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Meet the team

Man with hard hat in front of silos

Aqua Enviro is a leading, specialist environmental consultancy, conference organiser and training provider in the water, wastewater, bio-resources and organic waste sectors. 

Meet some of our team and get to know a little bit more about our recognised technical experts…

Matthew Smyth

Associate Technical Director

Sarah Brown

Associate Events’ Director

Dr David Tompkins

Bioresources Development Manager

Rowland Minall

Operations' Manager

Matthew Smyth

Associate Technical Director

Matt’s expertise lies in the application of activated sludge processes, anaerobic digestion and applying novel technologies that address challenges posed by our clients.  Working with the team and our specialised laboratory Aqua Enviro develop solutions for even the most complex wastewater or AD problems.

Matt has more than 15 years of practical experience in the water, waste and industrial sectors. He has led on many WRAP, Zero Waste Scotland, UK Water Company and UKWIR contracts.

As Associate Technical Director for Aqua Enviro, Matt plays a key role in the strategic development of the business, overseeing investment programmes to grow new services, research and development, staff knowledge and skills.

He is an experienced trainer, trouble-shooter, project manager, expert witness and solutions provider.

Matt is also a member of the CIWEM Wastewater Management panel.

Sarah Brown

Associate Events’ Director

Sarah has worked at Aqua Enviro since 2000 developing new conferences and training courses designed specifically for those working in wastewater, waste and related sectors.  Annual events include the European Biosolids & Organic Resources Conference & Exhibition and the European Wastewater Management Conference & Exhibition, both regularly attended by more than 200 delegates.

Sarah co-ordinates Aqua Enviro’s bespoke training courses delivered either on your site, in our dedicated training suite or through webinars. Sarah and her team work closely with Nigel and the technical staff at Aqua Enviro to create events that address the practical challenges that arise on site and on emerging industry issues.

Sarah is always looking to expand our conference and training capabilities into new markets and overseas. She is good person to contact if you have any new ideas to suggest or queries about the Aqua Enviro events.

Dr David Tompkins

Bioresources Development Manager

David has recently joined Aqua Enviro after working for the high-profile environmental organisation WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) as a sector specialist.  He brings with him a range of experience and expert knowledge in the field of organic waste treatment and market development, with a particular focus on environmental and food chain safety.

David, who is well-known in the organic waste sector, will expand the Aqua Enviro portfolio in training, organic waste process optimisation and valorisation of the wide range of organic resources available to the bio-economy.

He is a recognised expert in the field of organic waste treatment and brings a depth of technical knowledge to help our current and future partners and clients.

Rowland Minall

Operations' Manager

Rowland manages Aqua Enviro’s site operations. His team has the expert capability to deliver high quality projects from concept and appraisal to design, commissioning and handover to end client.

He is an active member of the company’s strategy group and is developing new services and products to meet the demands of our client base.

Rowland is a Chartered Scientist and member of CIWEM and PRINCE2 qualified project manager.

Rowland has long term, practical experience of process design, operations, commissioning and optimisation. He has performed design and management roles on a number of major projects in the UK including:

  • @one alliance optioneering solutions to meet ambitious affordability targets on multiple projects
  • Upgrade feasibility assessments for United Utilities to meet new consent drivers
  • Feasibility design and commissioning of new anaerobic digestion facilities for Yorkshire Water
  • Technical delivery of FOG assessments in sewer networks (for UKWIR)

He delivers training to water companies on emerging contaminants, chemical and biological phosphorus removal.

Paul Lavender

Business Development Manager

Martin Jolly

Business Development Director

Dr Gergely Forgacs

Senior Process Engineer

Frances Woodhead

Events’ Manager

Paul Lavender

Business Development Manager

Paul and his team draw upon their technical expertise working with clients to:

  • Reduce costs
  • Improve efficiency
  • Achieve exemplary environmental standards and compliance
  • Develop new processes and technical solutions
  • Research & Development of possible new technologies

In addition to developing bespoke projects and environmental solutions for SME’s, large and multi-national companies Paul also brings together consortiums and can unlock funding. Recent projects include:

  • Evaluation of the potential for microwave hydrolysis technology to enhance anaerobic digestion performance and derive new feedstock materials (Innovate UK).
  • ECOPHARMA – To comply with EU legislation Aqua Enviro developed a remote integrated sampling process to monitor the fate of emerging compounds in the aquatic environment.

Paul is a CIWEM Chartered Scientist and Chartered Environmentalist and his combination of scientific knowledge, experience and in-depth understanding of environmental issues helps clients’ to achieve solutions to the most intricate problems. He is a regular speaker at conferences on our new research projects and gives Aqua Enviro’s training on Microscopy.

Martin Jolly

Business Development Director

Martin is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and Chartered Water Engineer with 28 years experienced in the design, construction and, commissioning of wastewater and sewage sludge treatment works.  He has experience of all aspects of the water engineering life cycle, having worked for operating companies, contractors and consultants, both in the UK and overseas.

As well as the full range of process responsibilities, from feasibility studies and conceptual design, to detailed design and commissioning, Martin has also been involved in the research and development of new methods of odour control and digester enhancement. He is a process auditor and has acted as expert witness with over 35 academic papers published.

At Aqua Enviro, Martin is responsible for development of the business involving flow and load surveys, process commissioning staffing, process design, feasibility studies and modelling, R&D including design, build, operation of pilot and full scale demonstration plants.

Dr Gergely Forgacs

Senior Process Engineer

Gergely obtained his PhD in biosciences from Chalmers University of Technology, (Sweden), his main focus was pre-treatment optimization, process modelling and economic analysis of food waste digestion.  Gergely recently joined Aqua Enviro after working with University of Bath and Wessex Water on R&D projects.  He has substantial experience in troubleshooting and modelling of wastewater treatment and anaerobic digestion processes. Gergely is also a process modelling specialist (BioWin), this adds another resource to Aqua Enviro’s expertise in the water, wastewater, bio-resources and organic waste sectors.

Frances Woodhead

Events’ Manager

Frances joined the events team still in the days of licking stamps and posting out event details in 2003.  She runs the Events Development Group that uses Aqua Enviro’s wealth of industry experience to create a conference and training programme that addresses the rapidly changing environment of the waste water and waste sectors.

Frances has managed events on behalf of several large clients including the Chartered Institution of Water and Environment Management (CIWEM), the Constructed Wetland Association (CWA) and the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI). The events team have a proven track record for delivering successful bespoke events and are happy to work flexibly to provide an event management service tailored to suit the client.

She has also overseen the recent company re-brand and new website.
With Sarah and the rest of the team Frances is a good point of contact if you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at an event or have a query about bespoke training.

Dean Herron

Process Engineer

Susan Davies

Process Engineer

Emma Morley

Senior Process Scientist

Andy Burgess

Technical Sales Manager

Dean Herron

Process Engineer

Dean is a process engineer specialising in providing waste treatment solutions for the industrial sector. Recent studies include:

  • Feasibility study and process design for an effluent treatment plant at Lucite International, Stockton.
  • Piloting and process design for the incorporation of a UASB process at Novartis effluent treatment plant, Grimsby.
  • Treatability of high strength sodium nitrate effluents, and the development of process design for a novel biological denitrification effluent treatment plant.

He has also gained substantial experience in aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment technologies, having managed several laboratory and piloting studies, site optimisation and troubleshooting studies and more recently project managed the commissioning of a large-scale anaerobic digestion and sludge processing facility at Riverside STW, Rainham.

Working with technical experts at Aqua Enviro, Dean has developed a refined lithium tracer method for the quantification of mixing efficiencies and active zones in anaerobic digesters. This has been successfully applied to several anaerobic digesters, activated sludge plants and anoxic selector zones.

Susan Davies

Process Engineer

Susan joined Aqua Enviro in 2013 and manages projects from pilot plant studies and design to problem solving for industrial effluent treatment plants.  She also oversees flow and load studies and headroom assessment studies for sewage works.

With an MSc in Water and Wastewater Engineering, Susan has substantial experience in process design of water and wastewater treatment and extensive knowledge of sludge treatment, seeing a major UK advanced digestion project through from design to commissioning.

Susan has worked with numerous utilities, recent major projects include:

  • Process design and commissioning a new advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) facility for Yorkshire Water
  • Sludge treatment DSEAR classification and Control Philosophy development including SAT testing for Yorkshire Water
  • Water treatment process design and commissioning for the @one alliance and Scottish Water.
  • Phosphorus removal process design for both Scottish Water and Kelda Water.

Emma Morley

Senior Process Scientist

Emma specializes in activated sludge, laboratory projects, on-site consultancy and troubleshooting.

Emma believes clients should choose Aqua Enviro “to tap into our wealth of experience and understanding of the ever-changing field of wastewater and waste treatment.”

Emma is knowledgeable about the activated sludge process, in particular microscopy in both municipal and industrial treatment plants including; paper and board, food and chemical sectors.  This includes, troubleshooting, headroom assessments, process reviews and optimisation.

Emma presents the practical aspect of the microscopy training course. She has a strong background in the laboratory and this coupled with an understanding of on-site processes and pressures ensures that laboratory projects are tailored to meet clients’ requirements.  This includes interpreting the outcomes of treatability trials and relating them to full scale operation to meet the dynamic regulatory landscape.

Projects being worked in at the moment include: data acquisition for design of UV plants to meet bathing water and shellfish directive requirements during AMP6; and process optimisation and consultancy work for paper mills as they work towards meeting their obligations under the BREF 2014 document for the sector.

Andy Burgess

Technical Sales Manager

Andy says about his team:

“We operate at all levels within the industry, we can provide sampling services, undertake testing in our in-house laboratory with rapid turnaround times, provide interpretation of results and attend site if required with our dedicated process team.”

Andy has been working in the field of analytical science since 2009 initially as an analyst within the field of environmental inorganic and organic chemistry using a range of analytical instrumentation, including gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

Andy’s team is focused on creating bespoke laboratory testing services to aid process monitoring and optimisation including:

  • delivering a range of lab scale feasibility trials for the aerobic and anaerobic treatability of wastes
  • AD and ASP process monitoring services
  • Bespoke R&D projects looking at innovative pre-treatment processes for anaerobic digestion.

The Aqua Enviro laboratory plays a key role in developing new testing methodologies and services for client’s needs, delivering vital site support with the ability to provide rapid turnaround times on a wide range of analytes and providing independent testing services for novel and innovative treatment processes.

Matt Taylor

Organics Technical Manager

Kate McKinley

Client Project Manager

Dr Maryam Kabir

Senior Anaerobic Digestion Specialist

Matt Taylor

Organics Technical Manager

Matt is involved in developing Aqua Enviro’s activities relating to the use of organic materials and novel nutrient sources, with expertise in: biosolids, digestate, composts, biomass ashes and others.

Matt has around 10 year’s practical experience in the resource management, water and agricultural industries, providing technical and regulatory advice to material producers, recyclers, policy makers and regulators – and was most recently a senior environmental scientist at ADAS.

He has led and provided technical input to various Defra, UKWIR, WRAP, Water and Resource Management Company contracts, including most recently providing technical advice during the development of the Biosolids Assurance Scheme

Matt is an experienced public speaker, trainer and project manager.

Kate McKinley

Client Project Manager

Kate is a Client Project Manager who has worked for Aqua Enviro since 2005; she has a wealth of experience in wastewater, aerobic and anaerobic treatment.

Kate is currently project managing numerous sampling and flow and load contracts for large water companies. For example, Aqua Enviro has a 5-year framework contract for wastewater sites throughout the Severn Trent region, this includes all non-infrastructure sampling on wastewater sites; Kate oversees the project from the initial contact, organising resources on site through to issuing results to the client. She is in constant communication with the clients to ensure their expectations are exceeded and manages the data collection, analysis and interpretation for R&D projects.

Kate has a wealth of practical experience on site and has undertaken numerous pilot plant trials on industrial sites.

In addition, she has an extensive array of laboratory skills and is experienced in testing a variety of determinants for physical, biological and chemical analysis. She has run AD reactors in the laboratory and can examine samples for microscopic analysis, identifying bacteria and filamentous species which could cause bulking and foaming on site.

Dr Maryam Kabir

Senior Anaerobic Digestion Specialist

Maryam obtained her PhD in the field of Anaerobic Digestion from the Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery (Sweden). Her main focus was the use of novel feedstock and pre-treatment techniques for AD process.

Prior to joining Aqua Enviro she gained hands on experience working on full scale food based AD plant based in South Milford, UK.  Her main roles were to provide operational support and feedstock optimization for internal and external AD plants.

She has expertise in commissioning, operation and optimization of full scale AD plants. Maryam works in the bioresource team at Aqua Enviro providing practical services to farm-fed as well as food waste AD plants.

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