To view more alumni events, click here.
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.
David M. Van Wie, PhD, will present “Hypersonics: Back to the Future.”
Hypersonics is defined as flight at speeds above Mach 5—five times the local speed of sound. Currently, there is a resurgence of interest in hypersonic systems for applications such as weapons, rapid commercial transportation, and space launch. To realize these new applications, technology advancements are needed in the areas of novel thermal protection systems, high-temperature materials, advanced guidance, navigation and control, and propulsion. For more than 60 years, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have been investigating hypersonic technologies and applications, including Frederick S. Billig’s pioneering development of scramjet engine technology. Dr. Van Wie will offer a brief history of hypersonics highlighting Dr. Billig’s contributions and will discuss ongoing technology development challenges in this area.
Beth Schrope, MD, PhD, will deliver the 2019 Ilene Busch-Vishniac Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Schrope, who is an associate professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center and an associate professor of clinical surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian, will detail an unlikely journey from Hopkins BME to Ivy League surgeon, with the purpose of demonstrating goal-directed living with the allowance for a more opportunistic approach to life and career.
Rachel Karchin will deliver a lecture titled “Computational modeling of cancer precursor lesion evolution” as part of the Don P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series. Karchin is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Genome sequencing studies of tumor samples from large patient cohorts have provided convincing support for the somatic mutation theory of cancer, which posits that neoplasms result from mutational activation of oncogenes and mutational inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. Tumor cells originating from the same ancestral lineage form clonal populations, and the size and time-ordering of the clones can be modeled by hierarchical tree structures. In this lecture, Professor Karchin will discuss her research group’s reconstructions of precursor lesion evolution in high grade serous ovarian cancer and pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
The Don P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series began in 1993 as a way to honor newly promoted full professors. Professor Giddens, originator of the series, served as the fifth dean of Engineering at Johns Hopkins.
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.