Clifford W. Randall Lecture on November 15

The Clifford W. Randall Lecture will be presented by Dr. Charles N. Haas, LD Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering Head for the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University.

Charles N. Haas received his BS (Biology) and MS (Environmental Engineering) from the Illinois Institute of Technology and his PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. He has served on the faculties of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Illinois Institute of Technology prior to joining Drexel. He is a fellow of the International Water Association, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Risk Analysis, the American Society of Civil Engineers the American Academy of Microbiology and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member by eminence of the
American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He has received the Dr. John Leal Award and the AP Black Award of the American Water Works Association and the Clarke Water Prize. Over his career, Professor Haas has specialized in the assessment of risk from and control of human exposure to pathogenic microorganisms, and in particular the treatment of water and wastewater to minimize microbial risk to human health. Professor Haas has served on numerous panels of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He is a past member of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies, and the US EPA Board of Scientific Counselors.

His lecture is titled “Grand Challenges in Microbial Risk Assessment.”

In the over 35 years of development of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), application to new problems and advances of knowledge have highlighted areas for the future evolution of this approach. In this lecture, I will highlight some of the forefront problems that need to be solved to make QMRA useful in more settings and to more decisions. These challenges exist in the main facets of QMRA: exposure assessment, dose-response assessment and risk characterization. In exposure assessment, we need to have better understandings of how to use molecular methods to estimate viable infectious pathogen doses, and to have better predictions of pathogen persistence in different environments. In dose response, we need to fully integrate host physiological responses to understand multiple dosing effects and impacts of individual susceptibility and concomitant exposures. We also need to better predict differences between strains incorporating genotypic and phenotypic factors. In risk characterization, we need to better transcend the boundaries between QMRA and disease transmission modeling to predict full population level risks. Engineers are eminently suited to make advances in all of these tasks because of our quantitative mindsets and ability to assimilate knowledge from diverse fields, including the life sciences and public health.

The lecture will take place on Friday, November 15, 2019 in Owen Banquet Room at 3:00 p.m. with a reception to follow at 4:00 p.m.

The Clifford W. Randall Lecture Series has been established to honor the long and dedicated career of service of Dr. Randall to the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – Virginia Tech and to the environmental engineering profession overall.