Milwaukee Universities Name Industry-Chosen Freshwater Research Projects

May 18, 2010
UWM and Marquette researchers team up with industry members of the National Science Foundation’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Center

Industry members of the National Science Foundation’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) on water technology announced the funding of seven projects they have chosen to pursue with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) and Marquette University.

The goal of the new center is to spur local economic growth by combining the engineering research expertise at UWM and Marquette with industry needs involving water equipment, policy and technology.

In March, the National Science Foundation awarded the two universities a total of $675,000 over five years to form the I/UCRC in Milwaukee. It is one of about 55 such NSF centers in the country and one of only two that focus on freshwater issues. Directors are UWM Engineering Professor Erik Christensen and Marquette College of Engineering Executive Associate Dean Michael Switzenbaum.

The Milwaukee Water Council helped recruit six local companies: A.O. Smith Corp., Badger Meter Inc., Pentair Inc., Baker Manufacturing Co. LLC, Wisconsin Water Research Corp. and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Each contributes $50,000 annually for membership.

“Working together with our industry partners, Marquette and UWM are expanding and redefining ways by which our universities can improve water quality,” said UWM Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago. “Our research--concisely coordinated with the capabilities of participating Milwaukee Water Council companies--will benefit those here in Wisconsin and also well beyond our borders.”

“This is yet another example of the collaboration between higher education and industry partners in the Milwaukee region,” said Marquette President Robert A. Wild, S.J. “With the support of the National Science Foundation, Marquette is proud to partner with our fine colleagues at UWM as together we move forward on the vision of making our region a worldwide leader in freshwater research and technology.”

“We know with certainty that Milwaukee’s continued growth as a world water technology leader will primarily come from our own academic and business visionaries,” said Dean Amhaus, executive director of the Milwaukee Water Council. “The I/UCRC is an excellent vehicle to create powerful collaborations that will solve tomorrow’s water challenges.”

Research projects include:
• “Chemical Sensors for Monitoring Contaminants in Aqueous Environments,” Fabien Josse, Marquette;
• “Greywater Assessment,” Dan Zitomer, Vladimir Novotny, Michael Switzenbaum, Marquette;
• “Hybrid Nanomatrials for Low-Cost Detection of Chemicals and Bacteria in Water,” Junhong Chen and Ganhau Lu, UWM;
• “Lead Removal Using Foam Polymers Impregnated with Nano ZrP/TiP,” Nidal Abu-Zahra, UWM;
• “Micro-Calorimeter Array for Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring,” Chung Hoon Lee, Marquette;
• “Microbial Fuel Cell Technology for Simultaneous Bioenergy Production and Wastewater Treatment,” Zhen (Jason) He, UWM; and
• “Self-Cleaning Materials for Water Industry,” Pradeep Rohatgi, UWM.

Source: Milwaukee Water Council

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