Dr John Lucas, Technical Advisor, Ventia

As a key technical advisor to Ventia's Environmental Remediation team, Dr John Lucas describes himself as "Having a penchant for applying science to solve real world problems." 

This week is National Science Week and we're celebrating our own scientist, Dr Lucas, as he talks about his drivers and passions for all things science and how that relates to his role.

Dr Lucas is an Associate Professor and Doctor, holding a Bachelor in Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Mathematics, and has received a raft of industry awards and accolades and over his 30 years' industry experience. His extensive resume reads like a science experiment and he is a shining ambassador for what a career in science and engineering can achieve.

With his expertise and industry experience, Dr Lucas sees his role as "a bridge spanning the disparate worlds of science in the university and institutional setting, and the 'real commercial world'.

"What I love about my role with Ventia is being able to provide counselling and advice to help guide major remediation projects. I'm lucky to work with a company that uses science and technology in an effective and commercial way, and to work with a vast network of great technically-minded people," he said.

Dr Lucas has been a conduit to universities and other research providers, assisting with the implementation of science, technology and innovation to many of Ventia's Environmental Services' projects. 

His knowledge and insight have been applied to high temperature processes, soil treatment, odour control, waste treatment and emission controls. The most recent achievement he cites is being part of the team that has brought the SVJV soil treatment facility to fruition.

I'm also in the unique position of being able to work with a lot of budding scientists, undergraduates and to link these people with industry.

'I'm privileged to work with these people and to provide a mentoring role for them," he said.

When asked what advice he would give to up-and-coming scientists, his advice was simple: "Allow your mind to be inquisitive.  Ask lots of questions - how did that work and why did that happen?".

What else would an engineer and scientist of his pedigree say?