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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 30, 2006

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UI Student Engineers Host Sustainability Conference Sept. 27-30

The University of Iowa chapter of the student organization, Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), will host the 2006 national ESW conference, "Envisioning Sustainability: A New Generation of Thinking for the Next Generation of Living," Sept. 27-30 at the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus.

The conference is being held in conjunction with the Sept. 24-30 "Week of Renewable Energy and Sustainability: Showcasing Emerging Technologies" that includes: the Big Ten and Friends Energy Management Conference, Sept. 24-27; the College of Engineering Career Fair, Sept. 28; and the Energy Expo 2006, Sept. 27 (see Among those expected to attend the free, public Energy Expo is Philippe Pierre Cousteau, grandson of legendary environmentalist and deep-sea explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Craig Just, UI associate research scientist in the College of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and ESW advisor, says that the ESW conference will focus attention on sustainability in general and UI student efforts to promote sustainability, in particular.

"The ESW conference will focus on the 'developed' and 'developing' worlds and how engineers might make a positive impact toward global sustainability for generations to come," Just says. "Brendon Owens from the U.S. Green Building Council will share his vision for the future of energy-smart building certification; Dianne Dillon-Ridgley will discuss a global view of sustainability and what that means for various groups of people; and Stuart Hart will tell us how businesses can market to the poor in profitable ways leading to sustainable development. Also, Lester Brown will end the conference with a fabulous presentation highlighting issues from ethanol production to global warming."

Just adds that the presentations are in addition to dozens of other talks, panels, posters and discussions by professionals and students. "The African Children's Choir performance will bring us all joy and, perhaps, tears. The program is truly fantastic," he says.

In May, the UI chapter of ESW received an Honorable Mention award in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2nd Annual People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Awards competition, with the award presented at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

The UI ESW chapter also was one of 41 student teams nationwide receiving $10,000 EPA Phase I grants to design a sustainability promoting concept or product, then travel to Washington, D.C. to present the design in the P3 competition. The UI design -- to adapt an Iowa Department of Natural Resources pollution prevention internship program to make it an exchange program with students in Mexico -- is designed to help residents of Xicotepec, Mexico, prevent pollution in ways that aid the environment and the economy. The team is working to expand its pollution prevention program to other Latin American countries by making the award-winning Iowa Department of Natural Resources Pollution Prevention intern program international in scope with direct benefits to Iowans.

Also in 2006, the UI ESW chapter was honored when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) invited Just to represent the group at a March 21-24 international conference at UNESCO world headquarters in Paris. The meeting focused on establishing an international ESW organization to enable interested groups worldwide to participate more closely with U.S.-based ESW chapters on sustainable development projects and education.

Engineers for a Sustainable World is a nonprofit organization with a network of more than 3,000 professionals and students working to reduce poverty and improve global sustainability. The UI chapter, comprised of students and professionals, works with Rotary International District 6000, which provides local contacts in foreign lands as well as logistical and financial support. Further information about ESW can be found at:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,