Welcome to the KWEST Lab!
Society is at a critical junction for its water and energy infrastructure. On the water side, the American Society of Civil Engineers has given our municipal wastewater a grade of D+. Our drinking water infrastructure received a D grade. Water stress is going to challenge our ability to meet water needs for municipal, agricultural, industrial, and environmental uses will require new structures for managing water. Contaminants, both conventional and emerging, will require new technologies for treating water. On the energy side, we have less than thirty years to create a net-zero energy system to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Integrating renewable energy sources into our grid will require new models of our energy systems. Fossil fuels will continue to provide electricity generation in the short-term and new techniques will be necessary to mitigate their environmental impacts during the transition to a more sustainable grid. These systems also interact in innumerable ways that challenge management of energy and water systems independently from the other. Acknowledging the interconnections between the two will lead to new methods of managing our resources.
Society needs new approaches to infrastructure. The Knowledge for Water and Energy System Transitions (KWEST) Lab at The Ohio State University works to contribute to these new approaches by studying process, policies, and people. We embrace a heavily interdisciplinary approach that draws on techniques from across engineering and the social sciences. This includes civil, environmental and chemical engineering; sustainability studies; policy analysis; economics; data science; operations research; and psychology. We are always interested in hearing from potential collaborators and students that want to work with us on these exciting problems!
The KWEST Lab is led by Dr. Daniel Gingerich. Dr. Gingerich has appointments in the Departments of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering and Integrated Systems Engineering. He is also a core faculty member of the Sustainability Institute at Ohio State. The rest of the KWEST Lab comes from Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Computer Science.