Dr. Xiaoguang Meng Develops Emerging Technology to Provide Safe Drinking Water
The water crisis continues to grow, with 780 million people worldwide who do not have access to clean water, leading to the deaths of more than 3.4 million people each year from water-related disease. Dr. Xiaoguang Meng, Professor of Environmental Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, has devoted his career to bringing clean water to those who need it, cheaply and effectively.
Dr. Meng earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, with the desire to make a difference. “I want to do work that directly benefits the people,” says Dr. Meng. Since then, he has studied and developed water treatment technologies that blend cutting-edge research with affordable, easy-to-use techniques.
Dr. Meng has traveled to Bangladesh to provide solutions for clean water to those who need it. He first visited Bangladesh in the late ‘90s, when it became known that millions of people in Bangladesh were exposed to high levels of arsenic and other dissolved metals in groundwater. As a result, residents had higher rates of some cancers, including tumors of the lung, bladder, and skin. Dr. Meng developed a simple filter and collaborated with a local NGO to distribute the filters to several villages.
Years later, in 2011, Dr. Meng returned to Bangladesh to work with UNICEF to filter tap water from contaminated underground tanks. Dr. Meng created a device that used “on-demand filtration” to remove the unappealing taste of chlorine from purified water, encouraging those in the Dakarta slums and in surrounding villages to drink the safe water. Stevens students are expanding upon Dr. Meng’s innovation, conducting further testing through Senior Design projects and on-the-ground distribution in Guatemala City.