Areas of Academic Interest
Aerobic granular sludge
Biological nutrients removal
Removal of emerging contaminants
Energy and resource recovery
|2019||University of Calgary||PhD|
|2011||American University in Cairo||MSc|
|2006||American University in Cairo||BSc|
On Rania Hamza's bookshelf sits a plastic brown poop emoji. The deceptively cute gag gift is symbolic of society's discomfort with what's a natural – and necessary – biological function: human waste. "The fact that nobody wants to talk about wastewater annoys me because, as long as humans are alive, it's going to exist," says Rania Hamza. "With more industrial developments, people and urban cities, we're now seeing pharmaceuticals, chemicals and new pollutants that are no longer benign waste."
In the environmental engineer's lab, she's tackling this issue through her research on aerobic granular sludge – naturally occurring bacteria used to consume organic matter in sewage, which then settles and separates from the treated water. By providing optimal conditions, Hamza "trains" the bacteria to grow and amass together in large particles. "When the bacteria are healthier, they form aggregates, which settle faster and can remove more waste, including some toxic materials," she says.
Hamza's work, which has earned her the title of "bacteria whisperer" among family and friends, can improve conventional wastewater treatment technologies, ensuring our drinking water, lakes and rivers are clean. "Canada has beautiful and awesome water resources, and that makes people take it for granted," she says. "But now, everybody should be thinking about wastewater differently."
"Human waste does not end by flushing the toilet; it starts another journey."
- NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019)
- Izaak Walton Killam Doctoral Scholarship (2017 - 2019)
- Queen Elizabeth II Doctoral Scholarship (2016 - 2018)
- Eyes High Doctoral Scholarship (2015 - 2016)
- Hamza, R.A., Sheng, Z., Iorhemen, O.T., Zaghloul, M.S., and Tay, J.H (2019). Optimization of organics to nutrients (COD:N:P) ratio for aerobic granular sludge treating high-strength organic wastewater. Science of the Total Environment, 650 (part 2), 3168-3179.
- Iorhemen, O.T., Hamza, R.A., Zaghloul, M.S., and Tay, J.H. (2019) Aerobic granular sludge membrane bioreactor (AGMBR): Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) analysis. Water Research, Vol 56, Pages 305-314
- Hamza, R.A., Iorhemen, O.T., Zaghloul, M.S., Sheng, Z., and Tay, J.H. (2018). Impact of food-to-microorganisms ratio on the stability of aerobic granular sludge treating high-strength organic wastewater. Water Research, 147 (15), 287-298.
- Zaghloul, M. S., Hamza, R. A., Iorhemen, O. T., and Tay, J. H. (2018). Performance prediction of an aerobic granular SBR using modular multilayer artificial neural networks. Science of The Total Environment, 645, 449-459.
- Hamza, R.A., Iorhemen, O.T., Zaghloul, M.S., and Tay, J.H (2018). Rapid formation and characterization of aerobic granules in pilot-scale sequential batch reactor for high-strength organic wastewater treatment. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 22, 27-33.