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ESF, Clarkson University Name Co-Directors of Center of Excellence on Healthy Water Solutions


Center of Excellence on Healthy Water Solutions co-directors Professor Stefan Grimberg, Clarkson University, and Professor Steve Shaw, SUNY-ESF

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and Clarkson University have announced Professor Steve Shaw from ESF and Professor Stefan Grimberg from Clarkson as the new co-directors for the Clarkson-ESF Center of Excellence (CoE) on Healthy Water Solutions.

Shaw is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Resources Engineering at ESF. His research investigates questions at the intersection of hydrology and climate change. He has written more than 35 peer-reviewed publications on topics ranging from extreme rainfall, prediction of low stream flows, controls on flooding, impacts of road salt, and changes in crop yields with weather variability. Most recently, he has been involved in building climate resiliency for agricultural systems in New York state by studying new options for irrigation water sources.

Grimberg has been a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Clarkson since 1996. His research interests focus on understanding biological processes in natural and engineered systems to solve environmental problems. Most recently he has worked on biodegradation of high-strength wastes under anaerobic conditions. Other research projects focused on groundwater contamination, biodegradation of industrial waste, and treatment of stormwater run-off at industrial facilities.

As part of his recent work, he and his students have been operating Clarkson's Foodwaste Anaerobic Digester and a pilot digester at the Cornell Cooperative Extension treating agricultural wastes. He has published more than 50 journal articles, conference proceedings or reports and has delivered more than 90 professional talks at academic conferences or universities around the world. Grimberg has been the investigator or co-investigator of close to $10 million on research grants from the National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, NYSERDA and other funding agencies.

Grimberg and Shaw were named as co-directors of the Center of Excellence after a search process led by Clarkson Provost Robyn E. Hannigan and ESF Vice President for Research Christopher T. Nomura.

"Both Stefan and Steve have already been highly engaged with the CoE from its onset. They have been critical in the CoE advisory committee meetings, catalyzing engagement from both Clarkson and ESF faculty, developing a seed grant program for the CoE, and in recent initiatives with the governor's office to address harmful algal blooms (HABs) mitigation," said Hannigan.

"We look forward to the leadership from Stefan and Steve and continued contributions from the faculty of both Clarkson and ESF to help examine and address issues affecting water across our great state. Stefan and Steve's combination of scientific expertise, consensus gathering, industry connections and vision will allow the CoE to engage in research and activities that advance our knowledge to maintain water body quality throughout New York," said Nomura.

In March 2019, New York state designated ESF and Clarkson University to co-lead a new CoE in Healthy Water Solutions to deliver synergistic problem-solving on the wide-range of water issues impacting the Empire State. Clarkson's world-class technical and engineering innovation expertise in healthy water systems and ESF's renowned expertise in monitoring, watershed ecosystem management and solution development uniquely position the CoE to create and leverage partnerships across the public-private sectors.

The Centers of Excellence, administered through NYSTAR, foster collaboration between the academic research community and the business sector to develop and commercialize new products and technologies, to promote critical private sector investment in emerging high-technology fields in New York state, and to create and expand technology-related businesses and employment. This program was created to enhance and accelerate the centers' operations, facilitating joint university-industry research and development, product commercialization and workforce training.