Our Team

David W. Major, Ph.D., BCES

Managing Director

Dr. David Major has over 25 years of international experience in negotiating, managing and directing the development and deployment of cost-effective remediation strategies for challenging contaminated sites for Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, and NASA. Dr. Major was inducted into the Space Hall of Fame® for helping NASA commercialize one of the “Products from Space Benefiting Planet Earth”. He has also been successful in commercializing intellectual property from the University of Waterloo, University of Tennessee, University of Toronto, Stanford University and DuPont for the treatment of contaminated groundwater, and biomolecular markers and genes in environmental samples. In 2007 he received a University of Waterloo, Faculty of Science Alumni of Honour Award in recognition of his professional accomplishments. He is currently an Associate Editor of Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation. Dr. Major has also served on the Board of Directors for Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., and for Kidsability. 

Gavin P. Grant, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Operations Manager

Dr. Grant, Operations, has more than 10 years of experience in the field of environmental remediation and the development and commercialization of the Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) technology.  He completed his Ph.D. studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, under the direction of Dr. Jason Gerhard and Prof. Jose Torero – the co-inventors of the STAR technology.  Dr. Grant is the Operations lead for Savron and has been the primary project manager, director, or technical lead on all STAR-related projects to date.  He has completed dozens of treatability studies and numerous pilot tests and implementation designs using the STAR technology and is currently managing STAR projects for top-tier clients such as DuPont, Dow Chemical, Chevron, and ExxonMobil.

Gavin continues to advance the state of the practice as a frequent presenter at events and lectures focused on soil contamination and organic waste disposal. 

Grant Scholes, M.E.Sc., P.Eng.

Manager of Engineering

Mr. Scholes, Lead Engineer, has spent over 12 years in the environmental industry focusing on the design, operation and construction of remediation systems and development of new technologies. 

Mr. Scholes has led the technical development of STAR and STARx from the initial pilot tests through to full scale designs of both the in situ and ex situ applications designing and optimizing customized equipment and developing operating procedures for field application.

Grant has been involved with the STAR technology since its inception and received his Masters of Engineering Science at the University of Western Ontario, under the supervision of Dr. Jason Gerhard, one the STAR inventors, where ignition method development and field implementation of STAR were the focus of his graduate work

His recent work has included design and implementation of in situ and ex situ pilot tests to demonstrate the STAR/STARx technology, including system design, data monitoring programs, and operational protocols.

Our Partners

The Savron team benefits from a close collaborative relationship with the inventors and lead researchers of the STAR technology at the University of Western Ontario (Canada), the University of Queensland (Australia), and the University of Strathclyde (UK).

Jason I. Gerhard

Canada Research Chair in Geoenvironmental Restoration Engineering
Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario
Adjunct Professor, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Jason Gerhard has over 15 years of experience conducting research investigating the behavior of DNAPLs and their remediation. Upon completion of doctoral studies, he joined University of Edinburgh as an Assistant Professor (2002) and was promoted to Associate Professor (2006). At Edinburgh, he led a strong research group supported by more than 1.3M USD in active, competitively awarded funding. In addition to numerous STAR projects in North America and the UK, his research program has generated breakthroughs in multiphase flow theory, developed proprietary models for DNAPL migration-dissolution-transport-reaction in both unconsolidated and fractured porous media, and produced novel experimental datasets for validating these numerical models. Dr. Gerhard moved to University of Western Ontario upon award of the Canada Research Chair in Geoenvironmental Restoration Engineering (2007) while remaining an Adjunct at University of Edinburgh. Since arriving, he is managing $1.1 million in new, North American-sourced research funds for DNAPL remediation research. Dr. Gerhard is a Professional Engineer who actively consults for industry, consultants, and legal counsel providing expert technical advice on subsurface investigations and remediation system design. He is an Associate Editor of the leading journal Water Resources Research. Furthermore, Dr. Gerhard is Co-Director of the RESTORE (Research for Subsurface Transport and Remediation) Group at Western, which includes a graduate research team of more than 20 people across 4 well-equipped experimental and modelling laboratories (www.eng.uwo.ca/research/restore/). Dr. Gerhard is a co-inventor of the STAR technology.

José L. Torero

Professor of Civil Engineering
Head of School, The University of Queensland

Dr. José L. Torero joined The University of Queensland in 2012 as Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of School.  He obtained a B.Sc. from the Pontificia Universidad Catolice del Peru (1989) and a M.Sc. (1991) and Ph.D.(1992) from the University of California Berkeley. Prior to joining UQ, Professor Torero held the position of the Head of the Institute for Infrastructure and Environmental, the BRE Trust/RAEng Professor of Fire Safety Engineering and Director of the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering. Additionally, Professor Torero was an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland (USA) and Charge de Recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France). He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Building Research Establishment.

In 2008 Professor Torero was awarded the Arthur B. Guise Medal by the Society of Fire Protection Engineering and, in 2011, the Rasbash Medal from the Institution of Fire Engineers (UK) for eminent achievement in the advancement of the science of fire safety.

Professor Torero has received numerous education related awards and in 2010 he received the Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Communicating Scientific Knowledge to the Public. His work on bringing technology to the Fire Service was the subject of the April, 2007 BBC Horizon show: “Skyscraper Fire Fighters” that has been shown in more than 30 countries.

He is the author of a book and more than 500 other technical documents for which he has received multiple awards. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Fire Safety Journal and was the Associate Editor of Combustion Science and Technology (2005-2010). He is a member of the Editorial Board of Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Fire Technology, Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Fire Science and Technology and the International Journal for High-Rise Buildings. He is the vice-chair of the International Association for Fire Safety Science, chair of the Fire Safety Working Group of the International Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and a member of numerous influential committees and standards development bodies.

Professor Torero is a consultant to many private and government organisations around the world, having participated in landmark projects such as the Buncefield, Sago Mine and Texas City Explosions, the collapse of the World Trade Centre and the design of complex infrastructure.  He is recognised for leading edge research in a broad arrange of subjects associated to fire safety and for the development of many innovative educational programmes in several countries. Dr. Torero is a co-inventor of the STAR technology.

Christine Switzer

Lecturer, University of Strathclyde

Dr. Christine Switzer is a Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom. She earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University. Her research interests are in the areas of contaminated land and water, with specific interests in contaminant transport and remediation. Dr. Switzer has over 10 years of experience in the remediation of organic contaminants and was part of the core research team that developed STAR from the idea stage to a field-demonstrated remediation process.

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