Water Symposium

 

Contact Information

Eileen Kramer
(919) 660-5221
eileen.kramer@duke.edu

Duke University Symposium on Water and Cities | Speakers

Diana Gale, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer Emeritus of Public Affairs
University of Washington

"Water for People; Water for fish: The Transformation of SPU into an Environmental Utility"

Diana Gale is a senior lecturer emeritus at the Evans School and teaches courses through the Cascade Executive Programs. She is currently serving as a governor's appointee to the Leadership Council of Puget Sound, which is tasked with recovering Puget Sound by 2020.

Gale is the former director of Seattle Public Utilities and the City of Seattle's Office of Management and Budget. She became the first director of Seattle Public Utilities when the department was created in 1997. She was responsible for all aspects of Seattle's utilities including water, sewer, drainage, solid waste, engineering services, and utilities customer services.

Previously, Gale served as the superintendent of the Seattle Water Department for the regional area, delivering water services to 1.2 million people. Prior to that, she was the director of Seattle's Office of Management and Budget. As budget director, she initiated a biennial budget process which resulted in the first-ever two-year budget for the City of Seattle, as well as a strategic capital investment plan and an innovative program of quality management and performance measurement. Before working as budget director, she was director of the Solid Waste Utility and executive director of the Legislative Department. As director of Solid Waste, she initiated the nationally renowned recycling and composting programs, which have led Seattle to a 44 percent recycling rate.

Vernon L. Snoeyink, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus
Ivan Racheff Professor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"GAC Processes: Using their Full Potential for Water Quality Control"

Vernon L. Snoeyink holds a B.S. in civil engineering (1964), M.S. in sanitary engineering (1966), and Ph.D. in water resources engineering (1968), all from the University of Michigan. He has been on the faculty of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois since 1969. From 1985-1999 he served as Coordinator of the Environmental Engineering and Science Program.
Dr. Snoeyink has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in water chemistry and water quality control, as well as a course in cultural awareness and speech enhancement to advanced doctoral students. He is a co-author of the book Water Chemistry (John Wiley, 1980).

Dr. Snoeyink is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Water Works Association, the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, and the International Water Association. He served as President of the Association of Engineering and Science Professors and currently is on the Editorial Advisory Board of AQUA.

Dr. Snoeyink's research awards include the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Distinguished Lectureship, the Research Award from the American Water Works Association, the Warren A. Hall Medal from the University Council on Water Resources, the Samuel Arnold Greeley Award and the Simon Freese Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Thomas Feng Distinguished Lectureship from the University of Massachusetts, and theTau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the University of Illinois among others. He has been recognized several times at the University of Illinois for excellence in teaching at the Department, College of Engineering and Campus levels, including the Everitt Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1982 and 1998, and the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1983. In 2002, he received the The Multi-Year Faculty Achievement Award for continual commitment to stewardship and excellence in advising.

Gregory Characklis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
UNC Gillings School of Global and Public Health

"Meeting Future Water Demands: Engineering, Economics and Managing Risk"

Since 2001, Dr. Characklis has been on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. His primary research interests involve integrated planning of water supply and treatment strategies through the consideration of both engineering and economic criteria. Specific areas of interest include the use of water market transfers in mitigating supply risk, the impacts of water quality on resource value and allocation, and developing minimum cost strategies for water-related infrastructure. He also directs several laboratory and field studies that explore the role particles play in microbial transport, research with particular relevance in the development of water quality models used to evaluate the location and severity of microbial contamination.

Prior to joining UNC, Dr. Characklis spent two years as Director of Resource Development and Management at Azurix Corp., where his responsibilities centered around assessing the technical and financial merits of water supply development projects throughout the U. S., including most of the western states. Before entering the private sector, he spent two years in Washington, D.C. as a fellow with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) where he co-authored a study on industrial environmental performance metrics for U.S. manufacturers and conducted work related to market-based reform of environmental policy.

Dr. Characklis holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Rice University and a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. 

George A. Raftelis, CPA

President and Chief Executive Officer, CPA
Rafteus Financial Consultants, Inc.

"The Changing Landscape of Water Utility Management & Finance"

Mr. George Raftelis established RFC in 1993, after serving with Ernst & Young (E&Y) for 18 years.  He was the partner in charge of E&Y’s National Environmental Consulting Practice.  Mr. Raftelis is considered to be a leading management and financial consultant for local governments.  His book, Comprehensive Guide to Water Finance and Pricing (3rd Edition), has served the public sector as an authoritative document in providing guidance in rate-related matters.  Mr. Raftelis is currently serving as the Chair of the Management Division of the American Water Works Association (“AWWA”).  He has also chaired AWWA’s Rates and Charges Committee and Financial Management Committee.  In addition, he served on the Financing and Charges Task Force of the Water Environment Federation (“WEF”), which published “Financing and Charges for Wastewater Systems”.  His committees have provided technical leadership to the water industry on finance and pricing related matters.  Mr. Raftelis is a frequent speaker on finance and pricing at water and wastewater conferences.  In addition, he has prepared numerous related articles in industry publications.

Philip Singer, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus
UNC Gillings School of Global Health

"Disinfection Byproducts: Past, Present, Future"

Over the course of his 45-year academic career, Professor Singer’s research has spanned an array of subjects, encompassing iron oxidation kinetics, acid mine drainage, ozonation of water and wastewater, metal-organic interactions in natural waters, coagulation of natural organic material, formation regulation and control of disinfection byproducts, and ion exchange. He has advised 18 doctoral and 99 masters students and has published more than 250 papers and reports during the course of his career. Many of his students have been recognized and have received awards for their research, and Dr. Singer himself has won numerous awards, including the American Water Works Association’s A.P. Black Research Award, the American Academy of Environmental Engineer’s Gordon Maskew Fair Award, the National Water Research Institute’s Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize, and membership into the National Academy of Engineering.

Claudia Gunsch, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University

"Alternative Strategies in Disinfection"

Dr. Claudia Gunsch began her academic career at Purdue University where she earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1998. She then matriculated to Clemson University where she earned her M.S. in 2000 and immediately entered the doctoral program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Gunsch comes to Duke with a wide range of research experiences in microbial engineering systems. Gunsch’s research has primarily focused on pollutant degradation as applied to groundwater and air pollution treatment. During the early stages of her graduate studies, her work focused on chlorinated compound degradation by bacteria in groundwater. During her doctoral work, she investigated the fungal degradation of aromatic compounds in biofiltration. As part of her innovative research, she incorporates quantitative molecular biological techniques into her research to link macroscale vapor-phase bioreactor performance to phenomena occurring at the microscale in the biofilm.

At Duke, Gunsch plans to continue her research with projects that further link biotechnology to environmental engineering applications. Some of the projects which she is incorporating into her research program include: 1) identifying genetic adaptation mechanisms resulting from anthropogenic contaminant exposure, 2) developing biosensors capable of pathogen and contaminant detection in water and air, 3) studying the impact of emerging contaminants on aquatic microbial ecology and 4) the development of novel techniques for controlling pathogen proliferation. In addition to her research interests, she teaches basic and advanced classes in environmental engineering such as such as environmental molecular biotechnology, environmental microbiology and biological processes in environmental engineering.

Mark Wiesner, Ph.D.

Professor and Director of CEINT
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University

"Recent Developments in Membrane Technologies"

Mark R. Wiesner holds the James L. Meriam Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University where he has appointments in the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of Environment. He serves as Director of the National Science Foundation’s Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT). Dr. Wiesner’s research established the area of environmental nanotechnology, examining the application of nanotechnologies for environmental quality control and the possible environmental implications of nanomaterials. He co-edited/authored the book “Environmental Nanotechnologies” and serves as Associate Editor of the journals Nanotoxicology and Environmental Engineering Science.  Professor Wiesner also pioneered research in area of applications of low-pressure membranes to water treatment. He co-edited and -authored the book “Water Treatment Membrane Process,” served as the founding Chair of the American Water Works Association’s Membrane Research Committee, and serves on the editorial board of the journal Desalination. Professor Wiesner is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Water Association.

Before joining the Duke University faculty in 2006, Professor Wiesner was a member of the Rice University faculty for 18 years where he held appointments in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering and served as Associate Dean of Engineering, and Director of the Environmental and Energy Systems Institute. Prior to working in academia, Dr. Wiesner was a Research Engineer with the French company the Lyonnaise des Eaux, in Le Pecq, France, and a Principal Engineer with the Environmental Engineering Consulting firm of Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., White Plains, NY. Wiesner received the1995 Rudolf Hering medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the 2004 Frontiers in Research Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. In 2004 Dr. Wiesner was also named a “de Fermat Laureate” and was awarded an International Chair of Excellence at the Chemical Engineering Lab of the French Polytechnic Institute and National Institute for Applied Sciences in Toulouse, France. Wiesner was the 2011 recipient of the Clarke Water Prize for his work in improving water quality through advancements in membrane and nanotechnology research. He currently serves as the President-Elect of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP).