Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) Center

Education - Lecture/Discussion - WPI Only

Thursday, April 17, 2014
1:00 PM-1:50 PM

Kaven Hall

Akram N. Alshawabkeh, Professor, Northeastern University: Akram Alshawabkeh, PI and Co-Director of PROTECT, is the Snell Professor of Engineering at Northeastern University. His research interests are in geo-environmental engineering and environmental health and with expertise in soil physicochemical processes, soil remediation, electrokinetic/electrolytic processes and modeling contaminant fate and transport in soil. Professor Alshawabkeh is a Fellow of the ASCE, an NSF CAREER Award recipient and a Fulbright Scholar. He received his PhD in 1994 from LSU, and his BS in 1988 and MS in 1990 from Yarmouk University in Jordan.

Preterm birth, the leading cause of neonatal mortality in the U.S., is also associated with a number of chronic health conditions and developmental disabilities that cause lifelong consequences. In Puerto Rico, the preterm birth rate is 17.7% of live births. At 50% above the U.S. average, it is the highest rate of any U.S. jurisdiction, below only Malawi (18.1%) globally. The higher preterm birth rates in Puerto Rico cannot be explained by changes in obstetric practices, and there is preliminary evidence that exposure to hazardous chemicals contributes to preterm birth. Puerto Rico has 16 active Superfund sites and 200+ hazardous waste sites. Risk of exposure to contamination is high as many of these sites are unlined landfills that overlie karst aquifers which present highly susceptible pathways for exposure to contamination.

Suggested Audiences: College

E-mail: CEE@wpi.edu

Last Modified: March 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

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