Thanks to all our presenters and panelists for being a part of the Exploring The Future of Clean Water Technologies, Entrepreneurship and Research (WATER) Workshop held August 21st on the Rice University campus. Presentations provided are downloadable below.
Our invited experts include Professor Evelyn Wang from MIT, who is serving director of ARPA-E; our alumna Carol Haddock, who directs Houston’s Public Works; Dr. Doulaye Kone, who directs the water, sanitation and hygiene program from the Gates Foundation; NAE member and Sterling Professor, Meny Elimelech from Yale University; and our alumna, Professor Meagan Mauter from Stanford University, who is the Research Director for DOE’s Clean Water Hub – NAWI.
Dr. Evelyn N. Wang currently serves as the Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), where she leads the Agency’s development, launch, and execution of high-risk, high-reward energy research and development programs. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Dr. Wang served as the Ford Professor of Engineering and Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During her time at MIT, she focused on thermal management, thermal energy conversion and storage, and water harvesting and purification.
Dr. Wang was previously the Associate Director of the MIT Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center, a DOE Energy Frontiers Research Center. Earlier in her career, Dr. Wang worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent and as a consultant for the Defense Science Study Group, where she advocated for collaboration between academia and national defense to solve issues of national security.
Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. She also received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Carol Ellinger Haddock, P.E. is Director of Houston Public Works, the largest American Public Works Association accredited agency in the nation. Carol leads nearly 4,200 employees in transforming the culture and operations of the Department, with the purpose: “Together we create a strong foundation for Houston to thrive.” Houston Public Works includes water and wastewater systems, street and storm drainage systems, and regulation of both public and private development. The Department has an annual operating budget of $2.7 billion and an annual capital budget of over a billion dollars.
Carol has been at the City for nearly eighteen years and was promoted to Director in 2017. She has led the organization through a cultural transformation by providing resilience training for all employees. Streamlining operations and equipping employees with new skill sets, has allowed the Department to move forward from Winter Storm Uri, COVID-19, and Hurricane Harvey. Houston Public Works has set records for treatment of drinking water in a day, reduced environmental impacts in both the wastewater and stormwater systems, maintain a next-business-day pothole repair program 99% of the time and supported more than $6 billion in development. Carol worked with City leaders to sign a historic consent decree with the federal government to upgrade Houston’s wastewater system. The Northeast Water Purification Plant expansion is currently the largest progressive design-build project of its kind in the U.S. The goal of the project is to increase surface water usage while reducing the Houston region’s dependence on groundwater.
Through Carol’s leadership, Houston Public Works employees have been empowered to take on additional leadership roles in the Department and throughout the country in professional organizations. When other cities or agencies have complex problems to solve, they often turn to Houston for advice and guidance.
Carol is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas with a Civil Engineering Bachelor’s degree from Rice University and has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Houston. Prior to joining Houston Public Works, Carol worked in private consulting, for the Harris County Flood Control District, and as a Congressional Fellow for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Dr. Menachem Elimelech is the Sterling Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University. His research focuses on membrane-based technologies at the water-energy nexus, materials for next-generation desalination and water purification membranes, and environmental applications of nanomaterials. Professor Elimelech was the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his research contributions. Notable among these awards are the 2005 Clarke Prize for excellence in water research; election to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2006; Eni Prize for ‘Protection of the Environment’ in 2015; election to the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2017; election to the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2021, and election to the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2022. Professor Elimelech is also a Highly Cited Researcher in two categories (Web of Science). Professor Elimelech has advised 47 PhD students and 43 postdoctoral researchers, many of whom hold leading positions in academia and industry. In recognition of his excellence in teaching and mentoring, he received the W.M. Keck Foundation Engineering Teaching Excellence Award in 1994, the Yale University Graduate Mentoring Award in 2004, and the Yale University Postdoctoral Mentoring Prize in 2012. Professor Elimelech is the founder of the Environmental Engineering program at Yale in 1999.
Dr. Doulaye Kone is the Deputy Director, Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Doulaye supports the foundation’s effort to provide access to safe sanitation to the 2.5 billion people currently without it. He is disrupting the decades-long status quo in the developing world sanitation sector by reinventing the toilet and reimagining fecal sludge management business as a sustainable utility service. He is responsible for the Transformative Technologies and product development portfolio, and for shaping the Foundation efforts in birthing a new sanitation industry to equitably serve the majority of poor communities in developing countries.
Before joining the foundation in 2011, Doulaye was with the African Water Association (AfWA) as Program Coordinator Africa Water Operators Partnerships’ (WOP-Africa). An initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) jointly implemented in Africa by AfWA and its partners (IWA, AfDB/AWF, USAID, AQUAFED) under the Global WOPs alliance framework coordinated by UN-Habitat. Doulaye has more than 20 years’ experience as a sanitation and water specialist; a development professional and lead scientist. He holds a Ph.D., and MAS in sanitary and environmental engineering; MSc. and BSc in Physics and Chemistry.
Professor Meagan Mauter is appointed as an Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and as a Center Fellow, by courtesy, in the Woods Institute for the Environment. She directs the Water and Energy Efficiency for the Environment Lab (WE3Lab) with the mission of providing sustainable water supply in a carbon-constrained world through innovation in water treatment technology, optimization of water management practices, and redesign of water policies. Ongoing research efforts include: 1) developing automated, precise, robust, intensified, modular, and electrified (A-PRIME) water desalination technologies to support a circular water economy, 2) identifying synergies and addressing barriers to coordinated operation of decarbonized water and energy systems, and 3) supporting the design and enforcement of water-energy policies.
Professor Mauter also serves as the research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation, a $110-million DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub addressing water security issues in the United States. The Hub targets early-stage research and development of energy-efficient and cost-competitive technologies for desalinating non-traditional source waters.
Professor Mauter holds bachelors degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering and History from Rice University, a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Rice University, and a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Yale University. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, she served as an Energy Technology Innovation Policy Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and as an Associate Professor of Engineering & Public Policy, Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.