Pratim Biswas | New Technologies to Tackle Air Pollution
From Beijing to New Dehli, many cities across the globe struggle with poor air quality and its impacts on human health. Pratim Biswas leads one of the world’s top aerosol and air-quality laboratories at McKelvey School of Engineering. His team is developing next-generation wearable particulate matter (PM) sensors that give more accurate air quality readings than existing technology. These low-cost, portable devices could be linked to a smartphone, allowing the user to monitor individual exposure and receive air-quality alerts in real-time. Biswas, in partnership with a St. Louis startup, Applied Particle Technology, has already deployed this technology in New Delhi. Watch this video about the project and hear from the WashU graduates who founded Applied Particle Technology.
Biswas also directs the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environmental Partnership (MAGEEP), a consortium of 35 universities worldwide where scholars collaborate on research and education initiatives to tackle important global energy and environmental challenges.
By 2025, the UN estimates that half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. WashU engineers are leading efforts to increase global access to safe and clean drinking water. Daniel Giammar’s lab focuses on a range of water quality and safety issues. A frequent commentator on the Flint water crisis, Giammar’s recent work includes investigating the removal of arsenic and chromium from drinking water and control of the corrosion of lead pipes. Watch this video about Giammar’s approach to converting chromium in drinking water into a safer form. Read about another recent research breakthrough in Giammar’s lab.
Srikanth Singamaneni and Young-Shin Jun are developing novel water-filtering technology that could help people in countries where there is not enough clean drinking water. They are combining bacteria and tiny engineered particles to create a filter that can kill harmful bacteria. This technology only requires sunlight as its energy source, making it usable in rural areas that lack reliable access to electricity. Their work was the cover story in Environmental Science & Technology, Jan. 2, 2019. Read more about their research or watch these videos about projects in the Jun lab and in the Singamaneni lab.
Hear more perspectives from McKelvey School of Engineering’s faculty featured in Dean Aaron Bobick’s podcast: Engineering the Future.