Last November, Professor Robert Delatolla received the 2022 Ontario Professional Engineers Awards (OPEA) medal for engineering excellence at the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers’ awards gala for his work on tracking wastewater levels of COVID-19 and other diseases.
Delatolla’s research on biological wastewater treatment and wastewater surveillance of disease has had a significant impact on both public health and education. He’s the lead investigator on Ottawa’s COVID-19 wastewater monitoring program, which has acted as an early warning system for the spread of the virus. Over the past three years, his research group has helped the public understand the progression of COVID-19, and the wastewater surveillance system is now part of our everyday lives. So far, Delatolla’s team is the only one reporting data directly to public health agencies in Canada.
Delatolla has recently published 14 articles regarding his team’s work. He’s an active member of many groups working on COVID-19, including the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in Canada. He’s also a deputy of the national Viral Genomics and Sequencing Pillar of the Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network and co-chair of the Ontario Wastewater Surveillance Technology and Research Advisory Table, along with the Ontario Wastewater Surveillance Consortium.
The awards recognize professional engineers in Ontario who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and their community. Delatolla’s category specifically recognizes innovative applications and outstanding results.
Congratulations Professor Delatolla!