About Us

John B. Copp Ph.D. and Evangelina Belia Ph.D., the principals of Primodal Inc. are wastewater treatment process modelling specialists with over 50 years of experience.

John B. Copp, Ph.D. – has over 30 years experience in wastewater  treatment process modelling and experimentation including 2 years of experience in The Netherlands at Wageningen University and Research Centre as part of an IWA Task Group research team investigating control of wastewater treatment plants and 3 months at Pusan National University in South Korea investigating on-line model-based control. Dr. Copp’s process simulation experience is diverse and he has co-authored 3 books on the subject of modelling and the development of a simulation-based protocol for evaluating wastewater treatment control strategies. While with Hydromantis, John was responsible for new model development and numerous applied treatment process modelling projects in Mexico, the United Kingdom and the US. Recent modelling experiences include the calibration of numerous nutrient removal wastewater treatment models for a UK water company and the development of a customised operator training tool for a US-based consulting firm. In addition to his applied work, Dr. Copp is active in research projects abroad including being an active member of an International Water Association (IWA) Task Group on control strategy evaluation benchmarking and a project that is attempting to develop a system for design that incorporates dynamic modelling with construction cost estimates. Formerly, Dr Copp led the new product development team at Hydromantis during which time he directed the development of a new process simulator as well as anaerobic digestion and activated sludge models for SimuWorks, CapdetWorks and GPS-X.

Evangelina Belia, Ph.D. – has over 30 years experience in the wastewater treatment industry. Since the completion of her doctorate, Dr. Belia has specialised in the construction and commissioning of treatment facilities as well as mathematical modelling. As the lead process commissioning engineer for two PFI schemes at Inverness and Fort William in the north of Scotland, Dr. Belia gained design and construction experience. As head of the Process Modelling Department she successfully developed the modelling capabilities of Bechtel Water. While working with Hydromantis, Dr. Belia led the commissioning at the Niagara Falls Water Pollution Control Plant during the Phase 2 upgrades and she was a principal engineer in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo Biosolids Master Plan.. More recently she had been managing a number of industrial and municipal wastewater modelling projects in the US, Canada and Europe. Dr Belia is currently the Principal Investigator for the IWA Design and Uncertainty Task Group (website) which has developed protocols that allows forthe incorporation of uncertainty analysis in wastewater treatment models with an aim to better understand the uncertainty in model-based predictive process behaviour.


Winter 2023

dDesk, the desktop data prep, analysis and visualisation tool from Primodal Systems has just been upgraded again!  Now with new models, new modules and new data analysis tools (and new digital twin mechanistic model linking in dDock), dDesk has entered a whole new stage of development. We’ve rewritten the PrecisionNow engine to make the analysis even faster than it was before. Your user-defined drawing board has been updated and a new API for the development of custom user-defined analysis algorithms has been included.

We were back at WEFTEC in New Orleans this past year, and presented 2 new digital twin related papers at the CWWA annual conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Primodal Systems has been working with 2 clients on the development of digital twins using dDock to acquire, analyse, and prepare raw data for digital twin simulation. dDock will be configured to send the prepared data to an integrated SUMO model of their plant and receive data back from the model for post-processing, system status and operational feedback. We are enthusiastically looking forward to the year ahead as we continue to expand our digital twin offering.

Winter 2020
dDesk, the desktop data prep, analysis and visualisation tool from Primodal Systems has gotten an upgrade!  We’ve made our data analysis software even simpler to use so your analysis needs will be achieved in even less time, and QA/QC will be even easier.

We’re pleased to announce the release of dDesk v3.1. This version improves upon many of the great features already included in the software including, improved visualisation with brand new data tables and plot functions. An enhanced data importer has been added to deal with more ‘special case’ issues that exist in atypical spreadsheets. Better data analysis is now possible with the addition of many more data analysis modules. Modules have been more intuitively organised in the interface and the addition of a search function, makes finding the right module simpler. The user interface has been updated to enhance the user experience, and tooltips have been added for improved usability.

MEDIA RELEASE – Jan. 24, 2020

 Primodal Systems Inc. releases its latest dDesk offering (version 3.1)

“The wastewater treatment industry is growing in sophistication and there is a significant and immediate need for data analysis tools that are user-friendly, require little to no training to operate yet can handle the ever-increasing size of modern data sets,” said president Dr. John Copp.  “This is the software product we are proud to bring to the marketplace.”

“Wastewater treatment process analysis now involves the analysis of vast datasets, from daily or weekly grab samples to in-line high-frequency sensor data being recorded sometimes many times per minute. The analysis of these datasets is expensive without the right tool,” said Copp.  “Traditionally this analysis has been done in spreadsheets, but spreadsheets were not designed for millions of data points, so Primodal has created dDesk, a tool specifically designed for big datasets. Designed with a user-friendly graphical user interface, dDesk gives the user the ability to rapidly visualise and pre-process the data into a usable form. What is this data telling me? This is the question dDesk aims to help engineers answer.”  As long-time process modellers, Primodal principals are experienced in all aspects of wastewater treatment data analysis. And, with modelling becoming a prerequisite for most wastewater treatment process-related work throughout the world, expertise in data analysis is widely viewed as an industry asset.

Primodal often teams up with other firms to deliver the best data solution. Partnering firms choose Primodal to complement and enhance their work and assist in providing an optimal data analysis outcome.

“As a global service provider, Primodal is committed to finding and achieving the best possible solutions,” says principal Dr. Lina Belia.  “Efficient, field-proven software technology is just the beginning.  To every project we bring extensive knowledge and experience with highly successful operations around the world.”


Contact Information:
John Copp, copp@primodal.com, (905) 920-2725
Lina Belia, belia@primodal.com, (269) 762-4780
Further information:  https://www.primodal.com.

Company Profile
Founded in 2006 by the Principals of Primodal Inc. – Dr. John B. Copp and Dr. Evangelia Belia, – Primodal Systems Inc. offers data analysis software solutions and data-related consulting services with an emphasis on wastewater treatment modelling. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Copp gained extensive practical data and model development experience at Wageningen (NL), and Busan (Korea) universities, and applied modelling experience through projects in the US, Mexico, Europe and Canada. This is complemented by Dr Belia’s design, construction and commissioning experience with Bechtel Water (UK) and applied modelling experience working on many US municipal and industrial projects.


Spring 2019
dDesk v3 is Coming! Contact us about our PRE-RELEASE OFFER!

dDesk is getting new functionality! This new capacity has allowed us to expand the capabilities of previous dDesk versions beyond time series. A new data analysis drawing board gives users the ability to drag, drop and connect data analysis modules together, seamlessly developing a customisable step-wise data flow.  The output from any step can be saved and/or visualised, or maybe just the final output is required. You get to choose and the drawing board allows you to see the steps without the need to examine specific formulae. The data module API remains which allows data professionals the ability to develop their own analysis modules. For corporations, this means that company-specific data analysis modules can be distributed internally ensuring quality control and assurance within the data preparation tasks. Contact us for a demonstration and to see how dDesk can simplify your data preparation tasks!

Edward Alchikha is joining Primodal as Senior Applications Developer and will head up the PrecisionNow software development team. Edward has been working with Primodal as a part-time developer for the past 2 years, but will join the team full-time in May. Working on PrecisionNow (dDesk, DataPort and DataCentre), Edward will be expanding the software capabilities to better suit the expanding needs of our clients.

Mike Lunn has joined Primodal! Mike has over 40 years of wastewater and stormwater experience from Laborer to Operator to Utility Director. Mike has authored and presented numerous papers and has previously been awarded the James R Runsey Award in 2007 and 2015 as well as the William D Hatfield Award in 2013.  As Chief Innovation Officer, Mike’s vast experience will expand Primodal’s exciting automated rapid real-time data processing and data visualisation solutions. Contact Mike to see what we can do for you.

Contact Primodal to see how dDesk can simplify your data preparation tasks.

Spring 2018
It’s been a busy spring this year with, 2 research projects in Ontario, 1 in Quebec and 3 new data software projects for three different government clients. The software division is ramping up with 5 new programmers working on PrecisionNow (dDesk, DataPort and DataCentre). This new capacity has allowed us to expand the capabilities of previous dDesk versions beyond time series. With new module builder capabilities in the works, dDesk is greatly expanding its potential market. Contact Primodal to see how dDesk can simplify your data preparation tasks.

Fall 2017
Primodal Announces A New Addition To Its PrecisionNow Software Suite

Hamilton, ON — Primodal, a leading global provider of wastewater process modelling, control and data quality services, has announced the launch of, dDesk, the latest update to the PrecisionNow suite of software products, which also includes DataPort and DataCentre.

From inception, the PrecisionNow product line has provided users with a customisable framework for high-frequency in-situ data collection, redundant data storage and real-time data quality evaluation. With dDesk, Primodal is launching a dedicated desktop application designed for historical data quality evaluation studies. “The deployment of more and more online sensors has created a need for a tool specifically designed to simplify and reduce the time required for the analysis of high frequency datasets,” said Dr John Copp, President of Primodal Systems Inc. “The PrecisionNow suite has always evolved relative to our users’ needs, and that trend continues with this latest update.”

dDesk is a customisable time-saving data preparation tool designed for the visualisation and analysis of large high-frequency datasets and the development of data quality algorithms irrespective of the field of study. Unlike traditional spreadsheet applications that struggle with large datasets, dDesk has been specifically designed for the efficient visualisation and analysis of datasets ranging from just a few data points to datasets with millions of data points. dDesk offers expanded API tools so users can customise and tune the included methods or develop new purpose-built algorithms.

“All three applications feature enhanced data quality evaluation capability, and a rapid access database format for acquiring, storing and analysing the high-frequency data our users are being exposed to,” said Dr Lina Belia, President of Primodal (US) Inc. “In addition to reducing the time required for historical data analysis and preparation, dDesk gives users a framework to develop and test potential on-line data quality algorithms that might be incorporated directly into a system for real-time data quality evaluation.”

This new addition improves and expands the PrecisionNow product family’s already powerful data acquisition, storage and analysis toolkit, and empowers users to quickly and confidently develop high quality datasets for improved decision-making.

New Functionality in dDesk:

  • Dedicated off-line historical data evaluation tool with new import, export and report generation functionality
  • New fault detection and outlier identification algorithms
  • New application programme interface (API) for the development of purpose-built data quality evaluation algorithms
  • New visualisation and graphical features including new ‘on-demand’ data functions for the instant calculation of trends and dataset statistics like averages and percentiles
  • New wastewater-specific features including
    • extraction of underlying diurnal domestic flow patterns (dry and average days)
    • wet weather statistics like magnitude, pattern and frequency of weather events,
    • calculation of flow and load statistics,
    • identification of process, lab data correlations and sensor signal calibration
    • generation of process simulator-ready data inputs


Primodal will be demonstrating its pre-release dDesk software this year at WEFTEC 2017 in Chicago. Contact Dr Copp (copp@primodal.com) or Dr Belia (belia@primodal.com) to arrange a convenient time for a demonstration. dDesk will be available for download and trial in the coming months at www.primodal.com.

About Primodal

Primodal is a leading provider of wastewater process modelling, control and data quality solutions. Our goal is the delivery of improved tools and data interpretation for decision-makers and our customer base is global. For more information about products and services from Primodal, please visit www.primodal.com.

Summer 2017
Primodal is rapidly expanding with the addition of 3 new specialists, Sarah Huber, a process specialist, joins the team where she will be work through model development and simulation studies with our municipal clients. In Ontario, two new additions to our software development team (Abdul and Prabhir) will work on the development of our monitoring station hardware and software capabilities. Working closely with McMaster University and the City of Hamilton on a new project, PSI will install, monitor and analyse influent wastewater quality data at an area wastewater treatment plant in this year long project.

Spring 2017
2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for Primodal with several new consulting projects signed across the globe.

Interest in Primodal’s data quality expertise is also increasing which means that Primodal will be expanding in monitoring station and software capabilities. Primodal is pleased to welcome Edward to the software team and will expand the team further this summer.

Fall 2016
September and October will be busy for Primodal as they will be attending both WEFTEC in New Orleans and IWA’s World Water Congress in Brisbane, Australia. Drs Belia and Copp will speak and facilitate workshops at WEFTEC and Dr Copp willl teach a Good Modelling Practice course in Brisbane on October 7 & 8 before the World Water Congress begins.

July 2016
In July, Dr Copp along with Diego Rosso, Leiv Rieger, Jose Jiminez and others traveled to Denver where they presented at a workshop on the state-of-the-art in wastewater treatment modelling. The workshop included an introduction to metabolic modelling and a discussion surrounding the applicability of these new models from a practitioners point of view. The workshop was well attended and provided a forum for a lively discussion on the academic vs practical application of models and model research.

May 2016
In May, Dr Belia presented at WEF’s local Michigan conference (MWEA) on the exciting work that Primodal is doing for Grand Rapids on model-based control. Partnering with InCTRL Solutions and ifak (a German automation institute) in this multi-year project, Primodal has successfully debugged several aspects of the treatment process and begun the implementation and integration of the control system. So far, this success has translated into significant real electricity cost savings and an assessment of the savings to be expected from time-of-day control of industrial waste introduction. Work on the project continues with completion later this year or early next.

April 2016
WWTmod 2016 was a huge success. WWTmod is the premier wastewater treatment modelling conference on the planet. Held every two years, this limited enrollment conference brings together modelling experts from around the world to discuss the latest in modelling knowledge. This time around, Dr Belia was the organiser and co-Chair of the event which was held in France in April 2016. In addition to organising this exciting programme, Primodal led various forums and workshops during the event.

February 2016
Dr Copp once again organised a WEF webcast on modelling. This webcast, on February 3rd, 2016 featured 4 speakers (Lorenzo Benedetti, Celine Vaneeckhaute, Oliver Schraa and Dr Belia) who discussed the latest in modelling applications including talks on probabilistic design, aeration energy modelling, nutrient recovery modelling and integrated whole catchment modelling. Be on the lookout for Modelling 401 in 2017, it’s free for WEF members.

Fall 2015
It’s been a busy fall for Primodal staff. In September, Primodal traveled to Chicago for WEF’s annual conference where Dr Copp was elected as the Vice-Chair of the Modelling Experts Group of the Americas (MEGA) sub-committee and Dr Belia presented at several workshops and meetings on various modelling topics. In November, Dr Copp travelled to the UK where he gave a course on modelling for design and risk management and in December the organisers of the China-Canada Bilateral Forum on Wastewater Treatment will fly Dr Copp to China to give a presentation on North American modelling practice.

June 2015
Dr Belia is excited to be the keynote speaker at WaterMatex 2015 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (http://www.awmc.uq.edu.au/conf/speakers).

October 2014
October was an exciting month for research activities as WE&T published their latest issue with an article written by Dr Copp on a new glycerin-based biokinetic model and IWA published their Scientific and Technical Report #23 ‘Benchmarking of Control Strategies for Wastewater Treatment Plants’ which was edited by Dr Copp.

Dr Belia traveled to East Lansing Michigan to present at the Sustainable Energy Seminar on modelling as a tool for energy analyses.

And ULaval student Celine Vaneeckhaute who is financially supported by Primodal was awarded the CAWQ Philip H. Jones Award. Congratulations to Celine!

September 2014
In September, Primodal travelled to Lisbon (Portugal) to take part in the IWA World Water Congress. Dr Copp lectured during the ‘Good Modeling Practice’  pre-conference course and celebrated the publishing of IWA’s Scientific and Technical Report #23 ‘Benchmarking of Control Strategies for Wastewater Treatment Plants’ at the‘Simulation Benchmark’ workshop.

In September, Primodal also travelled to New Orleans (in a round about way by planes trains and automobiles) to take part in WEFTEC2014. Dr Copp and Dr Belia both be facilitated at WEFTEC modeling workshops. Primodal also participated in the Modeling Expert Group of the Americas (MEGA) and the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Design Committee annual meetings.

May 2014
In May, Dr Copp traveled to Cincinnati to the 9th National Monitoring Conference and presented a podium presentation on Primodal’s real-time data quality analysis tools that have been designed to work with in situ data collection sensors and minimise the amount of post-processing effort required to clean up the sensor data.

Dr Copp also Chaired a WEF-sponsored webcast ‘Modeling 101 – Introduction to Modeling’ that was broadcast live to an audience estimated at 1000 participants. Modeling 201, is currently being planned for the fall.

January 2014
In January, Primodal partnered with Environmental Operating Solutions to write a article for WE&T on a novel approach to modeling MicroC degradation in a wastewater treatment plant. Accepted for publication, the article will appear in the October 2014 issue, just in time for WEFTEC.

October 2013
In October, Primodal traveled to Chicago to take part in WEFTEC2013. Dr Copp made two presentations during the ‘Modeling the Right Way – Incorporate Good Modeling Practices Into Your Work!’ workshop and co-authored a podium presentation paper on the development of a new model for simulating the impact of supplemental carbon (glycerin) addition for BNR. Dr Belia participated in the same workshop, chaired a technical session and gave a presentation at the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Design Committee annual meeting.

September 2013
A paper on the Benchmark Simulation Models (BSMs) co-authored by Dr Copp will be presented at the 2013 Instrumentation, Control and Automation (ICA) conference in Narbonne, France.

July 2013
Primodal staff traveled to Vancouver and attended the 2013 WEF/IWA Nutrient Removal and Recovery conference. Dr Copp was an invited speaker and presented on high quality monitoring of water systems at the MacWater (McMaster University) symposium of emerging technologies.

March 2013
Dr Copp will present ‘High quality monitoring of water systems using in situ automatic measurement stations’ at the 48th CENTRAL Canadian Symposium on Water Quality Research in Hamilton, ON, Canada

January 2013
Primodal staff attended the WEF Mid-Year Meeting in Chicago, USA. Dr Belia attended the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Design Committee meeting and took part in several committee meetings involving WEF and WERF.

September 2012
In September, Primodal was at WEFTEC in New Orleans. Dr Copp presented a paper on the modeling and operation of a full-scale RAS fermentation reactor, and Dr Belia presented a paper on modelling uncertainty. Both principals were active in various WEF committee meetings throughout the week.

May 2012
In May, Primodal was contracted by IWA to edit the Good Modelling Practice Scientific and Technical Report due to be published in late 2012. Primodal was also involved in writing two chapters of the upcoming Water Environment Federation’s MOP 31 which is a Manual of Practice dedicated to the modelling of wastewater treatment facilities.

April 2012
In April, Primodal traveled to Ottawa to participate in the Annual WEAO conference and Portland Oregon to participate in the National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s (NWQMC) 8th National Monitoring Conference – Water: One Resource – Shared Effort – Common Future to be held in Portland, Oregon from April 30 – May 4, 2012.

March 2012
Primodal presented at the IWA Regional Conference on Wastewater Purification & Reuse, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, March 28 – 30, 2012. Paper: Modeling The Dan Region Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Project. Belia E., Kraitzer T., Icekson-Tal N. and SelaY. In addition, Primodal was invited to the 2012 Ohio Business Matchmaker at Wright State University Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio on March 20 and 21to build on their success working with the City of Cincinnati and meet other neighboring municipalities and interested parties.

February 2012
Primodal staff attended the 3rd bienniel WWTMOD modelling seminar in Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, Canada where a paper on influent characterisation co-authored by Dr Copp was presented. Paper: Rethinking Wastewater Characterization Methods –
A Position Paper. Choubert J-M, Rieger L.,Shaw A., Copp J.B., Sperandio M., Soerensen K., Rönner-Holm S., Morgenroth E., Melcer H. and Gillot S. At the same conference, Dr Belia chaired the Good Modelling Practice technical session, was a panel member for the ‘Use of Models: Practice versus Academia’ group discussion and was elected to the posoition of co-Chair for the 2016 WWTMod modelling seminar by her peers.

January 2012
Primodal staff attended the WEF Mid-Year Meeting in New Orleans, USA. Dr Copp attended the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Design Committee meeting and took part in the Supplementary Carbon Task Force meeting where he has been asked to take the lead on the development of a white paper on modelling supplementary carbon addition for nutrient removal.

December 2012
Primodal travelled to the UK and continental Europe in separate trips to attend project meetings and teach an exclusive modelling course (using WEST) for a French client at their facility.

October 2011
Primodal staff attended and presented at WEFTEC 2011 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Dr Copp co-chaired Workshop 203: Using a Process Model for Plant Upgrades: Modeling 201. Dr Belia chaired Session 82, Process Modeling as an Operational Tool and co-chaired Session 83, Activated Sludge Process Operation and Foam Control. Both Drs Copp and Belia attended several committee meetings while in Los Angeles including a DOUT information session, a MEGA sub-committee meeting and the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Design Committee meeting. Dr Belia is also a member of the WEF Plant Operations & Maintenance Committee and participated in their meeting as well.

September 2011
Dr. Belial travelled to Budapest where she chaired a workshop entitled ‘How close to your permit do you design or operate your plant? Effluent regulations, sampling strategies and risk’, 11th IWA Specialized Conference “Design, Operation and Economics of Large Waste Water Treatment Plants”, Budapest, Hungary, 06 September 2011.

Dr Copp travelled to the eastern seaboard to teach a dedicated modelling course on the use of BioWin and GPS-X to a client using both software packages.

June 2011
Dr. Copp traveled to St. John’s Newfoundland to present a paper on real-time data quality evaluation inside the RSM30 using the PrecisionNow data evaluation module plug-in.

Dr Copp presented ‘Capital Cost Savings Through Model-Based Design to Optimize Assets’ at the WEAO Whole WWTP Modeling: Overview. Tools & Future Needs seminar in Toronto on

June 23, 2011
Dr. Belia will travel to Europe to attend a DOUT Task Group meeting aimed at finalising the Scientific and Technical Report on model uncertainty. The publication date for the STR is set for later this year or early in 2012.