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Report
The Water Equipment and Policy
I/UCRC Research Center
Inventing the next generation of
Water Sensors, Equipment and
Systems
WEP Proprietary Information
INVENTING THE NEXT GENERATION OF
WATER TREATMENT PRODUCTS, SYSTEMS, AND POLICY
Research Thrusts
Materials
Market Segments
Systems
Sensors &
Devices
Policy
Strategic
Thrusts
Consumer
Industrial
Point-of-Use Technologies
Municipal
Emerging Contaminants
Sustainability
Reduced Energy Consumption
WEP Proprietary Information
Creating futuristic materials today
• Toilets never require cleaning, and pipes, pumps and
industrial equipment resist scaling and corrosion.
• Water travels through pipes with minimal resistance
and turbulence, dramatically reducing pumping costs.
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Innovative wastewater research that
advances biotechnology, renewable
energy and protecting the environment
• At the vanguard of innovating the next generation of
practical wastewater solutions.
• Specializing in advancing anaerobic digestion in which
specific microorganisms convert wastes and other
feedstocks to biogas that contains methane for
municipalities, manufacturers, agriculture and food
processors.
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Modular sensing platforms provide the
foundation of the intelligent water
distribution system
• Sensors distributed throughout the water system in POU
devices will instantly alert plant operators of the
appearance of contaminants.
• Low–cost portable handheld devices enable contractors
and homeowners to instantly analyze remote water
supplies.
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This microsensor applies shear horizontal surface
acoustic waves to provide in-situ real-time monitoring
of chemical contaminants in water.
Receiver IDT
Transmitter IDT
Liquid Layer
Substrate
Waveguiding
coating and/or
chemically
sensitive polymer
thickness, h,
density, ρ
Shear modulus,
G = G’ + jG’’
Photograph of Actual
SH-SAW Sensor Device
with PMMA Waveguide
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A miniaturized real-time micro-calorimeter array
detects the unique thermo properties of bio/chemical
molecules in water.
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Hybrid nanotube structures provide real-time sensing of
various chemicals (e.g., phosphates, residual chlorine,
mercury, and E. coli) in water
S
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NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center
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Provides seed funding
Guiding hand
Proven model
Best practices
Collaborative
Pre-competitive
Industry
Research
Industry
Members (IAB)
• Fund research
• Provide general direction
• Focus & prioritize research
to meet member needs
Universities
• World renowned scholars within reach
• Students & post-doc researchers
• State-of-the-art laboratories
• Manage the Center
• Provide matching funds through reduced overhead
WEP Proprietary Information
How do companies benefit?
• Network with industry peers.
• Access to students with relevant hands-on experience.
• Collaborate with scientists on innovative water treatment
products and processes.
• Member research dollars are leveraged.
• Save on university research.
10% overhead instead of 40% to 50%
• Prepublication access to technical papers.
• Easier access to other NSF research funding.
• Royalty free access to intellectual property.
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35 Years of Success
• 61 Centers, 168 I/UCRC Sites
• Over 760 Member Organizations
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Bio Energy Research and Development (CBERD)
Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility (CEMC)
Center for Fuel Cells (CFC)
Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS)
Cooling Technologies Research Center (CTRC)
Laser and Plasma for Advanced Manufacturing (LPAM)
Next Generation Photovoltaics (NGPV)
Wood-Based Composites Center (WBC)
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How does an I/UCRC Work?
• IAB & Universities identify industry’s technology needs.
• University scientists propose research projects.
• IAB votes to prioritize and fund projects.
• Principle Investigators (PIs) provide IAB with periodic
updates.
• Universities review WEP status to IAB semi-annually.
WEP Proprietary Information
WEP’s Mission
• To foster close collaboration between engineers
from the water industry’s leading companies and
the brightest university water research scientists.
• Pursue precompetitive research that creates the
next generation of products and processes and
advance the water industry.
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P
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WEP’S Guiding Principles
Pursue collaboration
Research for game changers
Immerse in members’ businesses
Student focused
Manage through frequent personal contact
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Additional
Universities
Additional
Universities
Industry Engineers
WEP I/UCRC COLLABORATION
Your
Company
University Scientists
Other
Companies
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Intellectual Property Process
• IP provisions are detailed in membership
agreement.
• Industry members review all scientific papers prior
to publication.
• Invention disclosures are required.
• Universities & members collaborate on pursuing IP
protection.
• Industry members are granted royalty-free licensing.
WEP Proprietary Information
How members… even competitors
benefit by joining the WEP I/UCRC
WEP I/UCRC members
Working directly with university
• Pay only 10% overhead • Pay 40% to 50%
on university research
overhead on research
• Royalty free access to IP • Pay royalties for IP
• Access to all IP… same • No access to other IP
as member competitors
available to competitors
Members choose to advance, customize and differentiate
precompetitive research to meet their individual needs.
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Materials Research Projects
• Alternative catalyst materials for
bio-electrochemical systems
• Biofilm in water distribution systems
• Biomimetic antifouling coatings
• Lead removal using foam polymers
impregnated with ZrP/TiP NPs
• Lead-free castings for water industry
• Self-cleaning materials for water
industry
• Self-cleaning industrial components
for water industry
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Sensor Research Projects
• Array chemical sensing microsystems with novel signal processing
• Betavoltaic battery for powering microsensors
• Chemical sensors for monitoring contaminants in aqueous
environments
• Guided SH-surface acoustic wave sensor array for detection
and monitoring of human viruses
• Hybrid nanomaterials for low-cost detection of chemicals
and bacteria in water
• Low-cost paper-fluidic device for the detection of
extremely low concentration of heavy metals and pH
• Micro-calorimeter array for real-time water quality monitoring
• Molecular Biosensor for detection of TBA in groundwater
• Selective detection of heavy metal ions using graphene
WEP Proprietary Information
Components & Systems Projects
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Activated carbon filtration
Advanced aeration technology
Photo-electrochemical water treatment device
Arsenic removal by Fe2O3/TiO2 modified Mesoporous
silica
Assessment of titanium dioxide photocatalysis
pretreatment for granular activated carbon filtration
Biochar product and processing of wastewater
biosolids
Biologically inspired robot for pipe inspection and repair
Concurrent wastewater treatment and hydrogen
production in a solar photoreactor using nanostructured
catalysts
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Components & Systems (Cont.)
• Cost-Effective and High-Performance Waste Water Treatment
• Cost-Effective Filtration Device for Grey Water Treatment and
Reuse
• Improving aeration effectiveness
• Low-Cost Low-Fouling Nano-Membrane System for Water
Filtration and Treatment
• Microbial fuel cell technology for simultaneous bioenergy
production and wastewater treatment
• Miniature High Efficiency Transducers for Use in
Ultrasonic Flow Meters
• Novel Hybrid Nanofiber Membranes for Removal of MultiPollutants from Water
• Nutrient-Enhanced Biochar Product and Processing of
Wastewater Biosolids
• Photo-Electrochemical Water Treatment Device Treatment
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3 Year Old Center Milestones
• One patent application and one in process
• Three invention disclosers:
• Innovative polymer foam for lead removal
• Portable detection device for heavy metals
• Remotely read, passive, wireless sensors
using acoustic wave devices.
• Migrating superhydrophobic research
breakthroughs into member product
development and manufacturing of selfcleaning products.
• Two $200K fundamental research grants from the
National Science Foundation.
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3 Year Old Center Milestones
• $50K grant from NSF to collaborate with
another I/UCRC to study the efficiency of
water and wastewater treatment
technologies by using inline sensors.
• Submitted 10 journal papers, numerous
invited talks and conference presentations, 7
graduate theses.
• Center PI Mike Nosonovsky featured in the
Journal Nature.
• Two students hired by industry members.
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Benefits of working with WEP
Members Benefit
• Network with peers
• Leverage research dollars
• Breakthrough
precompetitive research
• Royalty-free licensing
• Employ brightest
engineering students
Universities Benefit
• Interact with industry
engineers
• Provide students with
funded laboratory work
• Prestige of NSF’s I/UCRC
Program
Students Benefit
• Earn income
• Work with potential
employers
• Laboratory research
experience
WEP Proprietary Information
CREATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF
WATER TREATMENT PRODUCTS, SYSTEMS, AND POLICY
Research Thrusts
Materials
Market Segments
Systems
Sensors &
Devices
Policy
Strategic
Thrusts
Consumer
Industrial
Point-of-Use Technologies
Municipal
Emerging Contaminants
Sustainability
Reduced Energy Consumption
WEP Proprietary Information
Questions
WEP Proprietary Information

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