Director, Water Process and Treatment Technology
“I've always been fascinated by water. It's the foundation for all life forms on our planet.”
Gillian leads teams of engineers and environmental experts to solve water challenges for industrial facilities. But water hasn’t always been her primary focus.
“I started my career as a process engineer on oil and gas projects. That’s where I discovered I loved solving engineering challenges.
“But I’ve always felt compelled to do what I can to improve the environmental footprint of industrial projects. That’s why my current role is a perfect fit.”
Finding creative solutions for water challenges
Based in our Calgary office in Canada, Gillian oversees a range of water projects across the energy, chemicals and resources sectors. And she has a unique perspective on the challenges heavy industrial users are facing.
“Water needs vary by sector and region, which is what makes these projects so interesting. Our customers need to use water more responsibly to meet the expectations of their stakeholders. And they’re under pressure to change how they access, treat, use, and dispose of water.
“High-quality water is an integral feedstock for many of our energy transition projects. But identifying suitable water sources can be difficult, which is further complicated by climate change.”
But even with growing challenges in the water space, Gillian is optimistic that industrial users can become better water stewards.
“The growing need for high-quality water feedstocks in industry will drive us to treat large volumes of poor-quality waste streams efficiently. This wastewater can then become a high-value feedstock for other projects, particularly in water-stressed regions.”
The importance of diverse perspectives
Coates believes diversity is key to meeting the growing complexity of water projects, particularly as industries align their operations with the energy transition.
“I am an integrator. I love developing strategies for how we can solve customer challenges. And the best way to do this is to bring teams together with diverse expertise. That’s how you find innovative solutions that improve our industry and the environment.
“It’s rewarding to work on projects that make heavy industrial operations more sustainable. Water is an element to be treasured and protected, rather than abused and taken for granted. I’m energized by the work our teams are doing to help our customers make better use of water.”