Catherine O’Connor To Discuss Resource Recovery at WEFTEC 2015 AAEES, AIDIS, WEF Breakfast

Catherine A. O’Connor, director of engineering at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), will discuss resource recovery during WEFTEC 2015. Photo courtesy of O’Connor.

Catherine A. O’Connor, director of engineering at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), will discuss resource recovery during WEFTEC 2015. Photo courtesy of O’Connor.

Resource recovery will be the topic of discussion during the annual WEFTEC® 2015 breakfast hosted by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES; Annapolis, Md.), Asociación Interamericana de Ingeniería Sanitaria y Ambiental (São Paulo, Brazil; AIDIS), and Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.). The breakfast is scheduled for 7:15–8:30 a.m. on Sept. 28. Catherine A. O’Connor, director of engineering at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), will give the keynote presentation, “Recovering Resources, Transforming Water – Phosphorus Recovery and Other Sustainability Initiatives at Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.”

“I will present the current status of removing/recovering phosphorus from our biological process, discuss water reuse, improved methane generation/utilization, and our efforts to improve the tree canopy in Greater Chicagoland,” O’Connor said. The MWRDGC Engineering Department is responsible for planning, designing, and constructing projects prioritized in the capital improvement and stormwater management programs. O’Connor is actively involved in efforts to transform the district’s operations from waste treatment to resource recovery, particularly with implementation of enhanced biological phosphorus removal coupled with phosphorus recovery.

O’Connor encourages WEFTEC attendees involved with or interested in resource recovery initiatives to attend the breakfast and contribute to the discussion. She said she hopes everyone walks away with an invigorated enthusiasm and support for resource recovery initiatives in the water sector.

A licensed professional engineer in Illinois with a doctorate in environmental engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago), O’Connor, also has worked on other resource recovery initiatives including water reuse, waste-to-energy initiatives, and methane utilization projects. At WEFTEC, this year she said, she is “most looking forward to hearing how the shortcut nitrification process has progressed in the past year. I enjoy seeing national and international colleagues and learning what their priorities and challenges are.”

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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