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Dr. Rafael L. Bras, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been named the inaugural Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professor, and a special commemorative event has been scheduled for February 20.
The professorship was endowed last spring with a grant of $2 million from the Bacardi Ltd. Foundation and announced by the Bacardi Foundation and the Stockholm Water Foundation at the Stockholm group's Founders' Seminar in New York City. Among those at the event was His Majesty, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Bacardi was installed as a founding member of the water foundation at the 1995 event. The Stockholm Water Foundation promotes efforts to improve global water conservation.
On Tuesday, Feb. 20, the two foundations will salute Professor Bras, an internationally respected authority in hydrology, by sponsoring a special Bacardi and Stockholm Foundations Professorship Event, a report on the Aberjona Watershed study. The event begins at 10am in the Bechtel Lecture Hall (Rm 1-390).
Professor Harold F. Hemond of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will present the watershed study. He is associate director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences and director of the Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory.
The Aberjona study involves a comprehensive look at the pathways by which chemical contamination has affected the watershed north of Boston where river, groundwater and air transport have distributed toxic metals and organic chemicals.
The presentation will highlight the partnerships that have been formed among environmental engineers, toxicologists and the community in the course of this study, which has been underway for several years.
Bacardi provided the funding for the new chair to strengthen such partnerships internationally and to advance the Stockholm Water Foundation's efforts to educate and empower people to improve water quality in their communities. The professorship will also strengthen MIT's research and teaching in the field of water resources.
Professor Bras is associate director of MIT's Center for Global Change Science and holds a joint academic appointment in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. He has been head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1992. Professor Bras is well known for his work in water science and engineering.
The Stockholm Water Foundation was formed in 1990. It enjoys the patronage of the King and annually awards the Stockholm Water Prize to an individual or organization engaged in water-related research or activism. The prize includes a gift of $150,000.
Bacardi Ltd. established the Bacardi Foundation in 1994 to encourage and support the preservation and conservation of environmentally sensitive and unique coastal and recreational waters and beaches through education and grass roots programs. Bacardi works with environmental groups including The Nature Conservancy.
Bacardi Ltd. produces and markets a variety of spirits, including Bacardi rum, Martini & Rossi vermouth and Asti sparkling wine.