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Chairholder Profile

Joo Hwa Tay

Joo Hwa Tay

Department of Civil Engineering
University of Calgary

Chair Title

NSERC/City of Calgary Industrial Research Chair in Advanced Technologies for Wastewater Treatment

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Senior Chairholder since 2015


Widespread occurrences of emerging substances of concern (ESOCs), which include a wide array of chemical and biological agents, have provoked active discussions and research to understand and control their potential health implications. Conventional wastewater treatment processes are deemed to be ineffective in the complete removal of ESOCs. Advanced oxidation processes have generally shown good success in the reduction of some ESOCs. An innovative biotechnology—aerobic granulation—has also shown great potential for ESOC removal. Eutrophication, which is an excessive richness of nutrients in a body of water, represents another major surface water quality problem. The excess supply of nutrients enhances the proliferation of algae and aquatic plants, which deteriorates the water quality. Conventional processes effectively deal with the reduction of carbonaceous pollutants in municipal wastewater discharge, but not of nitrogen and phosphorus. Given that blue-green algae can fix atmospheric nitrogen and introduce it into the aquatic system, phosphorus has been recognized as the main nutrient responsible for the excess eutrophication of natural waters.

The main objective of this research program is to develop advanced technologies for the removal of nutrients, ESOCs, and recalcitrant and toxic chemicals from wastewaters. The five-year research proposal includes three major programs to develop and apply advanced wastewater treatment technologies, namely aerobic granulation, advanced oxidation processes, and biological nutrient removal technologies. The research studies will be carried out at the full-scale facilities of Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) using real wastewater.


  • City of Calgary

Contact Information

Department of Civil Engineering
University of Calgary
2500, University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta
T2N 1N4

Tel.: 403-210-3943