NAIT is re-launching its Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability with a new applied research chair

Andrea Sedgwick is NAIT's Ledcor Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Sustainability. SOURCE: NAIT

Later this month the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) will formally re-launch its Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability after naming Andrea Sedgwick as its Ledcor Applied Research Chair.

The position was previously held by Maneef Mian, who resigned in 2014.

“When the applied research chair who started with the center vacated the position and returned to Pakistan, many people had the impression that the Center had shut down. So we need to correct that misunderstanding and broaden the awareness of the Center,” says Trevor Thera, director of the center.

“Andrea Sedgwick cones from a long lineage of oilsands mining expertise.”

Sedgwick’s 20-plus years of upstream surface oilsands development expertise includes mining, extraction, tailings and water management. Prior to coming to NAIT, she was the research and development mining manager at Total E&P Canada where she directed research nationally and internationally.

Thera also brings 20 years of experience to his role but in academic leadership, partnership building and executive management. He came to the centre two years ago to help rejuvenate and lead the center into its next five years of operation.

“During the first three or four years of the center's existence, the centre had a very good following, but it was narrow in scope. It only had a few but very deep relationships with certain companies. So now we need to increase the level of awareness amongst the smaller companies and broaden the range of producers we work with,” Thera said.

As part of the centre’s re-launch, NAIT also wants to provide proper acknowledgment to Ledcor, which provided a unique endowment to NAIT for the creation of the centre and the hiring of an applied research chair.

Thera says the goals of the centre remain the same but slightly expanded in scope. The main work is still the development of technologies and solutions for tailings pond management and to deepen the industry’s ability to measure and monitor processes in order to improve oilsands efficiency. The centre will now also work on technologies and product solutions for water treatment challenges in both in the SAGD and mining.

The formal event for the re-launch of the NAIT Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability is being held Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at the NAIT Main Campus.