News and events

Apr. 4, 2017 - Radio Interview: Lara Treemore Spears talks about the Wayne State University Healthy Urban Waters (HUW) role in the #ErieHack - a 5-City innovation challenge that involves the tech community to develop proactive solutions to address Lake Erie's ecological challenges.  Check Out Technology Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Michigan Mobile Musings on BlogTalkRadio with Michigan Mobile Musings on BlogTalkRadio. 

BlogTalkRadio Interview - Lake Erie Hack Lara Treemorespears

Help 'Hack" the Great Lakes with the #ErieHackCompetition

lake erie hack competition


Mar. 31, 2017 - Wayne State University science community assembles delegation to support the #marchforscience on April 22, 2017 in Washington D.C.


Mar. 13, 2017

UWERG co-directors Dr. David Pitts and Dr. Donna Kashian featured in documentary "Road Salt: Street to Stream" created by Nick Hayes and airing on Detroit Public Television

Road Salt | Street to Stream from Nick Hayes on Vimeo.

Dec. 20, 2016

"Q&A: WSU's Carol Miller on the interplay between green and gray infrastructure"

Model D Media

Nov. 21, 2016

Job Opportunity with the City of Detroit
The City of Detroit is hiring a Director of Sustainability. Click here for more info -->

Link to City of Detroit job listing


Nov. 21, 2016

Job Opportunity with Friends of the Detroit River (FDR)

FDR is accepting applications for Community Outreach specialists for initiatives in partnership with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' (MDHHS) Fish Consumption Advisory Program.

Brief Job Description

 Attends events and activities to promote and educate on FDR Projects and Fish Consumption Advisory Program. Maintains a positive, strong, credible, professional and interpersonal relationship with all parties relevant to MDHHS and FDR projects, and represents the best interests of MDHHS and FDR at all times.


High school diploma or equivalent; bachelor's degree in any subject preferred.

Important Skills and Characteristics

Excellent oral and written communication skills are important, especially the ability to convey technical information to the lay public. Professional demeanor required.

To request a detailed job description, ask questions, or submit resume, please contact Friends of the Detroit River at or 734-288-3889

Nov. 10, 2016

Featured Story from DMode: "How Detroit's public parks are using green infrastructure to prevent flooding, save money" reports on green infrastructure updates planned to enhance Viola Liuzzo Park as part of the DWSD 2016 Parks and Recreation Improvement Plan.

link to DMODE article

Sept. 20, 2016

"It's Miller Time: Meet the Detroit educator who's helping solve water issues around the country"
Model D Media

March 25, 2016

Water is the new gold

Interview with Saad M. Merayyan, professor of Civil Engineering (Water Resource Engineering) at California State University, Sacramento 

More than 2,000 miles away from the luxurious cool of Michigan's five Great Lakes, WSU alum Saad Merayyan is now where he is needed the most.  Read Interview -->

March 1, 2016

WSU research to shed light on Flint water crisis

Wayne State University announced today that it has formed the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership (FACHEP). The research group, led by Wayne State researchers specializing in environmental engineering and public health, will conduct an independent study to evaluate the possible association between changes in Flint's water system and public health, specifically the recent Legionnaires' disease outbreak.

Read WSU press release -->  

Visit FACHEP website:  --> 

1 Jan 2016

UWERG LEEM Team, selected as finalist for 6th Annual North America Chinese Startup Contest and Accelerator

The LEEM Team, a cross-disciplinary group of researchers from UWERG and HUW have been selected as one of 50 finalists for the The 6th Annual North America Chinese Startup Contest and Accelerator. The final rounds will be in Santa Clara, CA on January 14-16, 2016. Participating on the team are WSU students and faculty: Dr. Caisheng Wang (ECE), Dr. Cheng-Zhong Xu (ECE), Dr. Carol Miller (CEE), and Guoyao Xu (ECE).

The LEEM Team is presenting a technology that can be used to selectively reduce mercury emissions (sourced in electrical energy generation) to the environment. LEEM is an acronym for Locational Emissions Estimation Methodology. Numerous students and faculty at WSU and elsewhere have contributed to the development of the technology that will be further vetted at this competition. In addition, Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL) is evaluating LEEM for their next generation emission tools. Funding for LEEM has been provided by Great Lakes Protection Fund and others. Student participation in this US/China start-up competition is provided by the Anderson Institute at WSU.

The North America Chinese Startup Contest strives to foster cross-border collaboration on market and investment opportunities, as well as career development for startups between the United States and China. The past five contests have drawn over 10,000 attendees and 2,000 startup teams combined, of which over 200 received initial funding and/or started collaboration with a Chinese counterpart

6th UCAHP Startup 21 Contest (see for details:

11 Oct 2015

Chemical testing could have predicted Flint's water crisis - Detroit Free Press interviews Dr. Shawn McElmurry.
Link to article -->

Dr. Carol Milller (WSU Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Dr. Jeff Ridal present as US and Canadian Co-Chairs to the International Joint Commission held in late October 2015 in Ottawa. They presented a report of the Great Lakes Science Priority Committee (SPC) to the Commissioners.



rashida tlaib

Thursday, October 15, 2015 | 1pm

Environmental Challenges in the Urban Context: A Legislative Perspective

Rashida Tlaib visits Wayne State to present at the 4th Annual Eugene Perrin Memorial Lecture In Health Sciences & Peace as part of the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus workshop hosted by WSU, the National Science Foudation, the US Department of Agriculture Forestry Department - Maryland, and the WSU Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.



Thursday, October 14-16, 2015

WSU hosts collaborative workshop for sustainable food, water, and energy systems

"Integrative and Sustainable Food, Energy and Water (FEW) in Transitioning Urban Landscapes" invited participants from Detroit and Baltimore, MD who exchanged ideas, strategies and concerns about current practices and future plans for Detroit, Baltimore and other transitioning cities. This Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus workshop was hosted by WSU, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture Forestry Department - Maryland, and the WSU Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.

September 28-30, 2015

Dr. Shawn McElmurry participates in GREAT LAKES WEEK: New Green Infrastructure. Read More -->

Green Infrastructure siteOctober 5, 2015

New Digs for Green Infrastructure Research

Construction workers are busy installing concrete bollards intended to prevent illegal dumping at the new bioinfiltration site on Evergreen Road in the Cody Rouge Neigborhood, Detroit, MI. Some of the plants are in already and the grass (and manhole covers) are coming soon and more information are coming soon!

Smart grid climate change 2015 conferenceOctober 13-14, 2015

Wayne State Represented at the 2015 Smart Grid & Climate Change National Summit in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Carol Miller from WSU Civil and Environmental Engineering will present innovation in emissions tracking and reduction and will be talking about Locational Emissions Estimation Methology (LEEM) with the talk, "New Tools for Emissions-Targeted Demand Response" at the National Summit on Smart Grid and Climate Change in Washington, D.C.

September 29, 2015

Healing Our Waters, Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Chicago - Sept. 29, 2015

Dr. Shawn McEllmurry speaks about green infrastructure with a positive impact on water quality. The conference was live-stream broadcasted by Detroit Public TV and can be viewed here.

Water on MarsOctober 1, 2015

Evidence for Water on Mars!

New hyperspectral data "'strongly supports the hypothesis' that seasonal water [on Mars] is probable." Read more on the Bluewater Sattellite website -->

June 16, 2015

Water in its Place - new video

New video "Water in its Place" as presented to the Leadership Summit of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers

Water In Its Place from GL & SL Governors and Premiers on Vimeo.

June 5, 2015

New grant supports Healthy Urban Waters

The Erb Family Foundation has approved UWERG's Healthy Urban Waters program and will provide $650,000 for the next three years of the project for studies on urban watersheds

Wayne State University receives $1.025 million from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation for clean water and air quality initiatives

DETROIT – The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $1 million to Wayne State University for projects aimed at improving water and air quality in Michigan. The Healthy Urban Waters initiative through the College of Engineering received $650,000 to accelerate development of the Huron to Erie Alliance for Research and Training (HEART) field stations that promote collaborative water research and community education in the Huron-to-Erie corridor. A second grant of $375,000 was awarded to the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic (TELC) at the Wayne State University Law School for an air quality initiative to promote community health and environmental justice by addressing sources of air pollution in the greater Detroit area. Both projects begin in the summer of 2015 and are funded for three years.

"These two projects illustrate the link between research and community that is part of the DNA of Wayne State," said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson. "Clean air and water should be available to everyone, and it is particularly important for urban areas that mix large populations and industry to lessen their environmental impact. We are fortunate to partner with the Erb Family Foundation to improve and protect our natural environment, and build healthier communities."

The goals of the Healthy Urban Waters initiative and TELC closely align with the values of the Erb Family Foundation. "Our mission revolves around healthy communities and a healthy ecosystem," said John M. Erb, president of the Erb Family Foundation. "We are proud to join with the College of Engineering and Wayne Law to support the dedicated research, education and outreach that will protect the Great Lakes' natural systems and provide for cleaner air."

Funding from the Erb Family Foundation increases the capacity of four HEART field stations to advance collaborative regional water science, urban field research and integrated community education efforts. The grant also will fund a publicly accessible data archive to develop, validate and improve urban watershed models to ensure that the most effective prevention, mitigation and restoration programs are deployed.

"The Great Lakes water system is one of the most precious resources in the world, and we are fortunate that it's right at our doorstep," said Carol Miller, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and the leader of the Healthy Urban Waters project. "But with that opportunity comes great responsibility. The grant from the Erb Family Foundation strengthens our ability to learn more, to share information and apply solutions that protect this urban watershed."

The grant for Wayne Law will allow TELC to convene community meetings, develop policy solutions and serve as a lead partner with other state efforts to address air pollution. In collaboration with the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, TELC will create an Air Quality Advisory Committee for Detroit and southeast Michigan. The grant also will fund a coordinator to serve as a liaison between technical experts and community residents, and develop a series of informative materials detailing types and sources of air pollution and associated health impacts.

"We will be a resource for those communities with nearby industrial or manufacturing operations that affect the local air quality," said Nick Schroeck, assistant professor at Wayne Law and director of TELC. "Often, the policies are complex and the jargon is highly technical, leaving vulnerable communities with few avenues to participate in the process. The grant from the Erb Family Foundation allows us to work on the behalf of affected neighborhoods."

The grant from the Erb Family Foundation is part of Wayne State University's $750 million Pivotal Moments fundraising campaign, which had its public launch in October 2014.

About the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation's mission is to nurture environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metro Detroit, consistent with sustainable business models, and support initiatives to restore the Great Lakes Ecosystem. The foundation is focused on improving water quality, especially in the watersheds impacting metro Detroit and Bayfield, Ontario; promoting environmental health, justice and sustainable development; and supporting the arts as a means to strengthen the metropolitan Detroit region. For more information, visit

About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit

Wayne State University Law School is the premier public-interest law school in the Midwest. Its civil rights, entrepreneurship, environmental and international programs, and their related clinics, set Wayne State University Law School apart as an advocate for justice committed to serving the community. For more information about Wayne State University Law School, visit

March 2015

Mapping Detroit's Urban Streams

Check out maps of Detroit Urban Stream Restoration in the book Mapping Detroit: Land, Community, and Shaping a City was published on March 2015 by Wayne State University Press.

Stream Map from the book and featured on Detroitography

April 2015

Graduate Student News

Jenna Hage-Hassan defending her Masters of Science thesis.



Water Testing at the HEART Field Station