James Higgins, Ph.D., P.Eng., President


James Higgins is the President of Environmental Technologies Development Corporation (ETDC). Dr. Higgins was previously the Director of Ecological Engineering and Senior Executive Consultant for Stantec Consulting Limited (Stantec), and for its legacy firm, Jacques Whitford Limited. He held positions of manager, director, vice-president, president, CEO, vice-chairman, and chairman in various companies and organizations.

  • World expert in the fields of wetland engineering, engineered bioreactors, site reclamation and phytoremediation.
  • Current technical expertise in wastewater treatment, mining and the environment, environmental engineering, and ecological engineering.
  • Licensed professional engineer in the Provinces of Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland & Labrador, as well as in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut.
  • Former member of the Ontario Mining Association’s Environment Committee and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s OPS Environment Committee.


  • Executive responsibility for the design, engineering, construction oversight and start up of a large vertical sub-surface flow engineered wetland system (two hectares) to treat up to 1.2 MGPD of propylene glycol-contaminated storm water and spent de-icing fluids at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
  • Led a phytoremediation project to clean up a former gasoline/fuel oil loading facility using hybrid poplars.
  • Project Director for re-opening a graphite mine in Ontario
  • Responsible for projects involving the management of reclaim water at a gold mine in South America, and mines in Labrador and the Yukon
  • Technical Manager for water/wastewater treatment for a Class EA for a major new refinery.

International Award
Dr. Higgins won the prestigious Honour Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) at its 2010 awards ceremony in Washington, DC. for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Design.


  • Dr. Higgins lectures on ecological engineering, wetlands engineering, acid rock drainage (ARD) treatment, engineered bioreactors, environmental technology, wastewater treatment, and phytoremediation.
  • Adjunct Professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph (UoG)
  • Adjunct Professor/lecturer in the Chemical Engineering Departments at several other colleges and universities such as Universities of Ottawa and Toronto.
  • Researcher at Centre for Alternative Wastewater Technology (CAWT) at Fleming College
  • Researcher at Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre at the University of Guelph (UoG’s) Campus D’Alfred.

• Ph.D. from the Imperial College of Science & Technology in London, UK in Chemical Engineering
• Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Toronto
• Certificate of Management from the University of Calgary.
CV is available on website http://www.uoguelph.ca/ses/users/jhiggi04

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