To view more alumni events, click here.
The annual Nano-Bio Symposium is INBT’s signature event to showcase our multidisciplinary programs and researchers from across the entire University. The event provides an opportunity to hear presentations by leading scholars in the field, both from Hopkins and other institutions. It also offers a unique opportunity to meet and network with faculty and experts to establish new collaborations.
The annual symposium is hosted by INBT and the Physical Science-Oncology Center. This years theme will be Advanced Biomanufacuring and take place at the Homewood campus in the Glass Pavilion.
Desmond Lawler, PhD
Nassir I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Abstract: The philosophy of municipal wastewater treatment has changed only slowly in the past 100 years. From approximately 1920 to 1970, a wastewater discharge was considered acceptable if the dissolved oxygen level in the receiving stream did not dip below 5 mg/L downstream of the discharge. Protecting aquatic life, particularly fish, from immediate death due to low oxygen levels was the primary motivation and the goal. The passage of the Clean Water Act in 1970 reflected a broader view to include concerns about eutrophication by nutrients and ecological and human health concerns with the naming of “priority pollutants.” Nevertheless, the central concept was that discharge concentrations would be acceptable if they took advantage of the assimilative capacity of receiving waters; that is, if they limited the harm to acceptable values. Now we are embarking on a new philosophy, captured by the phrase “One Water” by the Water Environment Federation, in which we think of wastewater not as a problem for disposal but as a resource.
Why is this shift in philosophy happening? At least two major changes have occurred since the old philosophies were developed. First, a dramatically increased population has led to a substantial increase in “indirect potable reuse” of wastewater, whereby the effluent discharge from one city is a part of the drinking water source for a downstream city. In many areas of the arid Southwest, that “part” can often be nearly 100%. An extension of this trend, due to water shortages, is the drive toward direct potable reuse of wastewater. Second, not only do the chemical and pharmaceutical industries now produce tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals that were not dreamed of when the “priority pollutant” list associated with the Clean Water Act was developed, we now understand that some of these products are endocrine disruptors and others lead to microbial antibiotic resistance.
In this talk, I will try to make the case that wastewater treatment needs to be changed, perhaps radically, to reflect the new philosophy and to meet the needs of the 21st century. The thrust of the presentation will be to explore some possibilities for these radical changes and try to back them up with preliminary engineering calculations.
The Annual Nano-Bio Symposium is a showcase and celebration of the latest discoveries in nanoscience from our multidisciplinary research teams at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology. It brings students and top scholars from Hopkins, other institutions, and industry together to network, share knowledge and ideas, and foster new collaborations.
The theme for the 2019 Nano-Bio Symposium is Translation of Nano & Bio Research.
Visit inbt.jhu.edu/symposium for more information.