Congratulations to Bradley Lusk, a Biological Design Ph.D. candidate, successfully defended his dissertation Wednesday. His dissertation topic was thermophilic anode respiring bacteria. His committee includes Dr. Cesar Torres and Dr. Bruce Rittmann as co-chairs and Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown as a member. Congrats Brad!
Congratulations to Binh Nguyen, who successfully defended his dissertation today, "The Effects of Light Intensity, Nitrogen Sources and Growth Kinetics on Growing Cyanobacteria." Binh's committee includes his chair Dr. Bruce Rittmann, Dr. Paul Westerhoff, and Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown. Congrats Binh!
As part of the Spirit of the Senses salon presented at The Biodesign Institute, Dr. Bruce Rittmann is a panelist for the discussion "Implications and Differences of Impact of the California and Arizona Drought." The panel includes Dr. Paul Westerhoff (ASU) and Jim Holway. The panel will be held at The Biodesign Institute main auditorium on August 3 starting at 7:15 PM and is open to the public. Click here for more information.
Dr. Bruce Rittmann is presenting "Maximizing Microorganism-based Resource Recovery From Organic Streams" at the Resource Recovery from Effluent Workshop on June 26 at MillerCoors Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The workshop is hosted by The Netherlands Office for Science and Technology, the Consulate General in Chicago, and the Institute for Water Business at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Find out more information here.
Michelle Young is presenting at the Water Environment Federation Water and Energy 2015 in Washington, D.C. on June 8-10. Michelle's oral presentation "Application of Microbial Electrochemical Cells (MXCs) As RealTime Sensors of Bioavailability from Sludge Pretreatment Technologies" is on June 8 during Session 1: Power of Small Things - MFCs and MXCs. That same day, she is also presenting "Continuous Hydrogen Peroxide Production in Microbial Electrochemical Cells (MECs)" during the poster session. Check out her work!
Dr .Bruce Rittmann is playing a key role in the International Water Association's Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies in Hong Kong May 30-June 3, 2015. A long-time IWA member, Dr. Rittmann is a member of the Program Committee Core Group organizing the conference. He is chairing session 4, "Integrated Chemical and Biological Treatment" on Tuesday, June 2. Dr. Rittmann is also presenting "Intimate Coupling Of Photocatalysis And Biofilm Biodegradation" during that same session. For more information, click here!
Dr. Bruce Rittmann was recently honored with an Alumni Achievement Award by Washington University in St. Louis. He earned his bachelor's and master's of science degrees in civil and environmental engineering from WashU in 1974 and a doctorate in environmental engineering from Stanford University.
The Swette Center is excited to announce the 2015-2016 Swette Undergraduate Sustainability Interns are Brendan Cahill, Jaime Lopez, and Francisco Brown-Munoz. Swette Interns perform research that focuses on using microorganisms to provide sustainable services to society. Study areas include renewable energy, improving water quality, and managing microbial communities. Brendan Cahill, who has been working as a FURI intern and volunteer for two years in the Swette Center, will be working with Dr. Bruce Rittmann and Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown on improving photobioreactor technology. A volunteer for one year, Francisco Brown-Munoz will be working with Dr. Cesar Torres to produce electricity using microbial electrochemical cells. Jaime Lopez will be working with Dr. Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz exploring microbial communities.
Congratulations to Alex Zevin, who is graduating with his Ph.D. in the Biological Design program. Alex began his Ph.D. studies in fall of 2010, and his research has focused on interactions between Synechocystis cyanobacteria and heterotrophic microorganisms in photobioreactors. He recently defended his dissertation, "Characterization of Structure and Function of Microbial Communities in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 Photobioreactors." Alex's committee consisted of Dr. Bruce Rittmann (co-chair), Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown (co-chair), and Dr. Wim Vermass.
Cheer on Alex as he receives his degree during the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Graduate Convocation on May 13 at 2 P.M. at Wells Fargo Arena. Congrats Alex!
Here is a link to a news story that ran Thursday, May 7th and included an interview with Bruce Rittmann, Ph.D.. The story features an important consumer issue related to detergent additives that impact our environment. A laundry detergent meant for sale in Vietnam is being sold in the Valley. It contains an ingredient called tripolyphosphate that was common in the U.S. until it was eliminated in the 1990’s because of its negative effects on the environment. Such detergents put excessive phosphates in the wastewater that comes out of our homes. It gets into rivers, lakes, and reservoirs and causes eutrophication – an explosive overgrowth of algae and other aquatic plants. Such events are commonly referred to as “algal blooms.” The water becomes deep green, murky, and stinky. Organisms in the bloom compete for sun and space, and use up all of the oxygen in the water so that it is no longer available to aquatic animals. This can cause fish, shellfish, and other species to suffocate. Some of the products released into the water by the blooming algae are toxic. The detergent may be a great value to customers; but it comes at a great cost to the environment.