World, Environment & Sustainability
SODIS (Solar Disinfection) is the act of disinfecting water solely through UV radiation—literally leaving a water bottle in the sun for several hours. Because of its simplicity, however, user confidence in SODIS has been low and that has led to consumption of contaminated water. Four Villanova Engineering graduate students are working to address the issue with their product “SoCo for SODIS” (Solar Confidence for SODIS), which offers a means of testing water quality to ensure it’s been exposed to sufficient light.
The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee has awarded $60,000 to Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) and Villanova University for “Expansion of a Community Intranet to share Sustainable Education Resources on the Galapagos Islands.” Funding was also received to expand solar electric systems to 15 additional homes in Cerrito de Los Morreños.
More than 300 representatives from academia, industry and public and private sectors attended the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership’s 11th Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Symposium for which the theme was “Building Resilience into Stormwater."
Villanova University and the College of Engineering recently hosted the triennial Future of Packaging Consortium, which included a student “packathon” that tasked four interdisciplinary teams with developing creative solutions to challenges facing the packaging industry.
Dan Spracklin, founder and CEO of SoMax Bioenergy, began working with Villanova University’s Sustainable Engineering program as a member of the RISE Forum. With the help of graduate students and faculty, his company developed an elemental recycling platform to produce hydro-char—clean coal that can be combusted with zero net carbon emissions—as well as nutrient rich liquid fertilizer from manure and other waste materials.
Thirty Villanova engineering students spent their fall break in Madagascar, Tanzania, Ghana, Panama and Peru planning clean water systems and building sustainable energy systems.
Dr. Bridget Wadzuk, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, reflects on how changes in weather patterns, particularly increased rainfall, make stormwater a crucial environmental issue. The article also highlights the research being done on Villanova’s campus.
Dr. Andrea Welker, PE, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, lends her expertise to the discussion of the ongoing Sunoco-era cleanup at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions complex where toxic pollutants have poured onto 1,300 acres in South Philadelphia for over 150 years.
Climate change is radically altering the physical environment in the theater of conflict, making future military successes dependent on adaptation today. New research shows that climate change is reducing performance of military aircraft. Dr. Mary McRae, a PhD graduate of Villanova’s Sustainable Engineering program, has developed a vulnerability assessment model that predicts the frequency and severity of climate-related performance impacts for both airbases and aircraft.
During spring break 2019, teams of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty traveled to five countries to volunteer with humanitarian organizations as a part of the Villanova Engineering Service Learning program. One of the highlights of the week was a University Advancement alumni trip to visit a project site in the Alto Bayano region of Panama.
Dr. Rob Traver, director of the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems, spoke on a Capitol Hill Briefing panel, hosted by ASCE and the City Parks Alliance as part of the 2019 Infrastructure Week program in Washington, DC. He addressed the vital role of city parks in addressing infrastructure challenges.
In Cerritos, students helped install five solar electric systems in the community and delivered workshops on their use and maintenance. In San Cristobal, another team of undergraduates developed a community intranet to connect five of the island’s schools.
Under the leadership of Dr. Bridget Wadzuk, Villanova’s Urban Stormwater Partnership has received a $332,328 grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection to focus on innovative techniques and initiatives to address stormwater.