Environmental & Energy Management Newsletter

The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)
Spring 2009 (Volume 9, Number 2)















Edward Hagarty’s Poster Presentation Selected as one of the Top at International Conference

Two weeks prior to his May 2008 graduation from The George Washington University (GWU) with his Doctor of Science in Engineering Management, Ed Hagarty presented his dissertation research in a poster session at “The 3rd Joint Specialty Conference for Sustainable Water Management in Response to 21st Century Pressures.” The conference, held in Munich, Germany, was sponsored jointly by the European Water Association, Japan Sewage Works Association and Water Environment Federation of the United States. The conference focused on the practical consequences of global climate change and how changes in weather can be mitigated and accommodated. The conference was held in conjunction with IFAT 2008, the 15th International Trade Fair for Water – Sewage – Refuse – Recycling. IFAT is The International Fair Trade Association. IFAT’s mission is to enable producers to improve their livelihoods and communities through Fair Trade. Conference participants voted on the posters to determine which ones would be selected for a podium presentation on the following day. Dr. Hagarty’s poster was one of the top six selected from approximately 25 posters at the conference. He was the sole representative from the United States among those selected. The podium presentation generated good interaction and questions among the audience especially participants from Japan and Belgrade.

Above: Dr. Hagarty presenting his research results in Poster Session at the 3rd Joint Specialty Conference for Sustainable Water Management in response to 21st century pressures in Munich, Germany.

Dr. Hagarty worked closely on his research with his academic advisor, Dr. Jonathan Deason, Professor and Head of the Environmental and Energy Management program within the Engineering Management Department at GWU. The title of his dissertation is “A Predictive Risk Modeling System for the Management of Small-Scale Water and Wastewater Facilities: Toward Long-Term Sustainability of Our National Parks.” The primary output of the research is a risk-based decision-aiding system to help prioritize the construction of water and wastewater facilities to minimize potential health risks. Although the decision-aiding tool has wide-ranging potential applications including developing countries and post-disaster recovery decision making, the research was based on evaluation of water and wastewater facilities in the U.S. National Parks which provided a smaller, more controlled environment. The National Park Service (NPS) has limited resources to meet its needs and in many cases provides services away from urban areas with no access to existing pubic works infrastructure to supply clean water and sanitation services. In this respect, the NPS shares similarities with developing countries.

Above: Dr. Hagarty was asked to present his research in a podium presentation as his project was selected as one of the top six at the conference that was held in conjunction with IFAT 2008.

The decision-aiding system is based on public health risk factors identified and prioritized by subject matter experts from the NPS, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twelve factors were identified; those with the highest potential for protection of the public health are ranked the highest. The prioritized risk factors are used in conjunction with field observations to determine risk-based scores for specific water or wastewater improvement projects. The scores for each project are then compared to determine the priority for implementation from a public health perspective. The decision-aiding system is set up such that the project with the highest score is most protective of public health. The system can be used to prioritize projects when funds are not available to implement all of the projects under consideration. The system is easy to understand and use.

Dr. Hagarty is a Senior Program Manager for URS Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland and an Adjunct Professor at Hood College in Fredrick, Maryland. He may be reached at Edward_hagarty@urscorp.com.






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