Please click here for Fall 2013 Water@Wayne schedule.

The Water@Wayne Seminar Series is designed to confront complex urban water resource problems at the intersection of multiple academic disciplines. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and features speakers whose water-related messages transcend disciplines. The first Water@Wayne seminar (September 15, 2011) featured Noah Hall, associate professor of law at WSU, whose presentation Can Water Law Meet The Challenges of the 21st Century? provided important insights into potential issues with current water policy.

Speakers have included:

  • Dr. Jan Beecher, director, Institute of Public Utilities, Michigan State University. “Sustainable Water Systems: Beyond Political Correctness and Fuzzy Economics” (October 27, 2011)
  • Lana Pollack, U.S. chair, International Joint Commission. “Restoring the Great Lakes: Back to the Future” (November 10, 2011)
  • David Lochbaum,director, Nuclear Safety Project, Union of Concerned Scientists. “Water@Fukishima” (December 1, 2011) 

The seminar series takes place in the Welcome Center Auditorium, 42 W. Warren, Detroit, MI 48201 and is open to WSU faculty, postdoctoral trainees, students and the public interested in water-related research, policy and conservation. For more information about these events, contact Freda Giblin at 313-577-3448 or


Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Symphony

This Great Lakes regional effort, led by the Montreal-based International Secretariat for Water, connects the entire basin from Minnesota to Newfoundland and has a representative and satellite effort at Wayne State University. WSU has joined an international team whose focus is to identify common issues, themes and connections throughout the international waterway to develop a report that will be presented at the World Water Forum in Marseille, France.  Daryl Pierson, WSU sustainability coordinator, is a member of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Symphony Advisory Council, which is made up of stakeholders across 11 states and six Canadian provinces. The council met in September 2011 in Montreal to identify the project’s focus activities throughout the basin. WSU's involvement is supported by the Office of Campus Sustainability and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. For information on volunteering with this effort, please email the Office of Campus Sustainability at


URC Conference Held at WSU

The University Research Corridor hosted The Michigan H2Objective Conference: Research Shaping Michigan’s Water Future on September 2930, 2011, at Wayne State. The conference was co-sponsored by WSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Urban Watershed Environmental Research Group. This two-day conference connected scientists, researchers and community leaders working in academia, industry and government across Michigan to explore water research at the interface of Water and the Landscape, Water and Health, and Water and Energy. The future of Michigan's water resources were discussed through cross-cutting themes of technology, climate change and sustainability.

The conference featured plenary sessions, breakout discussions, poster sessions, technology displays and community tours to water-related sites to see local issues first-hand. Keynote speakers included Alan Vicory, Water Technology Innovation Cluster Steering Committee chair and executive director, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission; Kelly Munkittrick, scientific director, Canadian Water Network; Samuel Passmore, program director, C.S. Mott Foundation; and John Hartig, manager, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge


Former Vice President Visits WSU

Former Vice President Al Gore shared his thoughts on the climate crisis on Thursday, October 13, 2011 during the annual meeting of the International Joint Commission (IJC) at Wayne State. Gore, speaking to an audience of more than 500, shared information on the environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes basin. He provided timely discussion on issues such as algal blooms in Lake Erie, high levels of phosphorous entering the lakes, and problems created by the introduction of invasive species through ballast water release.

The former vice president was one of many speakers during Great Lakes Week, an event that convened six different environmental organizations in Detroit. The IJC, a Great Lakes Week participating organization, hosted its annual meeting at Wayne State. WSU's Urban Watershed Environmental Research Group worked with the IJC to host a series of events. The annual meeting featured plenary sessions, local tours and research posters.


Ford Sustainable Technologies Conference

The Wayne State University College of Engineering hosted the Ford Sustainable Technologies Conference, Thursday, October 27, 2011 in the Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center. Co-sponsored by the Wayne State University Office of Campus Sustainability, the College of Engineering and its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the conference connected scientists, researchers, industry leaders and community leaders to explore the future of sustainable technologies in manufacturing, facilities and waste reduction. The event was part of Wayne State’s collaborative relationship with the Ford Body Exterior Department and featured a mix of presentations throughout industry.

The event featured sustainability exhibits from industry and professional organizations. The event also launched the Ford/Office of Campus Sustainability mentorship program. Rachel Malburg, a WSU junior majoring in civil and environmental engineering, was selected as the first participant in the mentorship program. Featured conference speakers included Susan Rokosz, Ford Motor Company Environmental Quality Office, principal environmental engineer; John Bradburn, General Motors, staff environmental engineer; James Sears, Wayne State University associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Management; and Mike Eicher, Cascade Engineering, Business Development for Sustainable Solutions.