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SiREM Celebrates 15 Years in 2017!

SiREM’s 15 Year Service Club from top right Sandra Dworatzek, Jeff Roberts, Ximena Druar and Phil Dennis 

In 2002, bioaugmentation for chlorinated solvent remediation was relatively new and still controversial in some circles, despite the publication of a watershed paper that demonstrated its in situ effectiveness (Major et al., 2000). The publication indicated that an upstart culture called KB-1® could help clean up a TCE site at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, SiREM cultures have helped remediate sites worldwide and nearly every U.S. state and in 2016, we bioaugmented our 500th site. SiREM is proud to have played a role in bringing these many contaminated sites back into safe and productive use. Over the years SiREM has expanded treatability testing services to include flow through columns and quantitative tests for numerous microbes and functional genes, including many not even known to exist when we started this journey.

Since our humble beginnings 15 years ago, SiREM has expanded its laboratory on three occasions, and grown from 4 to 15 full time employees. SiREM is pleased to provide a fulfilling work environment for our valued employees, many of which have long term tenure with our organization. Recently, Senior Managers Phil Dennis, Sandra Dworatzek, Jeff Roberts, and Ximena Druar (Genetic Testing Coordinator) celebrated their 15year service anniversaries.

SiREM is thankful to all our customers, research partners, suppliers, regulators and other contributors to the environmental field that made our work over the past 15 years possible. We look forward to many more years of contributing to a cleaner and healthier world and we especially look forward to joining you on the journey.


Major, D., M. McMaster, E. Cox, E. Edwards, S. Dworatzek, E. Hendrickson, M. Starr, J. Payne and L. Buonamici, 2002. Field Demonstration of Successful Bioaugmentation to Achieve Dechlorination of Tetrachloroethene to Ethene. Environ. Sci. Technol. 36: 5106-5116.

Community Outreach

SiREM Contributes to Planning for Local College Biotechnology Program

The Biotechnology Technician Program at Conestoga College focuses on applied biotechnology skills and knowledge in medicine, public health and the environment.  Two of SiREM’s current employees graduated from the program.

Jeff Roberts (SiREM) attended the Biotechnology Technician Program Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting at the Kitchener (Ontario) campus of Conestoga College, on April 6, 2017. The PAC provides a necessary link between Conestoga College and the community it serves. PACs help keep Conestoga responsive to current and future workforce needs, and trends or opportunities in industry and the marketplace. This was Jeff’s 3rd PAC meeting and he provided input from an industry perspective to assist in program planning. SiREM supports the program by hosting Conestoga College student groups each autumn who visit the SiREM laboratory and prepare presentations on environmental remediation topics.

High School Co-op Student Placement at SIREM

Since 2012 SiREM has participated in the School to Career Program that provides experience in local businesses for high school students. Our most recent Co-op student, John Wadie, is a grade 12 student at Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School in the International Baccalaureate program. John’s work at SiREM has focused on updating databases, producing KB-1® Primer and assisting with bioaugmentation culture production. John says his experience at SiREM has been “amazing” and “everyone has been so nice” and staff has “enlightened me on the various careers associated with working in a lab”. John’s next step is to study Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. We would all like to thank John for his hard work at SiREM and wish him well in his future endeavors.

Pam Wood

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