Nehdi recognized for contributions to waste and resource management

By Agnes Chick | May 30, 2011
Moncef Nehdi
Western Civil & Environmental Engineering professor Moncef Nehdi has been awarded the 2011 Bill Curtain Medal for his paper, “Paintcrete leachability in fresh water and marine environments,” published in the Journal of Waste and Resource Management of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Nehdi’s study investigates the leaching of hazardous species from leftover latex paint; the largest household hazardous liquid waste by volume collected by waste management programs in North America.

Supported by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Okaloosa County, Florida, Nehdi and his team have pioneered an innovative technology that recycles latex paint with added value, making more durable concrete also known as “paintcrete.” This new material can be used, for example, in artificial fish reefs without releasing any harmful substances into the environment.

Paintcrete has opened up many possibilities of sustainability practices, particularly with green building infrastructures. In collaboration with EnviroRoofRepair Inc., a company in Charleston, South Carolina, paint recycling technology has recently contributed to the development of green roof membranes and is already being used over one million square feet of roofs in South Carolina alone.

“Our research nicely contributes to creating a more sustainable and greener world,” says Nehdi, who is excited to see the success and recognition of his team’s innovative work. “This recognition gives us great motivation and inspires us to continue thinking out of the box to engineer sustainable solutions for our civil infrastructure and built environment.”

Founded in 1818, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a global organization that strives to promote and progress civil engineering through an exchange of specialist knowledge and provides resources to encourage innovation and excellence in the profession worldwide. The annual ICE Awards Ceremony, which was held May 24, 2011 in London, United Kingdom, celebrates excellence within civil engineering and technical writing, and the outstanding commitment of the award winners.

The Bill Curtain Medal is presented annually for the best paper presented to the Institution of Civil Engineers describing innovative design in civil engineering.

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