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

Christine O'Grady headshot

Christine O'Grady, MSc

Executive Director, ACWA

Christine O'Grady is an Environmental Specialist who proudly supports the initiatives of Sustainable Development Goal 6; ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Christine has worked with the public and private sectors in areas including biotechnology development, laboratory management, environmental consulting and small business ownership. She most recently was the project lead for the first potable water reuse project in Alberta.

As Executive Director, Christine seeks to provide the place and opportunity for the integration of research, education, science, innovation and informed policy. 

Darina Kuzma

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 Water 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

Chemist II 

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. 

Kayla Moffett

Kayla Moffett, BSc

Environmental Chemistry Technician

Kayla has been working in analytical chemistry for over 7 years at the University of Calgary. She has worked extensively in water analysis, and has experience with multiple types of instrumentation. Having a commitment to quality work, QA/QC and precision are top priorities. Her passion for lab work started in her undergraduate degree from Concordia University of Edmonton, where she did capstones in analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, thermochemistry and environmental risk assessment. Kayla enjoys the fast paced work of an analytical laboratory, and enjoys learning new techniques. 

ACWA Board Members

Andre Buret (Co-Chair)

Associate Vice-President (Research)

University of Calgary

Kirsten Exall

Director, Institutional Programs Division, Research Services Office

University of Calgary

Mark Crowdis (Co-Chair)

Manager, Water Quality Services, Water Resources

City of Calgary

Sarah Huber

Manager, Utilities Project Development

City of Calgary

Kevin Colbran

Manager, Wastewater Treatment

City of Calgary

James Rendell

Vice-President (Facilities)

University of Calgary