Semester in Review

June 30, 2021
Dear friends -  

Despite the limitations and difficulties we all faced this spring, the Center, our affiliates, our students and external partners have all accomplished much.

Below, please read on to review some of the highlights of our semester in terms of research, events and recognition of excellence.

Thank you all for your work, support and enthusiasm!

We are looking forward to another successful and exciting year ahead.
Spring 2021 Events
Spring 2021 saw the Center for the Environment sponsoring and co-sponsoring several virtual events on topics ranging from the challenges faced by BIPOC farmers and agricultural professionals to issues of science diplomacy between the United States and Latin America.

Click here to read a synopsis of the Center's spring 2021 events.
From our Researchers

Here's a sampling of faculty work on key environmental challenges published this semester.
Texas grid failure strengthens calls to climate-proof energy infrastructure
MPR News | February 2021

“I wouldn’t say this story is unique to Texas,” said Roshi Nateghi (IE), an assistant professor of industrial engineering at Purdue University who studies how to improve our aging infrastructure to withstand modern and emerging challenges. Read More.
What Problems Does Organic Cotton Solve?
Sapiens | March 2021

Andrew Flachs (ANTH) - "One warm afternoon several years ago, I was walking with Korianna, a farmer in India, when I smelled something bad. Korianna pointed to fields of tightly planted green cotton in the distance, where a neighbor was using a sprayer to unleash pesticides onto crop rows." Read More.

Wildfires are Contaminating Drinking Water Systems, and it’s More Widespread than People Realize
The Conversation | May 2021

More than 58,000 fires scorched the United States last year, and 2021 is on track to be even drier. What many people don’t realize is that these wildfires can do lasting damage beyond the flames – they can contaminate entire drinking water systems with carcinogens that last for months. That water flows to homes, contaminating the plumbing, too. - Andrew Whelton (EEE, CE) Continue reading.
C4E Affiliate Advances Tech Transfer for REE and Plastics Recycling
Yahoo Finance | February 2021

American Resources Corporation announced the licensing of patents and technologies developed by Linda Wang (Chem Eng) specific to the processing of rare earth metals. In addition to her achievements in separating REE, Wang also entered into partnership with Hasler Ventures LLC to scale up technologies for upcycling plastic waste. Read more.

Teaching Data Science for Smart Agriculture
Purdue Engineering | April 2021

Dharmendra Saraswat (ABE) - Information technology is remaking every sector of the economy, and agriculture is no exception. In fact, agriculture may be the most vital segment — we all need food, and it must be produced as productively and sustainably as possible. Read more.
Center for the Environment to Research Safe Conversion of Spent Railroad Ties to New High-Value Products
Purdue University | January 2021
Researchers at the Center for the Environment in collaboration with the newly formed Repurposing Carbon Consortium will investigate the repurposing of used ties and poles into new value-added materials, which could significantly reduce waste and bring other benefits to the environment. Read more.
International Research
Faculty affiliates of the Center for the Environment are constantly working on exciting and important projects both around the globe and close to home. Check out the Center's brand new, interactive map to see and learn more about some of the many places around the world our faculty affiliates are doing research.
COVID-19 Faculty Research

On many fronts over the past year, Purdue University and our affiliated faculty have been actively contributing to local, state, national and international responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in areas ranging from analyzing airflow on airplanes to establishing pathways for conducting and processing tests for the virus.

Take a look at our dedicated COVID-19 research webpage for more information on the important work being done by our affiliates.
Achievements & Awards

Several graduate students, as well as faculty researchers, received fellowships, grants and awards this semester.
Two Purdue Doctoral Students Win Prestigious Sloan Post-Doctoral Fellowships to Study the New Carbon Economy

Janel Jett (Political Science) and Henry Seeger (Communication) were recently awarded Sloan Post-doctoral Fellowships to study aspects of the New Carbon Economy through Purdue’s Center of the Environment as supported by the New Carbon Economy Consortium’s (NCEC) Fellowship Program.  Read More.
Purdue Team Wins Marine Energy Competition

A team of Purdue students led by Center affiliate David Warsinger (ME) has won 1st place in the Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, a contest sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Read more.
The World’s First AI-Powered, Virtual Reality-Based Cybersecurity Training for First Responders is Being Developed

Researchers from Purdue University and a team from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) are creating the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered virtual reality-based cybersecurity training program for public safety officials. Read more.
Tipping Point Planner Project Honored with College of Ag TEAM Award

The Tipping Point Planner project, a joint effort by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue Extension, has been selected as a 2020 recipient of the Purdue College of Agriculture’s TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Award. Read more.
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