Beyond our Borders (BOB) Talk

19 11 2015

I look forward to giving a BOBTalk on November 30th to help raise funds for the Mulanje Mission in Malawi. The talks will be given in Goodwin Hall, room 190, from 7-8:30 p.m. Please come and join us if your are available.


Experience WASH in Malawi – Info Sessions

5 11 2015

On Monday, November 16, I will be holding two information sessions (at 9:30am and 3pm) on the “Experience WASH in Malawi” study abroad course I will be offering during the summer of 2016. The information sessions will be held in room 111 of the Architecture Annex (and via polycom in room 220, Prince Street, Alexandria, VA).

This applied and service oriented study abroad experience will provide undergraduate and graduate students with a grounded understanding of WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) in Malawi. The first part of the course will take place in the classroom with lectures, discussions, and small group projects led by faculty at Mzuzu University, Dr. Emily Van Houweling, and I. The course will begin with a general review of the state of water and sanitation services in different parts of the world and will raise the question of what constitutes access to water. We will review important concepts in WASH and provide an overview of the most pressing WASH issues in Malawi. Following this introduction, students will study the design of relevant WASH technologies and educational programs from the perspective of public health, cultural appropriateness, and sustainability. Armed with an understanding of critical WASH issues and technologies, students will then undertake community-based fieldwork on a WASH-related problem in partnership with the Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation.


A unique aspect of the course is that Virginia Tech and University of Denver students will work alongside students from Mzuzu University to explore a wide range of WASH issues both in the classroom and the field. This pairing of students will promote cultural exchange and enable discussions about ethics and power in the field of international development. The joint teaching model, combined student cohort, and experiential approach to learning will provide students from the U.S. and Malawi with a rich educational and cultural experience.

The course is designed for students interested in working in the global WASH sector or pursuing a career in international development.

Recording of the Public Health Seminar

26 10 2015

Clicking on the image below should take you to a recording of the Public Health Grand Rounds seminar  Sophie Wenzel and I gave on Oct 22.2015-10-25_2206

Public Health Grand Rounds Seminar – 12pm, Oct 22 (Webcast)

19 10 2015

At 12pm on Thursday, October 22, Sophie Wenzel and I will give a seminar on our research group’s work relating to rural water services planning. We will support the presentation with a story map that can be accessed by clicking on the image below.


Since the webcast will not enable viewers to ask questions, I have set up a public Google Doc in which viewers can ask questions or provide feedback/comments. We will do our best to respond to these questions at the end of our presentation. If we run out of time, I will post a written response to questions we were unable to address on this blog.


U.S. Experts to Participate in the IITK-VT Workshop in Kanpur, India

12 10 2015

Originally posted on IITK-VT Partnership on Sustainable Infrastructure:

The following leading experts from the U.S. will be taking part in the IITK-VT workshop on “Water Infrastructure Management for Performance, Resiliency, and Sustainability” on December 17-18, 2015, at IITK:

  • Mr. David Hughes, P.E.  Manager, Water Research, Innovation and Environmental Stewardship at American Water, New Jersey. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. American Water operates as regulated Utilities in 16 U.S. States and serves an estimated 15 million people.
  • Mr. Rajendra Bhattarai, P.E., Division Manager, Environmental and Regulatory Services Division at Austin Water Utility, Texas. For over 100 years, Austin Water has been committed to providing safe, reliable, high-quality and affordable water services to their customers. Austin Water consistently ranks among the best in the country when it comes to water quality.
  • Mr. Walter Graf, Program Director – Infrastructure Management. The Water Environment Research Foundation, formed in 1989, is America’s leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to…

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The MUS-Senegal Trilogy

3 10 2015

Our final paper related to multiple-use water services (MUS) in Senegal was recently published in Water Alternatives. This paper completes our trilogy of papers in which we [1] explore the extent of piped-water-based productive activity occurring in Senegal and how this relates to system performance, [2] study the role of productive water use in women’s livelihoods, and [3] undertake an incremental income-cost (I-C) analysis of whether the theoretical financial benefits to households from additional piped-water-based productive activities would be greater than the estimated system upgrade costs.

These three papers capture the main findings from our study of MUS in Senegal and offer some important empirical research on the emerging concept of MUS.21

Workshop on ‘Water Infrastructure Management for Performance, Resiliency, and Sustainability’

30 09 2015


Please consider attending the IITK-VT workshop on Water Infrastructure Management for Performance, Resiliency, and Sustainability at IITK, Kanpur, India, on December 17-18 , 2015.

Originally posted on IITK-VT Partnership on Sustainable Infrastructure:

A workshop on Water Infrastructure Management for Performance, Resiliency, and Sustainability is being organized by the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), India and the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Center, Virginia Tech, USA, on 17th-18th December, 2015 at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.2015-09-30_1632

This workshop is a part of the ongoing collaborative Project on ‘Creating an International Program for Sustainable Infrastructure Development’ under the Obama Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative under the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India.

The workshop will bring together professionals from water utilities, academic institutions, regulatory bodies, professional organizations, and private industry to help understand complex water infrastructure systems, to better define each other’s roles and responsibilities relating to these systems, and develop a roadmap for effective utilization of available resources working towards the creation of sustainable and resilient water infrastructure systems. The event will seek to bridge the gap between academia and real-world…

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