Invited Speakers

Further details of additional speakers will be posted to the website as information becomes available.

Dr V BalakrishnanDr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Parliament of Singapore

Brian Robinson Memorial Lecture

Biography: Dr Balakrishnan graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Medicine in 1985. After graduating, he specialised in Ophthalmology. He was appointed Associate Professor of the National University of Singapore and Deputy Director of Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) in 1997 and later as the Medical Director of SNEC and Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore General Hospital in 2000. During this time Dr Balakrishnan also served as the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Combat Support Hospital of the Singapore Armed Forces, Honorary Treasurer of the Singapore Medical Association, member of the National Library Board, the Singapore Broadcasting Authority Programmes Advisory Committee and National Volunteer Centre. He was also a well-known debater in the 1980s and host of the television series “Health Matters” in the 1990s.

Dr Balakrishnan has been a Member of Parliament since 2001. He is currently Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. He previously held appointments as Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports; Second Minister for Trade and Industry; Minister responsible for Entrepreneurship; Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts; and Minister of State for National Development.

During the early years of his political career, he served as Chairman of both the ‘Remaking Singapore’ committee and the National Youth Council. He also served two terms as Chairman of the Young People’s Action Party. In Parliament, he has moved several pieces of new legislation including the Energy Conservation Act, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority Act, and Sewerage and Drainage Act.

Niel AkladissNaji Akladiss - State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Team Lead, ITRC Integrated DNAPL Site Strategy Team), Portland, Maine USA

Presentation title: The USA’s Intrastate Technology and Regulatory Council’s (ITRC) approach to advancing innovative cleanup solutions

Abstract: The ITRC is a key catalyst in the United States to promote acceptance of innovative remediation strategies through development of Technical and Regulatory documents using integrative and consensus-based teams of regulators, academia, industry, and technology vendors. The ITRC model has advanced approaches to more successfully cleanup complex contaminated sites, such as those impacted by non-aqueous phase liquids. For this keynote, three ITRC members, representing different perspectives, will provide a joint, “conversational” approach to describing ITRC’s approach to addressing difficult remediation challenges and promoting acceptance of innovative strategies and/or paradigm shifts to achieve better cleanup solutions.

Biography: Naji Akladiss, P.E. is a Project Manager with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDE), Bureau of Remediation in Augusta Maine. He has worked for the Department since 1989 (as an Analytical Chemist in MEDEP Laboratory; as a Project Manager for federal facilities since 1991). He has experience in environmental technologies and Superfund remediation. Naji is the Project Manager for the clean-up of two Superfund sites in the state of Maine. He is the leader of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) Integrated DNAPLs Site Strategy Team as well as the co-leader of the Characterization team. He has also served as the ITRC state Point of Contact from Maine. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Maine and a certified Quality Engineer (CQE) by the American Society for Quality. Prior to joining the Maine DEP Naji worked for Rockwell International as a Process/Quality engineer in Rockwell’s printed circuit board plant in Maine.

Alexander KyleKyle M Alexander OBE Maze Long Kesh, Lisburn

Presentation title: From peace to prosperity' - brownfields as drivers of economic and social regeneration

Biography: As an advisor and practitioner on regeneration policy and practice, Kyle draws on over thirty years public and private sector experience in the delivery of regeneration of brownfield sites in the United Kingdom. He is currently interim Chief Executive of the Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation, responsible for securing the significant and symbolic transformation of this 347 acre former prison site in Northern Ireland. He is a Strategic Advisor with the Strategic Investment Board (Northern Ireland), Chairman of the Connswater Community Greenway Trust and a director of the Lisburn Building Preservation Trust. Kyle received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007 for services to regeneration in Northern Ireland as Chief Executive of Laganside Corporation, the organisation responsible for the transformation of Belfast's waterfront. He is a Board member of INTA, the International Urban Development Association. Kyle is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Academy of Urbanism and of the European CABERNET brownfield network.

R BaciocchiProfessor Renato Baciocchi, University of Rome

Presentation title: Perspectives for changing assumptions and improving models in risk assessment.

Biography: Professor Baciocchi is Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Rome Tor Vergata since 2003. He received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering by the Politecnico di Milano in 1995, and worked for a few years as process engineer before starting his academic career at the end of 1998. His main research interests focus on remediation of contaminated sites and carbon dioxide capture and storage. In the former field, he has been working on the application of in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) to the remediation of contaminated sites and on the development of tools and criteria for the application of risk analysis to the management of contaminated sites. He is currently a member of a working group of the Ministry of The Environment on the issue of the national priority contaminated sites. He has published more than 100 contributions to international journals and conference proceedings, with 39 papers published in peer reviewed journals.

P BardosProfessor Paul Bardos, r3 Environmental Technology Ltd, Reading

Presentation title: Conceptual site or project models for sustainability assessment

Biography: Prof. Paul Bardos, has more than 20 years of experience in soil science and biology; contaminated land and brownfields, waste treatment and risk management, particularly biological treatment technologies, sustainability appraisal, soil and water issues. Since 1997 he has been managing director of r³. Prior to 1997 he worked with Nottingham Trent University and before that a government research institute, the Warren Spring Laboratory. He has worked with a wide range of clients in the UK, Europe and North America including multinationals, businesses, stakeholder networks and government agencies. He is currently a visiting professor at the Universities of Nottingham and Reading; and also a staff Professor at University of Brighton.

S BartkeStephan Bartke Helmholtz, Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Economics

Presentation title: Urban regeneration and brownfield remediation: addressing challenges for tailored, integrated and sustainable urban land revitalization

Biography: Stephan Bartke is research fellow at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany and visiting research fellow at University of Manchester, UK. He has been lecturer at Anhalt Applied University and Leuphana University, Germany. With a background in economics and business administration, he has been early on involved in transdisciplinary research projects striving to achieve more sustainable land use. Since 2009, he has been the co-ordinator of the SAFIRA II Tool Development Group, which developed an integrated Megasite Management System for brownfield revitalization assessment. Currently, he is scientific coordinator and responsible for the management and dissemination of the international EU FP7 project TIMBRE – Tailored Improvement of Brownfield Regeneration in Europe. Within the German Association of Remediation Engineers (ITVA), he is deputy leader of the technical committee Site Recycling,.

E BlischkeErik Blischke, CDM Smith, Portland, Oregon USA

Presentation title: Sediment management in the USA – where we are at and what’s to come?

Biography: Eric Blischke is a contaminated sediment specialist with over 25 years of remediation experience in the state, federal and private sector. Currently, Eric is serving as a technical resource for numerous CDM Smith sediment clean-up projects around the country, as CDM Smith’s representative on the Sediment Management Workgroup and actively participating in the development of a national sediment remediation guidance development by ITRC. Prior to joining CDM Smith, Eric served as project manager for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, responsible for all major technical elements of the sediment investigation and evaluation, sediment source control coordination, clean-up of dioxin contaminated sediments in East Doane Lake, environmental policy and development of clean-up rules and guidance documents for the State of Oregon. Eric has extensive experience performing human health and ecological risk assessments, evaluating contaminant fate and transport, completed feasibility studies, produced RI/FS plans and reports and coordinated laboratory analyses and data validation efforts.

N BolanProfessor Nanthi Bolan, CERAR and CRC CARE

Presentation title: Biosolids application enhances carbon sequestration in soil

Biography: Professor Nanthi Bolan, Leader of CRC CARE’s Prevention Technologies Program, was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies in July this year. Arriving at UniSA in March 2007, Nanthi was previously the Professor of Soil Science and Director of Postgraduate Studies at New Zealand’s Massey University. ‘I came to UniSA because it had a critical mass of scientists working in environmental research’, Nanthi says. ‘It was an opportunity for me to provide leadership and mentor early career scientists, which I enjoy.’ Despite his new position as Dean, Nanthi remains an active researcher in CRC CARE projects and at the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment & Remediation Centre. Nanthi completed his PhD at the University of Western Australia in 1983, and has published more than 200 papers. He was awarded the M.L. Leamy Award by the New Zealand Soil Science Society in recognition of his contribution to the discipline and Massey Medal for Postgraduate supervision.

John BoyerJohn E. Boyer - ITRC Petroleum Vapor Intrusion Team Co-Lead, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, USA

Presentation title: Petroleum Vapor Intrusion: The Current Science of Investigation and Mitigation

Abstract: There is an extensive explosion of PVI research currently and numerous guidance documents being produced on the subject. Vast resources are being utilized by environmental agencies and companies to investigate petroleum discharges for VI when in fact very few sites actually necessitate mitigation. Focused investigations on the limited potential PVI sites is essential.

Biography: Mr Boyer is an Environmental Scientist at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). He has worked with NJDEP since 1988 where he is a principal in developing vapour intrusion policy. He is co-author of NJDEP’s Vapor Intrusion Guidance (2005) and the updated NJDEP Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance (2012). As co-team leader for the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) Vapor Intrusion Team, Mr Boyer was a primary writer for the ITRC companion documents VI Pathway: A Practical Guideline and VI Pathway: Investigative Approaches for Typical Scenarios (2007). He is an instructor for the ITRC’s Vapor Intrusion Classroom Training and is currently co-chair of the ITRC Petroleum Vapor Intrusion Team. Mr Boyer has written vapor intrusion articles for publications that include the American Bar Association and EM (Environmental Managers).

I DuncanDr Ian Duncan, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas

Presentation title: A critical review of reported and documented ground water contamination incidents associated with unconventional gas

Biography: Dr. Ian Duncan is a Program Director and research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. He was born in Sydney and grew up in the Western Plains and New England areas of N.S.W. He graduated from Macquarie University in Sydney and received a Doctorate in geology from the University of British Columbia. He was on the Faculty at SMU in Dallas and Washington University in St Louis. His current research focuses on the scientific, environmental, regulatory, and public policy aspects of unconventional natural gas production, the water-energy nexus, and carbon capture and storage. He has a particular interest in risk analysis, decision making, and legal/regulatory issues related to hydraulic fracturing, CO2 sequestration, and energy production. He is currently collaborating with the Center for Coal Seam Gas at the University of Queensland in making a comparative study of the environmental impacts on coal bed methane in the US and Coal Seam Gas in Australia. He has presented Congressional Testimony on environmental impacts of energy development to the US House Natural Resources Committee; and twice to the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Allen HathewayDr Allen W. Hatheway, Private consultant

Presentation title: Decisions, decisions, decisions - The universal technical curse of honest environmental remediation of nasty, toxic SVOC (PAH) sites

Allen W. Hatheway is a Geological Engineer operating in the field of remediation and redevelopment of former manufactured gas plants and other coal-tar sites. He was educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Arizona, and was in consulting engineering until 1981 when he served as full professor of geological engineering (University of Missouri) for 19 years. He has been in practice for 51 years and holds US licensure as a civil and geological engineer, geologist, and engineering geologist. Allen was self-captured by the 'coal-tar bug' in 1989 and has since devoted his energies to the full spectrum of site and waste characterisation and remedial engineering of such sites. His Australian gasworks history and remediation paper (2010) is evidence of his devotion-to-calling worldwide. The greater remedial alternative of ex-situ remediation has his enthusiastic endorsement for its ability to blend cost-effectiveness with public safety and environmental assuredness.

G HeronDr Gorm Heron, TerraTherm, California

Presentation title: Status of in-situ thermal technologies for effective treatment of source areas

Biography: Dr. Heron is Chief Technology Officer with TerraTherm, Inc. He is responsible for site evaluation and treatment design. He specialized in a broad range of thermal remediation methods. From 1995 to 1998, Dr. Heron conducted research on thermal remediation at the US EPA lab in Ada, Oklahoma, and at University of California at Berkeley. He was the lead engineer with SteamTech Environmental Services from 1999 to early 2004, where he designed and implemented field-scale steam and electrical heating systems. He serves as an expert advisor on thermal remediation to Government and private organizations. He is based in south central California, USA.

T MeekToni Meek, Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Australia

Presentation title: The evolution of community engagement in decision making tools

Biography: Toni is the Community Engagement Manager at Yarra Valley Water. A community relations specialist with over 20 years’ experience working in community and stakeholder engagement roles in the environment industry, Toni’s expertise is regularly sought out at both a national and international level. Toni’s more recent roles have been in environmental consulting, and previously at Melbourne Water and EPA Victoria. As EPA’s first Community Liaison Officer - and possibly the first in an environment agency in Australia - Toni has been in the unique position of managing some very significant community impacts resulting from the discovery of major contaminated sites around Victoria – including the infamous Ardeer site, the legacy of which went on to inform the evolution of contaminated site management both in that state and Australia. Toni will give a personal perspective of the rise in prominence of community engagement activities over the last two decades and the (sometimes reluctant) acknowledgement of their importance.

Ben MorkBen Mork - Regenesis, USA

Presentation title: Advancing Technologies for Soil and Groundwater Remediation

Abstract:A variety of physical, biological, and chemical technologies exist for destruction or removal of contaminants in soil and groundwater. Recent trends in remediation science will be discussed, including highlights of emerging technologies that promise to improve efficiency and lower costs of reaching remediation goals.

Biography: Dr. Mork earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California at Davis, and a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. His industrial research experience spans the fields of petrochemical catalysis, high-throughput experimentation, nanotechnology, and environmental chemistry. He is a co-author of numerous technical papers and patent applications on aspects of organometallic chemistry, catalysis, materials science, and environmental chemistry. He joined Regenesis in 2006, where he currently serves as Director of Research and Development.

A MulchandaniDr. Ashok Mulchandani, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, the University of California, USA

Presentation Title: Bio-Nanotechnological Approaches to Environmental Remediation

Abstract: The rapid industrialization and technological advances over the past century has on the one hand improved the quality of life and increased life expectancy, however, on the other hand has seriously compromised our environment. Large quantities of toxic inorganic and organic compounds introduced in the environment as a result of industrialization activities are posing serious health risk to humans. Cleanup of contaminated water and soil and prevention of future contamination from these compounds pose a serious technological challenge. Several physico-chemical methods for treating these pollutants have been developed and tested. However, these approaches are extremely costly, non-selective, introduce secondary contaminants or deplete important nutrients. Bio-based treatments, also called bioremediation, are considered to be eco-friendly and cost-effective, and are gaining acceptability in environmental cleanup applications. Bioremediation employs either naturally existing or engineered microorganisms or enzymes to either accumulate or transform pollutants to less or non-toxic compounds. Development of biotechnological tools for molecular, genetic and metabolic engineering has accelerated the advancement of designer biological materials for several bio-based remediation processes. In this presentation, I will present examples from our research group on engineering microorganisms and microbial pathways for enhanced removal of organic pollutants such as organophosphate pesticides/nerve agents, p-nitrophenol, etc., and heavy metals such as Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic, etc.

Biography: Dr. Ashok Mulchandani is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California and the Editor-in-Chief of the Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology journal. He is elected Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He has received several honors and awards including Research Initiation Award from the national Science Foundation and Faculty Participation Award from the Department of Energy. He has delivered several Plenary and Keynote lectures. Prof. Mulchandani has published over 225 peer-reviewed journal publications, 13 book chapters, 12 conference proceedings articles, over 200 conference abstracts and edited four textbooks. Prof. Mulchandani’s primary research interest is in the broad area of “Bio-Nanotechnology” with goals of developing novel (bio)analytical devices/assays, (bio)remediation technologies and (bio)nanomaterials.

Shoji NakayamaShoji Nakayama - National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

Presentation title: Environmental contaminants and children's health: International collaborations in large scale birth cohort studies

Biography: Dr Nakayama holds an MD and a PhD in public health. He is an expert on exposure science, especially relating to compounds of emerging concern such as persistent organic compounds, fluorinated chemicals, endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. In 2005, he was invited to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and researched exposure to perfluorinated alkyl compounds. After moving to EPA’s engineering laboratory to work on risk management of emerging contaminants, Dr Nakayama joined the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan in in 2011. He is a lead exposure scientist for the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study involving 100,000 mothers and children. Recently, in collaboration with EPA, Dr Nakayama has been combining biological assays and analytical chemistry as part of his research on risk management of chemical mixtures in the environment.

Paul NathanailPaul Nathanail - University of Nottingham & Land Quality Management Ltd, UK

Presentation title: Sustainable redevelopment – subservient remediation: when sustainable remediation is not enough

Biography: Paul Nathanail is Professor of Engineering Geology at the University of Nottingham and managing director of specialist contaminated land consultants Land Quality Management Ltd. His interest in sustainable remediation stems from a long track record in the broader field of sustainable urban land management. The concept is 'trending' and in danger of losing its impact through misuse on company websites and marketing literature. The plethora of spreadsheets, programs and applets purporting to diagnose sustainable remediation are in danger of cloaking a simple concept with overly elaborate, time consuming and expensive procedures. The middle ground in achieving a step change in how we remediate is to use simple tools and approaches to help identify those remedies likely to deliver optimal net social, economic and environmental benefits.

Carlos PachonCarlos Pachon, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, US EPA

Presentation title: Innovative Remediation Strategies and Green Remediation: Achieving Environmental Protection with a Smaller Environmental Footprint.

Biography: Carlos is a Senior Environmental Protection Specialist with the USEPA Superfund Program, based in headquarters in Washington, DC. He manages the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Technology Support Center, providing site specific technical support and capturing and documenting best practices in the field. A main focus of his work is identifying and advancing best practices and new technologies in cleaning up contaminated sites keeps tabs on overall market trends, and as an example he tracks and synthesizes information on the use of technologies in Superfund. He is currently leading a cross-Agency effort to advance EPA’s Principles for Green Remediation. In recent years he also served as Deputy Director for Environmental Reviews with the United States Trade Representative, and worked as a special assistant to EPA Administrator Johnson. He has held other positions outside the Agency, notably as a forecast Hydrologist with the NRSC Snow Survey Program. He has a BS from Colorado State University in Watershed Sciences, a Master’s in Environmental Management from Duke University, and a Georgetown MBA.

J PriorJason Prior, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney

Presentation title: Understanding the role of participant values in remediation decision making

Biography: Jason Prior is a planner, architect and social researcher who researches improved decision-making, governance and planning for institutional, urban and regional futures. He builds on his trans-disciplinary background in planning, urban design, architecture, property development and property rights, geography and sociology to obtain a clearer understanding of the role of social and cultural processes within these futures. His doctoral research, for example, explored the interplay of built form, governance, planning and social identity within the 20th- century urban context. Jason’s portfolio of current research includes the NextGen Affordable Housing Project; creating a sustainability indicator framework for Australian tourism and studying the relationship between communities and technologies. He uses a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, supported by such technologies as Nvivo, SPSS and GIS, and has developed recognised skills in problem solving and the facilitation of processes. Jason is also an associate member of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Complex Real Property Rights (APCCRPR), the China Research Centre and the Centre of Contemporary Design Practice (CCDP).

K SempleProfessor Kirk Semple, Lancaster University

Presentation title: The impact of carbonaceous sorbents on the bioaccessibility of PAHs in soil.

Biography: As a Professor of Environmental Microbiology, Kirk has strategically developed and managed an active research team, supported by excellent analytical (LC-MS, GC-MS, HPLC-14C detector, sample oxidisation, liquid scintillation counting) and microbiological facilities (incubation, handling, 12C- and 14C-respirometry). His main fields of research interest include understanding fundamental processes affecting organic contaminant-biota interactions in soils, availability of pesticide residues in soils, and risk assessment and bioremediation of contaminated land. A particular area of expertise lies in organic contaminant bioavailability in soil – where his reputation is best known internationally. Output from these areas has led to the publication of over 160 peer-reviewed journal and international conference papers. In addition, Kirk has sat on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Soil Ecology, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Journal of Soil and Sediment, Soil & Sediment Contamination, Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology, and has also been invited to act as guest editor for special issues of Environmental Pollution, Journal of Environmental Quality and Journal of Applied Microbiology.

M SequinoMichael Sequino, Directional Technologies Inc

Presentation title: Horizontal remediation wells: transferring effective technologies from the oil industry to environmental remediation

Biography: Mike Sequino, Sr. Vice President, Directional Technologies, Inc., has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. He has more than 29 years experience in directional drilling and more than 20 years of experience with the design and installation of horizontal remediation wells and horizontal remediation systems in his role as Sr. Vice President/Owner of Directional Technologies, Inc. He has successfully designed and installed over a thousand horizontal remediation wells at Superfund sites, industrial facilities and commercial sites around the country by adapting vertical well technologies to horizontal remediation systems. He has authored numerous technical papers, including a recent publication demonstrating successful bioventing/closure of a large NAPL release at a bulk petroleum storage facility. He began his career in the Gulf of Mexico oil fields as a Wire Line Engineer with Schlumberger and from there joined Teleco Oil Field Services as a Field Test and Marketing Engineer before starting Directional Technologies with his wife, Kathy, in 1992.

Jeff PaulJeff Paul, Principal and Practice Leader – Remediation, Golder Associates, USA

Biography: Mr Paul has almost 40 years of professional experience in the field of environmental remediation. Specialising in non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) he has directed, performed, review and optimised site closure remediation projects in over 60 countries – including a number in the Australasian region. Currently a Principal and Practice Leader – Remediation, for Golder Associates in Atlanta, Mr Paul has also worked for the Yorkshire Water Authority, Suffolk County Council and the Severn Trent Water Authority. A certified Geologist – with an honours degree in Geology from the University College Wales – Mr Paul has also been involved in studies assessing groundwater and aqueous geochemistry.

Jonathan SmithProfessor Jonathan Smith, Shell Global Solutions (UK) Ltd, United Kingdom

Biography: Jonathan is a Senior Hydrogeologist at Shell Global Solutions, based in Rijswijk, The Netherlands, a Visiting Professor of Hydrogeology at the University of Sheffield, UK, a Chartered Geologist and accredited SiLC. He has 20 years soil and groundwater experience in regulation and policy (Environment Agency, EA), academia (Catchment Science Centre, Sheffield University) and industry (Shell), and has worked in the UK, USA and The Netherlands. He is Chairman of the Sustainable Remediation Forum-UK (SuRF-UK, www.claire.co.uk/surfuk), the CONCAWE Soil & Groundwater Task Force (www.concawe.org) and sits on the European Commission’s Advisory Working Group on the EU Groundwater Directive. Jonathan led the development of the UK guidance on hydrogeological risk assessment and management tools such as the Remedial Targets method (P20), ConSim, LandSim, the EA’s MNA guidance and the SuRF-UK framework. He has published more than 20 per reviewed journal papers and is a co-author of the developing ISO standard on sustainable remediation.

L SullivanProfessor Leigh Sullivan, Southern Cross Geoscience

Presentation title: Acid sulfate soil management regulation and guidance: where are we and where are we going?

Biography: Dr Leigh Sullivan is a founding Director of Southern Cross Geoscience and Professor of GeoScience. His research interests embrace:

  • the geochemistry of soils and sediments
  • reducing global CO2 emissions by enhancing secure carbon biosequestration via silica phytolith carbon in crops, pastures, forestry and horticulture, and
  • the geochemistry of silica and phosphorus in terrestrial environments

Many of Leigh's contributions in soil science have been in the area of acid sulfate soil science and management, but they also cover soil organic matter characterisation and dynamics, clay movement in soil, the effect of microstructure on soil behaviour, and the micromorphology and mineralogy of many soil components. Leigh has co-pioneered research in the role of plantstones (aka. silica phytoliths) in crops, pastures and trees to enhance the secure biosequestration of terrestrial carbon. Leigh has authored over 300 scientific publications, and has won in excess of $7 million dollars of competitive funding in the past 5 years to support his research.

Matthew SuttonMatthew Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Environment Business, AECOM

Matthew Sutton is Chief Executive Officer of the Environment Business for AECOM (NYSE: ACM), an $8-billion global provider of professional technical and management support services. AECOM's 45,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serve clients in more than 130 countries around the world. In this role, Mr. Sutton oversees the global management, executive strategy and business operations of AECOM’s Environmental Management flagship organization with more than 4,500 environmental professionals executing projects in more than 100 countries. Mr. Sutton recently returned from an executive management trip to China where he was invited to high-level talks with the Chinese Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection on advancing air pollution control, hazardous waste management, and worker health and safety in regulatory regimes.

Ian ThompsonIan Thompson - University of Oxford, UK

Presentation title:Exploiting the potential of nano-scale iron for environmental clean-up

Abstract: Although the potential of iron for environmental clean-up has been exploited for many years, with the introduction of nano-scale zero valent (nZVI) variants the opportunities have increased enormously, but still largely remain unexplored and fully exploited. Their high reactivity for contaminant removal, reaction longevity and low toxicity/cost are just a few of the features that make them so appealing for remediation (metals and organics) of contaminated sites and recovery of resources from end-of-pipe waste waters. The current and future opportunities nZVI offers for providing sustainable de-contamination will be discussed including their role in new hybrid approaches which encompass biodegradation technologies.

Biography: Although he originally trained and worked as a microbial ecologist, Ian is a Professor of Engineering Science. His research group specialises in environmental biotechnology, with particular focus on the manipulation of micro-organisms using physical and engineered approaches (ultrasound, particle acceleration and nanomaterials) for industrial waste water treatment and remediation. Current research projects include the development of microbial based end-of-pipe clean-up systems for treating spent metal working fluids, exploiting nanomaterial-microbial cells interactions, microbial conversion of green waste to useful products, and development of novel nanomaterial-based biocides. He has published over 100 papers, held grants from a broad range of sources (particularly industry), and is an active member of the international peer review system.

Remke Van DamRemke Van Dam , Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, USA

Presentation Title: Advances in High Resolution Geophysical Imaging: Examples from the Highly Heterogeneous MADE Site in Mississippi, and Beyond

Biography: Remke Van Dam is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, USA, but resides in Brisbane, Australia, where he is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Institute for Future Environments at Queensland University of Technology. He holds a PhD (2001) from the Free University in Amsterdam. Van Dam is an expert in the use of ground-penetrating radar and electrical resistivity as tools for characterization and monitoring of subsurface conditions and processes. He has broad experience with a range of other geophysical methods and environmental assessment tools. Over the course of his career, Dr. Van Dam has worked in various areas, including hydrology (vadose zone monitoring, aquifer characterization, and contaminant transport and cleanup), soils and rock piles, archaeology and object detection, petrophysics, seismic data interpretation, fluvial sedimentology, and geomorphology. Van Dam has published over 50 articles and papers and more than 80 conference abstracts. He presented over 25 seminars and invited abstracts. He has a strong record of engaging a new generation of professionals through teaching and mentoring, and has experience in outreach to the general public through lectures, media exposure, and web2.0 tools.

Thomas VienkenThomas Vienken, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany

Presentation Title: Direct Push - state of the art and future applications for high resolution site characterization

Biography: Thomas Vienken studied Geology at the University of Cologne and received his PhD from the University of Tübingen for his thesis on the Critical evaluation of vertical high resolution methods for determining hydraulic conductivity. Since November 2010 Thomas is leading the working group Direct Push and Hydrogeological Measurement Methods in the Department Monitoring and Exploration Technologies at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ in Leipzig, Germany. Thomas’ research interests include the evaluation of vertical high resolution hydrogeological measurement methods; the application of Direct Push-technology for the characterization of complex sedimentary aquifers; use of Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) for hydrogeological and environmental applications; and assessing effects of the (geo-)thermal use of the shallow subsurface.

Rick WilkinRichard T. Wilkin, Ph.D. Geochemist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USA

Presentation Title: Groundwater Co-Contaminant Behavior of Arsenic and Selenium: Implications for Remedy Selection

Biography: Dr. Richard Wilkin is an environmental geochemist at EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory. His research deals primarily with groundwater contaminants and the biogeochemical processes controlling the fate of these contaminants. A major focus of his work has been the application and development of permeable reactive barriers and monitored natural attenuation for remediation of groundwater impacted by metals and radionuclides. Dr. Wilkin received a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the Pennsylvania State University. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals: Chemical Geology, American Mineralogist, and Geochemical Transactions.

M WongProfessor Ming H. Wong, Hong Kong Baptist University

Presentation title: Adverse environmental and health impacts of uncontrolled recycling and disposal of electronic-waste: call for international collaboration

Biography: In his role as Chair Professor of Biology, Director of Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, HK Baptist University, Professor Wong has established a multi-disciplinary team including environmental toxicologists, molecular biologists, analytical chemists, mathematicians, medical professionals and environmental managers for tackling environmental problems. He is recognised internationally for his work on environmental impact assessment, and in particular, contaminant impact on environment health.

Julie WrobleJulie Wroble - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10

Presentation Title: Recent Trends and Developments In Asbestos In Soil (ASBINS) – US EPA Perspective

Biography: Ms. Wroble – who holds a BA in Biology and Environmental Science and an MS in Environmental Health (Toxicology) – has over 20 years’ experience as an environmental toxicologist for both the US EPA and as a consultant for federal and state regulatory agencies. Specialising in asbestos, Julie has worked on sites including landslides with naturally occurring asbestos, Libby vermiculite exfoliation facilities, and housing developments contaminated with asbestos-containing materials. Julie is one of three co-chairs of the Asbestos Technical Review Workgroup, a group of US EPA scientists working on sampling, analysis, and risk assessment issues relating to asbestos and has also held invited positions at the Johnson conference, World Asbestos conference and World Health Organisation’s Regional Forum on Environmental Health in Southeast and East Asian Countries. She was also one of the primary authors of EPA’s Framework for Investigating Asbestos-Contaminated Superfund Sites.