Engineering, Chemistry, Toxicology Leadership Stories

Aaron Maruzzo is bringing the skills he learned during his MPH back to his community in Saipan to “reduce pollution and improve environmental and human health through community-based action.” We interviewed Aaron on the unique professional and personal challenges and opportunities of working to improve environmental and human health at the intersection of two little-recognized acronyms: PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).Read more >
Globally, we generate $120 billion of agricultural waste every year. What farmers cannot sell, they often burn, with catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment. Takachar has developed a cheap, small-scale, portable technology that attaches to tractors in remote farms. The award-winning machine converts crop residues into sellable bio-products like fuel and fertilizer, and reduces smoke emissions by up to 98%.Read more >
Universities, cities, and now even some countries are starting to phase out single-use plastics, but what will they switch to? Tons of disposable foodware, including products made from agricultural waste and labeled compostable, are used and discarded every day. Some of the products contain chemicals that are associated with adverse health effects such as hormone disruption, increased cholesterol levels, and increased risk of cancer. Ideally, we should phase out single-use plastics and encourage the development of alternatives that are manufactured with and contain inherently safer chemicals. How do we incentivize a transition to the best reusable products?Read more >
Fellow Holmes Hummel is the Founding Director of Clean Energy Works , a nonprofit organization that seeks to accelerate private capital utility investments in inclusive clean energy solutions. After the Great Recession of the last decade, as government stimulus funds started to wane, utilities...Read more >
Fellow Colleen Callahan is deputy director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation , which conducts research and advises civic partners on the design and implementation of policies, plans and programs with a focus on advancing environmental sustainability. Part of Callahan’s job is to make sure...Read more >
Fellow Sherry Login, the manager of electric vehicles for Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) in New York, manages all customer-facing electric vehicle (EV) programs for the company. Her special project, however, is SmartCharge New York , an off-peak charging incentive program that she created two...Read more >
As the policy manager for autonomous vehicle policy at AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah , Fellow Xantha Bruso is developing and implementing AAA’s AV policy strategy to advance AV safety while enabling innovation. She also supports strategic initiatives to accelerate AV deployment and...Read more >
“Work with your mind, not with your hands.” Recent graduate Daisy Benitez grew up hearing these words so often it became her mantra. In fact, her life was shaped by this saying and by the lives of its authors: her parents. After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering (’17), she will continue her work in sustainability through the Master in Green Technologies program, with her graduate studies funded by the National GEM Consortium Engineering Fellowship, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship, and the Switzer Environmental Fellowship.Read more >
Politics, capitalism, and energy poverty are combining in strange ways across India. The result looks like progress—sometimes.Read more >
Like rainwater harvesters and solar panels, biodigesters generate power by reinvesting natural resources back into their own ecosystems. Because of their potential to reduce both waste and operating costs, it seems like every family farm should have one on hand. Fellow Alexander Eaton's company, Sistema Biobolsa, is working to create a base of users that leads to a tipping point.Read more >

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