Jeremy Guest

Talk: Safe Water and Sanitation Innovation: A Nexus for Energy, Food Secuirty, Health and NutritionJeremyGuest.jpg

Abstract: With population growth, urbanization, and rapidly changing environments, challenges for meeting basic human needs are becoming increasingly complex. Although financial resources have, to date, enabled developed countries to leverage consumptive approaches to natural resource management, these methods are prohibitively expensive for developing communities that cannot protect public health and provide reliable access to water, sanitation, energy, and food. To advance U.S. and global initiatives for sustainable development, innovative technologies and strategies are needed to re-envision resource management.

This talk will center on the role of safe water and sanitation innovation as a nexus for critical goals for sustainable development, with a focus on energy, food security, health and nutrition. In both developing and developed settings, people’s interactions with water and their own bodily waste govern the flow of resources and health hazards through communities. By transitioning away from linear resource management (collecting and using “clean” water and discharging “dirty” water back to the environment), populations could transform water and sanitation infrastructure from expensive, chemical- and energy-intensive to financially viable, adaptable systems that can enhance communities and provide meaningful incentives for sustained adoption by end users. This talk will introduce innovations that could enable this transformation, and discuss the local and global significance of such transitions.


Bio: Jeremy Guest is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and serves as the Thrust Leader for Sanitation and Resource Recovery for the Safe Global Water Institute. Dr. Guest’s research centers on biotechnology development for resource recovery from sanitation media, with particular emphasis on microalgae and methane-generating bioprocesses for energy positive nutrient and water recovery from wastewaters. His group works in both developed and developing communities in the U.S. and East Africa, leveraging experimentation, modeling, and quantitative sustainable design to advance select technologies to increase access to sustainable sanitation.

Dr. Guest holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has been the recipient of several notable awards including a Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute Ph.D. Fellowship (2008-2010), a Rackham Graduate School Predoctoral Fellowship (2010-2011), and the Walter J. Weber Jr. Award in Environmental and Energy Sustainability (2011), all from the University of Michigan. Dr. Guest was also awarded a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2014-2019).