URI pollution prevention center recognized for training students to find solutions to environmental concerns

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KINGSTON, R.I. – May 29, 2012 — The University of Rhode Island Center for Pollution Prevention was recognized last week by the Narragansett Bay Commission with its 2011 Pollution Prevention Environmental Merit Award for its work to educate and prepare students to find sustainable and cost effective solutions to environmental problems.

The Center’s directors, Stanley Barnett, professor emeritus of chemical engineering, and Eugene Park, associate research professor of chemical engineering, accepted the award at the Narragansett Bay Commission’s 18th annual awards ceremony on May 24.

“Our strategy of having students understand and develop sustainable solutions for businesses fits nicely with our mission as the state university,” said Barnett.

“Though chemical process engineering is essential for waste reduction, an interdisciplinary approach is ideal for solving a wide range of industry environmental issues,” added Park. “For example, we have worked closely with the Textiles and Food Science Departments.”

Barnett and Park have been helping Rhode Island businesses reduce or prevent pollution for 25 years and have served as free engineering consultants to more than 500 companies to date. They provide technical assistance relating to water discharges, hazardous wastes, solid wastes, air emissions and energy issues, and they’ve become expert at resolving pollution problems in such industries as metal finishing, textiles, seafood processing and auto body repair.

The Center for Pollution Prevention works closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and the Narragansett Bay Commission. Research conducted by the Center helps to educate and prepare students to find sustainable and cost effective solutions to environmental problems. Real pollution prevention case studies and concepts are taught in an upper level course every year.

Pictured above

URI Professors Stanley Barnett and Eugene Park, front, are joined by Narragansett Bay Commission director Ray Marshall, Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, and NBC Chairman Vincent Mesolella at the awards ceremony. Photo submitted by the Narragansett Bay Commission.