ASU to go tobacco-free Aug. 1, 2013

November 14, 2012

Effective Aug. 2, 2013, Arizona State University will join more than 800 universities nationwide in becoming 100 percent tobacco-free.

The initiative, spearheaded by students and supported by the University Staff Council and the faculty Academic Senate, is part of a larger ASU effort to promote health and wellness in the ASU community. Download Full Image

ASU already prohibits smoking inside its buildings. The new policy will prohibit all manner of smoking as well as the use of smokeless tobacco products and will apply to all properties owned, leased or controlled by the university, whether indoor or outdoor.

“Tobacco use is a documented public health hazard and the university is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable and educationally productive learning environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors,” said Kevin Salcido, associate vice president of Human Resources and a member of the tobacco-free working group.

In addition to contributing to better health, increased productivity and decreased use of sick time, prohibiting tobacco use on ASU campuses will result in decreased maintenance expense for facilities and grounds in managing related litter.

The university offers education, information and support for those wishing to quit tobacco, and will frequently communicate details about available programs and opportunities between now and when the policy is implemented next year.

ASU will pursue a "community enforcement" approach when it comes to the new policy, whereby university community members will help to educate others. This strategy has proven to be effective at other universities that have gone tobacco-free. Students, staff and faculty members who repeatedly violate the policy, however, could face sanctions through pre-established administrative practices in such departments as the Office of Human Resources or Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Additional information about the policy change; a listing of available educational programs and resources to help successfully quit tobacco; tobacco-free zone maps; and a supervisor’s toolkit are available, along with other items, at  

A video outlines the policy, ASU’s wellness effort and recommendations for those who want to quit tobacco and those who want to support them. Watch at:

* American Non-Smokers’ Rights Foundation  814 smoke-free, of these 608 have a 100 percent tobacco-free policy.

Wastewater recovery research earns NASA grant

November 14, 2012

A research effort led by Arizona State University engineer Mary Laura Lind is among 10 projects the National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently chose to support.

Lind has been awarded a grant from NASA’s inaugural Space Technology Research Opportunities for Early Career Faculty program. The new program focuses on aiding development of technologies that can help the nation reach its space-exploration goals as well as boost commercial space ventures. Mary Laura Lind engineering Download Full Image

This year’s grant recipients represent “some of the most talented new faculty from the best institutions of higher learning in America,” the program’s director, Michael Gazarik, said in a NASA news release.

Lind is an assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. She is also a senior sustainability scientist with the university’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

The NASA grant will provide $200,000 a year –renewable for up to three years – to support Lind’s work to improve technology for wastewater recovery and recycling systems designed for use in space stations and other vehicles.

“We’re excited to see Mary Laura’s research recognized by NASA with this prestigious award,” says Kyle Squires, director of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. “This speaks highly of her work and the high regard with which NASA views her innovative ideas.  Her project has potential for having a significant impact on the viability of commercial space exploration.”

Lind is seeking chemical and materials engineering solutions to the challenge of improving water systems for space vehicles. The grant will support her research team’s effort to develop advanced corrosion-resistant polymer membranes. Wastewater would be filtered through such membranes to maximize recovery of the water, which the process makes suitable for reuse.

The system will have to be fortified against corrosion from water containing high amounts of acidic solutions and salts, Lind explains. That will require development of a news class of membranes consisting of new composite materials through which water can be filtered more effectively, she says.

The effort will necessitate developing nanometer-scale composites to produce membranes capable of providing a sufficient barrier to the small organic compounds that must be removed from wastewater to make it reusable.

The grant enables Lind to bring on two engineering doctoral students – Heather Jamieson and Afsaneh Khosravi – to assist on the project. In addition, she will be able to expand opportunities for other graduate and undergraduate students to participate in work in her lab.

Lind came to ASU in 2010 after completing a California Nanosystems Institute Pioneer Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Earlier Lind earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in materials science from the California Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering from Yale University.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering