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Water Equipment & Policy (WEP)

Marquette University

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Last Reviewed: 07/06/2017

The Water Equipment and Policy Center (WEP), located in Milwaukee Wisconsin, has developed core strengths important to its members including:

*  Real-time sensors that detect contaminants in water and wastewater systems, and remote locations

*  Nutrient removal, advanced wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion and bioenergy generation

*  Innovative materials that resist corrosion, reduce friction and save energy in water treatment and distribution systems, and self-healing materials that automatically repair cracks that develop

 

Center Mission and Rationale

Growing populations around the world are overwhelming scarce water supplies.  And climate change is making the situation much worse.  The Water Equipment and Policy I/UCRC (WEP) is headquartered in Southeastern Wisconsin, which is home to more than 150 companies serving the water industry that have collaborated in establishing the region as the Western Hemisphere’s leading water technology cluster.  WEP research focuses on creating new sensors and devices, novel materials, innovative systems, and water policies that will help change the way the world manages its acutely stressed water resources.

Since its founding WEP’s universities have made significant investments in facilities and equipment and added scientists focused on water research. 

  • In 2011 Marquette University opened its new Engineering Hall featuring the state-of-the-art Water Quality Lab. 
  • In 2013 UW-Milwaukee (UWM) opened its Water Technology Accelerator (WaTA) in the Water Clusters Global Water Center.  WaTA occupies an area of about 14,000 sq ft of wet and dry labs and offices and support. 
  • In 2014 UWM opened its new graduate-level School of Freshwater Sciences.  It houses research support facilities, laboratories, teaching spaces and collaboration spaces.  The college also operates the 71 foot research vessel that provides year-round access to the lakes and a fully functional platform and floating laboratory. 

These facilities, labs, and equipment are unequaled in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world, and have been instrumental in developing WEP’s core strengths important to its members including:

  • Real-time sensors that detect contaminants in water and wastewater systems, and remote locations
  • Nutrient removal, advanced wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion and bioenergy generation
  • Innovative materials that resist corrosion, reduce friction and save energy in water treatment and distribution systems, and self-healing materials that automatically repair cracks that develop

Research program

Sensors, Materials, and Environmental Systems

The WEP Center has developed core strengths important to its members including:

*  Real-time sensors that detect contaminants in water and wastewater systems, and remote locations
*  Nutrient removal, advanced wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion and bioenergy generation
*  Innovative materials that resist corrosion, reduce friction and save energy in water treatment and distribution systems, and self-healing materials that automatically repair cracks that develop

WEP is the only I/UCRC that addresses the policies that drive the water and wastewater industries

Special Activities

WEP’s university and industry members meet frequently throughout the year to ensure the center is providing value to its members and meeting member expectations.  Every fall university scientists (PIs) propose new research projects, which are then voted on by industry members at a meeting in the spring to determine which ones to fund.  Members continue to meet frequently throughout the year in more informal settings to collaborate on the projects and monitor progress toward achieving research objectives.  In the fall, members meet again with the universities in a formal meeting to evaluate the projects.

Facilities and Laboratory

The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and the Marquette University have outstanding laboratory facilities to support activities of the center, including the following:

 

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Facilities and Laboratories:

 

Water Technology Accelerator
Confocal Scanning microscope – high resolution
Thermomechanical analyzer
Rotary vacuum furnace – kilogram scale
B.E.T for porosity analysis
Keithley Semiconductor Characterization System
SUSS MJB4 Mask Aligner
Ultra-centrifuge: separation of nano-particles and protein
Oxygen plasma reactor
E-beam evaporation systems (metal deposition)
FTIR spectrometer + FT Raman Module

School of Freshwater Sciences

ICP- MS with laser ablation and single particle analysis capacity - Element2 with laser ablation

Micronutrient analysis - various instrumentation for nutrient analysis (flow injection, segmented flow, with colorimetric detection)

  • Dionex IE analyzer
  • UV-visible spectrometers
  • TOC analysis
  • Specialized light microscopy laboratory
  • LC - MS 
  • Stable isotope mass spectrometer (delta V), cavity ring-down spectrometer (Picarro), low level naturally occurring radioisotope detectors (alpha, beta, gamma)
  • Flow fractionation analyzers
  • Freeze driers

Genomics Center

Nanodrop ND-1000 Spectrophotometer

The Nanodrop ND-1000 measures absorbance of DNA, RNA, proteins, and microbial cell culture.  It requires a small amount of sample material and quickly provides information on sample quality and concentration that is necessary for many downstream applications.

Agilent BioAnalyzer 2100

The BioAnalyzer 2100 utilizes microfluidics technology to provide a measure of RNA quality that is more informative and faster than traditional agarose gels.  This technology also uses a less sample material.  The Agilent 2100 Expert Software provides an RNA Integrity Number (RIN score) as an indication of RNA quality, an 18s/28s ratio and an estimation of concentration.  This software provides the best analysis if non-model organism RNA as most bioanalyzers are designed around common research organisms.  The Agilent 2100 analysis is used to ensure high quality RNA will be used for next generation library preparation, microarray experiments, and real time qPCR analysis.

Qubit 2.0 Fluorometer

The Qubit Fluorometer accurately detects very low concentrations of DNA, RNA, and protein.  By using fluorometric detectors, sample concentrations can be measured without interference of contaminants.  The Qubit will be used for quantification of samples used in next generation library preparation, microarray experiments, and real time qPCR analysis. 

Thermocyclers

Eight multi-user, high performance thermocyclers can be used for PCR, cloning, cycle sequencing, gene expression studies and next generation library preparation.

The four Eppendorf Mastercycler Pros utilize specialized technologies that ensure fast consistent ramp rates and reduced evaporation of reactions. 

The four BioRad C1000 thermocyclers are capable programmable temperature gradients for annealing temperature optimization.

OneStepPlus Real Time qPCR system

The OneStepPlus real time quantitative PCR system uses fluorescent-based PCR to provide quantitative detection of target nucleic acid sequences using real time analysis.  This technology has many applications including determining gene expression differentiation or quantification, geneotyping, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and measuring the presence/absence of specific nucleic acids sequences.  This instrument can also be used for next generation library verification.

Synergy H4 Multi-Mode plate reader

The BioTek Synergy H4 pate reader is a multi-mode detector that uses both monochromator-based and filter-based optics.  The monochromator-based optics provide any wavelength from low UV to the near infrared.  The quadruple grating optical system, equipped with a variable bandpass selection system allows for spectral scanning applications.  The filter-base optics use dichroic mirrors for enhanced performance.  This system contains a dual dispenser for more accurate, time sensitive assays.  The applications of this plate reader are many because of the dual optical systems and dispensers.  This instrument can also used as a high through put spectrophotometer, measuring absorbance of DNA, RNA, and proteins and providing information on sample quality and concentration.

Vacuum Concentrator System

The LabConCo Refrigerated Vacuum Concentrator System is designed to rapidly concentrate multiple heat-sensitive samples such as RNA and proteins.  This system is capable of cooling and heating with a temperature range from -4°C - 100°C.  The CentriVap -84°C Cold Trap collects evaporated liquid from the concentrator.  This can be used to prepare samples for a variety of downstream applications.

3730 DNA Analyzer

The 3730 DNA Analyzer performs high through put, automated DNA sequencing and DNA fragment analysis.  This can be applied to microsatellites, AFLP, SNP analysis, and mutations detection. 

MiSeq

The Illumina MiSeq is a “next-generation” sequencer capable of provided 8.5 Gb highest quality sequence data.  This type of sequencing is capable of small genome sequencing, de novo sequencing, custom amplicon sequencing, small RNA sequencing, clone checking,  ChIP-Seq, and 16S metagenomics.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY

Facilities include gas chromatographs with autosampler and ECD, FID, and MSD detectors, HP 5890, Agilent 6890N, ion chromatograph Dionex 320 and centrifuges, autoclave, incubator,  EG&G Ortec alpha and gamma spectrometers.

HYDRAULICS LABORATORY

The laboratory facilities include approximately 1650 square feet of laboratory space, housed in the Department of Civil Engineering and Mechanics.

NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Laboratory (NSEE): Director: Dr. Junhong Chen

The lab is equipped with facilities to perform basic aerosol nanoparticle and plasma experiments as well as numerical computations.

MELTING, CASTING AND EQUIPMENT FOR PRESSURE AND SQUEEZE INFILTRATION OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS

ADVANCED ANALYSIS FACILITY

  •    Optical Spectroscopy

  •    Surface Analysis

  •    Structure Analysis

  •    Thermal Analysis

  •    Gas and Liquid Analysis

  •    Mechanical Analysis

  •    Nanoparticle Characterization

DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS HIGH RESOLUTION TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY LABORATORY

 

Marquette University Research Facilities and Laboratories:

NANO-SCALE DEVICES LABORATORY: Director: Dr. Chung Hoon Lee

The Nano-Scale Devices Laboratory is a facility for research on micro/nano-scale devices

MICROSENSOR RESEARCH LAB

The Microsensor Research Laboratory performs both theoretical and experimental work in acoustic wave, solid-state devices and optical waveguides gas- and liquid-phase chemical and bio-sensors. The laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment for the design, characterization, and evaluation of these sensors and extensive computation facilities for theoretical modeling, analysis, and data processing.

ENERGY LABORATORY

WATER QUALITIY CENTER LABORATORY

The facilities include laboratories, computing resources, and offices. The center laboratories, located in the Olin Engineering Building, include more than 3,700 square feet of space and are equipped

to perform physical, chemical, and biological analyses of water, wastewater, soil, and sludge.

Locations

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Department of Mechanical Engineering
3200 N Cramer St

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53211

United States

Marquette University

PO Box 1881

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53201-1881

United States