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This year the Calgary iGEM team began our project with human practices in mind. While we had established a research objective to produce a biosensor and bioreactor system, we wanted to ensure that our system was relevant to the industry where it would be employed. As well, we wanted to ensure that academic, government, and industry professionals' concerns were taken into consideration during the design process of our system. In order to best accomplish this, we conducted interviews with two leaders in oilsands reclamation. We approached a major oilsands company, Suncor, and talked to Christine Daly, an Ecologist who works in Environmental Cleanup. We then approached Ryan Radke, the president of BioAlberta. BioAlberta focuses on bringing biotechnology to our province and develop these in an industrial setting. His experience allowed us to better predict if our project would have any concerns amongst legislators and industrial leaders.

Talking with Suncor's Christine Daly on Biology in the Oil Sands

BioAlberta's Ryan Radke on Biology in the Oil Sands

Follow-Up Interviews

Our second iteration of interviews were conducted once we had a more concrete product built. The purpose of these interviews was to see whether we had successfully addressed the concerns of the first iteration interviews. We also wanted to see whether any new issues with the design existed, which would provide us with potential future directions to take FRED and OSCAR. Kelly Roberge, an independent oil consultant, suggested we look into various ways to deal with the clay and silt particles that can enter our bioreactor system, which can be a major problem since mature fine tailings have the consistency of mud.

Kelly Roberge, of K. Roberge Consulting Ltd. Discussing Bioreactor Improvements