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PEEER Is Established in Engineering

The formation of a new Program in Environmental Engineering Education and Research (PEEER) has been announced by Professor Joel Moses, the D.C. Jackson Professor of Computer Science and dean of the School of Engineering.

PEEER's goal is to coordinate and enhance the School of Engineering's many activities in environmentally oriented research and education, Dean Moses said. In addition, PEEER will cooperate with other parts of the Institute through the Provost's Council on Global Environment.

Professor David H. Marks, head of the Department of Civil Engineering and the first director of the new program, observed that "the PEEER process will mutually enhance environmental education going on in many MIT departments. We are interested in educating not only environmental professionals but also in influencing the education of all professionals to be more sensitive to environmental concerns."

During its first year, PEEER will develop educational and research agendas for the School of Engineering's approaches to the environment. This will be done with two task forces, one in education and one in research. The task forces currently have a membership of 23 faculty from ten departments in the Institute.

The Education Task Force will examine the unique resources that MIT can bring to the education of environmental specialists, as well as the environmental literacy of students in many fields at MIT. The Research Task Force will generate coordinated research agendas as well as build new forms of interdisciplinary cooperation.

The task forces will concentrate on four subareas: 1) pollution prevention, clean technologies, and industrial ecology; 2) modeling environmental sustainability; 3) waste management and environmental remediation, and 4) the integration of science and technology into environmental policy analysis.

Professor Marks will be assisted by a nine-member Steering Committee. The membership of the Steering Committee will be drawn largely from the Hazardous Substances Management Group, a successful informal cooperative effort among programs targeting one important aspect of technology and sustainable industrial development.

A version of this article appeared in the January 15, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 17).

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