EEMI Establishes New Collaborations

SEAS Dean David Dolling and EEMI staff dine with DSM President Hugh Welsh.
SEAS Dean David Dolling and EEMI staff dine with DSM President Hugh Welsh.
January 01, 2015

Over the Fall 2015 semester, EEMI personnel held a series of meetings with the Dutch-based firm DSM to discuss potential research projects. The meetings have included DSM North America President Hugh Welsh; EEMI Professors Scott Sklar, Joe Cascio, Alex Beehler and Jonathan Deason; EEM doctoral student Janie Wise Thompson; and SEAS Dean David Dolling.

One promising research area has to do with how to overcome barriers to increased use of cellulosic ethanol in the transportation fuel mix of the United States. Another has to do with helping the U.S. Department of Defense transition away from fossil fuel use in non-tactical applications in favor of solar-based energy sources.

DSM and EEMI personnel have begun to lay the groundwork for future partnership activities with actions such as the provision of EEMI support for a DSM proposal to the Sunshot program of the Department of Defense, and the establishment of a plan to help educate key Defense and Department of Energy officials on mechanisms to capture greater proportions of energy from solar sources.

Environmental and Natural Resource Policy

Over the Fall 2015 semester, EEMI Co-Directors Joe Cascio and Jonathan Deason, EEMI Visiting Scholar Alex Beehler and others met with senior officers of the Advantus Strategies Corporation to explore partnership possibilities in the areas of environment and natural resource matters. Involved in the meetings were Dan Oakey, Chairman and Managing Director if Advantus and the Honorable John Paul Woodley, Advantus Principal and former Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and Secretary of Natural Resources for the State of Virginia.

The EEMI and Advantus colleagues discussed promising areas of working together to further national interests through research and interactions with the Federal government in the areas of environment and natural resources. During one visit to the EEMI, Messrs. Oakey and Woodley also took a tour of the new Science and Engineering Hall and had a meeting with SEAS Dean David Dolling.

Advantus is a leading government relations services firm providing services to business and governments in the areas of environment, natural resources, ports, harbors and water resource matters. The company, headquartered in Richmond with an office in the Washington, DC area, is in its 17th year of business. More information about Advantus can be seen at the following web link: http://www.advantusstrategies.com/

One tangible aspect of this emerging collaboration is the appointment of the Honorable John Paul Woodley to the EEMI Board of Advisors.

Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

EEMI has a major initiative underway with the worldwide firm Suez Environmental to undertake research related to innovative mechanism to address the critical problem being faced by municipalities throughout the nation related to aging water and wastewater infrastructure. This initiative involves a number of other organizations, including the National Association of Water Companies, Corvias Solutions and Earth & Water Group, L.L.C.

One outcome of this new collaboration is a symposium on public-private partnerships for water and wastewater infrastructure redevelopment. The symposium will be held on February 18, 2016 in the Lehman Auditorium of the Science and Engineering Hall. The event, entitled “P3s and Private Capital in the Water Sector: Moving the Ball Forward” will feature speakers from such organizations as the U.S. Department of the Treasury, National Association of Water Companies, Corvias Solutions, KWP Capital, LLC, American Water Works Association and XPV Water Partners, LLC. SEAS Dean David Dolling is scheduled to provide the opening address at the symposium.

Other Collaborations

Active discussions are underway between the EEMI and a number of other originations in the areas of cold fusion research, transportation infrastructure improvements, long term environmental sustainability and international environment policy. Organizations that have been involved in such discussions with EEMI over the past semester include Nucat Energy, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, GW’s Sustainably Collaborative, and the Brazilian Ministry of Health.