Marc Edwards, Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and an expert on water treatment and corrosion, will present the Richard L. Valentine Distinguished Lecture, titled The Flint Michigan Water Crisis: Miracle or Disaster?", from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday, October 27, in W10 Pappajohn Business Building.

Edwards and his colleague, Mona Hanna-Attisha, were recently named to Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People” as a reflection of their investigative scholarship and advocacy during the Flint, MI, water crisis. Edwards previously researched the elevated lead levels in the drinking water of Washington, D.C. and Edwards publicly discredited a scientifically indefensible report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that seemingly attempted to cover-up the issue. Edwards was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007 for “playing a vital role in ensuring the safety of drinking water and in exposing deteriorating water-delivery infrastructure in America’s largest cities.”

Edwards is hosted by the Environmental Engineering & Science Program within the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and sponsored by the Valentine Distinguished Lecture, which honors Richard L. Valentine, UI professor of civil and environmental engineering.

RIchard Valentine
Valentine has made pioneering contributions in environmental engineering to disinfection byproducts (DBPs) research, including their chemistry and kinetics as applied to drinking water treatment and water distribution systems. He is the leading authority on chloramine disinfectantkinetics which governs the stabilityof the disinfection process and thesafety of drinking water. He developed a simple, practical relationship predicting how fast chloramines decompose in the distribution system which is still widely used today. He also described a mechanism accounting for the instability and subsequent dissolution of lead (from lead pipes) when chloramines are used in disinfection.

Edwards' talk is co-sponsored by the Creative Matters lecture series, IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering & the Water Sustainability Initiative, Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, and the Public Policy Center.

Launched in fall 2015, the Creative Matters lecture series seeks to demonstrate that creativity and innovation are not only at the core of all research and discovery, but also central to our human experience.

Its lineup of speakers includes artists, thinkers, builders, and doers who challenge conventional thinking about creativity, science, and artistic expression, and borrow from a range of influences and disciplines in their work.