Bhavik Bakshi makes media appearances
Most people love nature, and Professor Bhavik Bakshi is no different in that regard. What sets him apart is his commitment to research that not only helps protect nature and our environment, but finds ways to exploit it safely and economically in the context of other industrial processes and engineering systems. Bakshi has been a thought leader regarding the application of engineering systems within the larger context of existing environmental systems, identifying thermodynamic principles for developing ecological solutions.
Recently, a team led by Bhavik Bakshi demonstrated that nature-based solutions such as vegetation can be more cost-effective than technology-based solutions for mitigating air pollution. This is true in many counties across the U.S. and for several economic activities.
The potential benefits of explicitly accounting for the role played by ecosystems in supporting industrial activities and seeking synergies between technological and ecological systems include significant cost savings while conserving and protecting valuable natural resources. The results of this study could encourage sustainable engineering by shifting the engineering paradigm from taking nature for granted to accounting for it and respecting its limits.
This work received media coverage in multiple outlets and numerous citations. From the Altemetric journal website: “Altmetric has tracked 14,222,420 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric."
On the December 3, 2019 edition of West Virginia Morning, Dr. Bakshi discussed how adding plants and trees to the landscape could reduce air pollution by an average of 27 percent. In the U.S., where technologies already exist for reducing air pollution. Listen to the interview and perhaps appreciate nature even more for its wisdom and practicality, in addition to its beauty!
Dr. Bakshi was also a recent guest on WCMH-TV's NBC4's report, "Benefits of Trees."
"Trees provide a lot of services that we haven't always appreciated or taken into account when making decisions," Bakshi said, noting the ability of vegetation and tree leaves to filter out pollutants and regulate air quality and groundwater recharge. Additional benefits trees provide are a reduction in ground-level ozone and improved visibility on hot summer days because trees filter contaminants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. Watch the segment here.
Trees also provide direct health benefits that go beyond natural air and water filtration. “Being in nature has a natural effect of relaxing us and reducing our blood pressure, and benefits our emotional and mental well-being," Bakshi said.
The story has been picked up by a number of other outlets, including VOA news.
Professor Bakshi is the author of Sustainable Engineering: Principles and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and recently won the 2019 AIChE Environmental Division's Lawrence K. Cecil Award in Environmental Chemical Engineering, the highest AIChE honor in the field, and the 2019 AIChE Sustainable Engineering Forum Education Award.