UCSB's Bren Hall, center of Bren School of Environmental Studies

UCSB's Bren Hall, center of Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Los Angeles-based AECOM has announced that one of its divisions, AECOM Environment, and the University of California at Santa Barbara are collaborating on a new Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative that will be located at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. AECOM is a worldwide enterprise that describes itself as a provider of “a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation, and technical excellence in delivering solutions that enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural, and social environments.”

According to an AECOM release, the goal of the SNI is to begin to understand the environmental risks associated with engineered nanomaterials, according to a company news release.

AECOM says it will collaborate with UCSB to:

“[S]tudy nanomaterial fate and transport, assist in exposure assessment and risk quantification and modeling, develop outreach programs and related training materials for use by industry involved in handling nanomaterials, and conduct ‘real world’ testing of methods and instrumentation for the detection and characterization of nanomaterials.

“New nanotechnology-related products are already impacting global industry and society, and the Bren School’s SNI is critical to helping industry and the public understand the health and environmental implications of nanomaterials,” said Robert Weber, AECOM Environment Group chief executive and a member of Bren’s advisory board. “Our collaboration provides another platform to share expertise, and positions us to better assist our clients in addressing issues associated with some nanomaterials.”

AECOM Environment says it is also working on aquatic toxicity studies for a major commercial producer of carbon nanotubes.