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STAR Grantee Wins a MacArthur Fellowship
Dr. Marc Edwards, a former STAR grantee and a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been chosen as a MacArthur Fellow for 2007. While being funded by STAR Edwards did research concerning the coagulation and removal of particulate matter, natural organic matter (NOM), and arsenic from drinking water.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private grantmaking institution which dedicates itself to groups and individuals striving to improve the human condition. It has an endowment of approximately $6.4 billion and annually awards $225 million in grants. Its Fellows Program, the award which Dr. Edwards received, awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. It is a no-strings attached program which is meant to support promising individuals with the capacity to make real change, not specific projects.
According to the MacArthur Fellows program Edwards played a vital role in ensuring the safety of drinking water and in exposing deteriorating water-delivery infrastructure in America's largest cities. This is in reference to specific research Edwards did in the DC area in 2003 concerning lead leaching from aqueducts into the water supply. He also exposed weaknesses in the regional water testing program. Edwards will now receive a five-year, $500,000 grant which he may use at his discretion. He currently plans to put it toward identifying and mitigating lead-in-water hazards in U.S. elementary schools as well as continuing research on the degradation of potable water in the plumbing systems of homes and buildings.