Grand Seminar

Overhead drone shot of a water treatment plant with a blue/green tinted overlay

Loyola University Maryland’s academic division of natural and applied sciences will present the 2022 Grand Seminar on Tuesday, November 8 at 6 p.m. in McGuire Hall. The event will feature keynote speaker Kartik Chandran, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University. Dr. Chandran received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2015 and was named a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation in 2013.


The re-engineered 'waste' cycle: Pathways, protagonists, and processes

Dr. Kartik Chandran headshot

The current model of sanitation and sewage treatment predominantly involves a net oxidation of its main constituents, carbon and nitrogen for the ‘removal’ of pollutants contained in waste streams.  This model requires net energy and resource inputs, which in some cases might render access to sanitation difficult or impossible to certain communities.  In this work, we explore the development and application of alternate models for sanitation.  Our approach essentially consists of identifying potentially attractive end products in ‘waste’ streams such as sewage and fecal sludge at the fundamental (elemental) level. This is followed by the development and implementation of engineered technologies to convert the constituents therein to these products.  The development and implementation of such technologies is built around a specific framework, which informs the applicability of these processes.  One example is re-engineered carbon cycling in wastewater treatment and sanitation systems focused on a net reduction in the influent organic carbon.  Such reduction is not just terminally to methane, but also to intermediates, which might serve as pre-cursors for more commercially attractive endpoints such as chemicals and fuels.  Specific lessons and challenges as learnt from a recent field applications are also included.

About the Grand Seminar

Beginning in 2011, natural and applied sciences hosts a yearly seminar with the goal of engaging Loyola students as well as providing an enlightening and informative event for the greater Loyola community. Watch past Grand Seminar presentations.