Water Special Interest Group
A community for process professionals


The Water Special Interest Group is member-led and depends upon the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers. We are keen to encourage members to submit articles to Wet News and our LinkedIn group, and suggest topics for seminars and workshops.

Being an active member of the Water Special Interest Group provides the opportunity to network with fellow professionals whilst developing your personal skills.

If you would like to get involved or have any suggestions, feedback or comments, then please contact Special Interest Groups.

For details of the current leadership group, please see below:

J Paul Chen

J. Paul Chen, NU Singapore

Dr J. Paul Chen has been with the environmental engineering program in the National University of Singapore (NUS) since 1998. His research interests are physicochemical treatment of water and wastewater and modeling. He has published four books, more than 100 journal papers and book chapters with citation of above 4900 and H-index of 40. He holds seven patents in the areas of adsorption and membrane technologies and ballast water management systems.

He has received various honors and awards, including the Sustainable Technology Award from the IChemE, Guest Professor of the Hua Zhong University of Science and Technology, and Shandong University of China, and Distinguished Overseas Chinese Young Scholar of National Natural Science Foundation of China. He has also been recognized as an author of highly cited papers (Chemistry and Engineering) of ISI Web of Knowledge.

His PhD students have received several internationally recognized awards, including Young Chemical Engineer in Research Award of IChemE (highly commended), Graduate Student Research Award of AIChE, and World Future Foundation (WFF) Ph.D. Prize in Environmental & Sustainability Research. Professor Chen received his MEng degree from the Tsinghua University of Beijing and his PhD degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology of Atlanta, Georgia.

Nicholas Collins

Nicholas Collins, Stantec, Australia

Nicholas is a chartered member of IChemE with 9 years’ experience in water  and wastewater treatment design. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) / Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) with first class honours from the University of Sydney.

Nicholas has spent his career working for MWH (now part of Stantec), first in Sydney and for the past 5 years in Brisbane. In that time he has worked across a broad range of projects covering wastewater and water treatment as well as odour control processes. Nicholas has worked extensively on design and construct jobs with tight deadlines and stringent client requirements.

Most recently, Nicholas’ work has focused on clients in and around Brisbane, including Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) and Unitywater. He has led the process/chemical design on a set of upgrades for QUU’s Rural Sewage Treatment Plants. He has also completed work for Unitywater focusing on a series of interventions into across 9 of their sewage treatment plants to save energy in their ongoing operational costs.

Nicholas has also worked closely with coal-seam gas clients including Origin Energy, Arrow Energy and Santos to develop solutions for treating brine produced as a result of gas-extraction activities. He has also completed a number of odour-control designs and studies for Sydney Water.

Martin Currie

Martin Currie, Aqueum - Chairman

Martin is a freelance water quality & treatment consultant, now based in Scotland. He has been an active member of the Water SIG since his PhD days (Imperial & WRc) and is a proponent of committee efficiency, all-member-benefits & international-inclusivity within the committee.

He was formerly chair of IChemE’s Consult SIG & Mauritian group. Prior to Mauritius, Martin developed Atkins' Middle East water consultancy business, from a Dubai base. Before Atkins, he was with Thames Water in Reading, involved in both process optimisation and design of water treatment works. You can read his full CV at: http://www.martin.aqueum.com

Paul Curtis

Paul Curtis, Anglian Water, UK  - Secretary and Editor

Paul is a fellow of the IChemE, an award that recognised his leading work in the water and wastewater engineering field. He has been involved in this field for a number of years including international experience of consulting and contracting in Asia and the Antipodes. He has been involved with the IChemE Water Subject Group (now called Special Interest Group) since completing University in 1995 initially as newsletter assistant and subsequently as Editor and now Secretary.

Alice Elder

Alice Elder, Affinity Water, UK

I have been a process engineer in the water industry for over 10 years; I spent the first part of my career working at Mott MacDonald, carrying out water projects for clients both in the UK and overseas. I joined Affinity Water in 2016 to lead the technical development of the water quality driven schemes for PR19. I am now moving into a role focussing on mentoring junior chemical engineers, developing our R&D capability, and providing technical expertise to our large capital delivery programmes. I am passionate about promoting STEM, having carried out events with children aged 4 up to 16, and have been invited back to speak at the University of Cambridge about careers in the water industry. I have a particular desire to promote STEM careers to young women, and see part of my responsibility to be a role model and set a professional example

Mufeed Hassan

Mufeed Hassan, Severn Trent Water, UK - Webmaster/ Member email coordinator

Mufeed Hassan is a Chemical Engineer with over 4 years’ experience ranging from conceptual design to client handover working in the UK and overseas (Middle East, Asia, Europe). He gained significant experience of membrane process technologies whilst working for Dow Water & Process Solutions before joining Modern Water in 2014 where he engaged in the process design, implementation, operation and troubleshooting of novel Forward Osmosis (FO) processes.

Mufeed joined Severn Trent Water in 2017 as a Process Designer where he ensures optimum process design choice is made for all capital projects from inception (Gate 1) through to completion (Gate 6).

Francis Hassard

Francis Hassard, Cranfield University, UK

Francis is a Lecturer in Public Health Microbiology and Engineering at Cranfield University. Francis has 6 years experience in the water sector. He previously worked for Atkins Ltd. as a water quality specialist. Francis has coordinated a number of projects on behalf of industrial clients and UK research councils. He specialises in optimisation of chemical and biological water treatment assets. Francis will use student forums to encourage student participation in the IChemE and the Water Special Interest Group and provide support for CPD programmes. 

Jim Keary

Jim Keary, Veolia, UK

Committee member since 1991; Water Boxes coordinator. Jim is a reconstructed chemist who stumbled into chemical engineering through working experiences. He first joined ELGA in 1978 as R&D chemist and after 6 years he left for Saudi Arabia as a technical proposals engineer. Following process engineering, project management and technical development positions with contractors and consultants, he returned to Elga in 1995 and now finds himself running the very same R&D Laboratory where he started out all those years ago! He has a bordering-on-the-unhealthy interest in beer/wine (blame that Richard Hill) together with 80's music and long distance walking. He now particularly enjoys training new recruits on all aspects of water, using simple language in the style of a Grumpy Old Man (which he is). Did you know that impurities in water behave just like people do...?

John McAndrew

John McAndrew, MWH, New Zealand

John is a chartered member of IChemE with over 10 years experience. He has worked for 'wet infrastructure’ consultants MWH for around 9 years and is currently a Senior Process Engineer based in Sydney. He previously worked for MWH in Warrington, UK, where he was a member of the Warrington and Widnes IChemE committee and currently volunteers as a chartership interviewer for IChemE. John studied Chemical Engineering with Environmental Technology at UMIST before completing an Msc in Clean Technology at the University of Newcastle.

 John specialises in wastewater treatment and odour control design and his recent projects include detail design of a 3MLD water recycling plant for third pipe reticulation and upgrade of the Bondi STP ventilation system.

Jane O'Connor

Dr Jane O'Connor,  Aecom, UK - Treasurer

A chartered engineer, Jane has been working in the UK Water Industry since 1997 at Hyder Consulting, Welsh Water, and Severn Trent Water. Having spent 10 years in process optimisation, support and design for Water and Wastewater, Jane moved to Strategic Planning and Asset Management in 2006, where with a multi-disciplinary team, she uses her process engineering experience to plan Water and Wastewater capital maintenance and quality investment programmes. In December 2017 she joined Aecom.

Sade Olapade-Olaopa

Sade Olapade-Olaopa, Black and Veatch, USA

I worked for Mott MacDonald for many years acros the UK, Europe and the Middle East before joining Black and Veatch in the United States. I specialise in wastewater, sludge and odour treatment but have specific interests in Public Policy and Regulation for all aspects of Water and the Environment. To this end, I am currently studying towards an Executive MPA at London School of Economics following a first degree in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Water Sciences. 

Christopher Taylor

Christopher Taylor, United Utilities, UK

I have been a Chartered Engineer for a few years and would like to take on responsibility in helping to bring together fellow IChemE members with an interest in the Water Industry and build upon my current network of contacts. Through working in various roles I have developed skills in operational troubleshooting and design for water, wastewater and sludge treatment and believe that I can bring a balance to the committee to promote all areas of water treatment and cross learning for AMP7 challenges such as chemical dosing for phosphorus removal.

Hugh Thomas

Hugh Thomas, Atkins, UK

The technical authority for process engineering within Atkins Water & Environment – a department of some 1500 staff. 18 years experience of water and wastewater treatment and management. Worked in process contracting, consultancy and client organisations. Atkins' client sectors include water, energy and renewables. 

Hugh will use his strong industry links to help target the activities of Water SIG to the most pressing industry challenges. Encouraging staff to aspire to chartered status through mentoring and technical networks is a key part of his role at Atkins and IChemE is the institution that best represents the range on industries we work in.

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson, Royal Haskoning DHV, UK

I currently work as Technical Manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, with my main role being the establishment of the Nereda® granular activated sludge technology across the world. My professional interest is the delivery of innovative sustainable solutions for wastewater treatment to minimise whole life cost. Specifically, I am interested in developing resource recovery solutions, which will help to lead to truly profitable wastewater treatment.

Now working in an international role, I hope to be able to help the committee further wider the internationalization of the Water SIG, as well as support a range of webinars on new technologies.


My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).