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CEE Special Seminar - "Harnessing Microorganisms with Innovative Materials for Water, Food, Energy, and Health" by Dr. Xing Xie

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Event Details:

Abstract: Microorganisms in the environment play an important role in human lives: microbial metabolism can be used to treat our waste and generate useful products (e.g., food, medicine, and energy), while pathogenic microorganisms in our water and food can threaten human health. Developments of innovative materials help us to better harness microbial activities for human needs. In this presentation, I would like to talk about three examples about applying innovative materials for cultivation, inactivation, and detection of microorganisms, respectively. First, I will show a series of nano-enhanced 3D porous conducting materials, which can serve as high-performance bioelectrodes for colonization of exoelectrogens in microbial electrochemical systems. Second, I will introduce a chemical-free microbial inactivation approach named locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT), which is an electrophysical method that relies on nanowire-enabled low-voltage electroporation to kill bacteria. The third, I will present new 3D filtration processes based on superabsorbent polymer (SAP) beads, which have been successfully applied to concentrate and preserve water samples for microbial quantification.

About the speaker:

Dr. Xing Xie is a Carlton S. Wilder Associate Professor and the Environmental Engineering Group Coordinator in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he was a postdoc at Caltech. Dr. Xie received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Environmental Science & Engineering from Tsinghua. He received his second M.S. degree in Materials Science & Engineering and Ph.D. degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Stanford. Dr. Xie’s research interests center around the applications of environmental biotechnology and materials science at the nexus of water, food, energy, and health. He has worked on many projects related to water treatment and reuse, pollutant detection and quantification, and energy and resource recovery. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, and his work has been cited about 10,000 times with an H-index of 39. Dr. Xie has received CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (2019), Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization Emerging Investigator Award (2020), Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science Honor Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists (2021), Best Paper Award from Environmental Science & Technology (2022), and James J. Morgan Early Career Award Honorable Mention from American Chemical Society (2023)