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Chairholder Profile

Mohamed Gamal El-Din

Mohamed Gamal El-Din

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering School of Mining & Petroleum Engineering
University of Alberta

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Tailings Water Treatment

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2011


The NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) Program in Oil Sands Tailings Water Treatment was established in 2011 to contribute broadly to the fundamental engineering, scientific knowledge, and foundational data that will lead to the safe release of treated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) into the environment. The main goal of the Chair is to assess different water treatment/reclamation strategies, leading to a better understanding of constraints and opportunities to safely discharge treated OSPW into the receiving environment.

During the last five years, the IRC Program has made several important advancements in the fundamental understanding of remediation strategies for OSPW. Under the Chair’s second term, the IRC Program will focus on:

  1. Understanding of the process fundamentals of active and engineered passive treatment processes;
  2. Life-cycle assessment and cost analysis of different treatment/reclamation approaches;
  3. Assessment of the performance of selected treatment processes at the pilot-scale level;
  4. Assessment of the performance of four large field pilots; and
  5. Development of a “toolbox” with the best available treatment/reclamation approaches for different water matrices.

The long-term objectives, including those beyond the 5-year period covered by this program, are:

  1. Training of highly-qualified personnel with the skills necessary to promote and protect environmental and public health;
  2. Support of current research programs focused on the treatment/reclamation of OSPW by facilitating the transfer of knowledge and new discoveries; and
  3. Integration of the achieved knowledge into actual water management options by the oil sands industry.

Dr. Mohamed Gamal El-Din is a recognized leader in the national and international environmental engineering research communities, with significant and industrially relevant contributions in the areas of fundamentals and applications of advanced treatment approaches for water and wastewater with a major focus on physical and chemical treatment processes. Under Dr. Gamal El-Din’s direction, the IRC Program has built-up an active and extremely fruitful collaboration with the industrial and non-industrial partners and has made considerable progress in the fundamental understanding of OSPW reclamation strategies.

The outcomes from this Chair program will extensively promote environmental and public health and, more importantly, enhance water quality in the receiving Canadian environment. This Chair program is aligned with support for the ongoing efforts for the economic development of Alberta oil sands resources, and enhances the leadership and safety stewardship of Alberta scientists and government policy makers. Moreover, this IRC will result in a group of highly qualified personnel, with interdisciplinary expertise, strengthening Alberta’s and Canada’s capacity in the area of water treatment and reclamation.


  • Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA)
  • Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Suncor Energy
  • Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
  • Imperial Oil Ltd
  • Teck Resources Limited
  • EPCOR Water Services Inc.
  • Alberta Innovates
  • Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP)

Contact information

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering School of Mining & Petroleum Engineering
University of Alberta
7-203 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering
9211 - 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 1H9

Tel.: 780-492-5124
Fax: 780-492-0249

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