Internet workshop on pollution prevention

Researchers at Michigan Technological University and Arizona State University have launched an open Internet based workshop on pollution prevention research and teaching in higher education.

“The goal of the open workshop is to focus a diversity of technical backgrounds and practical experience on pollution prevention issues in higher education,” said one of the project’s principal investigators, Dr. David Shonnard of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech.

Dr Shonnard said core participants will be chosen based on a submitted position paper from a list of national experts compiled as part of the project’s goals. An e-mail listserver will provide opportunities for open discussion on topics of interest to national and international participants.

“Our objective is to formulate a set of recommendations and guidelines for the conduct of pollution prevention research in academia that will help to establish the foundation for research scholarship and encourage technology transfer to industry,” said Shonnard. “An additional goal is to establish pedagogical approaches designed to ground students in various technical disciplines on basic environmental literacy and the fundamentals of pollution prevention and its implementation in industry.”

“The goal of pollution prevention is to reduce the amount and the toxicity of anthropogenic (human caused) pollutants emitted to the environment by reducing waste generation at the source, rather than by applying pollution controls at the end of the pipe,” Shonnard said. He said research conducted over the last decade in academia, industry, and government agencies has advanced the state of knowledge with respect to pollution prevention techniques, but until now, few, if any, open forums for discussion have evolved.

Principal investigators for the project are Dr. David Shonnard, Dr. Stephen Beaudoin of the Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering Department at Arizona State.

Funding is being provided by the National Science Foundation through the Engineering Directorate, Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems.

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