Prof. Jim Atwater completed his B.A.Sc. (1969) and M.A.Sc. (1973) degrees at the University of British Columbia prior to joining the Civil Engineering department as a faculty member in 1979. Prof. Atwater is an expert in solid waste management, and has conducted research on leachate generation, migration and control, and hazardous waste management. He has served as an advisor to federal, provincial and municipal governments on landfill leachate control and the development of regulations to properly handle and control hazardous waste. In 2013, Prof. Atwater was the recipient of the Donald R. Stanley Award from the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering along with his graduate student, Ryan Thoren, and his UBC colleague, Dr. Pierre Bérubé.

Research Interests

Solid waste management, leachate generation, characterization and treatment, groundwater contamination, groundwater nitrification/denitrification.


  • R. I. Thoren, Atwater, J. F., and Bérubé, P. R., “A model for analyzing water reuse and resource recovery potential in urban areas”, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (in press), 2012.
  • J. F. Atwater and Lawrence, G. A., “Regulatory, design and methodological impacts in determining tidal-in-stream power resource potential.”, Energy Policy, vol. 39(3), 2011.