The safety of the world's water supply is increasingly a global issue that requires coordinated international efforts ranging from ascertaining global drinking water quality standards to developing and implementing the most appropriate water treatment strategies. Our team is an international partnership of environmental engineers and membrane scientists that aims at creating new membrane technologies for water treatment. The Partnership includes two US research universities, three research centers in France, one university in Ukraine, one university in Russia, and a membrane research center in Turkey. Our Partnership provides engineers and scientists with an international perspective on issues related to public water-supply and treatment. The Partnership brings together complementary fields of expertise and facilities as well as varying geographical and cultural perspectives. Research is organized under two principal themes: 1) development of nanomaterial-enabled membranes and 2) control of membrane fouling, and addresses fundamental nanomaterials chemistry and materials science as applied to water quality technologies.
One premise of our Partnership is that students are powerful catalysts for research collaboration. Our research is organized in international teams in which doctoral students supported by separate funding at a foreign institution are teamed with each student from a US institution supported by NSF funds. Students in these research teams work on related topics that naturally encourage international collaboration between graduate students and their faculty advisors. The team-based approach allows students to compare classroom experiences, share instructional materials, help one another with research methodologies, and forge long-term international contacts.
Funding: National Science Foundation, Office of International Science and Engineering, Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program (NSF Press Release 06-018)