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Thoughts From Engineers: Urban Heat Islands Grab the Latest Climate Headlines

August 30, 2022 - in Articles, Column

Extremely high temperatures searing U.S. and European cities in recent weeks invariably focuses the world’s attention on the “urban heat islands” that cities by and large represent. With rising temperatures of late, cities are literal hotbeds for…

Thoughts From Engineers: The Supreme Court Kicks the Climate ‘Ball’ Back to Congress

July 29, 2022 - in Articles, Column

Many predicted in the days leading up to the release of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision in West Virginia v. EPA that something…

Thoughts From Engineers: When Cities in the Midwest Run Dry

May 27, 2022 - in Articles, Column

The states surrounding the Great Lakes have always been a bit smug about the bounty of freshwater on their doorstep. These states have been equally…

Thoughts From Engineers: On Shaky Ground: The Effect of Human Activity on Drinking Water

April 28, 2022 - in Articles, Column

The results of a study examining the relationship between land use and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) contamination were published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology in February 2022 (bit.ly/PFAS2022).…

Thoughts From Engineers: Cybersecurity: More at Risk Than Meets the Eye

March 30, 2022 - in Articles, Column

As an indicator of how quickly events are evolving lately, by the time this column goes to print, the geopolitical circumstances in which we find ourselves today could be radically changed. What seemed unlikely to occur a few months ago—namely the invasion…

Thoughts From Engineers: The Elusive Plea of COP26

January 28, 2022 - in Articles, Column

I’ll confess I’m probably more fixated than most on climate-related news. When the media began to post updates on the progress of the United Nation’s 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Scotland in early November 2021, I was ready to see the…

Thoughts From Engineers: Stepping Up Source-Water Protection

November 29, 2021 - in Articles, Column

If a watershed was the subject of a play, this one could fill the house. Set in southwestern Wisconsin in a watershed known as Black Earth Creek, the plot has some interesting elements: a failing landfill; a Class 1 trout stream; development pressure from…

Thoughts From Engineers: Climate Report Issues Bleak Predictions

September 30, 2021 - in Articles, Column

Engineers are problem solvers by profession, but, in many respects, we are pioneers as well—now more than ever.

Thoughts From Engineers: Microplastics: An Unavoidable Reality of Modern Life?

August 27, 2021 - in Articles, Column

Our dependence on plastics, most of which are based on a formula developed from coal, natural gas and crude oil, is another aspect of our deep-rooted reliance on fossil fuels. The battle to move away from these fuels to support our way of life is best described…

Thoughts From Engineers: Water Reuse Enters the Spotlight

July 27, 2021 - in Articles, Column

The Wichita Falls Resource Recovery Facility in Wichita Falls, Texas, became a national model for indirect potable reuse (IPR) in 2018 when it captured, disinfected, filtered and oxygenated wastewater before delivering roughly 20 million gallons a day…