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UB Professor Named to National Academy of Sciences Panel to Study Thousands of Hazardous Waste Sites

Release Date: December 8, 2009

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Alan Rabideau has been named to a national panel that will study hazardous waste sites with contamination that hinders their closure.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Alan J. Rabideau, PhD, professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering at the University at Buffalo, has been named to a National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council panel that will study hazardous waste sites with "recalcitrant" contamination that hinders their closure.

The panel's project, "Future Options for Management in the Nation's Subsurface Remediation Effort," will explore ways to improve hazardous waste management at thousands of sites where subsurface contaminants create problems for site closure, possibly threatening public water supplies.

In order to minimize risk in working toward site closure and long-term management, the panel will address the size of the problem, current capabilities, correlation of removal and risk, the future of treatment technologies and better decision making for the future.

The panel will issue a report in approximately 32 months. More information is at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49152.

Rabideau studies subsurface remediation, developing computer models to accurately represent how contaminants are transported in groundwater; he also studies decision making for environmental and ecological restoration.

In remediation work he is conducting with West Valley Environmental Services, Rabideau is testing materials aimed at removing strontium-90 from groundwater. He also is working with other UB researchers to evaluate what has hindered the success of some groundwater remediation projects and how to improve outcomes in the future.

With a total of more than $7 million in research grants, Rabideau has been funded by the NSF, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and private industry. He was a recipient of the 2004 Brigham Award for outstanding service from the New York Water Environment Association and a co-recipient of the 2001 American Society of Civil Engineers' Rudolf Hering medal for the best paper in environmental engineering.

A UB faculty member since 1993, Rabideau directs the National Science Foundation-funded Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training program in Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange. Students in the program from seven academic departments conduct research projects focused on restoring ecosystems in Western New York.

He also served as director of UB's Environment and Society Institute and coordinated the development of UB's bachelor of science degree program in environmental engineering.

Rabideau has a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; he is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy at UB.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager, Medicine
Tel: 716-645-4605
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @egoldbaum