27 January 2011

JHU Global Water Program, Seminar Series to begin 1 Feb.

For my many friends in the Baltimore/Washington area (and others with interest in the goings-on around there), this announcement just appeared regarding the beginning of the Spring Seminar Series for the Global Water Program at Johns Hopkins University, to begin 1 February 2011. The Seminar Series is now named for the late M. Gordon "Reds" Wolman, a second-generation Professor of Hydrology in the JHU GWP who passed away in 2010.  JHU also hosts the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), which released that great issue of their magazine SAISphere on water issues in 2009.  Both the GWP and SAIS programs are affiliated with think-tank groups in the DC area including the Project on Global Water Policy, formerly the Global Water Futures Program, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), on all of which I have written previously.

The Spring 2011 M. Gordon Wolman Seminar Series Starts Tuesday, Feb. 1

Prof. Benito Mariñas will speak at the first Tuesday seminar of the Spring 2011 semester on "Science and Technology Advances for Safe Global Water." This talk will take place this Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011 at 3:00 p.m., with a reception sponsored by the Global Water Program to follow.

The Millennium Development Goal Target of reducing by half the portion of people without sustainable access to safe water supply and effective sanitation by 2015 will not be achieved at the current rate of progress. More than 800 million people will not have access to "improved" water supply, and 2.4 billion people will lack adequate sanitation. Lack of access to "safe" water is a global challenge requiring the development of revolutionary technologies, and the creation of human resources capacity to scale-up and operate the technologies sustainably. This challenge can be addressed with revolutionary advances in water quality technology and related fundamental science, and the development of sustainable, systems capable of producing affordable, robust and reliable supply of safe drinking water to impoverished people worldwide. Such systems could integrate novel sensors that detect infective pathogens, robust treatment processes that destruct and/or remove these contaminants without producing toxic by-products. These developments should be paralleled by building the capacity of human resources, developing microeconomic infrastructure, and facilitating acceptance by society.

About the speaker:

Dr. Mariñas is Ivan Racheff Professor of Environmental Engineering and past Chair of the Environmental Engineering and Science Program, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Dr. Mariñas has taught graduate and undergraduate courses covering fundamental, laboratory experimentation, and design aspects of environmental engineering and science. His research explores mechanistic aspects of chemical and ultraviolet light disinfection processes, chemistry of nitrogenous disinfection by-product formation and control, and membrane technologies for controlling water-borne pathogens and chemical contaminants. He is serving as Associate Director for Water and Health Research in the NSF Science and Technology Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems (WaterCAMPWS).

Dr. Mariñas holds a BS in civil engineering from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain (1982); and MS (1985) and PhD (1989) degrees in sanitary and environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. From 1989 until 1995, he was a faculty member at the School of Civil Engineering of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Dr. Mariñas was the recipient of the Arthur and Virginia Nauman Faculty Scholar award (1998-2005) at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of UIUC. His other honors include the Harold Munson Outstanding Teacher Award (1992), and Ross Judson Buck '07 Outstanding Counselor Award (1992) from the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, making the University of Illinois’ Incomplete List of Outstanding Instructors six times, and serving as co-advisor of Dr. Qilin Li, recipient of the 2003 Parsons Engineering Science Doctoral Thesis Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, and Dr. Lance Schideman, recipient of the 2007 Second Place Doctoral Dissertation Academic Achievement Award from the American Water Works Association.

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