California State University, Fullerton

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Engineering Profs Win Funds for Water Research

CSU Program Aims to Increase Water Resources Research and Policy Development

Oct. 31, 2012

Two new Cal State Fullerton faculty members have received funding from the California State University to pursue projects devoted to water resource-related issues.

Phoolendra K. Mishra and Garrett Struckhoff, both assistant professors of civil and environmental engineering who joined the campus this fall, are recipients of this year's CSU Water Resources and Policy Initiatives Faculty Research Incentive Award Program.

The program encourages CSU faculty members to develop and submit proposals to external funding agencies and organizations to promote education, training and professional capacity development within the water industry, government agencies and the community. The award gives faculty members release time from teaching, in order to develop their project proposals to submit to external funding agencies.

This year, 25 faculty members from 11 CSU campuses received WRPI funding.

Mishra's project, "Groundwater Contaminant Source Identification" will focus on developing ways to find the source or cause of groundwater contamination, which often is not known, he said.

"It is evident that as the world's population continues to grow, the demand for fresh water will continue to increase. Being the major source of fresh water, groundwater contamination poses risk to sustainability and availability of fresh water around the world," Mishra said.

"For a variety of legal and regulatory reasons it is often necessary to determine the release history, location and size of the contaminant source. The goal of this externally funded proposal would be to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive methodology."

"Best Management Practices for Water Resource Conservation in a Changing World: Living Laboratory and Hybrid Lecture" is the title of Struckhoff's project, which is focused on developing an undergraduate course curriculum based on "best management practices" used by Southern California municipalities and industries that provide water.

"These best management practices are in common use by consulting engineering firms that hire our alumni, but we see a lack of information currently in our curriculum to train our graduating students to understand and implement these innovative technologies," said Struckhoff, whose research interests include using plants and the bacteria stimulated by plants to clean up environmental contamination.

For more information about the CSU Water Resources and Policy Initiatives visit the CSU website.

By: Debra Cano Ramos, 657-278-4027

Tags:  Academics & Research