ACWA Team

ACWA is led by a staff of committed research and business experts, under the oversight of a Board of Directors from the University of Calgary and the City of Calgary.

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ACWA offers facility access and services for researchers and industry. Contact us to learn how ACWA can support your projects. 

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ACWA Leadership Team

Kevin Frankowski headshot

Kevin Frankowski, MASc

Executive Director, ACWA

Kevin is a business leader and technology development specialist who leverages innovation and strategic vision to unlock growth. He has led a large consultancy business unit, has co-founded five startups and has led a technology accelerator and a technology test bed. His track record blends entrepreneurial and large corporate settings. Kevin focuses on trustful collaboration and building teams that nimbly deliver outcomes aligned with a growth vision.

Kevin has a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Ecology from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Applied Science in Environmental (Civil) Engineering, specializing in wastewater treatment, from the University of British Columbia.

Christine O'Grady headshot

Christine O'Grady, MSc

Program Coordinator, ACWA

Christine O'Grady is the Program Coordinator for Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA).  Her education includes a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta and a Master of Science in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads. Her primary responsibilities include project coordination, knowledge mobilization and ACWA infrastructure O&M oversight. She proudly supports the initiatives of Sustainable Development Goal 6 ; ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 

ACWA Team

Darina headshot

Darina Kuzma, PhD, PChem

Lab Manager

Darina is an experienced analytical chemist who specializes in detecting emerging substances of concern in wastewater. She has developed several new analytical methods that have opened up new ways of monitoring these substances in a very challenging environmental matrix. Darina’s commitment to strong QA/QC and attention to detail are critical components of these successes. Darina is the Lab Manager for ACWA (Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets), a globally unique test bed and research facility where researchers, municipalities and industry can de-risk wastewater technologies. Previously, she has taught students, managed multi-user analytical laboratories and performed research in the agricultural sector on metal interaction in ruminants.

Darina has a Masters degree in Physical Chemistry from the Slovak University of Technology and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also a registered Professional Chemist.

Aleshia headshot

Aleshia Kormendi, BSc

Instrumentation Lab Technician 

As a lab tech at ACWA, Aleshia enjoys the challenge of designing experiments and developing new methods to discover and detect what’s in our wastewater. Aleshia’s passion for analytical chemistry developed during her undergraduate lab courses at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where she was also able to gain real-world work experience in the Chemistry Co-op program while earning her B.Sc. 

Vijay headshot

Vijay Ramlakhan, BSc

Environmental Chemistry Technician

Vijay brings 15 years of laboratory experience to the ACWA team, having worked in private environmental labs as well as at the City of Calgary’s wastewater treatment plants. He has an eye for detail and a strong commitment to quality control, which served him well in carrying out internal audit duties in previous positions and improving existing lab methods at ACWA. Vijay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Calgary; he enjoys the challenge of discovery and continuous improvement, knowing that his work has a positive effect on the water systems we all depend on. 

ACWA Board Members


Andre Buret (Co-Chair)

Associate Vice-President (Research)

University of Calgary

Kirsten Exall

Director, Institutional Programs, Research Services Office

University of Calgary

Mark Crowdis (Co-Chair)

Manager, Water Quality Services, Water Resources

City of Calgary

Francois Bouchart

Director, Water Resources

City of Calgary

Kevin Colbran

Manager, Wastewater Treatment

City of Calgary

James Rendell

Vice-President (Facilities)

University of Calgary