AECOM Environment and the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) are collaborating on the new Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative (SNI) at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. AECOM Environment is the global environmental practice of AECOM, and a leader in environmental health and safety solutions.
Nanotechnology involves engineering at atomic-scale levels to create new materials, devices, and systems with unique properties and capabilities – the ability to manipulate matter roughly 1/100,000 the width of a human hair. While new nanotechnology-related products are brought to market daily and are impacting global industry and society, the environmental and human health risks are largely unknown. The goal of the SNI is to begin to understand the environmental risks associated with engineered nanomaterials.
AECOM’s Environmental Toxicology Lab and risk assessment group will collaborate with UCSB to study nanomaterial fate and transport, assist in exposure assessment and risk quantification and modeling, develop outreach programs and related training materials for use by industry involved in handling nanomaterials, and conduct “real world” testing of methods and instrumentation for the detection and characterization of nanomaterials.
“New nanotechnology-related products are already impacting global industry and society, and the Bren School’s SNI is critical to helping industry and the public understand the health and environmental implications of nanomaterials,” said Robert Weber, AECOM Environment Group Chief Executive. “Our collaboration provides another platform to share expertise, and positions us to better assist our clients in addressing issues associated with some nanomaterials.”
AECOM Environment is also working on nanotechnology projects for other public- and private-sector clients, including aquatic toxicity studies for a major commercial producer of carbon nanotubes which will help determine how wastewater discharge from the production of these materials affects aquatic species.
AECOM Environment is AECOM’s full-service global business line dedicated to serving industrial, commercial and government clients with seamless delivery of comprehensive environmental management and sustainability services. AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental and energy. With 43,000 employees around the world, AECOM blends global reach, local knowledge, innovation, and technical excellence in delivering solutions that enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural, and social environments. AECOM serves clients in more than 100 countries and had revenue of $5.6 billion during the 12-month period ended December 31, 2008. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at www.aecom.com
About the Bren School
The Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is home to an interdisciplinary graduate program focused on environmental problem solving through the integration of science, management, law, economics, and policy. Offering both a professional Master of Environmental Science and Management degree and a PhD track, the School’s mission is to play a leading role in researching environmental issues, training scientists and environmental management professionals, and identifying and solving environmental problems around the world. It is ranked among the top four programs of its kind in the nation and is the only such program in the western United States. For more information, go to www.bren.ucsb.edu
For more information, please contact Bill Looney, Nanotechnology Initiative Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a look at the issue of risk from nanotechnology waste in the waste handling sector, read the Editorial on page 4 of the February/March edition of Solid Waste & Recycling magazine (www.solidwastemag.com).