About Us

Cole Training and Operations is a part of the Cole Engineering Group Ltd.

Ian Smith - Advisor and Senior Training Specialist

Click to Email

1-833-265-3434 / 1-833-COLE434, 905-940-6161

Ian Smith is a Senior Operations and Training Consultant with Cole Training. With more than 30 years of experience in managerial roles, Ian has monitored the progress of various projects while duly involved in labour relations matters as a first-line supervisor. As a technical trainer, he has also been involved in the creation and development of courses that are in line with Ministry of Environment training requirements, and has conceived, developed and prepared operations and process manuals.



Water Environment Federation (WEF) 

Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO) 

Member of the 5S society – Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers



Aboriginal Water and Wastewater Association of Ontario – Appreciation award "For unparalleled dedication to operator training and outstanding contribution to the AWWAO Operations Challenge"

Water Environment Federation - William D. Hatfield Award, 2004 “For outstanding performance and professionalism in the operation of a wastewater treatment facility”

Rick Niesink - Course Curriculum Developer

Rick has worked in wastewater treatment and collection for the Region of Niagara for 29 years. He has extensive experience as a wastewater operator and wastewater operations manager for Niagara's 11 wastewater treatment facilities and it's remote facilities. Rick has also worked in other roles, including maintenance, industrial waste inspection, biosolids management and health and safety. He has been active in the Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO) since 1997 as a competitor and judge for the Operations Challenge. Rick has also been a part of WEAO's Board of Directors for 10 years, and has also volunteered for Water Environment Federation (WEF), including judging for the Operations Challenge at WEFTEC and participating in the Operators of the Future Working Group to develop a curriculum framework for wastewater operators.



Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO)

Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT)



2009 - Awarded the Water Environment Federation's William D. Hatfield Award "In Recognition of Outstanding Performance" on works, operations, management and advancement of knowledge in the field of water pollution control.

2005 - Chaired WEAO's Operations Challenge Committee

2006-2009 - Director for the WEAO

2009-2016 - Chair of the Professional Wastewater Operators Committee (PWO) and representative on WEAO's Board of Directors

2009- Present - Member of the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change (MOECC) Operator Certification Working Group

  • Wastewater Treatment Class 4
  • Wastewater Collection Class 4