S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y
WEST Center Springs Into Action The Water & Energy Sustainable Technology, or WEST, Center has officially opened. The facility allows UA researchers, public officials and businesses to work together to develop new technologies that help communities deal with water scarcity and reuse. The $5.5 million center, built by Pima County, represents an important partnership – among few in the nation – that brings together various groups to tackle water and energy sustainability problems. Researchers from the UA’s College of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are working at the facility. Located within Pima County’s new water reclamation facility, Agua Nueva, WEST is adjacent to reclaimed water recharge basins and constructed wetlands, all of
Good Governance in Space CO N T I N U E D F R O M F R O N T PA G E
of Engineering as an associate research scientist of engineering and associate research professor of engineering. “We believe we have the right person to lead our Space Object Behavioral Sciences initiative,” said Jeff Goldberg, dean of the UA College of Engineering. “Dr. Jah is incredibly well integrated into the national and international communities on this topic. I can’t think of a better person to lead this effort and put us on a path to pre-eminence in this field.”
Surveyor of the Spheres Before joining the UA, Jah led research programs in space object behavior assessment and prediction at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He directed the Air Force’s Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics, or ASTRIA, on Maui, 10 ARIZONAENGINEER 39:1 spring 2016
which are part of the water reclamation campus and play an important role in the research being conducted in WEST laboratories. “Addressing high-quality water resource availability for our region is necessary to assure our community’s long-term viability, and Pima County’s investment in our wastewater treatment facilities is a major step in that direction,” said John Bernal, deputy county administrator for Pima County. “WEST will bring together public- and private-sector capabilities to explore improved methods for further securing our water future.” With about 25 percent of the U.S. affected by drought, the WEST Center is poised to answer some of the nation’s biggest questions about sustainable water and energy use. Research at the new facility
Hawaii, for eight years, and recently headed the space situational awareness program at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a spacecraft navigator for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1999 to 2006, Jah charted courses for the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He has also participated in missions to the red planet for the European Space Agency, or ESA, and to asteroid Itokawa with the Japanese space agency, JAXA.
Boldly Going Into a New Domain Jah has designed space data fusion and analysis software for the Air Force and private research laboratories to detect, track, identify and characterize objects in space, particularly satellites and their debris. With space object behavioral sciences, he is pioneering a new foundational and cross-cutting area of space domain awareness.
may also lead to new technology regarding the reuse of potable wastewater. “The WEST Center will target the waterenergy nexus by ensuring a supply of safe drinking water to meet community needs for the foreseeable future, while meeting sustainable energy requirements,” said Ian Pepper, co-director at WEST and a UA professor of soil, water and environmental science. Shane Snyder, professor of chemical and environmental engineering, is the other co-director. “In addition, the WEST Center aspires to not only become a global leader in new water and energy technologies but also focus on creating additional jobs and economic development in the region, while simultaneously providing advanced educational and training opportunities,” said Snyder.
“My goal for the UA initiative is to lead a multidisciplinary team to grow and develop space object behavioral sciences, which is founded upon a rigorous marriage of engineering and physics with data science and analytics, and brings in space law and policy,” he said. “I want the UA to be the go-to place for research, education and innovation in this area.”
Synergies at the UA Jah has been thinking about creating an academic research hub for some time. He was courted by other universities, but the UA was different. “Other universities have invited me to join a single department,” Jah said. “When I visited the UA, I met researchers from many units, including aerospace engineering, computer sciences, astronomy, biological sciences, optical sciences and the Steward Observatory. The UA clearly recognized that great things happen only through partnerships and collaborations.”