Rolf Halden, professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, is heading up a new ABOR-approved center that focuses on managing environmental stress in order to improve human health. Halden is also the associate director of the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology in the Biodesign Institute.
The Center for Environmental Security (CES) protects human health and critical ecosystems by detecting, minimizing and ultimately eliminating harmful chemical and biological agents through engineering interventions. CES operates proactively to:
- Anticipate, identify and quantify chemical and biological threats in the environment.
- Detect and track human exposures and diseases of environmental and anthropogenic origin.
- Design and implement intervention strategies to limit exposure to chemical and biological threats.
Research Focus: CES works at the systems level (regional, national or global scale) to optimize chemical safety and biosecurity. Work on chemical safety includes the identification of harmful compounds in the environment and a determination of associated human health impacts as well as suitable intervention strategies in engineering and policy. This work also supports the broader “biosecurity” area in ASU’s Security and Defense Systems Initiative (SDSI). Examples of ongoing and planned research activities include:
- Detection of chemical and biological threats on the regional and national scale.
- Development of instrumentation for environmental monitoring and public health preparedness.
- Human health effects from environmental exposures.
- Food safety.