Dr. Craig Adams, the John A. and Susan Mathes Chair of Civil Engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, will share how UMR students are bringing sustainable, safe drinking water and sanitation to communities in Central America during the final lecture of the Academy of Science’s seminar series in St. Louis.
The talk is free and open to the public and takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in The Living World, located on the north side of the Saint Louis Zoo. The Science Seminar Series is co-sponsored by the Academy of Science-St. Louis and the Saint Louis Zoo.
Adams, director of the UMR Environmental Research Center for Emerging Contaminants, will discuss ongoing projects of the UMR chapter of Engineers Without Borders, an organization dedicated to providing environmental and public health technology to communities in developing nations. UMR EWB students are designing and implementing sustainable solutions to improve the quality of life in developing nations. The UMR chapter is sending three students and one faculty member to Pimienta, Honduras, during this year’s spring break (March 24-31).
This project is one of four the UMR EWB chapter will undertake this year. In May, UMR students will journey to two sites in Bolivia and another site in Guatemala. The students will assess the potential for a community partnership to address health, sanitation and other needs.
Adams will also provide an overview of recent UMR research on innovative technology for controlling agriculture, industrial and municipal pollution of drinking water. For example, Adams’ research has shown that while many surface and groundwater supplies in the United States contain antibiotics, commonly used water treatment processes may be able to remove those antibiotics effectively thereby protecting public health. Other emerging contaminants, however, such as those that affect the human endocrine systems, can be much more problematic to control, and may pose a more significant risk, Adams says.
Adams joined the UMR faculty in 1995. His chair position was established by John A. and Susan Mathes of St. Louis. John Mathes, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from UMR in 1968 and 1969, founded John Mathes and Associates Inc., an environmental engineering firm based in Columbia, Ill., in 1975. He sold the company to Burlington Environmental Inc. of Seattle in 1988.