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Marquette University Fast Facts
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Dec. 20, 2021
MILWAUKEE — Marquette University has received a two-year, $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for an interdisciplinary program, “Novel Technologies to Mitigate Water Contamination for Resilient Infrastructure,” to develop novel, sustainable technologies to protect the environment and to provide clean drinking water.
The project, which the researchers refer to as “In Defense of Water,” expands the water technology development researchers at Marquette have been doing for decades to help provide clean drinking water and protect the environment. It pairs the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) with faculty from the Opus College of Engineering, Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and Marquette Law School.
“This award demonstrates the breadth and depth of water group expertise at Marquette,” said Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice president for research and innovation. “It serves as a reminder that our faculty does significant environmental-related research on a major scale. I hope and expect it will grow into a prosperous long-term partnership between Marquette and ERDC that will have great benefits in defending the water resources we all share.”
These projects aim to improve water security and efficiency at military and civilian installations to improve readiness and reduce operational impacts due to water shortages and employ innovative water management technologies. Furthermore, the work addresses clean-up related to PFAS — “forever chemicals” — at current and former military installations, including many in Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin has a deep commitment to protecting the environment and providing clean drinking water so I’m extremely proud to support this collaboration between Marquette and Army Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center,” said Sen. Tammy Baldwin who, alongside Rep. Gwen Moore, supported Marquette’s grant proposal. “This federal funding from the Biden Administration will advance made-in-Wisconsin research and produce results as we work together to take on dangerous PFAS contaminants and provide safe and clean drinking water to people across our state.”
“Access to clean drinking water is not only important to our military, it’s also essential to keeping our Milwaukee communities—especially our children—healthy and safe,” said Rep. Moore. “That’s why I’ll keep fighting to bring back funding to help keep Milwaukee universities like Marquette at the forefront of efforts to find innovative solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges in the 21st century.”
“In the Defense of Water” is composed of four areas that target water reuse; improved disinfection of persistent surface-associated pathogens; electrochemical removal of PFAS; and water data fusion and analytics to mitigate soil and water contamination:
Dr. Daniel Zitomer, chair and professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, serves as the project’s principal investigator, while contributing to Area 1. Other faculty involved are Dr. Patrick McNamara, associate professor, and Dr. Walter McDonald, assistant professor, both of civil, construction and environmental engineering; and David Strifling, director of the Water Law Policy Initiative and adjunct professor of law.
The ERDC is an integral component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and helps solve the nation’s most challenging problems in civil and military engineering, geospatial sciences, water resources, and environmental sciences for the Army, Department of Defense, civilian agencies, and the nation’s public good. The ERDC strives to be the world’s premier public engineering and environmental sciences research and development organization.
In Defense of Water leverages research expertise from the Army Corps’ Environmental Research and Development Center and from all corners of Marquette’s campus. Top row from left: Dr. Daniel Zitomer, Dr. Karissi Hristova, Dr. Chris Marshall and Dr. Brooke Mayer. Bottom row from left: Dr. Anthony Parolari, Dr. Walter McDonald, Dr. Patrick McNamara and David Strifling.
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