Environmental Engineering

Scientific American highlights Brown’s work understanding the behavioral obstacles to getting people clean water

Screenshot of Scientific American/Knowable Magazine story, "How Humans Get in the Way of Clean Water," which features an image of a silver tap with water flowing out.

Scientific American and Knowable Magazine have highlighted a growing understanding among clean water researchers about the most difficult challenge they face.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Clough, Crittenden co-author National Academy report on grand challenges in environmental engineering

Cover design for the new National Academy of Engineering report, "Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Address Grand Challenges." It features the Earth in the center with photos around the circumference of a child drinking water from a spigot, a piece of glacier breaking off, a bulldozer atop piles of trash, a city skyline, and professional-looking people gathered around a laptop.

Professor John Crittenden and President Emeritus G. Wayne Clough have helped chart the course for the future of environmental engineering in a new report from the National Academy of Engineering. Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Address Grand Challenges lays out five grand challenges facing society that environmental engineers are uniquely positioned to address — but answering these challenges will require an evolution in environmental engineering education, research and practice, according to the report.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Growing pile of human and animal waste harbors threats, opportunities

The global amount of recoverable fecal waste harbors risks, such as water contamination, but also opportunities to harvest natural resources. A new study from Carlton S. Wilder Assistant Professor Joe Brown, left, and others at Georgia Tech has determined just how much of that recoverable biomass exists. Here, Brown is pictured with former student Andrew Loo. (Photo: Gary Meek)

As demand for meat and dairy products increases across the world, much attention has landed on how livestock impact the environment, from land usage to greenhouse gas emissions. Now researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are highlighting another effect from animals raised for food and the humans who eat them: the waste they all leave behind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Pilot project will use campus wastewater to grow vegetables

A pilot project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will use wastewater nutrients to grow produce on Georgia Tech’s campus to test a model for decentralizing production of vegetables such as these.

Water and land for growing crops are hard to come by in urban areas. Finding more sustainable methods for growing produce in urban areas would have enormous benefits. A pilot project by Georgia Tech’s Yongsheng Chen, a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, aims to use wastewater from the campus to do just that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Dean wins Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellowship for her work to improve health and equity in marginalized communities

Environmental engineering Ph.D. student Victoria Dean.

Ph.D. student Victoria Dean became an engineer to, in her words, “save the world.” Now she’s one of a small group of young leaders who’ve earned the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to collaborate and use their influence to make communities healthier and more equitable.

Friday, October 26, 2018

NSF funds two new projects to understand greenhouse gas emissions from soil, expand microbial big-data analysis tools

Microbes in soil can break down nitrous oxide, N2O, into harmless nitrogen, N2, but they don't always do a good job, according to Professor Kostas Konstantinidis. He has a new grant from the National Science Foundation to understand why. The problem is that the nitrous oxide is a powerful and damaging greenhouse gas. The study will focus on agricultural land, where nitrogen is often added to soil as fertilizer, and tropical forests. (Image Courtesy: Kostas Konstantinidis)

Kostas Konstantinidis has received two new grants from the National Science Foundation that promise to help researchers better understand some of the tiniest organisms on the planet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Genomic study of 412 anthrax strains provides new clues about why some strains are more virulent than others

A photomicrographic view of Bacillus anthracis bacteria taken from heart blood and processed using a carbol-fuchsin stain. (Image Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

By analyzing genomic sequences from more than 400 strains of the bacterium that causes anthrax, researchers have provided the first evidence that the severity — technically known as virulence — of specific strains may be related to the number of copies of certain plasmids they carry. Plasmids are genetic structures of the cell that can reproduce independently, and are responsible for producing the anthrax toxin and other virulence factors.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

NWRI fellowship boosts Zhou’s work on non-chlorine approach to water disinfection

Ph.D. student Jianfeng Zhou, who has won a fellowship from the National Water Research Institute.

Second-year Ph.D. student Jianfeng Zhou has won a two-year fellowship from the National Water Research Institute to support his work using low-voltage electricity to disinfect water.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Xie wins grant to help extend shelf life of biological samples

Two samples of the super-absorbent polymer beads Xing Xie is developing to improve diagnostic tests on biological samples in far-flung places. These beads, roughly half a millimeter in size, have been dyed so they're easier to see. (Photo: Jess Hunt-Ralston)

Xing Xie has been developing a new environmental sampling technique that he thinks could have an unexpected application: preserving biological samples for transport to diagnostic facilities.

Monday, July 16, 2018

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