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Dr. Sarah Dickson
B.A.Sc., Ph.D. (Waterloo), P. Eng.


Office JHE 225
Extension 24914
Email address sdickso@mcmaster.ca

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering

Associate Chair, Civil Engineering

Associate Member, School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University (2008-2011)

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo (2009-2011)

Water and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests

  • Environmental fate of organic contaminants in porous and fractured subsurface systems.
  • Characterization of non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) source zones in fractured subsurface systems.
  • Transport and fate (survival) of colloidal and biocolloid constituents in fractured subsurface systems.
  • Development and assessment of source zone remediation technologies.
Specific Research Interests and Activities:

The input, transport and fate of contaminants in groundwater systems are of particular importance in Canada given that more than 25% of Canadians depend on groundwater for their domestic water supply. My research goals focus on the characterization, transport mechanisms, fate and treatment of both chemical and biological contaminants in groundwater. My research approach creates linkages amongst science, mathematics and engineering through physical experimentation and mathematical modeling. Our research facility includes state-of-the-art visualization and analytical techniques, as well as high-power computers.

Publications

  • Mahaffy N.*, Dickson S.E., Cantwell R., Lucier K.* and Schuster-Wallace C. Effects of physical disturbances on media and performance of household-scale slow sand (BioSand) filters. J. Water Supply Res. T. In press. doi:10.2166/aqua.2014.061
  • Rodrigues S.* and Dickson S.E. 2014. A Phenomenological Model for Particulate Retention in Single, Saturated Fractures. Ground Water 52(2): 277-283. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12062
  • Mahaffy N.*, Dickson S.E., Cantwell R., Lucier K.* and Schuster-Wallace C. Effects of physical disturbances on media and performance of household-scale slow sand (BioSand) filters. J. Water Supply Res. T. In press. doi:10.2166/aqua.2014.061
  • Rodrigues S.* and Dickson S.E. 2014. A Phenomenological Model for Particulate Retention in Single, Saturated Fractures. Ground Water 52(2): 277-283. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12062
  • Mumford K.G.*, Smith J.A., and Dickson S.E. 2010. Effect of spontaneous gas expansion and mobilization on the aqueous-phase concentrations above a dense non-aqueous phase liquid pool. Adv. Water Resour. 33:504-513 doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2010.02.002
  • Mumford K.G. *, Smith J.A. and Dickson S.E. 2009. New observations of gas-phase expansion above a dense non-aqueous phase liquid pool. Vadose Zone J. 8:404-410 doi: 10.2136/vzj2008.0044
  • Zheng Q. *, Dickson S.E. and Guo Y. 2009. Differential transport and dispersion of colloids relative to solutes in single fractures. J. Colloid Interface Sci., doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2009.07.002
  • Zheng Q. *, Dickson S.E. and Guo Y. 2009. Influence of aperture field heterogeneity and anisotropy on dispersion regimes and dispersivity in single fractures, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B03205, doi:10.1029/2007JB005161.
  • Lee, L.H. *, Arnold, A.J., Santillan, C.A., Emelko, M.B., Dickson, S.E., and Chang, J.-S. 2008. Bench-Scale Disinfection of Bacteria and Viruses with Pulsed Arc Electrohydraulic Discharge. Wat. Qual. Res. Jour. Can. 43(1): 77 - 84.
  • Mumford K.G.*, Dickson S.E. and Smith J.A. 2008. Slow gas expansion in saturated natural porous media by gas injection and partitioning with non-aqueous phase liquids. Adv. Water Resour. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2008.09.006
  • Mumford, K.G.*, Smith, J.E. and Dickson S.E. 2008. Expansion of the discontinuous gas phase and its effect on mass flux from a non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) pool, J Contam. Hydrol. 98( 3-4):85-96.
  • Zheng Q ., Dickson S.E. and Guo Y. 2008. On the appropriate "equivalent aperture" for the description of solute transport in single fractures: Laboratory-scale experiments, Water Resour. Res., 44, W04502, doi:10.1029/2007WR005970
  • Mumford K.G.*, MacGregor J.F., Dickson S.E. and Frappa R.F. 2007. Multivariate analysis of groundwater and soil data from a waste disposal site. Journal of Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation, 27(1):92 - 102.
* Denotes student under my supervision at the time the work was performed.