Yale to Host Premier Environmental Engineering and Science Research Conference

The 2015 Research & Education Conference for the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) will take place on Yale’s campus June 13-16.   Over 600 leading professionals and academic researchers will attend this year’s conference – the flagship biennial event for the primary professional society in the field of environmental engineering and science. 

The theme of the conference is “Environmental Engineering and Science: At the Nexus” and will highlight research efforts that consider distinct but inter-related environmental issues.  According to conference chair Jaehong Kim, the Barton L. Weller Associate Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, “the field has realized a critical need to take a holistic approach to environmental problems to ensure that ‘solutions’ do not lead to further issues.  With its focus on systems-based approaches, the conference will seek to share knowledge and ideas to collectively push the field forward towards truly sustainable solutions.”

The conference will entail two days of workshops, 180 technical presentations, and five keynote addresses.  Workshops will provide opportunities for professional development and discussion, and will address topics such as international collaborations, integrating sustainability and design into engineering education, and future directions of the field.  Most notably, the full-day, invitation-only “Grand Challenges Workshop” will include leaders in the field collaboratively identifying the greatest challenges of the 21st century.

The conference’s plenary speakers include Prof. Sherburne Abbott of Syracuse University, Prof. John C. Crittenden of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Prof. Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente, Prof. Thomas E. Graedel of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the chef Barton Seaver, now the Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at Harvard’s School of Public Health. All are leaders in their research areas, including sustainability policy, sustainable urban development, marine food systems, water management, and life-cycle analyses.   

Yale’s position as host of the upcoming AEESP conference signifies the growth and success of the environmental engineering program, which began in 1998.  “Hosting this prestigious conference at Yale is a tremendous honor and demonstrates how far the environmental engineering program has come since its start seventeen years ago,” said conference co-chair Menachem Elimelech, the Roberto C. Goizueta Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering.  “I am particularly looking forward to celebrating and reminiscing with current faculty, post-docs, students, and the dozens of alumni who will be playing an active role in the conference.  It is a fantastic opportunity for current and former members of our program.”