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Jaehong Kim, Ph.D. receives WERF Busch Award
By Water Environment Research Foundation
Oct 16, 2009
  E-mail article
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Alexandria, VA -- The Water Environment Research Foundationís Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research presented its Paul L. Busch Award to Jaehong Kim, Ph.D., today, during its annual subscriber luncheon at WEFTEC.09 in Orlando, FL. This $100,000 award will support Kimís efforts to develop a new technology that harnesses the limitless power of sunlight in order to improve onsite water and wastewater treatment systems.

Dr. Kim is an associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he and his research team are adapting materials originally developed for laser optics, called upconversion phosphors, to create a cost-effective coating that converts sunlight into germicidal UV radiation.

In addition to the benefits the technology could provide to existing onsite water and wastewater treatment processes, it could also improve the drinking water process of sunlight disinfection (SODIS), which has been a true lifesaver in developing countries. Each year, the lack of infrastructure in developing nations hinders the availability of pathogen-free water, resulting in 1.8 million deaths per year from diarrhea alone.

By coating the surface of the containers used for SODIS with the upconversion material, Kim hopes to drastically improve the processís efficiency and reduce the long exposure times required. Kim also envisions using these materials to develop antibacterial surfaces, which would prevent microbial growth when in the presence of white light.

Kim joined Georgia Tech in 2002 and is a recipient of various awards, including the Excellence in Research Award by the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech, the Excellence in Review Award from Environmental Science & Technology magazine, and the Editorís Award from ASCEís Journal of Environmental Engineering.

Kim is also an active teacher and mentor. In recognition of his devotion to teaching, he received the CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from Georgia Tech in 2007.

The annual Paul L. Busch Award is one of the largest in the water quality industry. Now in its ninth year, the award supports researchers imbued with the visionary spirit of its namesake, a leader in the water quality community who challenged engineers and scientists to devise new technologies and solutions for addressing ongoing water quality issues.

Recent recipients are already addressing many of the growing concerns of todayís communities, such as maintaining healthy waters and improving energy efficiency. Past awards are supporting groundbreaking research on the effective removal of endocrine disrupting compounds in waste streams, the creation of self-sustaining wastewater treatment facilities by using microbial fuel cells, and the fate of nanomaterials in wastewater treatment systems.

The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research presents the Paul L. Busch Award each year at WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federationís technical exhibition and conference.

Source: http://www.werf.org/

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