College of Engineering

CEN Seminar

Date(s): 11/20/2012 2:00 PM - 11/20/20123:00 PM
Location: Seng 114
Contact: Kelly Pennell 508-999-8478

Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEN) Seminar Series

DATE and TIME: Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012, 2pm – 3pm


SPEAKER: Dr. James W. Rice, Brown University

TITLE: An Engineer’s Take on Hazardous Waste: What we’ve learned; what we don’t know; and, what we’re doing about it


This seminar will provide a general overview of the Brown University Superfund Research Program (SRP). The Brown University SRP is an interdisciplinary research center funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The research team includes individuals from Brown University, UMass Dartmouth, the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. We focus on understanding the health effects, transport, and remediation of pollutants commonly found at contaminated sites.

This seminar will also include a summary of research that demonstrates the surprisingly complex behavior (i.e., vapor pressure and aqueous solubility) of mixed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are common, combustion-generated environmental pollutants. Results of a case study describing ongoing innovative bioremediation activities at the Fisherville Mill site in Grafton, MA will also be presented. The main contaminant of concern is heating oil (a complex mixture of hydrocarbons) released from storage tanks into adjacent surface water and sediment.

Dr. Rice is a post-doctoral research associate and the Engineering State Agencies Liaison in the Superfund Research Program (SRP) at Brown University’s School of Engineering. Dr. Rice received a BS (2006) from Northeastern University and an ScM (2008) and PhD (2011) from Brown University, all in chemical engineering. He is interested in the fate and transport, chemistry, and thermodynamics of environmental contaminants, and on translation of scientific research to relevant stakeholders, such as regulators, policy makers, and community members. He advises and teaches students both in the laboratory and the classroom. He was recently recognized as an Outstanding Member of the Brown University Community and received a 2011 Sigma Xi Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

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