US and UK funders combine for water research exchange

Research strategies, tools, and knowledge in the area of clean water are to be exchanged between researchers in the USA and the UK under a collaboration agreed between the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK.

Research subjects include: a fouling-resistant ultrafiltration (UF) membrane; bringing household water reuse options into water treatment models; barriers and incentives affecting implementation of urban-scale water reuse; and new technologies such as synthetic biology, nanomaterial science and bio-electrochemical systems.

With a combined funding of around US$ 1.25 million to supplement existing grant awards, expertise from both countries will be shared at workshops and symposia, and via visits and videoconference calls, leading to new robust collaborations and adding value to existing research projects.

"The NSF and the EPSRC coordinated their investments to spur the creation of breakthrough solutions to clean water challenges," said Pramod Khargonekar, assistant director for the NSF Directorate for Engineering. "These collaborations not only promote the very best engineering research, they also help prepare the future US engineering workforce to think and engage globally."

Kedar Pandya, Head of Engineering at EPSRC said: "Building on the success of this year's Engineering Grand Challenges Summit, EPSRC is delighted to be working with the NSF to support UK and US researchers to address key challenges in clean water for all."

The US beneficiaries of grants include:

Kai Loon Chen of Johns Hopkins University: To design and create a UF membrane for drinking water and wastewater treatment applications that is resistant to biological fouling.

Kevin Lansey of the University of Arizona: To bring localized water reuse options at the household and neighborhood level into water treatment models currently optimized for the water sustainability and resilience of tens of thousands of households.

Fernando Rosario-Ortiz of the University of Colorado at Boulder: To investigate barriers and incentives affecting implementation of urban-scale water reuse through a competition among student-led research projects.

UK beneficiaries include:

The University of Glasgow: exploring new technologies such as synthetic biology, nanomaterial science and bio-electrochemical systems and applying them to water engineering.

The University of Sheffield: A symposium will be held to explore water reuse in urban areas, and how US and UK expertise can improve solutions for reusing water in both countries.


Arizona | Colorado | Fouling | Membrane | Sustainability

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