June 8, 2023
Alberta. Nearly fifteen years ago, Ledcor announced the founding of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (NAIT) Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability with a $1.5-million endowment (matched by the Alberta government).
Then, in 2015, Andrea Sedgwick (M.Eng and P.Eng) was named the new Ledcor Group Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Sustainability — an oil sands expert with more than 25 years of mining and upstream oil sands development experience.
Sedgwick has since led the Centre to new heights in research and development. Under her leadership, the Centre – now located in the new Productivity and Innovation Centre on NAIT’s main campus – has doubled in size to over 12,700 square feet. They’ve been able to develop further applied research, pilot testing, and technology development to meet industry needs and minimize the industry impact on the environment.
One of those innovations includes the advancement of a new filter press technology, which was successfully pilot-run by Ledcor. This new technology development can have a significant, long-term environmental impact by reducing the size of tailing ponds, filtering out the water which is then returned and recycled.
“I’m happy to be able to use my industry knowledge and expertise to aid in developing new technologies in oil sands applications,” says Sedgwick. “Sustainability is at the forefront of what we do and the Centre is helping to drive continued improvement and innovation in the oil sands.”
Her role as the Ledcor Chair for Environmental Sustainability has been essential for the success of the Centre. “The funding of the Chair has allowed us to leverage funding to grow the Centre’s research and development capabilities,” says Sedgwick. “These opportunities have allowed us to create a space for students to learn skills that are directly applicable to their post education career.”
Over the course of the last 33 years, Ledcor is proud to have donated close to $2.2 million to NAIT — spread out through the $1.5-million endowment, $361,430 in scholarships and bursaries, $210,000 campus development, and additional donations through sponsorships and program initiatives. Along with NAIT’s growth, funds have helped more than 200 students achieve their academic goals.