By: Brandon Pytel
Date: February 23, 2018
UC Environmental Engineering Professor Elected to European Academy of Sciences
By: Brandon Pytel
Dionysios Dionysiou, PhD, professor of environmental engineering, earns international acclaim for his research in the water and wastewater treatment field. This year the European Academy of Sciences elected him to its esteemed body.
When it comes to water treatment technologies and processes, Dion Dionysiou, PhD, is a household name among engineers and scientists around the world. He is a UNESCO co-chair on “Water Access and Sustainability,” editor of three prestigious journals and author or co-author of more than 325 publications, many in water-related research.
Recently, his achievements again garnered him international recognition. Earlier this year, the European Academy of Sciences (EAS) elected Dionysiou to their organization, a selection that requires a highly distinguished record and a history of advancing the engineering or science field. Dionysiou will join the company of less than 600 distinguished scholars and scientists.
“I am honored to be part of this select group of members and to be connected to this network,” says Dionysiou, professor of environmental engineering at the University of Cincinnati (UC).
By developing concepts in advanced oxidation processes and creating nanomaterials, Dionysiou has made significant progress in the breakdown and removal of toxins and other contaminants from water. Dionysiou’s work includes applications for treatment of surface water, groundwater and industrial wastewater. He even studies application for water reuse.
“The objective is to purify water,” says Dionysiou. “The diversity of the contaminants in water makes this complicated. For example, removing toxins like algae toxins and pesticides from water requires a different process than removing toxins like lead or mercury.”
Because the contaminants in water are generally incredibly small, they can be manipulated through certain treatment processes—processes that Dionysiou has developed through his research.
“Very small contaminants have very large surface areas,” he says. “You can tailor design materials that can cause chemical reactions on these large surface areas.” For example, Dionysiou can use light to drive chemical reactions that ultimately kill pathogens and destroy contaminants in water. The result is purified water.
Globally, Dionysiou’s extensive record speaks for itself. But locally, as a professor at the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), Dionysiou shares this knowledge and research with both undergraduate and graduate students in his labs and classrooms. This semester he teaches Physical and Chemical Processes for Water Evaluation Control. In the summer, he will teach Water and Wastewater Treatment. He and several UC students also collaborate with local, state and national water treatment utilities to test new technologies for their efficiency in removing contaminants from water.
“One of the most exciting parts of the field is working with students,” he says. “The field of water research is growing. With that, there are many challenges but also opportunities for creative solutions to produce good quality water at a low cost. Collaboration with students makes finding those solutions possible.”
The election into the European Academy of Sciences is one more recognition in a long list of international achievements for Dionysiou, who is excited to be part of another large network that increases the visibility of his work and his students’ work.
Looking forward, Dionysiou hopes this recognition can continue to advance his work and ensure these processes and technologies can last for decades to come.