After graduating from Bath University in 1990 with a degree in Chemical & Bio Process Engineering, Nicola Henderson, Director of Aquability OPS Ltd, started her career in wastewater treatment at British Steel, responsible for the operation of their water and wastewater treatment systems. She then spent 24 years working for Design Build Contractors in the water industry where she gained widespread experience across a number of fields, some of her past roles include:

  • Head of Proposals & Business Development at AECOM Design Build Ltd – Nicola and her team won more than £260mill of work over 2.5 years including Thames Water’s 1 million PE Deephams WWTP and the CASS SBR design and technology for United Utilities 600,000 PE multi-storey WWTP built in Liverpool docks.
  • Head of Commissioning at Earth Tech Engineering Ltd – Nicola developed the company commissioning procedures and was responsible for the commissioning of all projects in the UK and Europe. Some of the plants that Nicola directly managed the commissioning of include :
    • The 500,000 PE Aberdeen wastewater PFI scheme which comprised four sites. 
    • A DBFO wastewater plant at MOL Duna Oil Refinery treating 24000 m3/d of high strength waste streams from the oil refinery. 
    • The New Lincs energy from waste plant at Grimsby which processed 7 tonne/hour of municipal waste to produce 3MW electricity and 3MW heat export.
  • Nicola gained extensive SBR experience in her role as Operations Manager for the CASS (SBR technology) division of Earth Tech Engineering Ltd, based in USA. She managed global operations, winning and delivering a number of worldwide municipal and industrial wastewater CASS plants.
  • Nicola’s career in the water industry started as a process and commissioning engineer at Biwater Treatment Ltd and then Earth Tech Engineering Ltd. She was lead engineer on major contracts for sewage, sludge and water treatment plants from proposal to contract stage both in the UK and overseas.
Nicola Henderson

More recently, Nicola has worked with Aquability OPS on a number of projects, including  :

  • Optimising the performance of a number of Yorkshire Water’s wastewater treatment plants including Saltend WWTP in Hull – serving a population equivalent of one million. Aquability OPS led the lamella and SBR process modifications which resulted in the best ever plant performance and a 50% reduction in SBR power consumption.
  • Sonoco Paper Recycling Plant, Halifax – the effluent treatment plant suffered from severe filamentous growth in the activated sludge plant. Aquability OPS performed a process audit and feasibility study with recommendations to improve performance.
  • Yorkshire Water AMP7 Early Investigations Project – Aquability OPS has been the process lead at a number of AMP7 WWTP workshops to identify issues and risks, develop a solution and build up scope and cost.