Sabrina Bedjera

Sabrina Bedjera received her BSc and BEd from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). She recently completed her Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering where her research project focused on predicting the removal of micropollutants in drinking water treatment. Currently, Sabrina is working to create a framework to better identify and delineate the costs associated with service disruptions to drinking water utilities which are being exacerbated by climate change.

​Sabrina is passionate about interdisciplinary research and solving big problems in the water sector.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Xiaohui Sun

Xiaohui completed her PhD at the University of Alberta in 2015. She joined Professor Monica Emelko’s research group in April 2017 as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research will look at contaminated particles transport through porous media after wildfire and its implications to groundwater-based drinking water supplies.

Xiaohui loves cooking, grocery shopping, and knitting.

Vivian Yanxi Shao

Vivian received her PhD in 2018 from the University of Alberta. She joined the WaterSTP group as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019. Her research focuses on the impacts of wildfire on nutrient bioavailability and the occurrence of algal bloom in water reservoirs.

In her spare time, Vivian enjoys watercolour painting, Chinese calligraphy and making pottery.

PhD Candidates

Alex HS Chik

Thesis Topic: Advancing microbial risk assessments of subsurface drinking water supplies

Alex completed his Masters of Environmental Studies in Planning at the University of Waterloo in 2013, under the joint supervision of Drs. Monica B. Emelko and Michael Stone. Throughout Alex’s undergraduate studies (Honours Bachelor of Applied Sciences, Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo [2010]), he has gained extensive project work experience in both research (University of Waterloo) and engineering consulting (Conestoga Rovers and Associates, IBI Group) contexts.

Alex is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo and Project Assistant at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Vienna University of Technology. He is enrolled as a multinational Cotutelle Doctoral Candidate at Universiteit Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands), University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada) and Technische Universität Wien (Vienna, Austria). His research focuses on emerging geophysical methods and how they can be used to inform microbial risk assessments of subsurface drinking water supplies.

Alex is an avid ultimate frisbee player who enjoys volunteering and cooking in his free time.

Jesse Skwaruk

Thesis Topic: Drinking water supply after severe wildfire in Alberta and treatment technology resilience.

Jesse received his Master’s degree in Water Governance from the University of Saskatchewan in 2012 after receiving his B.A. in Political Science – Water Governance from the University of Alberta. In 2014 he received a Water and Wastewater Technology Diploma in Water Treatment from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Jesse has several years’ experience working with a water utility in various capacities, such as water treatment and quality assurance.

Jesse joined the WaterSTP group in September 2017 and his research is in collaboration with the  Southern Rockies Watershed Project. Jesse’s personal interests revolve around water: travelling to places with water; running and hiking near water; cooling off from tropical sun in water.

Kenda Hussen Timraz

Thesis Topic: Evaluating the effect of spore preparation methods on spore transport

Kenda received her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology in 2014 from Kin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. After that, she continued her education with a Master’s in Environmental Science and Engineering from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia in 2016. Her thesis topic was about the removal efficiency of microbial contaminants from hospital wastewaters. After receiving her Master’s, she had the chance to work on creating natural skin care products for an early stage startup. After this, she decided to pursue her PhD degree abroad to explore different cultures and gain distinctive learning and work experience that can advance her future career path. Currently, Kenda is a PhD candidate in the Civil Engineering (Water) program at the University of Waterloo. She is working on evaluating the effect of spore preparation methods on spore transport through bench top filtration media columns.

Master’s Candidates

Soosan Bahramian

Thesis Topic: Forest management/harvesting impacts on drinking water treatability

Soosan received her BASc degree in 2011 and after two years of working on water resources management projects she started her Master’s degree at the University of Waterloo. In 2016 she received her MASc in in Civil Engineering. In January 2017, Soosan joined the WaterSTP group under the joint supervision of Drs. Monica Emelko and Michael Stone (Department of Geography and Environmental Management).

Soosan’s current research focuses on investigating the effects of forest harvesting on water quality.

In her free time, Soosan enjoys biking, rock climbing, and also playing percussion instruments.

Omar Sadab Chowdhury

Omar completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Environmental Engineering from the Islamic University of Technology, Bangladesh where his research included bacteria removal efficiencies of commonly used household water treatment technologies. He joined University of Waterloo in Winter 2019 in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Monica Emelko.

Outside of school, Omar loves singing and playing the acoustic guitar, as well as table tennis and basketball.

Nadwa Elbadri

Nadwa received her B.Eng.Management (Co-op) from McMaster University in 2015. She then had the opportunity to gain some professional experience with roles as a Drinking Water Assistant at the Ministry of the Environment (2012), Distribution Planning Analyst at Union Gas (2013-2014), and then moving roles to District Engineer and Project Engineer at Union Gas (2015-2018).

Currently, Nadwa is pursuing a Master’s of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo. In her spare time, Nadwa likes to paint and has taken a keen interest in film photography. She is also an active volunteer in the community, and loves being outdoors.

Nik Knezic

Nik joined the WaterSTP group in January 2019 after spending the past two years working in the water chemistry field with General Electric’s Water division. He had previously completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2017.

His spare time is spent in arenas coaching a youth hockey team, running, hiking, petting dogs, and working out.

Joan Thompson

Thesis Topic: Optimization of biological filtration

Joan joined the WaterSTP group as a Master’s student in January 2017 after graduating from the Water Resources Engineering program at the University of Guelph.

Joan’s current research will focus on experimenting with biological filters next to the Mannheim Water Treatment Plant in Kitchener, Ontario. She is excited to see how the biological filters will behave under certain conditions since they host bacteria that help to remove water contaminants.

In her spare time, her water ‘studies’ continue…as in she likes to go swimming, hiking and canoeing in the beautiful Grand River watershed.

Past Students

Arnold, Adam – MASc
Evaluation and Quantification of Engineered Flocs and Drinking Water Treatability

Brown, Trevor – MASc
Chitosan Impacts on Cryptosporidium Removal by Filtration and Risk Assessment of Pathogen Passage during Drinking Water Treatment

Chandrakumaran, Thadsha – MASc
Assessment of urban nonpoint source total phosphorus and suspended solids in the middle Grand River Watershed

Charlebois, Gemma – MASc
American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award Recipient for Outstanding Thesis
Microcystin and Microcystis Destruction by Ozone in Drinking Water Treatment: Constraints and Effects

Chik, Alex – MES
Assessing the Role of Phosphorus as a Source Water and Treatment Vulnerability Indicator: Implications for Planning, Management and Operations 

Côté, Martin – MASc
A Field and Bench Scale Evaluation of Riverbank Filtration Efficacy for Removal of Cryptosporidium-sized Microspheres

Crumb, Jill – MASc
Phosphorus Sequestration for Control of Cyanobacterial Growth in Drinking Water Reservoirs 

Gray, Leslie – MASc
Evaluating the Effects of Strain Selection on the Attenuation of Bacillus subtilis Spores through Saturated Porous Media

Jin, Chao – PhD
Describing and Evaluating Media Roughness Contributions to Granular Media Filtration

Knappett, Peter – MASc
Evaluating the Effects of Grain Size and Divalent Cation Concentration on the Attenuation of Viruses and Microspheres through Crushed Silica Sand

Lagan, Sineaid – MASc
An Investigation of Cryptosporidium parvum and Silica Surface Forces in Relation to Water Treatment

Lee, Kristina – MASc
The critical role of chemical pre-treatment in ensuring Cryptosporidium removal by filtration of high quality source water

Lee, Lawrence – MASc
Bacillus subtilis Inactivation in Drinking Water by Pulsed Arc Electrohydraulic Discharge

McLellan, Nicole – MASc
American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award Recipient for Outstanding Thesis
Factors Affecting the Transport of Pathogens & Pathogen Surrogates in Saturated Porous Media: Implications for Natural & Engineered Drinking Water Filters 

Schmidt, Philip – PhD
Addressing the Uncertainty Due to Random Measurement Errors in Quantitative Analysis of Microorganism and Discrete Particle Enumeration Data

Scott, David – MASc
American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award Recipient for Outstanding Thesis
Cryptosporidium and Particle Removal from Low Turbidity Water by Engineered Ceramic Media Filtration

Shams, Shoeleh – PhD
Wildfire and Forest Harvesting Effects on Natural Organic Matter: Implications to Drinking Water Treatability

Snider, Ryan – MASc
American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award Recipient for Outstanding Thesis
Impact of Design and Operational Parameters on Rapid, Deep Bed Biological Filtration of Drinking Water 

Spanjers, Mark – PhD
Biologically Active Filtration Media Properties: Practical and Mechanistic Implications

Stewart, Michael – MASc
Nitrogen Dynamics in a Harvested Rocky Mountain Catchment

Watling, Mark – MASc
Removal of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts and Potential Surrogates in Vertical and Horizontal Flow-through Columns

Wong, Andrew – MASc
American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award Recipient for Outstanding Thesis
Investigating the Enhancement of Biological Filtration with Capping Material Designs and Nutrient Amendments

Yang, Amy – MASc
Assessing algal bloom risk in drinking water reservoirs