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Fleming College and QuantWave Technologies collaborate to develop intelligent wastewater sensing solution to predict COVID-19 outbreaks


Peterborough ON – (October 1, 2020) – Researchers from Fleming College and QuantWave Technologies Inc. are working together to investigate the capability of QuantWave’s intelligent sensing system to provide an early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks when monitoring wastewater. Fleming College was awarded $75,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program – Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID-19 program for the project.

Researchers in China, Australia, the Netherlands and elsewhere have shown that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater. In at least one study it was detected before the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the area. Over the next year, QuantWave and Fleming College’s Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies (CAWT) will work closely together to develop QuantWave’s novel method of prediction. If sudden changes in virus concentrations in wastewater could be quickly monitored and reported, public health authorities would be provided with a heads-up that a surge of cases is on its way.

“Monitoring wastewater is an important tool in Canada’s fight against COVID-19,” said Fleming College President Maureen Adamson. “This project is another example of Fleming College working with our industry partners to look for solutions for society’s greatest challenges.”

In addition to potentially providing rapid, early indications of COVID-19 in a community, QuantWave’s intelligent sensing system would be an ongoing remote monitoring platform for wastewater treatment facilities. Fleming CAWT researchers have been working with QuantWave since 2017.

“The ultimate goal is to have the system implemented at wastewater treatment plants across Canada to provide real-time wastewater monitoring,” said QuantWave CSO Dr. Carolyn Ren. “The system will provide operators with data on changes in water quality indicators at each treatment stage and alert operators of critical process changes or events to make better decisions.”

About Fleming College: Fleming College respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg lands and territory. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 75,000 alumni.

About QuantWave Technologies: QuantWave, founded in December 2016 and headquartered in Waterloo, ON, was established to pursue the growing demands of intelligent sensing platform for industrial IoT applications. QuantWave’s novel sensing system integrates microfluidics, high-frequency microwave and machine learning technologies to provide online monitoring and predictive data analysis. QuantWave aims to improve the quality of industrial manufacturing processes and finished products, minimize the capital and operational costs as well as to provide optimal decision-making tools by developing a real-time, AI-powered, multi-parameter intelligent sensing system. QuantWave intelligent sensing technology has applications in various industries empowered by IoT, including water or wastewater, food & beverage, diagnostics, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.


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