Engineers Win $16.7 Million EPA Contract
Date: Oct. 11, 2000
By: Chris Curran
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Archive: Research News
Photo by: Colleen Kelley
UC Professor Makram Suidan will be expanding his environmental
engineering research into new areas such as drinking water
quality and pollution prevention under a new $16.7 million
contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
contract greatly expands the support Suidan has previously
received from EPA. The previous contract provided $6.24 million
over three years.
The new agreement extends over five full years,
which means that the researchers involved in this new contract
will be able to take on longer term projects and move new
technology from lab-scale to pilot-scale and full-scale more
Suidan noted that the winning the new contract
indicates the EPA is impressed by the work done under the
previous one. Those projects included oil spill remediation,
cleanup of sediments and soils contaminated by toxic chemicals,
and the development of new ways to clean up water supplies
contaminated by MTBE, a gasoline additive.
funding and more time to focus on difficult environmental issues,
Suidan hopes that the new contract will include studies on
drinking water quality, waste minimization, pollution prevention,
and the relatively new field of "endocrine disrupters." Those are
chemicals which act like hormones, and their impacts ranged from
reduced fertility to an increased risk of certain
"It's an exciting area," said Suidan. "The first
challenge is to analyze them. Secondly, we have to determine
The new contract also allows UC researchers to
collaborate with all four divisions of the National Risk
Management Research Laboratory of the U.S. EPA housed in the
federal laboratory facility on Martin Luther King Drive.
Previously, this contract was very restrictive with most activity
limited to a single division of the EPA.
Suidan says the
progress made under the previous grant took a team effort. He
worked with nearly 20 full-time researchers, 50 graduate
students, six other UC faculty members, and researchers at
Battelle Laboratories in Columbus. Battelle's work helps to take
what Suidan learns in the lab and apply it on a commercial
"We've established a nice working relationship," said
Suidan. "They have tremendous scientists."
Suidan also wanted
to acknowledge the work of several environmental engineering
faculty and staff in preparing the proposal: Margaret Kupferle
(on-site staff manager at U.S. EPA), Kathy Blazer (business
manager for the CEE department), George Sorial (associate
professor in environmental engineering), Karen Kuran (assistant
on-site staff manager at U.S. EPA) and Greg Wilson (doctoral
He hopes to add new collaborators and expand the
number of graduate students supported with the new contract in
place. Those collaborators frequently come from outside
environmental engineering. For example, Jodi Shann, an associate
professor of biological sciences, has done work on wetlands.
Another biology faculty member, Brian Kinkle, has worked on
biomremediation projects -- using microbes to break down
pollutants into nontoxic compounds.
engineering faculty who are likely to assist on projects under
the new contract are Dionysios Dionysiou, Daniel Oerther, and
George Sorial. "Our future is solid," concluded Suidan.