Jeff Roberts, M.Sc. | Operations Manager

First Day at SiREM: January 7, 2002

Fondest Memory while at SiREM: I’ll go all the way back to the very beginning when I was a co-op student on my first day and was welcomed to the organization with open arms. I immediately felt like I belonged and was part of something special that was about to happen. The last 20 years at SiREM have been very special with countless fond memories.

Where do you see SiREM in 5 – 10 years? We will have additional locations outside of North America and be about twice the size we are now. We will continue developing and implementing innovative solutions to help solve the world’s complex environmental problems.

Proudest SiREM Moment: Being part of the project SABRE team to expand our understanding of bioremediation for DNAPL source zones.

Favorite Quote: I’ve always liked Vince Lombardi quotes and this is my favorite, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, its whether you get up”. Also, I recently read Will Smith’s biography “Will” and he tells the story of Quincy Jones repeating, “No paralysis through analysis” and that has stuck with me as things move so fast these days we need to be efficient with our analysis to make informed decisions quickly to continue to move forward.

Sandra Dworatzek, M.Sc. | Principal

First Day at SiREM: Officially May 5, 2002. But helped Phil construct first microcosm study in January 2002 while still on maternity leave.

Fondest Memory while at SiREM: Seeing staff progress through their careers, from co-op student, and lab assistant through to senior positions.

Where do you see SiREM in 5 – 10 years? In 10 years I see SIREM bigger and better than ever.

Proudest SiREM Moment: Taking KB-1® from original 1 L volumes to 100’s of L per year.

Favorite Quote: If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again. I have always learned the most from making mistakes.

Phil Dennis, M.A.Sc. | Principal Scientist

First Day at SiREM: The first time I visited the “new lab” under construction was on September 11th 2001 this was 911 and the jets had just hit the Twin Towers.

Fondest Memory while at SiREM: Some of the early Battelle conferences in Monterey, good cheer, beautiful place, optimism, and ideas galore. The best thing about working for SiREM is all the great people I have met and had the privilege of working with.

Where do you see SiREM in 5 – 10 years? We will be doing our part to help society move to a more sustainable way of doing things.

Proudest SiREM Moment: Not one but many times when a customer calls up and is excited and says “it worked the Site is getting cleaned up!”

Favorite Quote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” We never really know where things will end up when we take the first small steps towards something new, it can be amazing what happens in the fullness of time!

Ximena Druar, B.Sc. | Genetic Laboratory Supervisor

First Day at SiREM: My first day at SiREM was March 13, 2002. SiREM was just a shell and I was able to participate in setting up some of the first treatability studies.

Fondest Memory while at SiREM: It has been amazing to watch everyone’s careers and families grow. SiREM is such a welcoming place and I have had the pleasure of working with some of the brightest, kindest and innovative scientists.

Where do you see SiREM in 5 – 10 years? Continuing to develop and implement molecular testing strategies to help with environmental issues.

Proudest SiREM Moment: Moving to our new facility in 2015. It was such a combined work of love and determination. SiREM did not stop for one minute even throughout the move. What an amazing team we have, and it was only possible because everyone came together and got it done!

Favorite Quote: “Don’t stop trying until you are proud!”

Duane Graves, Ph.D. | US Operations Manager

First Day at SiREM: April 1, 2020, after 18 years as a strong advocate for and collaborator with SiREM since our founding in 2002.

Fondest Memory while at SiREM: I remember working with Ximena several years ago and we were struggling to make something, or another work and we began sharing Southern US and Chilean colloquialisms about useless things. The conversation turned to pigs and snakes, I still chuckle when I think of the idiom she shared.

Where do you see SiREM in 5 – 10 years? I expect SiREM to be twice the size it is now with specialized services reaching far beyond our current technical portfolio to encompass issues associated with climate change, environmental issues that are just beginning to emerge such as microplastics and fugitive nanoparticles; increasingly sophisticated applications of molecular tools to deep-dive into the role of microbes in environmental processes, and areas that are not even on the radar today.

Proudest SiREM Moment: My proudest SiREM moment is also my proudest career moment. As a result of SiREM’s tireless work to help our clients with COVID-19, one client sent me a message that simply said, “I know your work saved lives, and for that we are grateful.”

Favorite Quote: Here are three of my favorites with the last being most important to me:

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities – brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”

“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”