Robert C Andrews: high-tech solutions for cleaner, safer drinking water

Recipient of the Dr. Albert E Berry Medal for outstanding contributions to environmental engineering

Professor Robert C Andrews (left) with Profs. Ron Hofmann and Susan Andrews in the Drinking Water Environmental Labs

Prof. Robert C Andrews, PEng, of the Drinking Water Research Group (DWRG) in the University of Toronto’s Civil Engineering Department, accepted the Dr. Albert E Berry Medal at a Canadian Society for Civil Engineers gala on Friday, June 3. The award, determined by a jury of peers, recognized the work and impact that Andrews’ research has on drinking water.

“I have such great respect for my peers, and to be selected by them to receive this award is such an honour,” said Andrews. “Our work, with industry and municipal partners helps provide clean drinking water to millions of consumers.”

The DWRG has over 25 projects ongoing at any one time. These include collaborative research in the application of membranes to drinking water treatment and examining the potential to remove emerging compounds including pharmaceuticals. Andrews also examines the use of alternative disinfectants for drinking water treatment, which has produced a baseline of knowledge that was previously lacking. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has incorporated this data into their disinfection regulations.

Andrews began his career at the University in 1993 in the Department of Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, where his research interests included the examination of technologies for removing emerging contaminants in drinking water as well as the reduction of risk that they pose to consumers. Andrews has held an NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair in Drinking Water Research since 2007.

A consultant as well as a professor, Andrews serves on a number of decision-making committees and advisory councils in Canada and around the world. Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and the Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council have all benefitted from his expertise.

Andrews is the recipient of the Dr. Albert E Berry Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Engineering by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers, which recognizes outstanding achievements in environmental engineering; by protecting public health and the environment while preserving our air, water and land resources for future generations.