From Wastewater to the Workforce: Skilled Employees for the Green Economy

Dr. Jamieson and his team are using the skills they learn in the lab and the field to help the Government of Nunavut better manage their resources and deliver wastewater treatment services to residents.

Dr. Jamieson and his team are using the skills they learn in the lab and the field to help the Government of Nunavut better manage their resources and deliver wastewater treatment services to residents.

Dr. Rob Jamieson’s wastewater research is doing more than just helping build better treatment systems. It’s furthering careers, improving government services, stimulating the economy and creating a safer environment.

The Dalhousie Associate Professor says a key to the broad-based success can be traced back to the way his team of highly qualified student personnel learn to operate sophisticated equipment in both the laboratory and in full-scale wastewater treatment systems.

“Everyone works with the equipment,” says Dr. Jamieson. “The knowledge and skills they gain helps them further their careers, especially our graduate students. They’re familiar with the industry and develop the skills employers are looking for.”

Funding for key pieces of equipment has been provided by the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canadian Water Network and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Many of the potential employers are already partners with Dr. Jamieson and provide his graduate students the opportunity to build relationships and network within the industry.

“I often end up working with the graduate students once they’ve completed their studies,” says Dr. Jamieson.

Municipal and provincial governments often seek out Dr. Jamieson and his team to optimize wastewater treatment services. His services are not only economically viable; they’re also protective of the environment and human health. Dr. Jamieson’s research is helping them better manage their resources while deliverng much needed services.

Private industry also turns to Dr. Jamieson for his expertise. When Brookfield Concrete was looking to expand their business, they approached Dr. Jamieson to help develop an on-site wastewater treatment system the company now sells. Island Water Technologies (IWT), manufacturer of the world’s first self-powered wastewater treatment system designed to operate off the electrical grid, tapped into Dr. Jamieson’s expertise during product development.

“Infrastructure investment has definitely helped leverage these relationships as well as additional funding,” says Dr. Jamieson. “It has helped me further my research and open doors.”

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