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College of Engineering and Applied Science

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UC Denver
 

Research

Environmental Engineering & Sustainable Systems


 

Overview

Research in environmental engineering and sustainable systems currently includes work  with the Colorado Municipal League to provide climate action assistance to more than 10 cities and towns in Colorado. The primary research faculty member, Anu Ramaswami, has also served as an expert advisor on developing greenhouse gas emissions inventory protocols for ICLEI, formerly the International Council for Local Environmental Affairs.

Projects

Through a $3.2M IGERT award from the National Science Foundation, CU Denver offers an innovative inter-disciplinary graduate program on sustainable urban infrastructure. Our program focuses on sustainable water, energy, transport, sanitation and built environment infrastructures in cities worldwide. This work builds upon a GAANN grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Urban infrastructure refers to engineered systems that provide water, energy, transport, sanitation, information and built environments for more than half of the world’s population living in cities today. With rapid population growth placing a strain on available and vulnerable resources (water, energy and materials), the need for high-performing, resilient, cost-effective, resource-efficient and environment-friendly infrastructure is being recognized globally as a key component of future urban sustainability.

The goal of our IGERT project is:

The design, analysis and diffusion of sustainable urban infrastructures of the future through integration across the disciplines of engineering, architecture and planning, public affairs and health and behavioral sciences.

For more information please visit our IGERT Web site.

Faculty Information

Anu Ramaswami
Professor of Environmental Engineering and Director of the IGERT Program on Sustainable Urban Infrastructure
E-mail: anu.ramaswami@ucdenver.edu
Phone: 303-556-4734
Office: Administration Building 240 and North Classroom 3021 B

C.V.

Ramaswami is a professor of environmental engineering and director of the NSF-Sponsored $3.2M IGERT program on sustainable urban infrastructure in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Denver.

She received her BS in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and her MS and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Ramaswami’s research spans industrial ecology, sustainable infrastructure design, environmental modeling, urban systems analysis and integration of science and technology with policy and planning for real-world implementation in communities. Ramaswami has led university research teams that have received national recognition for fieldwork in sustainable development, both in the USA and internationally. She is presently working with the Colorado Municipal League to provide climate action assistance to more than 10 cities and towns in Colorado. She has also served as an expert advisor on developing greenhouse gas emissions inventory protocols for ICLEI, formerly the International Council for Local Environmental Affairs.

In 2005, Ramaswami was invited by the National Science Foundation to represent the United States at the World Science Forum to discuss “Knowledge, Ethics and Responsibility” in an international setting. In 2008, Ramaswami was invited by the National Science Board to serve on the national task force on sustainable energy, held in Golden, CO in June 2008. She presently leads an international team of academicians in editing and publishing the Proceedings of the International Urban Research Symposium held in Marseilles, France, in 2009. Since 1996, Ramaswami has advised more than 30 graduate students, authored a graduate-level textbook (with Milford and Small), published more than 40 papers and managed sponsored projects totaling more than $5.5M. Ramaswami is effective in leading interdisciplinary teams of students and faculty in applied sustainability research and field projects in communities.

Related Courses

Introduction to Sustainable Urban Infrastructure (CVEN 5460): This course focuses on developing uniform vocabulary on sustainable infrastructure across science and technology, architecture and planning, public policy, and health and behavioral sciences. Students learn concepts, principles/pathways and evaluation techniques for promoting the diffusion of sustainable urban infrastructures.

Carbon Accounting and Sustainability Scenario Modeling (CVEN 5461): This is a unique cross-disciplinary course that teaches students community engagement strategies to define sustainability goals. Life cycle assessment and material flow analysis tools are used to measure environmental sustainability benchmarks. Public engagement techniques such as focus groups and surveys are taught. Fieldwork applies both tools to cities in Colorado.