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AEESP Conference 2019

Morning workshops, half-day

Chinese-American Professors in Environmental Engineering and Science (CAPEES) Research and Education Workshop, Contact: Baoxia Mi, University of California Berkeley

CAPEES held three successful workshops with similar theme in past AEESP Conferences and there were ~60, 80, and 80 participants in 2013, 2015, and 2017, respectively. The upcoming workshop will include presentations from CAPEES award winners, successful US-China collaborative funding recipients, recent CAREER award winners, and representatives from Chinese Universities. Each year, CAPEES select distinguished researchers in the Environmental Engineering field to receive Frontier Research Award, Young Investigator Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Service Award. The awardees will share their award-winning research and career development experiences at the workshop. We will invite experienced researchers to talk about their international (e.g., US-China, US-Canada, etc.) collaboration experiences and potential collaboration opportunities. We will also have representatives from a number of Chinese universities to talk about career development and opportunities in China. In addition, there will be a panel run by successful professionals and distinguished professors in different career stages to share their career development experiences and answer questions from the audience. The preliminary workshop schedule is listed below: (1) Introduction to CAPEES awards by Xu Li and Baoxia Mi – 10 min; (2) Presentations from CAPEES award winners – 80 min (5-15 min each); (3) International collaboration experiences and opportunities – 30 min; (4) Career opportunities in China (Chinese university representatives) – 30 min; (5) Career development panel (distinguished personnel in different career stages) – 30 min.

Emerging Technologies for Water Reuse: From Ideation to Implementation, Contact: Abigail Cohen, Georgia Tech

This workshop will identify barriers to adoption of blackwater reuse projects, ideate programmatic and messaging concepts that sensitize the public about these projects, and conceive novel approaches to water reuse and recovery technologies. Facilitators will first introduce the three main areas for discussion: present landscape; emerging technologies and programs at play; and future work needed to ensure adoption and implementation. Small groups, led by the four facilitators, will discussions the following: (a) Current Water (Re)Use Landscape: (i) Characteristics of urban water systems in their current iteration. (ii) The groups will address characteristics of existing urban water (re)use systems with a focus on where these systems fail or are not sustainable. (b) Emerging Innovations at Play: (i) Brainstorm existing planning, education, and business models that foster sustainable water reuse and material reclamation. (1) What technologies and programs are emerging to bring urban water and material reuse to the fore? (2) How can consumer data analytics inform consumers of water options and providers of distribution needs? (ii) What are the existing barriers to adoption of these emerging technologies and programs? (c) Future Work Needed: This will center around creating fundamental shifts to spark the necessary changes in the system. Groups will brainstorm approaches to implement emerging practices, new systems of governance, commerce, education, and technology that might support solutions to the problem. Following breakout discussions, the group will convene to present ideas for improved messaging, science communication, and technological innovation to drive adoption and proliferation of sustainable circular water economies.

Establishing Mutually Beneficial Partnerships between Universities and Utilities, Contact: Morgan Brown, Water Environment Federation

The Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) program, jointly administered by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Water Research Foundation (WRF), released a UUP Guidance Document in 2018 to communicate the best practices, challenges, successes, and case studies of university – utility collaboration. This workshop will include two case study presentations that incorporate both the university and utility perspectives, an overview of the LIFT UUP guidance document, and three round table sessions on specific topics relating to UUPs. Each case study presenter will discuss how their partnership was structured, as well as the goals, outcomes, and lessons learned from their perspective. Utilities and universities have very different experiences, goals, and challenges when putting together UUPs compared to one another. It is important to hear both perspectives to maximize the learning experience for attendees. The case studies will take up one hour of the workshop with each presenter getting 10 minutes to speak (2 sets of paired presentations from university and utility representatives), and a 20-minute panel discussion. Following the case study presentations, there will be a 30-minute presentation on the best practices identified in the UUP guidance document, including information on general characteristics of successful partnerships, how to build and maintain relationships, dealing with distance, and risk management. The workshop will conclude with three rounds of 30-minute round table discussions to allow attendees to focus on more specific aspects of UUPs. The discussion topics will include: Building Relationships; Local Partnerships; Long-Distance Partnerships; Finance and Contracts; Intellectual Property and Risk Management.

Meta-omics in Environmental Engineering Research: Theory, Statistics, and Data Interpretation, Contact: Ameet Pinto, Northeastern University

The workshop will be organized in four sessions. Sessions 1 and 2 (one hour each) will provide an overview of currently available high-throughput meta-omic methods for microbial structure and function characterization. The goals of these sessions are (1) to provide guidance on methodological choice based on experimental design and research questions of interest, (2) outline the data output from each method and best practices for interpretation, (3) to guide the selection of statistical methods and software for data analysis, and (4) identify best practices for reproducible data analyses. Session three (30 minutes) will focus on horizon scanning to identify technological advances that are likely to have a big impact on methodological choice and data analyses approaches over the 3-5-year time-frame. The goal of this session will be to help the audience anticipate imminent changes in meta-omics methods. The final session of the workshop (30 minutes) will be a breakout session to allow for smaller groups of participants to interact with the workshop organizers, discuss their specific interests, questions, and trouble shoot on potential challenges with their current research involving the use of meta-omics methods. The intended learning outcomes of the workshop are as follows: Participants should be able (1) pick the appropriate meta-omic method for their research questions, (2) identify data analysis approaches best suited to their method of choice, (3) understand the limitations of each method and associated data, and (4) incorporate a working knowledge of upcoming changes in meta-omics methods into their planned research. Participants will be provided with virtual resources and reference materials, including a virtual machine containing pre-installed software, example data and tutorials/resources, to assist them as they begin to explore the meta-omic techniques independently.

Navigating the Academic Job Search, Contact: Randi Brazeau, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Patrick McNamara, Marquette University

The AEESP Student Services Committee (SSC) has conducted a similar workshop during the past five conferences. On average, over 100 students and postdocs have received expert advice from panelists during each past workshop and had opportunities to pose questions to the panels. At the most recent conference (2017) hosted by the University of Michigan, the expert panel portion of the workshop was open to all conference attendees and reached an even broader audience. Following the panel discussions, the workshop audience divided into two groups. One group consisted of a subset of self-selected participants (on average, 30-40 graduate students and postdocs) who prepared their academic job application packages in advance. Each job application package was then personally reviewed by two or more faculty members during the workshop with students and postdocs receiving direct, personalized feedback on their applications. The other workshop group that did not submit applications for review were able to take part in a longer, more informal, Q&A session with panelists. Building on our success in 2017, we plan to implement a similar format and approach for the 2019 conference. We expect to have panelists representing primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), R1 universities, recently hired assistant professors and current or previous chairs.

Sustainability in Engineering Courses: Key Concepts, Key References, and Case Studies, Contact: Cliff Davidson, Syracuse University

The proposed workshop (2.5-3 hours) is planned to include three sessions following a brief introduction: (1) A panel of experienced instructors (3 to 5) will each present one or two sustainability concepts, provide a list of references that discuss these concepts, and describe a case study of how they introduced these concepts into an engineering course they recently taught. If there are four instructors on the panel, each will have 15 minutes to present. (2) After a short break, the attendees will divide into breakout groups, and one member of the panel will lead each breakout group. Within the group, each attendee in turn will describe their course and present thoughts on sustainability concepts they would like to include, with ideas on class assignments or activities. Others in the group will react to the presenter’s ideas and offer suggestions. At the end of the breakout session, the panel member leading the discussion will ask one member of the group to make a brief presentation on their plans at the closing plenary session. (3) The group will reconvene in a plenary session, and the brief presentations from one member in each group will be given. There will be an opportunity for a few minutes of Q&A for each of the presenters. Following this, there will be open discussion on other ideas attendees would like to present. The workshop will close with a summary of the ideas presented and ways to get additional information. There will be time for a survey about sustainable engineering education practices that can be summarized and distributed to all workshop attendees after the conference.

Using Environmental Engineering-Themed NSF REU Programs to Enhance Student Engagement, Contact: Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and John Atkinson, SUNY-Buffalo

Current NSF REU PIs will present on their current environmental engineering-focused REU programs which represent diversity in the research theme and on-campus professional development and social activities. We will include a panel discussion with REU PIs and former REU participants. A Q&A session will be included to answer specific participant questions about developing REU site proposals. This session will also allow audience members with experience hosting REU sites to share their own best practices.