Dr. Alex Tahar


AlexTaharIn the field of water and environmental engineering since 2007, I had the opportunity to develop a strong expertise in different kinds of water treatment processes including some of the most intensive (i.e. membrane bioreactor, nitrifying/denitrifying activated sludge, Ultraviolet light), extensive ones such as constructed wetlands (surface and sub-surface flow) and on chemical analysis of trace contaminants (e.g. chromatography, HPLC, GC/MS, LC/MS). I graduated my Ph.D in in France (IRSTEA, Lyon) in the field of anthropogenic micropollutant treatment by various wastewater treatment processes (both secondary and tertiary stages of treatment). The focus was made on chemicals (pharmaceuticals and pesticides) considered as the most recalcitrant to conventional treatment techniques and therefore released in the environment with an associated risk for ecosystems and humans. This experience allowed me to specialize on chemical transformation/transfer processes involved in the elimination of chemicals within a great variety of water treatment systems such as biodegradation by different types of bacteria, chemical transfer (i.e. sorption, volatilization), chemical degradation after UV light or ozone exposition.

In AIT since 2015 at the Bioscience research Institute under the mentorship of Pr. Neil Rowan I had the opportunity to develop my skillset by working on different projects of interest in the fields of aquaculture and environmental sciences.

I worked as Lead postdoctoral researcher on DAFM funded MOREFISH project shared between AIT and NUIG. This project aimed at improving production sustainability in the Irish freshwater aquaculture sector by bringing new technologies in the fields of aeration/oxygenation and disinfection. The Main outputs of the MOREFISH project were the following:

– Irish freshwater industry benchmarked (general compliance with discharge license limits, Limited impact on receiving water quality)

– Technology developed (aeration/oxygenation innovative methods tested and potentially efficient at farm scale, Pulsed UV technology effective for removal of aquaculture relevant pathogens)

– Industry engagement achieved (platform developed between all the stakeholders to facilitate the future evolution of practices and regulation framework, link established with leading EU institutions in aquaculture)

The continuation of the MOREFISH project is currently launched with a BIM funded project (ECOAQUA) shared by NUIG and AIT (2017-2019 – Knowledge Gateway Scheme).

For more information on the MOREFISH project: http://www.morefish.ie/

Among other activities, I was also directly involved on an EPA funded project on the application of a risk assessment approach for the Water Framework Directive application in Ireland and specifically the potential entrance of new compounds in the EU regulation (i.e. pharmaceutical active compounds and pesticides) and the implications this might have on the Irish Wastewater treatment plants. These results were published in high impact reviews such as science of the total environment.