Baylor To Study Removal Of Nuclear, Biological And Chemical Contamination In Drinking Water

Oct. 24, 2003

by Judy Long

An interdisciplinary team of Baylor University researchers will study homeland security options for detecting and removing nuclear, chemical and biological contamination of drinking water supplies, as a result of a $300,000 contract from Advanced Concepts and Technologies International (ACT I) of Waco.

The contract will fund a year of investigation through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research to develop counter-terrorist solutions to water contamination for homeland and overseas defense. ACT I, a Waco company founded in 1998, received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) to analyze alternatives for removing contamination from drinking water for U.S. troops.

The grant was announced Oct. 24 by U.S. Representative Chet Edwards during a news conference at Texas State Technical College.

"Congress has set aside an additional $1.8 million to test promising technologies and develop prototype systems to guarantee safe water for our troops, as well as our citizens at home," said Edwards, who sponsored the project in Congress.

Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor's vice provost for research, said the affiliation between Baylor and ACT I will involve the university in homeland defense.

"An additional benefit of the partnership is that it provides outstanding research opportunities for our faculty," Hyde added.

The faculty team includes three scientists in the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research: Dr. Bryan Brooks, assistant professor in environmental studies; Dr. Kevin Chambliss, assistant professor in chemistry; and Dr. Rene Massengale, assistant professor in biology. Bruce Byars, a research associate with the Center for Applied Geographic and Spatial Research, also will contribute to the project.

The Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research, a joint endeavor with the City of Waco, has four major components - research, education, professional and technical services, and outreach. The center utilizes the resources of Baylor scientists and city water managers to tackle water issues of regional and global significance.

Hyde said the project holds excellent potential for future additional work. "Cooperation between Baylor and ACT I makes this collaboration particularly constructive, and we hope it is the first of many joint ventures," he said.

ACT I applies leading technologies in systems engineering and integration, manufacturing, aviation, information technology, logistics and maintenance support, financial management and management consulting.

"Our partnership with Baylor provides outstanding combined capability for developing counter-terrorist solutions for our national and homeland defense," said Dr. Harold Rafuse, co-founder and managing director of ACT I.

For more information, contact Hyde at (254) 710-3763 or Truell_Hyde@baylor.edu.

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