Skip to Content
Report an accessibility problem
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Select Page

Explore sustainable water solutions on

World Water Day 2019

with the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal is crystal clear: Water for all by 2030. From the depths of the desert, Fulton Schools’ researchers are developing sustainable water solutions which can aid in this goal. From nanotechnology-driven methods for cleaning wastewater to algae-based biodegradable plastics, we are bringing sustainable solutions to the world, one engineer at a time.

Researching sustainable solutions

Westerhoff selected for 2019 Clarke Prize

Paul Westerhoff has been selected as the 2019 Clarke Prize Laureate for Outstanding Achievement in Water Science and Technology by the National Water Research Institute. The Clarke Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the world for water research.

GlobalResolve helps those in need

Professor Mark Henderson heads up GlobalResolve, a program that began in 2006 by helping provide clean water in a Ghanaian village and today has created sustainable water transport systems, drip irrigation and other water-solutions for those living in poverty.

Rittmann honored with 2018 Stockholm Water Prize

By revolutionizing microbiological-based technologies for wastewater treatment, Professor Bruce Rittmann and his colleague demonstrated the possibilities for removing contaminants, cutting costs, reducing energy consumption, and even recovering chemicals and nutrients for recycling.

Creating water out of thin air

Associate Professor Cody Friesen is the founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water, which makes hydropanelsTM that use sunlight and air to produce drinking water “off the grid.”

The future of rain: Predicting the extremes

Assistant Professor Giuseppe Mascaro models present rainfall data to improve future forecasts of how extreme weather will affect urban living.

Don’t throw those contact lenses down the drain

Professor Rolf Halden’s and his team, were the first to investigate the fate of contact lenses disposed into our wastewater treatment systems. They learned that wastewater plants fragment them into microplastics, which accumulate in sewage sludge creating up to 20–23 metric tons of wastewater-borne plastics annually.

Monsoon rains found to be beneficial to underground aquifers

The monsoon season in the deserts of the southwestern U.S. is known for bringing torrents of water, often filling dry stream beds and flooding urban streets. Professor Enrique Vivoni’s research dispels the myth that water generated by monsoon storms is mostly swept away into large rivers, with very little of it percolating into underground aquifers.

Westerhoff selected for 2019 Clarke Prize

Paul Westerhoff has been selected as the 2019 Clarke Prize Laureate for Outstanding Achievement in Water Science and Technology by the National Water Research Institute. The Clarke Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the world for water research.

GlobalResolve helps those in need

Professor Mark Henderson heads up GlobalResolve, a program that began in 2006 by helping provide clean water in a Ghanaian village and today has created sustainable water transport systems, drip irrigation and other water-solutions for those living in poverty.

Rittmann honored with 2018 Stockholm Water Prize

By revolutionizing microbiological-based technologies for wastewater treatment, Professor Bruce Rittmann and his colleague demonstrated the possibilities for removing contaminants, cutting costs, reducing energy consumption, and even recovering chemicals and nutrients for recycling.

Creating water out of thin air

Associate Professor Cody Friesen is the founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water, which makes hydropanelsTM that use sunlight and air to produce drinking water “off the grid.”

The future of rain: Predicting the extremes

Assistant Professor Giuseppe Mascaro models present rainfall data to improve future forecasts of how extreme weather will affect urban living.

Don’t throw those contact lenses down the drain

Professor Rolf Halden’s and his team, were the first to investigate the fate of contact lenses disposed into our wastewater treatment systems. They learned that wastewater plants fragment them into microplastics, which accumulate in sewage sludge creating up to 20–23 metric tons of wastewater-borne plastics annually.

Monsoon rains found to be beneficial to underground aquifers

The monsoon season in the deserts of the southwestern U.S. is known for bringing torrents of water, often filling dry stream beds and flooding urban streets. Professor Enrique Vivoni’s research dispels the myth that water generated by monsoon storms is swept away into large rivers, with very little of it percolating into underground aquifers.

Students solve EPICS problems

Many of the problems faced by the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program — which provides student teams with real-world problems to solve for those in need — relate to water availability, cleanliness, and distribution.

Mark Huerta, the CEO of 33 Buckets, a non-profit organization that creates sustainable access to clean water, got his start by taking on an EPICS project. Today, his organization provides safe water to thousands of people in three countries.

More EPICS solutions

Grey water reclamation

Students are helping the Arcosanti self-sustaining community in Arizona reclaim grey water, without black water, and make it pure enough to irrigate crops for human consumption.

Real-time alerts for urban flooding

Cooperating with Da Nang University of Technology, students aim to develop a web app that allows citizens to see real-time urban flooding information in order to stay safe during high water.

Reliable drinking water

Working with the Shonto community, where residents have to drive to a central location to obtain drinking water, students are working to develop a reliable, consistent and efficient drinking water system for all residents.

Cleaning up a neighborhood pond

Working with neighborhood and city leaders, students are developing sustainable solutions for Selleh Park in Tempe, Arizona, such as a wind-powered aerator and floating gardens to improve water quality. 

Pool safety app

Students are developing software and an app to alert someone when a child falls into a swimming pool.

Helping Puerto Rico recover

Several EPICS projects aim to help hurricane-devastated Puerto Ricans return to their normal lives with the assistance of affordable transportation, sustainable water filtration and solar-powered washing machines.

Our research centers take a deeper dive

Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) on a water background

Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT)

ASU and a consortium of industry, university and government partners were awarded $18.5 million to establish one of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Engineering Research Centers to develop compact, mobile, off-grid water-treatment systems that can provide clean water to millions of people who lack it and make U.S. energy production more sustainable and cost-effective.

three petri dishes with colorful growths on each

Water and Environmental Technology Center (WET)

The National Science Foundation Water & Environmental Technology Center at Arizona State University was established to promote scientific research that will ensure the quality of water by pooling the resources of the university and industry. WET Center researchers seek to improve many aspects of water quality and public health.

3 rows of large, clear plastic tubes filled with water and colorful algae, some red, some yellow and some green

Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI)

Since its inception in 2010, AzCATI has been able to offer researchers access to world-class laboratory and outdoor testbeds, and works towards improving STEM education and awareness of the benefits of algae technology. The center advances algae technology platforms through innovative research, education and collaboration opportunities.

Become part of the solution

While sustainability principles can be employed in any field of engineering,

if you are looking to focus on a career in sustainability, check out our degree programs below. All undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to engage in research, so dive in!

Also take a look at our latest graduate program, the Sustainable Engineering (MSE), which is available 100% online!
Learn more about this program on ASU Now