Talks & Lectures
8 Feb 2022
Virtual Event

Hugo Neu Corporation Sustainability Seminar Series: Big Data and Brownfields: Crowdsourcing the Remediation of the World

Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering

Maria Coler


The Greenest Generation must harness advances in big data, data analytics, and algorithmic decision making to address the legacy sites of the Greatest Generation and those that followed. These advances are disrupting fields as diverse as finance and medicine, but the environmental industry is lagging in its approach. The moment calls for bigger and bolder action.

We need to ask ourselves how we can do better. How can we quantify the cost and time of remediation earlier in the process? How can we enhance the efficacy of our remediation strategies and the accuracy of our cost estimates? How can we collaborate with scientists and practitioners across the globe to solve this problem? The answer lies in the accumulation, analysis, and visualization of big data. This requires big thinking, big shareable data sets, and cooperation between corporations and across national borders.


Maria Coler is the founder of HCI, a 100% women-owned environmental consulting firm specializing in the remediation of brownfield sites in urban centers. Ms. Coler is a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) with the State of New Jersey, a LEED Accredited Professional, an alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses program, chair of the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast’s (BCONE’s) Scholarship Committee, and a member of the Academia Committee. Ms. Coler founded the BCONE Brownfields, Books, and Brew club. Ms. Coler holds a B.S. in Environmental Science, a B.A. in Physics and a minor in English Literature from Rutgers University. Ms. Coler has overseen the remediation of hundreds of sites, including work on the largest redevelopment in U.S. history–Hudson Yards, in Manhattan.
She has developed a comprehensive suite of proprietary software to manage her firm’s operations and data, retain institutional knowledge, and generate cost-risk models. Her aim is to facilitate the crowdsourcing of the remediation of the planet by harnessing the power of big data. To this end, Ms. Coler unveiled her proprietary tools in a standing-room-only learning lounge at Brownfields 2019, the industry’s premier biennial event

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