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Third Coast Water Seminar Series: Desalination for a Circular Water Economy

The Third Coast Water Seminars are a monthly research series hosted by Current in partnership with Argonne National LaboratoryNorthwestern University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Chicago. The series is intended to share the latest research in water and water-related technologies/areas of need to spur collaboration and solve pressing water challenges.

This seminar titled, Desalination for a Circular Water Economy, will be delivered by Dr. Meagan Mauter. Transformational changes are needed to sustain energy and water systems in the 21st century. From decarbonizing the energy sector to building a circular water economy, these systemic transitions will require large scale system redesign. At the same time, system redesign is often hindered by technological shortcomings and an absence of fundamental insight into critical processes and materials. This presentation will highlight new tools for assessing innovation needs in water desalination and discuss application of these tools within research and development portfolio design.


  • 3:00 p.m. – Introduction and Welcome
  • 3:05 p.m. – Professor Meagan Mauter, Stanford University
  • 3:45 p.m. – Audience Q&A
  • 3:55 p.m. – Next Event Information & Closing Remarks

About the Presenter:

Professor Meagan Mauter holds bachelors degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering and History from Rice University, a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Rice University, and a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Yale University. She completed post-doctoral training in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was an Energy Technology Innovation Policy Fellow.

At Stanford University, Professor Mauter is appointed as an Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and as a Center Fellow, by courtesy, in the Woods Institute for the Environment. She directs the Water and Energy Efficiency for the Environment Lab (WE3Lab) with the mission of providing sustainable water supply in a carbon-constrained world through innovation in water treatment technology, optimization of water management practices, and redesign of water policies. Ongoing research efforts include: 1) developing automated, precise, robust, intensified, modular, and electrified (A-PRIME) water desalination technologies to support a circular water economy, 2) addressing the water constraints to deep decarbonization by quantifying the water requirements of energy systems and developing new technologies for high salinity brine treatment, 3) supporting design and enforcement of California agricultural water policy.

Mauter also serves as the research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation, a $110-million DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub to address water security issues in the United States. The Hub targets early-stage research and development of energy-efficient and cost-competitive technologies for desalinating non-traditional source waters.

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