Sun | Jan 21, 2018

UTECH Opens Wastewater Facility

Published:Thursday | March 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

After many years of conceptualising its first wastewater treatment plant, the University of Technology (UTech) has launched the facility which is expected to provide risk assessments and waste minimisation studies.

The facility boasts three laboratories and will, among other things, enable the testing, training and research in waste and biomass treatment and management, aligned to international ISO/ISE standards. It was launched in collaboration with the National Water Commission and the National Environment and Planning Agency.

Acting President of UTech Professor Colin Gyles noted that the launch of the plant was a step in the right direction.

"The launch of this waste management centre, led by the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, is another outstanding step in advancing our mandate. I am very happy that this initiative has come to fruition today and that this centre will become a beacon for training, research and development, as well as possibly a centre of income generation for the university," he said.

Win-win opportunity

"This will undoubtedly facilitate a win-win opportunity for researchers, for current and future students, and for industry professionals who will be able to access specialised training modules and international certification in the various aspects of water and wastewater management and operations," he continued.

"The centre aims to be the heart of a larger outreach programme to Jamaica and other Caribbean countries by providing a diverse suite of services, training, risk assessment, hazardous waste treatment and disposal, waste minimisation studies, and wastewater treatment plant commission and evaluation. We are also exploring the possibility of managing treatment plants as a consultancy service outside of UTech."

Professor Nilza Smith, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, told the gathering that though the development took years of hard work, she expected that the impact would transcend local boundaries.

"The centre shall contribute to the Jamaican Vision 2030, in particular the first and fourth goals specifically for two of the national outcomes: world-class education and training, and sustainable management and use of environmental and natural resources.

"The centre will continue to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for the university as a third stream income."