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GRIT-X Faculty Presentations

Global. Research. Innovation. Trends. Excellence.

GRIT-X is a series of presentations to celebrate the achievements of UMBC’s alumni and faculty. The program was presented at part of the UMBC50 celebrations, and was structured as three distinct 30-minute sessions, where select groups of alumni and faculty described interesting and important aspects of UMBC’s impact in the areas of research, scholarship and creative achievement. The event was organized and sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Two College of Engineering and Information Technology professors (Lee Blaney and Govind Rao) participated in the event. Videos of COEIT faculty presentations are shared here. Visit Office of Research website to view all presentations.

Lee Blaney – Our Environment is on Drugs

Literally. The antibiotics, pain relievers, sunscreens, and fragrances that we use on a regular basis end up going down the toilet, sink, or shower. During wastewater treatment, these “contaminants of emerging concern” are not completely removed and, therefore, get discharged into the environment. In fact, we have detected antibiotics in Baltimore streams, as well as hormones and sunscreens in Chesapeake Bay oysters and mussels. How important is this issue, and how can we ameliorate this problem?

Govind Rao – Inventing Tomorrow at UMBC

Let’s talk about disruptive innovation. Advances in technology and globalization have created the perfect storm of major societal and environmental change. Health care is a basic need, yet at many levels costs are exploding to make it unaffordable. Ironically, from a purchasing power parity point of view, developed and developing country residents face similar challenges. We will discuss two ends of the spectrum as case studies – 1) manufacturing complex medicines from a suitcase size device and 2) developing a cardboard incubator. These technologies of tomorrow are transformative UMBC inventions that have the potential of saving millions of lives.