Inflection Points Apr 14, 2020

Tackling the Environmental Challenge of PFAS

Show Contributors: Jan Walstrom, Peter Nicol, Stephen Ludwig

Inflection Points Episode 1

Per- and polyfluoalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of organic compounds with widespread use and persistence in the environment. In this episode of Inflection Points, Jacobs Global Environmental Market Director Jan Walstrom and Jacobs Global Water Market Director (Retired) Peter Nicol discuss the source and nature of PFAS chemicals, why they’re a growing public health concern and treatment and remediation solutions for impacted soil, groundwater and drinking water.

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Episode notes

As Jacobs’ Global Environmental Market Director, Jan Walstrom’s message to her team of more than 6,500 is “be the best in the world by being the best for the world.” Whether environmental planning and permitting for critical highway, rail, energy and resilience projects or remediating and revitalizing land and groundwater contaminated by radionuclides and metals or various organic contaminants and emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — to address the tough challenges facing our world today, Jan promotes the inclusivity of ideas and global knowledge sharing to reinvent how we solve problems and shape the environmental solutions of tomorrow. A biologist by trade, she earned her bachelors degree at the University of Tulsa.

An angler, kayaker and scuba diver, Peter Nicol loves water. It’s no wonder that for a career, he’s focused on solutions to ensure availability of this critical, life-sustaining (and fulfilling) resource. As the former Global Director for Water at Jacobs, he led a team of more than 6,000 visionaries and doers to develop innovative, sustainable and comprehensive solutions for tomorrow: A modern storage system for California’s scarcest and most valuable resource. A sewage management system in Hong Kong that converts sludge into electricity. Protection for our world’s coasts against rising oceans and variating weather. No matter the challenge, Peter and the Jacobs team worked with clients and partners to make smart, sustainable decisions at all points in the water cycle—from water supplies to treatment, conveyance, wastewater treatment, reuse and return to the natural environment. Peter holds a bachelor of applied science degree in geological engineering and applied earth sciences from the University of Toronto.