Respected Member of Flint Water Task Force to Speak at Duquesne

A leading expert invited to join the Flint Water Interagency Committee will discuss the water and lead crisis occurring in Michigan, as well as his decade-long struggle to get governments and engineers to pay attention to the impact of crumbling infrastructure on health, particularly children's.

Dr. Marc A. Edwards, the Charles Lunsford Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, will speak in Duquesne University's Pappert Lecture Hall of the Bayer Learning Center on Friday, April 8, at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Edwards started-and largely funded-"almost entirely on his own, a crusade against the federal government's failure to protect residents of Washington (D.C.) from lead in the city's water. And he won," reported the Washington Post.

That effort started in 2004. More than 10 years later, the scientist whose work was once decried finds himself sought by residents and government officials for his expertise. He is being hosted on campus by Dr. Partha Basu, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Both professors share an interest in water quality, particularly lead contamination.

"Professor Edwards is a true leader of our time who has made transformative societal changes, through science, in our thinking of water quality, and helped common people," said Basu.

After the Washington water issue, Time magazine called Edwards "The Plumbing Professor" and listed him among the world's four most important innovators in water. Recognized with a Presidential Faculty Fellowship by the White House, Edwards also received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship in 2008, which he dedicated to the cause of safe water.

In 2013, he became only the ninth awardee in 25 years of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Barus Award for "courageously defending the public interest at great personal risk."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.