Integrated water and energy systems are fundamental to social, economic, and environmental well-being and prosperity. The increasing difficulty of managing water and energy resources is manifested in several grand challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering and various global action plans that seek to ensure environmental sustainability and develop global partnerships. Unfortunately, the failure to integrate water and energy concerns with appropriate cultural models of local knowledge, institutions, and resources limits on-the-ground effectiveness and positive environmental impact.
The goal of this National Science Foundation, Partners for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant is to initiate a cultural shift in our individual and university research and education programs toward developing international research competence and building capacity through global partnerships. Our proposed framework for sustainable water-energy systems integrates adapting engineering systems to environmental and cultural changes associated with growth in human populations, urbanization, and resource consumption. We also focus on the interstices of geographical context, cultural analysis, and scale. Our overarching research question is: can effective, geographically-appropriate, and culturally relevant engineered systems be established that utilize wastewater as a resource for recovery of energy, water, and nutrients?
Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is an NSF-wide program that supports international activities across all NSF supported disciplines. The primary goal of PIRE is to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. PIRE seeks to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community.
International partnerships are essential to addressing critical science and engineering problems. In the global context, U.S. researchers and educators must be able to operate effectively in teams with partners from different nations and cultural backgrounds. PIRE promotes excellence in science and engineering through international collaboration and facilitates development of a diverse, globally-engaged, U.S. science and engineering workforce.
“This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1243510. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.”
“Reclaim” is an initiative led by the University of South Florida Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Anthropology, and Marine Science, to share news about joint research related to the reclamation of nutrient, energy, and water resources from waste.