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Joo Hwa (Andrew) Tay

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Civil Engineering

Joo Hwa (Andrew) Tay



(403) 210-3943

ENF 208


Tier I Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Wastewater Engineering

The main objective of this research program is to develop a cutting-edge and sustainable biotechnological approach to municipal and industrial wastewater treatment and environmental protection by the aerobic granulation process. The novel technology generates many benefits, including low capital and operational costs, significant reductions of the reactor volume and land space requirements, high resilience to toxic chemicals, high effluent quality and low sludge production. The studies cover aspects ranging from fundamental scientific research, the translation of research results, and further development of applicable technology for the industry.

NSERC/City of Calgary IRC Senior Chair in Advanced Technologies for Wastewater Treatment

By using advanced oxidation and biological wastewater treatment technologies, he is developing new approaches to treat and remove unwanted chemicals and additional nutrients from wastewater. His work is removing substances such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products from wastewater to make our water cleaner and safe for future generations.

Andrew Tay

Prior to joining the University of Calgary, Dr. Andrew Tay was a professor at Nanyang Technological University for 30 years. He has lectured at universities in Canada, United States and Singapore since 1976. Dr. Tay is a registered professional engineer in both Singapore and Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Tay has been a member, as well as head of several environmental and water management boards in Singapore. He has served as a consultant to various local and international organizations. He is also an editorial board member of two international environmental journals. Dr. Tay has received four Singapore National Awards for his outstanding research and inventions, and has filed twelve patents since 2002.

In the last ten years, Dr. Tay has designed more than 30 treatment processes for the water and wastewater management in the Asia-Pacific region. He has provided consulting services to Asian Productivity Organization on more than 10 demonstration projects on cleaner production in Asian countries. He has also offered more than 100 training courses for senior staff on environmental management, industrial and hazardous wastes management, ISO 14000 - Environmental Management System, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Green Productivity, Waste Minimization and Cleaner Production Programmes in 20 Asian countries.

Dr. Tay has also written 32 books/book chapters/monographs and published more than 650 technical papers on environmental engineering and management, including 380 SCI Journal papers.

Cross Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Centre for Environmental Engineering Research and Education (CEERE)
  • Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA)

Selected Awards:

  • Four Singapore National Awards
  • 2015-2016 – Outstanding Teaching Performance Award, Schulich School of Engineering
  • 2015 – Research Excellence Award, Schulich School of Engineering
  • 2014-2015 – Outstanding Teaching Performance Award, Schulich School of Engineering
Research Activities: 

Dr. Tay’s areas of research include biotechnological wastewater treatment, and the full-scale testing of aerobic granulation biotechnology at the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Centre. The Tay research group aims to develop innovative biotechnological solutions for domestic and industrial wastewater treatment such as oil sands produced water. The group’s research focuses on: understanding how bacteria form particles in water; training bacteria to consider waste as food; stimulating bacteria growth in larger numbers; and applying the process to treat contaminated water.

The key areas of research are:

Focus on removing toxic chemicals

The Tay research group is investigating the process by which bacteria form particles in water and how the process can be applied to waste water treatment. Understanding the process is crucial for developing technology that is targeted at specific contaminants.

Developing the next wave of wastewater treatment

The objective of this research is to develop an innovative biotechnological approach for domestic and industrial wastewater treatment by aerobic granulation process. This research will help address the existing key challenges of the aerobic granulation while developing sustainable solutions to ensure that aerobic granulation becomes viable for actual wastewater treatment applications.

Selected Publications:

Tay, J. H., Tay, S. T. L., Show, K. Y., Liu, Y., & Ivanov, V. (2004). U.S. Patent No. 6,793,822. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Huang, W., Cai, W., Huang, H., Lei, Z., Zhang, Z., Tay, J. H., & Lee, D. J. (2015). Identification of inorganic and organic species of phosphorus and its bio-availability in nitrifying aerobic granular sludge. Water research, 68, 423-431.

Chen, F. Y., Liu, Y. Q., Tay, J. H., & Ning, P. (2015). Rapid formation of nitrifying granules treating high-strength ammonium wastewater in a sequencing batch reactor. Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 99(10), 4445-4452.


Dr. Tay teaches the graduate level course ENEN663/ENCI741 – Biological Processes for Wastewater Treatment.


PhD, Environmental Engineering, University of Toronto (1976)

MSc, Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, University of Cincinnati (1972)

BSc, Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University (1971)


Graduate Program Affiliations: 

The research program involves multidisciplinary studies of wastewater engineering with microbiological and life-science techniques. Currently, there are 10 graduate students and 2 PDFs are working in the research group. Several graduate students and a PDF are required. Graduate students will mainly be recruited domestically and internationally from Departments of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, Biotechnological Engineering and Environmental Science. HQPs will be exposed to the collaborative nature of research by interacting with other university researchers and municipal and industrial engineers. These highly qualified trained personnel should be able to contribute to national competitiveness and productivity, especially in the area of advanced wastewater treatment and reclamation technologies.