INVITED SPEAKERS

Invited Speaker Overview



Dr. Richard Anderson 

U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC), USA

Dr. Anderson is an environmental scientist at the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) in San Antonio, Texas. He provides technical expertise to AFCEC’s Environmental Restoration Program in the areas of emerging contaminants, environmental engineering, environmental toxicology, and quantitative data analyses. Dr. Anderson

also represents the AFCEC to the U.S. Defence Department’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) in the area of environmental restoration.

Dr. Richard Anderson will be presenting "AFCEC’s Programmatic Efforts to Assess PFAS Leaching from the Vadose Zone at AFFF-Impacted Sites"



Distinguished Prof. Andrew Ball

RMIT University, Australia

Andrew S. Ball: Director of the ARC Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource and Distinguished Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and Solving Plastic waste CRC Program Leader-Mitigating the risks of microplastics in agricultural soils; previously Director of the Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Remediation at RMIT University and Flinders Bioremediation in Adelaide, Australia; has worked in the area of soil microbiology,  environmental pollution and biogeochemical cycling for 40 years, publishing over 300 peer-reviewed articles.

Prof Andrew Ball will be presenting "Understanding and management of per and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) in biosolids"



Prof. Volker Birke

University of Wismar, Germany

Prof. Volker Birke has around 30 years of experience in practical environmental chemistry, particularly in the destruction of hazardous wastes and toxic compounds in the environment. He has in-depth experience in the remediation of contaminated sites, hazardous waste management, soil and groundwater remediation, for instance, as coordinator of the large-scale German R&D program “RUBIN“ for the application of permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) to groundwater pollution and in the development and application of novel innovative ex-situ and in situ remediation technologies to persistent organic pollutants (POPs, especially regarding polychlorinated compounds such as PCBs and pesticides, cVOCs, as well as pharmaceuticals and PFAS).

From 2009 to 2016, he held an extraordinary professorship of chemistry at the faculty of civil and environmental engineering, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Since 2016, he has joined the University of Wismar, Germany, where he holds a full professorship of chemistry / technical chemistry. He teaches general, physical, technical and environmental chemistry for process and environmental engineers.

Prof. Birke has experience in assessing environmental information and developing effective solutions based on regulatory, economic, technical, social, and legal considerations, furthermore in site investigation, feasibility studies, site assessment, planning and implementation of complex and large-scale remediation projects, and in the application of thermal, chemical, physical, and biological treatment methods to solve environmental issues.

Prof. Birke has participated in interdisciplinary international projects and developed new technology for developing new remedial markets. He provides peer review for government and technical publications. He has been involved in the management of about 60 remedial investigations, remedial designs and clean-up of polluted sites nationwide as well as abroad (U.S.A., India, Australia).

He serves as a reviewer, technical and scientific consultant and has published about 70 papers and one book focusing on innovative remediation technologies for the 21st century.

Prof. Birke has participated in several CleanUp conferences and helped organize and implement important sessions on emerging remediation technologies since CleanUp 04 (held in Adelaide in 2004).

Prof Volker Birke  will be presenting "Rapid and Complete Mechanochemical Reductive Defluorination of Per- and Polyfluoro Alkyl Substances (PFAS) In Contaminated Soil Using Sodium and Amines as Co-milling Agents: A Promising First Approach for the Development of Novel Non-Combustion PFAS Remediation Processes"



Jeff Gamlin, PG, CHG

GSI Environmental Inc., USA

Jeff Gamlin is a Principal Hydrogeologist with GSI Environmental Inc. and has more than 20 years of experience evaluating, designing, and optimizing hazardous waste investigation and remediation approaches at military, municipal, industrial, and commercial facilities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Jeff has evaluated PFAS data from 64 individual sites. Through this work, patterns observed for certain PFASs have supported development of a data evaluation framework for refining PFAS conceptual site models. He and his colleagues recently submitted a manuscript on this topic that defines a tiered approach to PFAS data interpretation, including assessment of preferential adsorption and precursor transformation. His current focus areas are PFAS research and development, forensics for source identification and background assessment, conceptual site model refinement, and litigation support. 

Jeff Gamlin will be presenting "Data Evaluation Framework for Delineation of PFAS Source Zones versus “Background” PFAS Sources"



Jonás García-Rincón

Legion Drilling, Australia

Jonás García-Rincón, Ph.D., is the Direct Sensing Manager at Legion Drilling (Sydney, Australia), where he also operates Legion’s LIF, MiHPT and CPT systems for contaminated land, geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations. In his current role, Jonás also assists in in-situ remediation projects using high-energy injection techniques for treatment and/or immobilisation of petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents and PFAS. Prior to joining Legion Drilling, Jonás completed a crcCARE-funded doctoral dissertation between CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and University of Technology Sydney. His research focused on the field-scale application of high-resolution site characterisation approaches in heterogeneous sites impacted with LNAPLs. As a result of this work, Jonás received the UTS Post-Thesis Industry Award and published peer-reviewed papers on topics such as LNAPL transmissivity, LIF logging and multiphase flow modelling. Jonás recently released a book through Springer-Nature entitled ‘Advances in the Characterisation and Remediation of Sites Contaminated with Petroleum Hydrocarbons’, which has been published using an open access licence and involved contributions from more than 50 global experts in contaminated site assessment and management. Additionally, Jonás holds a M.Sc. degree in Soil and Groundwater Pollution from Technical University of Madrid (Spain), where he now teaches a seminar on contaminated site characterisation. He regularly participates as a speaker in international conferences, workshops and short courses seeking to foster the adoption and improved application of advanced site investigation methods within the contaminated land industry.

Jonás García-Rincón will be presenting "High–Resolution Site Characterisation and Implications to Conceptual Site Models"



Ramona Iery, Ph.D.

US Navy, USA

Ramona Iery is an environmental engineer with 15 years of experience in the field of environmental remediation. Her areas of expertise include fate and transport, site characterization, long-term monitoring and remediation of contaminants such as chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons and emerging contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane and per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). She has been conducting research on PFAS for the past 6 years and currently manages multiple SERDP/ESTCP and NAVFAC PFAS research projects. She received a PhD in environmental engineering and science from Clemson University and a master of engineering in civil and environmental engineering from Tennessee State University. 

Ramona Iery will be presenting "Promising Technologies for the Remediation of PFAS Impacted Soil and Groundwater "



Dr. Rainer Lohmann 

University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, USA

Dr. Rainer Lohmann is a Professor at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. He obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering and a Doctorate in Environmental Science. He is Director of the URI-led Superfund Research Program Center on the Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFAS (STEEP). His research focuses on the detection, bioaccumulation, transport and fate of anthropogenic pollutants in the environment, often relying on passive samplers in the process. Since 2000, he has published > 180 publications and book chapters. 
Dr. Lohmann was member of the U.S. EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (2017-2023), , and serves as Editor of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship as part of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative III in 2020, and a Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellowship in 2011.

Dr. Rainer Lohmann will be presenting "Detection & (bio) accumulation of legacy and novel PFAS in the (marine) environment"



Dr. Tamzen Macbeth

CDM Smith, USA

Dr. Tamzen Macbeth is a senior vice president and remediation practice leader with CDM Smith with over two decades of experience, with the last seven spent specializing in PFAS site characterization and treatment. She has designed and implemented investigation and remediation programs for over 100 complex contaminated sites. She has in-depth knowledge of the science of PFAS sampling and analysis, fate and transport, and treatment in multiple media. She leads multi-disciplinary project teams executing investigation programs to understand site conditions, evaluate unacceptable impacts, and select effective remedial actions. She is also a published author with over 100 publications, including technical papers, presentations, training manuals and guidance documents, seminars, and short courses on remediation topics.

Dr. Tamzen Macbeth will be presenting "PFAS in water/sediments"



Dr. Shaily Mahendra

University of California, USA

Dr. Mahendra is a Professor and Samueli Fellow in the UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a member of the California Nano Systems Institute, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and the Molecular Toxicology Program.  She received Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.  Shaily has developed enzyme-vault nanocatalysts for water purification, omics-based tools for environmental assessments, antifouling coatings for medical and environmental applications, energy-positive wastewater treatment approaches, and abiotic and biological transformation of emerging contaminants, including 1,4-dioxane, PFAS, pesticides, munitions, dyes, and bisphenol analogs. 
Shaily received the CH2M-Hill/AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, NSF CAREER Award, DuPont Young Professor Award, Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award, Hellman Fellowship, Poptech Science and Public Leadership Fellowship, Mahatma Gandhi Samman, Faculty Mentor Award, AEESP Distinguished Service Award, Walter Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, and Paul Busch Award from the Water Research Foundation.  She has published over 90 papers and book chapters, filed 8 patents, and delivered over 250 invited talks and conference presentations.  
Shaily was a speaker at TEDx Manhattan Beach.  She is an Editor of Journal of Hazardous Materials and Co-Editor-in-Chief of JHM Letters.

Dr. Shaily Mahendra will be presenting "Let’s Stop the Whack-a-mole Approach to Emerging Contaminants "



Dr. Charles Newell

GSI Environmental Inc., USA

Dr. Charles Newell is a Vice President of GSI Environmental Inc. in Houston, Texas, USA.  He is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, a NGWA Certified Ground Water Professional, and an Adjunct Professor at Rice University.  He has co-authored 12 technical articles on PFAS fate & transport and remediation and is now or has led multiple PFAS research projects funded by the U.S. Dept. of Defense.  He was awarded the Strategic Research and Development Program (SERDP) 2014 Project of the Year as a Co-PI, the ITRC Environmental Excellence Award in 2016, the 2020 Foundation Achievement Award presented by the Association for Environmental Health and Science, and the 2024 Gordon Maskew Fair Award presented by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.

Dr. Charles Newell will be presenting "Modeling of PFAS Groundwater Plumes with a Focus on Retention"



Zoom Nguyen

CDM Smith, USA

Zoom Nguyen is an environmental engineer at CDM Smith with over 15 years of experience specializing in applying innovative technologies for remediating legacy and emerging contaminants. He has implemented bioremediation, chemical oxidation, chemical reduction, thermal remediation, monitored natural attenuation, and combinations thereof at over 150 government, private, and international sites undergoing remediation or characterization and technology evaluations. Zoom also serves as the manager of CDM Smith’s Research and Testing Laboratory located in Bellevue, WA and has acted as the PI or Co-PI on 10+ SERDP/ESTCP/AFCEC/WRF/NESDI projects interrogating the fate & transport as well as innovative treatment technologies for PFAS.

Zoom Nguyen will be presenting "Case Study - PFAS Remediation"



Jussi Reinikainen

Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), Finland

Jussi Reinikainen is working as a Senior Adviser in SYKE since 2001. He has been one of the key experts in the development of several national policy instruments on contaminated land and waste management, such as the regulations and guidelines on risk assessment and sustainable remediation and the reuse of soil and waste, as well as their associated acceptance criteria. He has led and participated in several R&D projects and working groups, and he gives lectures regularly in both national and international seminars. He is also a country representative in international networks such as the Common Forum on Contaminated Land in Europe. Recently, many of his tasks have focused on the assessment and management of environmental PFAS.

Jussi Reinikainen will be presenting "How does EU’s policy framework tackle prevention and management of PFAS pollution?"



Prof Seeram Ramakrishna 

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Professor Seeram Ramakrishna, FREng, Everest Chair is a world-renowned scholar of cross-fields at the National University of Singapore. He is the Director of Center for Nanotechnology and Sustainability. He is a chartered engineer (Sustainability), Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES).  He is the Chief Editor of the Springer NATURE Journal Materials Circular Economy; Associate Chief Editor of Elsevier Journal Circular Economy; and Advisory Board member of NPJ Urban Sustainability journal. He is named among the World’s Most Influential Minds (Thomson Reuters) and Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers since 2014. His publications to date received an H-index of 195 and 191,245 citations. He co-authored five books in the domain of circular economy namely Handbook of Circular Economy; Circularity Assessment; Sustainability for Beginners; Combating Climate Change: A helpful Guide on Personal Carbon Foot Printing; and Circular Economy. He also co-authored UNESCO EGU2030 Book on Knowledge-driven Actions: Transforming Higher Education for Global Sustainability.  He is a point of contact for the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE) Singapore on the circular economy competency and skillsets. He is a member of the ISO Technical Committee on Circular Economy.  He is a judge | and evaluation committee member for the MIT Technology Review – TR35 Asia Pacific Awards; $3 million Prize by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste; CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge; and Enterprise Singapore Startup SG Tech and Global Innovation programs.  He is an elected Fellow | Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, China; Royal Academy of Engineering, UK; Singapore Academy of Engineering; National Academy of Engineering, India; ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology, AAET, and AAAS, USA.  He advocates decarbonization of economies via materials | resources circular economy.

Prof Seeram Ramakrishna will be presenting "Cleaner and Safer Planet Earth: Resources | Materials Circular Economy Solutions"



Ian Ross

CDM Smith and  Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Ian Ross is the Global PFAS Practice Lead at CDM Smith and is a visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University

Ian has >30 years’ experience in the environmental impact of xenobiotics and has focused solely on PFAS management for the last 10 years in a global role, after first evaluating solutions to manage PFOS in 2005 after the Buncefield fire near London, then started developing PFOS destruction technologies whilst working on a PFAS project for Guernsey airport from 2007. He has written over 100 articles, academic publications, and book chapters on PFAS, including the 204-page chapter on PFAS in the Emerging Contaminants Handbook. 

Ian is a biochemist by training and works as a technical expert for assessment of contaminated land sites and PFAS decontamination. He was the first to commercialize the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay and apply this at several sites in Scandinavia from 2014 and has applied high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to characterize PFAS. He has acted as expert witness for governments managing PFAS and is currently working on 3 SERDP projects investigating PFAS supramolecular assemblies.

Ian Ross will be presenting "Characterization, Transport and Management of PFAS Considering both Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and the Supramolecular Assemblies Formed by Fluorosurfactants"





Michael Stopford 

ANCORED, UK 

Michael Stopford is a strategic communications and public affairs professional, having led communications and external relations for major global public and private sector employers. He has served as a diplomat, international civil servant, multinational corporate senior staff member and university administrator. 

Currently Founding Partner and Chairman of ANCORED, a global Data-based Analysis, Strategic Communications and Reputation Management company with leading international clients. 

Michael’s core expertise is in Reputation and Risk Management, as well as Sustainability, which he has led for major employers and consultancies. He headed Group Corporate Reputation for the Coca-Cola Company and the Coca-Cola system from corporate HQ in Atlanta, GA, chairing the system-wide Public Policy, Sustainability and Corporate Reputation Council. He forged alliances with non-profit, environmental stakeholders as well as with multinational organizations. In a similar role heading Global Public Affairs with the agribusiness multinational Syngenta at their Basel HQ, Michael managed reputational crises ranging from child labor to genetically modified foods and built bridges to activists, civil society and multinational institutions. Earlier he headed Issue Management and Sustainability for ExxonMobil at their Dallas, TX HQ. 

Read more here

Michael Stopford will be presenting "Communicating Risk – effectively and empathetically"



Summer Streets

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, USA 

Summer Streets has worked as a research scientist at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency since 2007. Her primary focus is understanding the occurrence, effects, fate and transport of emerging contaminants in Minnesota’s ambient environment. Summer’s work has largely centred on PFAS since 2008; she has conducted numerous PFAS studies in multiple environmental media including surface water, fish, sediment, and air. Most recently, Summer has been working on a multi-year effort to understand the fate and transport, including plant uptake, of PFAS in land-applied biosolids. Summer also serves as a technical advisor in PFAS compliance and enforcement cases.

Summer earned her M.S. in Water Resources Science at the University of Minnesota, where she studied the bioaccumulation of hydrophobic organic contaminants in the Great Lakes microbial food web. Summer earned her B.S. in environmental science and biology at the University of Wisconsin.

Summer Streets will be presenting "Minnesota’s approach to derivation of PFAS criteria for the protection of human health"



Frank Sweet

AECOM, USA

Frank Sweet is the Chief Executive of AECOM’s Environment Global Business Line. He is responsible for developing strategies to help industrial and public sector clients worldwide maintain balance between growth and resiliency while meeting compliance standards, with a focus on reducing risks and preserving the environment.
Frank has a track record of leading professional service organizations through change, prioritizing client focus and operational excellence to drive growth and profitability. As Chief Executive since October 2020, Frank oversees a team of 7,500 scientists, engineers, and support staff providing environment and energy consulting, engineering, and field services globally.
Prior to his role as Chief Executive, Frank spent more than 25 years at AECOM holding numerous leadership positions, including Executive Vice President Northeast Region, Corporate Senior Vice President of Operations, and Americas Environment Business Line Executive. Prior to joining AECOM, Frank led ENSR’s Environment Business in the Americas.
Frank currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashua River Association and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable.
Frank graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in Amherst, Massachusetts, and obtained his Master of Business Administration from D'Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Frank Sweet will be presenting "Regenerative Remediation"



Dr. Nitin Verma 

Chitkara University, India

Dr. Nitin Verma is presently working as a Professor and Principal at the School of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Himachal Pradesh, India. Dr. Verma has more than 18 years of teaching, research and administrative experience. He has published more than 45 International and national research papers in peer-reviewed journal and presented research work in 65 national and international conferences, seminars and workshops. He is a Member of the Board of Studies, Academic Council, Academic and Research Committee, Coordinator- Academic Industry Partnership Programme with CIPLA, Mankind Pharma, Fresenius Kabi, Glenmark and Abbott Healthcare and handling projects of INR more than 40 million.

Dr Verma biography is included in Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare 2011-2012 (8th Edition) based on outstanding achievements in Medicines & Healthcare around the world and International Biographic Centre (IBC), Cambridge, England for The Cambridge Certificate for outstanding Medical Achievement 2012. 

Dr Verma is a member of various professional societies and on the reviewer board of various Journals. He has contributed more than 15 chapters in books. He is actively engaged in the field of research on toxicology, risk assessment of chemicals and their impact on the environment and human health with a special focus on PFAS and computational toxicity studies etc. He received many prestigious awards like Global Senior Scholar Exchange Program award, Tox-Scholar Outreach Award, IUTOX Award, ASIO Scientist of Indian Origin and Global initiative Funding recipient by SOT USA.

Recently one of his publications entitled “Range of the perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) safe dose for human health: An international collaboration” has been selected for this year’s “SOT- Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section (RSESS) Best Paper of the Year Award” by the RSESS-Executive Committee. He is a member of the steering committee of the Conundrum of the PFOA Human Half-life: An International Collaboration. 

Dr. Nitin Verma will be presenting "Addressing PFAS Contamination in India: Policy Progress and Pathways Forward"



Scott D. Warner 

BBJ Group, USA

Scott D. Warner is a Principal Hydrogeologist and Pacific Basin Leader with BBJ Group, a USA-based specialty environmental consultancy and has 38 years of experience in consulting hydrogeology and groundwater remediation. He also is a Doctoral Research Candidate with the Global Centre for Environmental Remediation at the University of Newcastle with a focus area in climatic impacts to groundwater remediation and is a co-leader for the soil remediation working group of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization's International Network on Soil Pollution. Scott is a primary designer of one of the earliest uses (mid-1990s) of sustainable groundwater remediation for industrial contaminants that continues to perform. He received his MS degree Geology from Indiana University, Bloomington USA and BS in Engineering Geology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Scott Warner  will be presenting "The Importance of Climate to Remedial Actions and Technology Performance for Groundwater Cleanup"



Prof. Dr. Christian Zwiener

University of Tuebingen, Germany

Christian Zwiener is Head of the Environmental Analytical Chemistry Group in the Department of Geosciences at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. His research focuses on the analysis, occurrence, and fate of organic micropollutants in the environment and in water treatment (e.g., disinfection byproducts, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, poly- and perfluorinated compounds). This includes the development of analytical approaches for non-target and suspect screening by LC-high-resolution mass spectrometry, field investigations and lab-scale experiments for photochemistry, biodegradation, and electrochemical oxidation to identify transformation products. During the last 6 years he developed screening approaches for PFAS and transformation products in the environment and in consumer products.

Prof. Dr. Christian Zwiener will be presenting "Nontarget Screening for PFAS: A detailed look behind the scenes of contaminated sites"