Alan Rabideau, an environmental engineering professor with a
track record of interdisciplinary research, will serve as the first
Research and Economic Development Leadership Fellow. Photo: Douglas
Alan Rabideau, a UB environmental engineering professor with a
track record of interdisciplinary research, will serve as the
university’s first Research and Economic Development
Leadership Fellow, appointed by Alexander N. Cartwright, vice
president for research and economic development.
Under the fellowship, Rabideau will focus on preparing RENEW to
tackle some of the most pressing problems associated with energy,
the environment and water.
“As a premier public research university, UB has a mission
and fundamental responsibility to address regional and global
environmental challenges through enduring scholarship and
intellectual innovation,” Rabideau said. “RENEW is the
ideal vehicle to achieve those goals and, ultimately, promote a
more sustainable society.”
Rabideau was chosen for the fellowship because of his
educational background, research pursuits and ability to work
across disciplines. He holds a PhD in environmental science and
engineering from the School of Public Health at the University at
North Carolina-Chapel Hill; he is scheduled to earn a
master’s degree in philosophy in May from UB.
His research has been supported by more than $10 million in
grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations. He
has worked on community projects with both industry and citizen
groups, and recently served on a National Research Council panel
that evaluated alternatives for addressing difficult-to-remediate
contamination at inactive waste sites.
Rabideau established UB’s Ecosystem Restoration through
Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE) program, which conducts research
and provides educational initiatives that advance science,
engineering and policy of restoring ecosystems, particularly in the
lower Great Lakes and Western New York. Last year, a research team
he leads received a $796,000 NSF grant to consider new approaches
to managing hazardous waste. The team includes a sociologist, oral
historian and philosopher.
Under the fellowship, Rabideau will perform the following
duties, which will lay the groundwork for RENEW while a search for
a director is underway:
- Assess UB’s current research strengths. More than 100
faculty members in 34 departments currently are engaged in
- Coordinate faculty involvement in the RENEW Institute.
- Develop collaborative activities, such as workshops and
bringing distinguished speakers to campus.
- Lead an internal grant competition. These “seed”
grants will help researchers obtain funding for larger
- Coordinate student involvement in RENEW.
- Coordinate efforts to target federal funding opportunities for