve very high student evaluations in all his courses, in the top percentile amongst the Department and Faculty alike.

Dr. O’Carroll’s on-going commitment to incorporating sustainability in environmental engineering, his innovative teaching methods and the advancement of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum at Western Engineering make him a very deserving recipient of the R. Mohan Mathur Award for Excellence in Teaching.”

RESTORE student returns to Western from
Louisiana State University
PhD student Ian Molnar has recently returned from a semester abroad at the Louisiana State University. While at LSU he was working under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Clint Willson, a professor known for employing synchrotron radiation to create high-resolution 3D maps of contaminants in model porous media. His time at LSU included work at the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices as well as Mardi Gras and plenty of good Cajun food.

RESTORE Post-doctoral Researcher Starts Faculty Position

Kela Weber started as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) on 1 May 2011. RESTORE wishes him all the best with his faculty position.

2011 Ontario OWWA/OWMA Joint Annual Conference
Tanvir Hassan (M.E.Sc.) presented a paper titled "Effect of pH and disinfectant on lead dissolution in drinking water" at the 2011 OWWA/OWMA Joint Annual Conference, Blue Mountain, Ontario.

Regional Water Supply Research Day
Dr. Robinson and Dr. Herrera presented at the bi-annual Regional Water Supply Research Day on 31st May 2011 on Discharge of Industrial Contaminants to Surface Waters and implications for Source Water Protection Planning and the Dissolution of Lead in Drinking Water.

RESTORE Presents to Ministry of the Environment
Dr. Robinson was invited to present to the Ministry of the Environment (Drinking Water Inspection Branch) on ‘Arsenic in Drinking Water and Mitigation Solutions’.

RESTORE student presents at Geosyntec Technical Seminar
Christopher Power (Ph.D.) presents a talk entitled "Non-Invasive Geophysical Techniques for Mapping DNAPL Presence and Mass Reduction" at Geosyntec Consultants' monthly technical seminar at their office in Guelph, Ontario.



April '11:


International Collaboration: Greece
RESTORE PhD student Christopher Power recently returned from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Christopher was invited to Greece by internationally renowed geophysics expert Dr Panagiotis Tsourlos to participate in archaeological investigations and geophysics seminars. Christopher’s research is exploring geophysical tools that are commonly employed in other sectors, such as archaeology, for tracking contaminants in the subsurface.


March '11:


RESTORE Postdocs Become New Faculty Members
RESTORE is very pleased to congratulate former postdoctoral fellows Kevin Mumford and Prabhakar Sharma as they were recruited for faculty positions in the contaminant hydrogeology field. Kevin is an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University (Canada) while Prabhakar is an Assistant Professor at Upsala University (Sweden).

Undergraduate Thesis Presentation Competition (2011)

RESTORE congratulates its undergraduate student Jessica Barker for winning the undergraduate thesis presentation competition with her presentation on ‘Feasibility of Aquifer Storage and Recovery in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh’. For first place, Jessica was awarded a trip to present at the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers Conference.

241st ACS National Meeting
RESTORE group members presented at the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting in Anaheim, California, USA:

  • Impact of porous media grain size on multi-walled carbon nanotube transport (N. T. Mattison, D. M. O'Carroll and E. Petersen)
  • Impact of Cu on dechlorination of trichloroethylene by nano zerovalent iron (H.K. Boparai and D.M. O’Carroll)


February '11:


Congratulation to RESTORE Graduates
RESTORE is proud of recent MESc graduates Andrew Oleniuk, Ambareen Atisha, Stephanie Drake, and Nikkolai Mattison. All successfully defended their theses on a range of topics from numerical modelling of contaminant dissolution to nanoparticle behaviour to the wettability of field diesel. We wish them all success as they progress into industry positions in the field.

STAR Remediation Technology Successful in Pilot Field Test
Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) is the Western-led innovation in treatment of coal tar and petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. The new technique, based on smouldering combustion for in situ destruction, is being commercialized by technology vendor SiREM (Guelph, Canada). SiREM, in collaboration with Western and Geosyntec Consultants, completed a nine-well field trial to address coal tar contamination in a 18m x 6m x 3 m deep pilot test area. The test was very successful, with greater than 800 kg/day destroyed consistently during the middle of the test, and greater than 4500 kg of coal tar destroyed over the full 10 day test. Soil concentrations of coal tar were reduced 3 to 4 orders of magnitude and soil cores of the treated area exhibited concentrations below the criteria of the local regulatory authority. Further details can be obtained from or from Prof. Jason Gerhard (

nZVI Trials by RESTORE

RESTORE has successfully undertaken two nZVI field trials in 2010 and 2011. The first field trial was carried out on a former chlorinated solvent production plant at Sarnia, Ontario, with assistance from CH2MHill. The second trial was carried out on a former maintenance unit of Department of National Defense (DND) at London, Ontario with support from DND, CH2MHill, and CBC Canada. Both of the field trials were successful in terms of large-scale onsite nZVI synthesis, injection and migration. The sites are currently under investigation for short and long term nZVI remediation performance.



September '10:


NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship
Chris Kocur (Ph.D.) was awarded an NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship (IPS). CH2MHILL Canada Ltd. are sponsoring the scholarship, and as part of the scholarship, Chris will be spending time working for the company. The collaborative project will develop field methods and improve the understanding of nanoscale zero valent iron (nZVI) technology.



August '10:


Rising Stars of Research 2010
RESTORE member Meera Joseph presented at the Rising Stars of Research, an undergraduate research conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:

  • Factors influencing cadmium removal by nano zero-valent iron (M. Joseph, H.K. Boparai and D.M. O’Carroll)

Geotechnical Research (GRC) Awards 2010
PhD candidate Ahmed Chowdury is awarded the R.M. Quigley Award and MESc candidate Clayton Inculet is awarded the L.G. Soderman Award at the Annual Geotechnical Research Centre (GRC) Awards for excellence in research contributions.




July '10:


RESTORE students utilize Advanced Photon Source
PhD candidate Ian Molnar and MESc candidate Stephanie Drake travel to Argonne National Labs near Chicago, IL to utilize the Advanced Photon Source. The synchrotron is used to capture three-dimensional pore scale images of water/NAPL/soil systems and these high-resolution images will further the fundamental understanding of how soil wettability affects the transport and remediation of DNAPL contaminants.



June '10:


Green Building receives Green Brick Award
The Green Building, and its significant environmental teaching and research features led by RESTORE co-director Dr. Denis O’Carroll, are recognized once again as a leading environmental initiative in London. Click here to view the full article.


RESTORE students assist with the Lucas Goes Green project
RESTORE’s NSERC USRA students visited A.B. Lucas Secondary School to help the students with a project called Lucas Goes Green. The project required science students to develop a process or design that would make the school more “environmentally friendly”. RESTORE students helped approximately 600 Lucas students with a design process that involved 120-140 teams of students, with each team covering a range of grade levels and abilities. They were able to help the teams (i) clarify the problem that they would be working on, (ii) move to a clear problem definition using Statement-Restatement, and (iii) generate solutions using Why-Why or Duncker diagrams.

RESTORE students Ivy Zhang, Taylor, Adam Papini, Spencer Weber, Simon Hodge and Meera Joseph had a wonderful time working with the students. It was exciting an opportunity for them to share their passion for the environment, and it was most certainly a learning experience for them as well.


May '10:


Green Building receives Green Brick Award
STAR remediation technology, developed in collaboration between RESTORE at The University of Western Ontario and The University of Edinburgh, becomes commercially available exclusively through SiREM (Guelph, Ontario):


RESTORE student wins award
RESTORE congratulates NSERC student Adam Papini on receiving the Society of Chemical Industry Merit Award from the Faculty of Engineering.


March '10:


STAR technology makes BBC News
The STAR project continues his recent media coverage by featuring on BBC News website. Click here to read the full article.


Undergraduate Thesis Presentation Competition
RESTORE congratulates its undergraduate students Lauren Hockin and Adam Crookes for their successful undergraduate thesis presentations. Lauren and Adam win first and second place, respectively, with first place being awarded a trip to present at the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers Conference.


STAR project features in The Londoner
The STAR project receives coverage in The Londoner with the article also featuring an interview with Dr. Gerhard. Click here to read the full article.


239th ACS National Meeting
RESTORE presented at the 239th American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco, California, USA:

  • Cadmium removal by nano zerovalent iron: influence of physicochemical parameters (H. K. Boparai, M. Joseph, D. M. O'Carroll)



February '10:


RESTORE and STAR project make Western News
RESTORE and, in particular, the STAR project receive excellent coverage in Western News. In the news article, RESTORE is discussed for its work in the development of innovative site remediation technologies. In particular, the STAR project is highlighted and noting that it was recently patented and received the 15th Lord Ezra Award for Innovation in Combustion Engineering from the U.K. Combustion Engineering Association. Click here to read the full article.


RESTORE garner media attention from London Free Press
Innovative new techniques being developed at RESTORE to neutralize contaminated 'brownfield' sites receive coverage in the London Free Press. Click here to view the article, which gives special mention to the STAR and nZVI projects.


RESTORE at WORLDiscoveries Showcase
RESTORE show significant presence at the WORLDiscoveries (TM) Research Showcase held at the London Convention Centre. The research showcase was staged by Western's faculties of engineering and science and the Schulich school of medicine and dentistry. Designed to stimulate partnerships and networking with industry, the showcase featured more than 100 displays in the fields of imaging, bio-materials, software, telecommunications, the environment and energy. RESTORE had a research display at the event and Dr. Jason Gerhard presented the third 'Tech Talk' of the day on the topic entitled 'Brownfield Restoration: Addressing the Industrial Pollution of Urban Environments'. Click here to see the full presentation (video and slides).


                            Photo: Mitch Zimmer


January '10:


RESTORE featured in Business London magazine
RESTORE group receive excellent coverage in the January 2010 edition of the Business London magazine for being one of the top emerging technology groups at Western. Click here to read the article, which is shown on pages 26 and 27 of the magazine.


October '09:


STAR Team Successfully Undertake its First Field Trial
The STAR team successfully undertook its first field trial on the site of a former cresol manufacturing facility in the North-eastern United States. Partnering with SiREM Laboratories (Guelph), the team successfully initiated the STAR process at 9 feet depth and monitored self-sustaining, in situ coal tar destruction for 9 continuous days. It is estimated that greater than 350 kg of coal tar was destroyed in situ with minimal energy input or byproducts. Plans are underway to expand the testing to a larger area in the next phase of the trials.




STAR Team Receive Award for Innovation in Combustion Engineering
Congratulations to the STAR team for receiving the 15th Lord Ezra Award for Innovation in Combustion Engineering. The award was given to the STAR (Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation) academic team of inventors for their novel soil remediation technology based upon liquid smouldering combustion to destroy toxic industrial pollutants.

The award was given on 8th October 2009 at the House of Lords, Westminster (i.e., UK parliament building), by the UK Combustion Engineering Association for "outstanding achievement in the study of combustion engineering". The lunch was hosted by Lord Howie of Troon, Civil Engineer and MP in the United Kingdom. Members of the STAR academic team in attendance were Dr. Jason Gerhard, Dr. Jose Torero, Dr. Christine Switzer and Dr. Guillermo Rein (absent: Dr. Paolo Pironi). 


The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion officially opens its 'green' doors
The Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion, the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building on The University of Western Ontario campus, officially opened its doors during Homecoming celebrations. The $22-million, 45,000 square-foot building will house research on green technologies, processes and materials and, at the same time, the building itself will feature advanced environmentally sustainable construction technologies and methodologies. Click here to read more about the opening event.




September '09:


Opening of the CMLP Graduate Office and Laboratory
The new RESTORE graduate office and laboratory were opened in the new Claudette-Mackay-Lassonde Pavilion (CMLP) building which recently finished construction. Click here to read more about the CMLP building.




August '09:


2009 John Booker Award
PhD student Christopher Power and MESc student Andrew Oleniuk are jointly awarded the 2009 John Booker Award by the Geotechnical Research Centre for excellence in research contributions.


July '09:


Dr. Clare Robinson joins RESTORE
New Co-Director of RESTORE, Assistant Prof. Clare Robinson joins the Department. Clare's research interests focus on using groundwater and water quality modeling to investigate the behaviour of water-borne contaminants, in particular to develop understanding of the interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes. Clare completed her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia and post doctorate at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Upon joining the RESTORE group, Clare had the following to say: "It is a great pleasure for me to join such an active, dynamic and supportive research group. RESTORE is working on a diverse range of exciting and cutting edge research projects and I look forward to complementing the group with my groundwater and water quality modeling expertise. It is great to be a part of a team that fosters such a collaborative and friendly atmosphere whilst simultaneously striving for excellence."


Invited Guest Lecture at International Summer School on Role of Interfacial Area
Dr. Jason Gerhard was one of 8 invited guest lecturers at an International Summer School on 'Role of Interfacial Area in Multi-Phase Flow and Transport in Porous Media: Theory, Experiment, Models' at the University of Ultrecht, the Netherlands. For further details, click here.


June '09:


International Conference on Environmental Implications and Applications of Nanotechnology
RESTORE group members gave three presentations at the International Conference on Environmental Implications and Applications of Nanotechnology in Amherst, MA, USA.

  • Removal of Cadmium by Zerovalent Iron Nanoparticles (H.K. Boparai, D.M. O' Carroll)
  • Mobility of Carbon Nanoparticles in the Subsurface at the Field Scale (E.A. Cullen, D.M. O' Carroll, E.Y. Yanful and B.E. Sleep)
  • Enhanced Stability and TCE Dechlorination of Synthesized Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron (N. Sakulchaicharoen, D.M. O' Carroll and J.E. Herrera)

nZVI work presented at International Conference on Surface and Colloid Science
RESTORE's strong nZVI work was presented at the IACIS International Conference on Surface and Colloid Science and the 83rd ACD Colloid and Surface Science Symposium in New York, NY, USA:

  • Investigation of the Mobility and Deliverability of Nano-Scale Zero-Valent Iron for Source Zone Remediation (C.M. Kocur, D.M. O'Carroll, N. Sakulchaicharoen and B.E. Sleep)
  • The Stability and Mobility of Surface-Modified Iron Nanoparticles in Soil Column Tests (B. Jung, D.M. O' Carroll and B.E. Sleep)


May '09:


American Geophysical Union (AGU) Spring Joint Assembly, Toronto, ON, Canada
RESTORE established a significant presence at the Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union in Toronto, ON. Dr O' Carroll co-chaired the session entitled Recent Advances in Remediation of NAPL-Contaminated Sites, while RESTORE postdoctoral fellow Dr. Nathapan Sakulchaicharoen presents her talk entitled Electrostatic and Steric Contributions to nZVI Stability.

Oral and poster presentations by the group included:

  • Electrostatic and Steric Contributions to nZVI Stability (N. Sakulchaicharoen) [Abstract]
  • Mapping Subsurface Remediation with Ground Penetrating Radar (C. Power) [Abstract]
  • Mobility and Modeling of Nano-Scale Zero Valent Iron in Porous Media with Residual NAPL (C. Kocur) [Abstract]
  • Removal of Trichloroethylene and Heavy Metals by Zerovalent Iron Nanoparticles (H. Boparai) [Abstract]
  • The Wettability of a Multi-Component DNAPL on Quartz and Iron Oxide Sands (I. Molnar) [Abstract]
  • Numerical Modelling of Smouldering Combustion as a Remediation Technology for NAPL Source Zones (S. MacPhee) [Abstract]
  • The role of wettability in dynamic capillary pressure effects: fundamental considerations (K. Mumford) [Abstract]

RESTORE members in attendance included J. Gerhard, D. O' Carroll, J. Herrera, K. Mumford, N. Sakulchaicharoen, C. Power, C. Kocur, S. MacPhee, I. Molnar, H. Boparai, A. Oleniuk, S. Drake, A. Chowdury and N. Mattison.


AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award
Postdoctoral fellow Kevin Mumford recently received an Outstanding Student Paper Award from the Hydrology Section at the AGU Joint Assembly in Toronto for his presentation entitled Spontaneous expansion and mobilization of discontinuous gas above DNAPL pools given at the AGU Fall Meeting in December 2008. The award is given to recognize student excellence in geoscience research and presentation. Portions of the paper, co-authored by James E. Smith and Sarah E. Dickson of McMaster University, were recently published in the May 2009 issue of Vadose Zone Journal.


Dr. George Pinder visits Western
RESTORE were privileged to host Dr. George Pinder who gave a research presentation to the group entitled Optimal Search Strategy for the Definition of a Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) Source. Dr. Pinder, who is a director of the Research Centre for Groundwater Remediation Design at the University of Vermont, is a distinguished alumnus of Western (BSc '65) and also earlier presented a general talk entitled Groundwater Contamination Litigation at Woburn Massachusetts: My Role as an Expert Witness. Click here to see a media release about Dr. Pinder and his visit to Western.   


April '09:


2009 Green Award
Congratulations to Dr. O’Carroll for being awarded the 2009 University of Western Ontario ‘Green Award’. This prestigious honour is granted to individuals or groups that raise the profile of Sustainability both within the university and beyond the campus. Dr. O’Carroll is being honored for his work in the Faculty of Engineering, in particular the ECO-Lab group, and developing green and educational plans for the new $22-million Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion, set to open in September. Dr. O’Carroll is recognized for excellence in incorporating environment and sustainability issues into his teaching, his research, and his outreach activities and in so doing is providing leadership in this key area. Click here to obtain more information about Dr. O'Carroll and his nomination. In the photo below, he is flanked by Green Awards sponsors Roy Langille (AVP, Physical Plant & Capital Planning Services) and Gitta Kulczycki (VP, Resources & Operations).



NSERC Graduate Scholarships
RESTORE congratulates MESc Andrew Oleniuk and MESc Stephanie Drake on their outstanding success being recognized by NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships.



CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award
Post-doctoral Fellow Dr. Kevin Mumford has been unanimously nominated to represent McMaster University in the field of Engineering/Medical Science/Natural Science for the CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award Competition. This is a major academic achievement in its own right, and we congratulate Kevin and wish him every success at the national level of the competition.



Shawn Whitehead Scholarship
RESTORE MESc student Ahmed Ishtiaque Amin Chowdhury was awarded the Shawn Whitehead Scholarship. The Shawn Whitehead Scholarship is awarded once a year to two (in each category) full-time members/current students who were a member in the last year of the Graduate Teaching Assistants' Union at Western.


February '09:


OCE Student Symposium
RESTORE students Stephanie MacPhee and Chris Kocur present their research at the annual Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Student Symposium. Stephanie's talk is entitled 'Numerical Modeling of Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR)' and Chris' talk is entitled 'Mobility of Nano-scale Zero Valent Iron in Porous Media with Residual NAPL'.

January '09:


Western News Article
RESTORE student Stephanie Drake makes the front page of Western News for her outstanding work related to the design of instrumentation for the new Green Roof.

Vadose Zone Journal
Dr. O`Carroll becomes and Associate Editor for the Vadose Zone Journal. The journal brings together a wide range of disciplines that involve the vadose zone, including those that address broad scientific and societal issues (e.g., climate change, biofuels, sustainability, nanotechnology).

December '08:


Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), San Francisco, CA, USA
RESTORE established a significant presence at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, CA. Dr. O' Carroll co-chaired the session entitled Mobility and Fate of Nanoparticles and Colloids in Porous Media, while Dr. Gerhard co-chaired the session entitled Physical, Chemical and Biological Processes Controlling NAPL Source Zone Remediation. RESTORE members in attendance included P. Pironi, K. Mumford, C. Kocur and A. Oleniuk.

Oral and poster presentations by the group included:

  • Remediation of viscous NAPLs via hot water flooding' (Invited talk delivered by Dr. O' Carroll) [Abstract]
  • Mobility of Nano-scale Zero Valent Iron in Porous Media with Residual NAPL (C. Kocur) [Abstract]
  • Impact of Source Zone Architecture on DNAPL Dissolution in Systems Containing Organic-Wet Porous Media (A. Oleniuk) [Abstract]
  • Parameter Sensitivity and Laboratory Benchmarking of a Biogeochemical Process Model for Enhanced Anaerobic Dechlorination (I. Kouznetsova) [Abstract]
  • Spontaneous Expansion and Mobilization of Discontinuous Gas Above DNAPL Pools (K. Mumford) [Abstract]
  • Column experiments of Smouldering Combustion as a Remediation Technology for NAPL Source Zones (P. Pironi) [Abstract]
  • DNAPL Mapping by Ground Penetrating Radar examined via Numerical Simulation (C. Power) [Abstract]

  • Optimization of buffer injection for the effective bioremediation of chlorinated solvents in aquifers (A. Brovelli) [Abstract]

RESTORE students Andrew Oleniuk, Paolo Pironi and Chris Kocur, as well as RESTORE postdoctoral fellow Dr. Kevin Mumford successfully presented posters and oral talks on their research at the meeting.



American Geophysical Union's Groundwater Committee
Dr. Gerhard is named to the American Geophysical Union's Groundwater Committee. This committee helps organize the annual AGU conferences as AGU's strategic direction related to groundwater.

OCETA Innovative Remediation Solutions Workshop
Dr. O' Carroll gives the keynote to the OCETA Innovative Remediation Solutions Workshop ( entitled Opportunities and Challenges of Site Remediation using Nanometals.

November '08:

California Emerging Contaminants Symposium
Dr. O`Carroll presents the keynote talk entitled Mobility Of Engineered Nanoparticles In Natural Porous Media at the Groundwater Resources Association of California Emerging Contaminants Symposium (San Jose, CA).

October '08:

In Situ STAR NSERC Strategic Grant
Drs. Gerhard and O'Carroll are awarded an NSERC Strategic Grant entitled 'In Situ STAR (Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation)'. This grant provides 3 years of funding to further develop the new STAR technology for remediating coal tar and other hydrocarbons for in situ applications. Graduate students and postdoctoral positions are being sought (see Graduate Opportunities).

International Environmental Nanotechnology Conference
Dr. O`Carroll presents his talk entitled Impact Of Size On Carbon Nanotube Transport In Natural Porous Media at the International Environmental Nanotechnology Conference (Chicago, IL).

Canadian Brownfields 2008
Dr. Jason Gerhard delivers an invited presentation at Canadian Brownfields 2008, sponsored jointly by the Canadian Brownfields Network, the Canadian Urban Institute, and the National Executive Forum on Public Property. Dr. Gerhard presented on:

Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR): A New Approach for Destroying Coal Tar and Other Hazardous Industrial Liquids in Soil

as part of the "Innovations in Brownfield Technology" Workshop presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence. The Workshop brought together 'an interactive panel of leading researchers and practitioners to describe some of the latest soltuions to addressing the most difficult or complex issues in remediation and renovation of contaminated sites'.

Professional Outreach Travel Award
MESc student Chris Kocur is awarded the Ontario Centres of Excellence Professional Outreach Travel Award to present his work entitled: 'Mobility of Nano-scale Zero Valent Iron in Porous Media with Residual NAPL' at the Fall American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco (Dec. 2008).

Development of Nanometals NSERC Strategic Grant
Drs. O`Carroll and Herrera and two collaborators from the University of Toronto are awarded an NSERC Strategic Grant entitled `Development of Nanometals for Source Zone Remediation’. This grant provides 3 years of funding to further develop nanometals for chlorinated hydrocarbon source zone remediation, with a specific focus on source zones in clay permeable media systems. Graduate students and postdoctoral positions are being sought see Research Opportunities.

September '08

Dr. Gerhard is one of the co-organizers of the 2008 SABRE Technical Meeting in Toronto, Canada. SABRE – Source Area BioREmediation – is a consortium of 15 companies, 4 research institutions, and 2 environmental agencies focused on evaluating enhanced bioremediation of chlorinated solvent source zones. The meeting brought together industry partners, government representatives, and researchers from United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States and Canada.

August '08:

RESTORE congratulates the successful completion of three undergraduate summer NSERC research students
Adam Papini (Chemical Engineering), Laura Kinsman (Civil and Environmental Engineering and Cooper Robinson (Integrated Engineering) undertook summer NSERC research scholarships within RESTORE in the period May – August 2008. They investigated aspects of bioremediation processes, contaminant behaviour in non-ideal systems, and nanoparticle transport in the subsurface. Regarding the experience, Laura says, "It was a very rewarding and challenging opportunity to have been involved with RESTORE. The experience gained and the new friends I met made for a great and memorable summer!" While they return to undergraduate classes in the fall, all have been invited to continue their research and remain part of the group into the future.


July '08

2008 R.M. Quigley Award
MESc student Stephanie McPhee and MESc student Ian Molnar are jointly awarded the 2008 R.M. Quigley Award by the Geotechnical Research Centre for excellence in research contributions.

2008 Gordon Conference
Drs. Jason Gerhard and Denis O’Carroll present at the 2008 Gordon Conference: Flow & Transport in Permeable Media in Oxford, United Kingdom. Dr. Gerhard presents on the topic Validation of an Interfacial Area-Based Mass Transfer Model for Simulating DNAPL Dissolution while Dr. O’Carroll presents on the topic Direct Quantification of Dynamic Effects in Capillary Pressure.

June '08

GE Remedial Technology Transfer Meeting
Dr. Jason Gerhard presents as an invited speaker at the GE Remedial Technology Transfer Meeting in the session “Use of Best Practices & Innovative Technology”. His talk DNAPL Source Zones: Mobility and Treatment promoted discussion about the challenges of treating chlorinated solvent source zones in both unconsolidated porous media and fractured rock environments.

May '08

Monterey, California Conference on Remediation
Dr. Jason Gerhard presents at the Sixth International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds in Monterey, California. His presentation is titled Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR): A Novel Remediation Technique for Pooled and Residual NAPL.

SyNRGS Conference
RESTORE hosts the first Annual Symposium for NAPLs Research & Groundwater Studies (SyNRGS). The Symposium was successful in bringing together the Ontario community of groundwater contamination and remediation researchers to share ideas, give feedback to students on their work, and build bridges and collaborative opportunities. Overall, 85 people attended the meeting, encompassing 8 universities, four consulting companies, and four government organizations.

April '08

Geosyntec Consultants Student Research Contest
MESc student Chris Power wins first prize and PhD student Paolo Pironi wins second prize in the 2008 Student Research Contest sponsored by Geosyntec Consultants Ltd. This competition is restricted to invited universities exhibiting excellence in groundwater assessment and remediation and is based upon student papers. First place prize was an all expense paid trip to the 2008 Battelle Remediation Conference in Monterey California.

March '08

Queen’s University Civil Engineering Forum
Dr. Jason Gerhard is the invited speaker at the Queen’s University Civil Engineering Forum. His seminar Hazardous Industrial Pollution of Soil and Groundwater: Past, Present, and Future is well received by the more than 100 faculty, grad students, and undergrads present. Dr. Gerhard’s introduction was particularly special as he was recognized for his part as one of the originators this popular weekly Forum in 1998 during his days as a graduate student at Queen’s.

February '08

Ontario Centres of Excellence INTERACT Grant
Dr. Jason Gerhard and collaborators are awarded an Ontario Centres of Excellence INTERACT grant to conduct a feasibility study into ‘Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR)’.

International Association of Hydrologists/Canadian Geotechnical Society Seminar
Dr. Jason Gerhard presents an invited lecture to the International Association of Hydrologists/Canadian Geotechnical Society in their seminar series on Hydrogeological Practice in the 21st Century. Dr. Gerhard spoke on the topic Evolution of our Understanding of DNAPL Source Zones, exploring how our conceptual models of hazardous immiscible liquid contamination have progressed over the past 25 years.