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Prof. John Warner, director of the Center for Green Chemistry at UML, has been named to a joint appointment in the Plastics Engineering Department. He also holds a position in the Community Health and Sustainability Department in the School of Health and Environment.
Warner helped to found the green chemistry movement in the United States while working at Polaroid and serving with the Environmental Protection Agency. He received a 2004 Presidential Award for Mentoring of Graduate Students in Science and Engineering. Warner and the dozen or more graduate students affiliated with the Center are active in volunteer outreach to schools and young students.
"The appointment to Plastics Engineering fits in well with my interest in working across disciplines," says Warner. "Green chemistry is multidisciplinary. The aim is to educate students who can understand and anticipate the effect of industry and innovation on the environment. And industry is behind the effort - large companies are funding research on developing toxic-free products."
Prof. Robert Malloy, chair, says, "The timing could not be better. We just celebrated our department's 50th anniversary and this has led me to reflect on the past and think about the next 50 years. We clearly need to put more effort into the area of sustainability and green initiatives, such as plastics from renewable resources. Not only is it the future and the right thing to do, but major corporations that hire our graduates will be demanding that students have an understanding of environmental issues.
"I believe that UMass Lowell can take the position as leader in this respect. . . . I am very excited about the possibilities."
Malloy has established a faculty committee to review the materials curriculum for opportunities to incorporate the Green Principles that Warner has developed.