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Richard N. Palmer, the head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, commented in a story on August 26 by the Boston Globe about illegal lawn watering in the suburbs of Boston during the current drought. As the Globe story explained “Some water under cover of darkness, waiting until night’s protective curtain has fallen to turn on their sprinklers while the neighbors slumber. Some are wealthy enough that, even when busted, they simply pay repeated fines and continue watering their lawn. And still others resort to deception, putting up bogus ‘well water’ signs so they can blast their sprinklers without drawing nasty scowls from neighbors and tickets from local officials.”

Professor David Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department recently told the Wall Street Journal that officials and scientists are reconsidering the use of chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, as a disinfectant in drinking water. “We’re questioning the wisdom of using chloramines as much as we do in this country,” said Reckhow, a national expert on the treatment of drinking water and the head of the UMass Amherst Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS), funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A group of 54 brilliant undergraduate researchers, working on cutting-edge summer projects, will present a joint poster session of their Research Experience for Undergraduates on Friday, August 5, from 10:00 a.m. until noon in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The four REU programs that will participate in the poster session are all funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Dr. Tobiason will present a paper at the International Water Association Particle Separation Conference in Oslo Norway, June 22-24, 2016.  Dr. Tobiason is a member of the Management Committee for the Particle Separation Specialist Group of IWA. Results from research on the use of a "green" oxidant, ferrate (Fe(VI)), for drinking water treatment will be summarized.

Professor Casey Brown, director of the Hydrosystems Research Group, presented an invited talk at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris on June 15th.  The occasion was the 12th Kovacs Colloquium on Water Related Sustainable Development Goals Implementation. 

Professor Casey Brown and Research Professor Patrick Ray, along with PhD Candidate Umit Taner trained World Bank project managers in methods for assessing the risk of climate change to their investments.  The one day training took place on June 8th at World Bank headquarters in Washington DC. 

Professor DeGroot is traveling to Boston, MA where he and his co-PIs on the US National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network Project (RCN) "Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment (SAGE): Reconceptualizing the Role of Infrastructure in Resilience" are organizing a two day workshop that is bringing together a network of U.S., and Caribbean engineers, geoscientists, ecologists, social scientists, planners and policy makers.

David Reckhow, civil and environmental engineering, and other scientists this week refuted claims by actor Mark Ruffalo that water in Flint, Michigan, is unsafe for bathing. “The news is pretty good when it comes to disinfection byproducts—they’re really not all that high,” Reckhow said at a May 31 press conference in Flint. Reckhow and other scientists found the level of byproducts to be comparable to amounts found in other cities.

Dr. Daiheng Ni served as one of two faculty advisors on the winning design for Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions, a category in the 2015-2016 TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. The UMass engineering students on the team submitted a design titled Airport Secure Perimeter Control System (ASPECTS). Dr. Douglas Looze from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering also served as an advisor. 

Michael Knodler traveled to Madison, Wisconsin as part of the summer Safer "Simposium" as part of the Safer Sim UTC consortium led by the University of Iowa. As part of the meeting, Prof. Knodler presented on the status of the UMass Safer Sim activities and participated in several project-related meetings for collaborative Safer Sim projects.

UMass also sent 8 students to the meeting to present their research on topics related to driver behavior, traffic safety, and driving simulation.

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