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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Rensselaer Named Partner Institution in National Environmental Engineering Research Project

October 11, 2005

Rensselaer Named Partner Institution in National Environmental Engineering Research Project

TROY, N.Y. — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been named one of 10 partner institutions on a national environmental engineering research project — the Collaborative Large-scale Engineering Analysis Network for Environmental Research. Called CLEANER, the goal is to advance scientific and engineering knowledge to address the challenges of complex, large-scale, human-stressed environmental systems, such as managing and protecting water supplies, restoring altered ecosystems, preserving endangered species, and tracking harmful agents. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

Arthur Sanderson, professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering at Rensselaer, is chairing the organizational committee for the CLEANER project, working to organize the activities of identified planning sites across the country into a cohesive system. 

“The CLEANER project forms the foundation for a national environmental monitoring capability that will allow us to look at key issues and environmental impact over longer periods of time and in more extensive spatial regions,” said Sanderson. “We are developing the technology and putting together the infrastructure to enable more effective prediction of environmental changes that affect people in communities around the world.”

Led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the project team is currently coordinating planning efforts, which include identifying the key science questions and challenges to be tackled, developing a unified vision for the facilities and sensor technology required, understanding the cyber-infrastructure requirements, determining how to involve social scientists and economists, and outlining strategies for the project’s educational component at the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels.

Sanderson is leading several research projects on environmental monitoring of the Hudson River and Estuary that includes collaborations with Darrin Fresh Water Institute of Rensselaer, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and the Rivers and Estuaries Center on the Hudson.

Contact: Tiffany Lohwater
Phone: (518) 276-6542