Environmentally-Benign Chemicals and Materials: The quest for safer substitutes and alternatives to our current chemicals can only be advanced if those substitutes are designed and brought into existence by scientists and engineers. The wide range of products and materials used in society contain some level of formulation such as: metalworking fluids, detergents/cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, plastics, coatings, etc. There are well-documented concerns associated with manufacturing processes, exposure during use, and end of life handling that are shared across the classes of formulated products. Therefore, the starting point for sustainable formulation design should be common chemical functional classes such as emulsifiers, builders, and chelators. Designing these chemical classes through criteria based on the Principles of Green Chemistry and the Principles of Green Engineering and risk factors such as bioavailability, persistence, and toxicity as well as cost and performance parameters will lead to fundamental knowledge in the design of next-generation sustainable formulated products.
Water Treatment Technologies for Developing Communities: The World Health Organization, in its Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report, estimates that 1.1 billion people do not have access to an improved water supply. The quality of drinking water and sanitation services is directly linked to human health. From a technological perspective, the methods needed to purify and provide water suitable for human consumption, to manage solid-waste disposal, and to treat wastewater flows are largely proven and established in industrialized countries. However, the technologies used to manage water and sanitation systems in developed countries are often neither appropriate nor sustainable in developing countries. The most effective and appropriate strategy to meet these challenges is by developing and evaluating technologies and policies that emphasize point-of-use (e.g. household) water treatment for the poorest communities with sensitivity to local financial, institutional, and technical conditions. This work will specifically focus on fundamental understanding and subsequent optimization of point of use water treatment using ceramic filters and natural coagulants
Corporate Environmental Behavior: There are a number of motivators of corporate environmental behavior, including costs, customer demand, profitability, corporate or industry culture, geography, competitive environment, technological capability, and government interventions. However, motivations are not the same for all companies and facilities in regard to their environmentally- or socially-responsible behavior. Fundamental research is needed to better understand the characteristic drivers for individual operators, companies, and facilities and how they respond to various influences and combinations of influences, including governmental interventions, aimed at achieving the desired behavior. A scholarly analysis that identifies industrial drivers toward sustainability will allow for the development of programs, policies, practices, standards, metrics and regulations that are more effective in bringing about corporate change. These drivers are becoming increasingly complex as global reporting schemes and risk-liability reporting mechanisms are being established by governments and insurance companies.