Water quality and treatment
Dr Martin Currie is a potable water quality and treatment specialist, with over 15 years’ diverse water industry experience gained in the UK, the Middle East and Africa.
- Water quality, treatment, supply & reuse
- Process engineering & infrastructure
- Instrumentation & data analysis
- Strategic studies & master planning
- Technical & policy advisory services
- Technology Transfer
- Project, P&L & people management
- Business development & client liaison
As an independent consultant with Aqueum, Martin has interim managed divisions, written policies, developed products, conducted research, produced models, developed applications, recruited experts, delivered training, and simplified complex water issues for clients. Clients benefit from his broad multi-specialist technical background, inventive problem-solving nature and big-picture vision. He enjoys client-facing & management roles, but is equally comfortable with collaborative team work and solo in-depth analysis to challenging deadlines.
When leading Atkins’ Middle East water business, Martin covered the full human water cycle. He project-managed and lead a diverse portfolio of projects including desalination and water treatment; water supply, demand management and conservation; wastewater collection, treatment and reuse (municipal and industrial); sustainable infrastructure design; master planning; asset management; due diligence; audit; regulation; and technical advisory services.
Martin’s technical experience in the Middle East included master planning & developing water balances for a number of sustainable & industrial cities; auditing Abu Dhabi’s IWPPs, water network and disinfection assets; regulatory policy advisory work; the development of an asset classification system for the world’s largest desalination operator; membrane and thermal desalination and grey water treatment feasibility studies; design and specification of water and wastewater treatment systems; and acting as Lenders’ and Owner’s Technical Advisor.
Martin was Lead Process Engineer on Thames Water’s >$2.5bn Upper Thames Major Resource Development project. While with Thames Water he worked on numerous, predominantly clean water, capital delivery projects. Prior to this, he worked as a freelance consultant in the field of industrial wastewater and landfill leachate treatment. His water career began at WRc plc, where he worked in partnership with Imperial College determining the causes of enhanced particle removal observed in water treatment with pre-ozonation.
Martin is a RedR Expert & chair of IChemE’s Water Special Interest Group. He is a part-time professional photographer, primarily focusing on architectural & social and commissions. His ambition is to make a difference in the area of water provision and sustainable water utilities development.
Water Quality & Treatment Consultant at Aqueum,
Mauritius (2011 to 2016) & UK (to date)
- Interim Head of Water Quality & Compliance, Southern Water, UK: responsible for water quality & its monitoring, public health, regulatory compliance, catchment management and water resources policy.
- Point of Use Water Filter Development, International: Developing water treatment and remineralisation technologies, conducting risk assessment, reviewing national water quality data, developing IP portfolio and marketing strategies, and building a treatment model for Monte Carlo simulation to cover the gamut of likely feed waters.
- CAP-NET UNDP UN Volunteer, Ethiopia: Advising UNDP on funding opportunities for water sector ICT projects. Providing a strategic review of means of developing a mobile application for IWRM capacity building
- Hope for Tomorrow Global, Burundi: Developing website, social media and marketing collateral, advising on WASH issues.
- Longitude Desalination Prize, UK: Advising Nesta via Science Practice on the criteria for a prize to encourage the development of affordable, sustainable desalination technologies.
- Water Sector Recruitment, International: Assisting Middle East government and multinational companies strategically build their international water capability. Clients include: Veolia, Samsung, Statiflo, Cumberland (Hitachi Zosen), EHC, Abengoa, Evoqua (Siemens Memcor), Xylem (ITT).
- TRANSCO chlorine decay, Abu Dhabi: Sub-consultant to Atkins, advising the Emirate’s water transmission utility on water quality and chlorine decay as part of a chlorine decay modelling project. Includes the production of a disinfection specification for the utility, corporate policy and security advice, and novel means of chlorine decay analysis assessing bulk characteristics of various desalinated waters. Also a week-long course teaching the basics of desalination and water quality to staff & regulators.
- Water & Wastewater Treatment Cost Breakdown, UK: Advising Global Water Intelligence on the cost breakdown of water and wastewater treatment plants, enabling them to give geographic market value estimates by sector.
- Water Sector Recruitment, International: Assisting governments and multinational companies strategically build their international water capability. Corporate clients include: Veolia, Samsung, Statiflo, Cumberland (Hitachi Zosen), EHC, Abengoa, Evoqua (Siemens Memcor), Xylem (ITT)
- Sustainable Desalination education, Global: • Education for the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) including webinar (200 attendees), journal (>30k), white paper & web articles teaching the process engineering behind thermal and membrane desalination, & highlighting sustainable technologies.
- ITC Campus, Bangalore: Water subconsultancy support to Atkins’ design of a sustainable IT campus including water balance production, optioneering, process flow diagram production, tank sizing, MEP reviews, calculations and reporting.
- Dammam 3, Modon, KSA: Development of water balance, desalination strategy and strategic input to master plan as a subconsultant to Atkins.
- RIC, Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, KSA: Advisory work to Atkins and development of the spatial-temporal water balance and associated reports.
Principal Photographer at Andeye, Mauritius (2011 to 2016)
Architectural, social and commercial photographer based in Mauritius. See www.andeye.com
Principal Consultant – Water at WS Atkins & Partners Overseas, Dubai, UAE (2007 to 2011)
- RAZMIC, Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, KSA: Leading the wet utilities design through master planning to FEED and producing a flexible spatial temporal water balance with multi variant sensitivity analysis. Utilities include desalinated potable and recycled process water, segregated industrial and sanitary wastewater collection and treatment, TSE irrigation, fire water and up to 12 Gl/d sea water cooling.
- Water & Wastewater Asset Survey – Confidential Client, GCC: QA and QC of technical data and the development of database architecture and QA/QC systems for an asset database covering all above ground assets for two of the largest cities in the region.
- TRANSCO chlorine decay, Abu Dhabi: Advising the Emirate’s water transmission utility on water quality and chlorine decay as part of a groundbreaking chlorine decay modelling project.
- Waste Heat to Water – Confidential Client, KSA: Technical advisor to a company seeking to desalinate and sell water produced from an industrial waste heat source. All feasible options were considered, cost benefit analysis was performed on a short list of MED-TVC, MED-RO and RO and contractor proposals assessed and negotiated.
- Desalination Asset Register – Confidential Client, GCC: Advising a big-four accountancy firm on the set up of a financial asset register for one of the world’s largest operators of desalination plant. An asset categorisation system was set up, and means of determining asset value based on anticipated life span was developed.
- Algorithmic Sustainable City Design, Confidential Client, KSA: Water design concept for a sustainable city, involving unprecedented water conservation utilising active and passive future technologies, novel reed bed wastewater treatment and zero carbon desalination. Water requirements were balanced with all other discipline inputs through an algorithmic city design.
- ITC Campus, India: Water balance production and master plan design of all wet utilities including rainwater harvesting, potable and wastewater treatment for a high rise urban IT campus development.
- S Project – Lenders’ Technical Due Diligence and Lenders’ Engineer, GCC: Conducting Lenders’ technical due diligence of a PPP Wastewater project comprising >100,000 m3/d STP with sludge incineration under BOO and >15km deep tunnel sewer and conveyance system under BOOT.
- United Arab Emirates Holistic Plan – Ministry of Public Works, UAE: Evaluating the existing water and wastewater infrastructure serving remote areas; determining future capacity increase; proposing and determining feasibility of future infrastructure and treatment solutions.
- Chlorination Systems Evaluation – Regulation & Supervision Bureau, Abu Dhabi: Surveying and auditing the chlorination system across the Emirate with a view to efficiency and chlorination capacity evaluation and the development of disinfection guidelines to ensure optimal water quality.
- Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis – Confidential Client, Qatar: Preparation of tender documents for a high brackish water reverse osmosis system and justification of novel brine discharge strategy.
- Industrial Reverse Osmosis – Confidential Client, Dubai: Production of functional specification for RO plant to provide water for range of unit processes, cooling and humidification.
- Master Plan Reviews – Various Clients, Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Reviewing and developing the water and environmental strategies of a number of mega-project master plans.
- Red Tide Investigation – MISC, Oman: Developing a novel option for treatment of a 17,000,000 m3/day algae-laden seawater intake as part of a study into the Red Tide phenomenon.
- Sewage Treatment Concession Due Diligence – Confidential Client, Bahrain/Egypt: Conducting Lenders’ technical due diligence evaluation of a sewage treatment system DBO concession proposal.
- Algal Lake Remediation – Confidential Client, Bahrain: Advising on the nature of algal blooms, and proposing remedial measures to minimise the effect of algae on irrigation and fire control systems.
- Sewage Treatment Concession Tender Evaluation – Confidential Client, UAE: Acting as Client’s Technical Advisor, and conducting tender evaluation for industrial and domestic sewage treatment and effluent reuse systems in a DBOOT concession.
- Grey Water Treatment in Buildings – Various Clients, UAE and Oman: Performance specification of sustainable grey water treatment systems for use in large mixed use vertical developments. Covering spatial-temporal water balances, energy optimisation and functional specification.
- Sustainable City Site-Wide Infrastructure Design Consultant – Masdar, Abu Dhabi: Leading a team of over 20 water professionals delivering master plan review, basis of design and concept design of all site-wide water infrastructure, covering grey and black water collection for reuse and distribution of potable water, treated grey water, irrigation and fire water.
- Desalination and Sewage Treatment on Off-Shore Island Locations – Confidential Clients, UAE: Concept design of RO and MBR systems for luxury island developments.
- Sewerage System Third Party Review, Dubai – Confidential Client, Dubai, UAE: Design review and remedial action plan to overcome sewer overflows, pump burnout and other issues with a prestige development’s sewerage system comprising of gravity collection, pumping stations and force mains.
Process Engineer at Thames Water Utilities Ltd, Reading, UK (2004-2007)
- Lead Process Engineer on the >£1bn Upper Thames Major Resource Development, managing the process design including contracts covering: the design and costing of a 75,000 m3/day advanced water treatment works; the outline design of a 39,000 population equivalent wastewater treatment works upgrade; water quality sampling and analysis; and a feasibility study relating to a 1,000,000 m3/day algae removal plant.
- Process Engineer on an emergency network water quality project, managing a series of pilot and full scale investigations to determine the cause of brown water, and the design of a cascade aeration system to prevent reoccurrence of this issue.
- Producing cost estimates for Thames Water’s PR09 capital delivery submission.
- Reviewing and rectifying the disinfection design of a 150,000 m3/day desalination plant.
- Supervising the performance trials and final stages of commissioning and acceptance testing of a PVDF membrane microfiltration plant.
- Conducting a multi-stream iron and ammonia monitoring programme at a groundwater works to develop a blending control algorithm to save the requirement of pre-oxidation and iron removal plant.
- Remediation of a failing polypropylene membrane microfiltration plant.
- Updating Thames Water’s standard means of dissolved oxygen analysis, implementing this analysis at a number of sites and providing advice on dissolved oxygen control.
- Investigating iron and manganese production from a number of groundwater sources; costing iron removal oxidation/filtration systems; and co-supervising an MSc project aiming to develop rate equations to facilitate the design of iron oxidation systems using chlorine.
- Quantifying the effect of prolonged drought on the level and water quality of London’s raw water reservoirs.
- Upgrading the disinfection systems of a number of regulated and commercial groundwater sources, including the upgrade of a UV system to a 55,000 m3/day set-point chlorination system.
- Refurbishing the rapid gravity filters at a major advanced water treatment works.
- Maximising throughput at the washwater treatment plant of one of the largest water treatment works in the UK.
- Construction and commissioning of a 27,000 m3/day PVDF membrane microfiltration plant and associated pre-oxidation system.
- Leading development of Thames Water Standard Symbol Library
- Principal trainer of Thames Water Process & Commissioning group in MS Visio & Excel.
WatSan Volunteer, Ta’iz, Yemen (2005)
- Assessing physicochemical and bacteriological water quality and access issues at various sources supplying a remote village with a significant proportion of water-related diseases.
Process Engineer & Director of Aqueum Ltd,
Swindon, UK (2003-2004)
- Predominantly contracting to an environmental engineering consultancy. The principal contract was a feasibility trial for a major waste management company. This involved selection, commissioning and operation, monitoring and analysis of a containerised moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) proving plant for the treatment of industrial landfill leachate.
Volunteer Trainer with Newfrontiers,
Lesotho & South Africa (2003)
- Teaching zero-till agriculture to subsistence farmers in rural Lesotho, to increase crop yields and reduce soil erosion.
- Teaching zero-till agriculture to unemployed individuals in peri-urban areas of South Africa to enable cash crop production in compact plots.
- Piloting drip irrigation system to optimise zero-till agriculture during drought conditions.
Postgraduate Training Partnerhip Associate with WRc plc, Swindon, UK (1999-2003)
- Primarily responsible for Ozone Enhanced Particle Removal PTP project, under supervision from Imperial College.
- Discovered key parameters relating to oxidant enhanced particle removal in coagulation/filtration systems.
- The assessment of a proprietary visual particle analysis system also led to the development of a particle clustering algorithm with potential application in coagulation control.
- Involved with a number of other WRc contracts and proposals, helping a range of water industry and instrumentation Clients.
- PhD Civil & Environmental Engineering, Imperial College, London (1999-2003)
- MEng Chemical Eng. with Biotechnology, University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology (1995-1999)
- Chartered Engineer – Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers
- Expert user of apps including Photoshop, Lightroom, LinkedIn Recruiter, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, Final Cut, Logic Pro.
- An early adopter, often called on by friends & colleagues for support.
- Trained in leadership, project management, negotiation, presentation and interpersonal skills, time management, technology transfer, critical success factors and public speaking.
- Martin is a highly competitive, strategic thinker with the ability to influence & inspire confidence.
- He is a confident verbal, written & visual communicator who takes time to craft the message for the intended audience, and thrives on feedback and interaction.
- He loves teamwork, developing others and facilitating their growth into areas where their innate abilities and passions are fully utilised.