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Promising scientist involved in Arklow Waste Water Treatment plant project receives high praise


Leanne Casey's stellar work has been recognised by Irish Water.

Leanne Casey's stellar work has been recognised by Irish Water.

Leanne Casey's stellar work has been recognised by Irish Water.


Clare native Leanne Casey, who has worked on the Arklow Waste Water Treatment Plant, is one of several visionary scientists who have been highlighted as part of Science Week 2022.

Irish Water employee Leanne has been profiled alongside their most innovative and ground-breaking scientists, with the national water utility company keen to emphasise the vital work they do in the water and wastewater industry.

Having graduated in the middle of the climate and energy crisis with an MEngSc in Water, Waste and Environmental Engineering at University College Dublin (UCD), Leanne’s determination to find sustainable solutions in agriculture, environmental protection, and climate resilience inspired her to join Irish Water, as part of the Cross Industry Graduate Programme.

Speaking about her role at at the state-owned company, Leanne said “My first rotation is with Irish Water, working in Asset Delivery in the Wastewater Division. The Wastewater Division is involved in all stages in the life cycle of wastewater treatment plant development. Being a part of such large projects is interesting, especially because a significant wastewater treatment plant is now being built in Arklow, Co. Wicklow.”

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“I have been learning a lot about the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant and the great progress being made to treat wastewater which has normally been discharged untreated to the Avoca River in the past. The project is due to be completed in 2025 and really interesting part of this project is the construction of 900 m long sea outfall pipe which will discharge the treated water far out at sea once the treatment plant is operational.”

Leanne wholeheartedly encourages women to study science and is delighted to see more and more Irish women turning to careers in science and engineering. One of the main benefits of a career in science, according to Leanne, is that you are always on a learning curve and rarely confined to a desk.

“I have been very fortunate as the ratio of men to women in my undergraduate programme was almost 50:50, and the intake for the Cross Industry Graduate Programme is the first to have more women than men,” Leanne said.

“My advice to women considering a career in science would be to encourage them to study and work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), as it’s certainly not a monotonous or repetitious career choice. The opportunities are endless in terms of research and providing innovative solutions to tackling climate change both in Ireland and around the globe.”