Tyler grew up on a farm in southern Alberta, planting and harvesting crops. From an early age Tyler realized the significant effort and understanding needed to make efficient farming decisions. The operation required knowledge in plant germination, soil science, fertilizer and chemical application, equipment mechanics, macro- and microeconomics.
After completing his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Alberta he began working in consulting: designing, constructing, and commissioning water and wastewater treatment and conveyance infrastructure. It was only after Tyler joined utility management and began working in a water treatment plant that he realized his textbook understanding of the coagulation process was incomplete.
Operationally, coagulation chemistry is the “single most important factor affecting treatment plant performance” (AWWA M37). It requires significant experience to properly adjust dosing to adapt to rapidly changing raw water conditions. He spent years talking with senior operators and poring over historical data, trying to identify how experiential knowledge could be captured and retained.
While completing his master’s degree, Tyler began exploring the concept of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand the complex relationships affecting treated water quality. Machine learning is ideally suited to handle multiple input multiple output non-linear problems, such as the relationships present in coagulation. In the process of creating over a thousand models of the coagulation process he was able to identify an effective, robust approach. By leveraging historical data, operator knowledge, and engineering experience the models can help operators adapt to changing raw water conditions to protect the quality of the treated water and reduce coagulant and polymer usage by up to 20%. The model also helps reduce residuals and environmental impacts.
Tyler works with other engineers and operational staff to efficiently identify opportunities for AI implementation while minimizing cybersecurity risks, knowledge retention challenges, and operational difficulties. His technology has been used in the treatment of award-winning water and assists operators in treating water for over 100,000 people.
Tyler lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with his wife Kennedy and their two children. They enjoy learning together and spending time in nature.