Gregory Characklis of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will be speaking at Virginia Tech's Fralin Biotechnology Center Auditorium on Friday, April 23 from 9-10 a.m., to student and faculty as part of the Spring 2010 Water Seminar Series.

Characklis will discuss the topic “Integrating Engineering and Economics in Pursuit of Improved Water Resource Management Strategies.”

In this presentation Characklis will review some of the primary forces affecting water resource planning in the United States and a rationale for interdisciplinary water resources research. Population growth and economic development continue to drive increasing demand for water, while the costs and regulatory hurdles associated with developing new supplies have risen steadily. Improved strategies for managing existing water resources and developing new supplies will be required if society is to reliably meet its demands in a manner that is cost effective and more environmentally sustainable. More sophisticated planning approaches can benefit from the development of models that couple the hydrologic, engineering, and economic elements of water resource systems.

Characklis currently serves as an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His primary research interests involve integrated planning of water supply and treatment strategies through the consideration of both engineering and economic criteria. He also directs several laboratory and field studies that explore the that role particles play in pathogen and indicator organism transport, research with particular relevance in the development of water quality models used to evaluate the location and severity of public health risks.

Prior to joining the University of North Carolina, Characklis served as director of resource development and management at Azurix Corp., where his responsibilities included assessing the technical and financial merits of water-related investments. Before entering the private sector, he spent two years in Washington, D.C., as a fellow with the National Academy of Engineering where he co-authored a study on industrial environmental performance metrics and conducted work related to market-based reform of environmental policy.

Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, in collaboration with Department of Biological Systems Engineering, are co-sponsoring this seminar as part of the 2010 Water Seminar Series.

This series brings water experts to the Virginia Tech campus to discuss a variety of current water issues and will run throughout the spring of 2010. Additional information for this special water seminar series is available at the seminar website.

Fralin Life Science Institute parking is available in Wallace, Hillcrest, and Litton Reaves Lots, which can be accessed from Washington Street or Duck Pond Road. All visitors will require a free parking pass that may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor's Information Center, located on Southgate Drive. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

Written by Jessica Razumich. Razumich, of Gambrills, Md., is a senior majoring in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

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