Lyle lecture sheds light on ‘clean and renewable future’

By Blake Wetzel

Engineering Professor Sevinc Sengor spoke about the issue of clean water and energy Wednesday morning affront SMU students, faculty, alumni and engineering professionals.

In a small conference room in Caruth Hall, lecture attendants focused their attention on the environmental engineer behind the podium as she addressed the most pressing issues alongside the models and research she has established to find solutions.

The codependence of water and energy is an endless and irreversible cycle that is beginning to loose steam as these two resources increase in demand and complexity. Sengor is working with a team of graduate students to find innovative ways to remove emerging contaminants in drinking water, address the remediation of toxic metals and uranium in water, improve groundwater conditions, and instill sustainable waste to energy conversion.

Originally from Turkey, Sengor moved to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. in Water Resources from the University of California, Davis and now serves as one of Lyle’s most innovative professors.

“She is new to the school for this type of research,” SMU alumnus Paul Harris said.

The problems addressed by Sengor and the solutions she proposes signify progress and prestige not only in the engineering field as a whole, but for the Lyle School of Engineering as well.

“I am so excited to be working at Lyle to take these steps forward to solve the water and energy issue,” Sengor said.

Seeing as water sustains agriculture, industry and life, and energy is needed to extract and treat water, the balancing act between the two is something that affects the entirety of the global population. The concerns she targets are pressing not only in developing nations, but also in many regions throughout the U.S.

“Since it is such an important issue for all of us, these programs help us to better understand what is going on in the world,” SMU grad student Carla Mendiola said.

Sengor’s findings, including naturally occurring microorganisms with the potential to generate energy and clean water, are especially ground breaking. Her work and professionalism mark the progress made by the Lyle School of Engineering as the college seeks to enhance its learning opportunities and innovation.

“Lyle is at the leading edge of research for attacking contemporary problems like this…energy production is very near and dear to the heart of Texas,” SMU employee Patrick Christine said.

Located in the nation’s leading energy state, students pursuing their undergraduate and graduate engineering degree at SMU have the environment, the professors, and the possibilities for change to their advantage.

Established in 2010, the Lyle Scholars Program continues to seek out and inspire the leading engineers of the coming generation and provide them with the education, resources, and support necessary to solve issues like clean water and energy. This inventive school is attracting talent and diversity from around the nation, while working to shape world changers.

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