The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)
Fall 1999 (Volume 1, Number 1)

E&EM Leads Seminar at Howard University

Professor Jonathan Deason and Doctor of Science candidate Jerry Sherk conducted a seminar on "Overcoming Barriers to Brownfields Redevelopment: An Environmental Management Challenge" at the Fall Seminar held by the Department of Civil Engineering at Howard University on November 16, 1999.  Organized by Howard University Professor Gajanan Sabnis, the seminar enables undergraduate and graduate engineering students at Howard to be exposed to engineering issues of current significance.

At the seminar, Deason and Sherk made formal presentations about the objectives, methodologies and conclusions their recent research project that is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The research project addressed the difficult challenge of redeveloping “brownfields” (unused or underutilized sites in urbanized areas that may have been contaminated by prior use).  It has been estimated that as many as 650,000 such sites exist in the United States and that the total cost of restoring them to productive use may be excess of $500 billion. 


As explained by the GW representatives, the objectives of the research are to (1) identify and describe the “real world” factors that most influence both public and private sector decisions to redevelop brownfields or, alternatively, to develop “greenfields” (previously undeveloped suburban or rural areas), (2) determine the extent to which the redevelopment of brownfields reduced developmental pressures on greenfields, (3) examine and quantify the economic benefits that were induced by the redevelopment of brownfields and (4) identify federal and state statutes and regulations that either inhibit the redevelopment of brownfields or that encourage the development of greenfields.

Professor Sabnis presented Deason and Sherk with Howard University certificates of appreciation at the conclusion of the event.




Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor