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Engineering Professor Studies Wastewater Treatment

For years, scientists have been aware of the potential problems of antibiotics being present in wastewater, and the research of Dr. Olya Keen is now showing that treatments to clean wastewater may actually be creating new antibiotics and further contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance in the environment.

An assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Keen began her current research into the behavior of antibiotics in wastewater in the summer of 2014. She recently presented her initial findings at a conference of the American Chemical Society held in Denver, Colorado.

"This research is a small piece of a larger question," Dr. Keen said. "There are varieties of antibiotics found in wastewater, and at this point we are just testing one. It is in a class of antibiotics that all have similar compositions, so we anticipate that other antibiotics in this class may respond the same way."

$300K NSF Award to Accelerate Commercialization

The UNC Charlotte proposal for a Ventureprise Charlotte Launch program was selected as an NSF I-Corps Site in a nationally competitive solicitation by the National Science Foundation. The selection also designates UNC Charlotte as one of 36 universities that are part of the NSF National Innovation Network.

"The NSF selection of UNC Charlotte as an I-Corps Site validates our long-standing investment in entrepreneurial support," said Robert Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. "The Ventureprise Charlotte Launch program will provide 90 or more UNC Charlotte students with in-depth technology commercialization knowledge that will be valuable throughout their careers."

The Ventureprise Charlotte Launch program is designed to inspire teams whose technology concepts are likely candidates for commercialization. Teams will assess business opportunities for research and inventions primarily developed by UNC Charlotte students and faculty.