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UTA, EPA sign MOU to enhance workforce in key areas of national need

Friday, June 3, 2016

Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office: 817-272-7075, Cell: 214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

News Topics: energy, engineering, environment, sustainability

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The Environmental Protection Agency and The University of Texas at Arlington are partnering to strengthen collaboration aimed at meeting the national need for highly trained and skilled personnel in areas of environmental engineering and science, policy and research.

Ron Curry, left, and Vistasp Karbhari

EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry, left, shakes hands with UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari on a memo of understanding to support EPA education and outreach programs, while building strengths in areas of mutual interest and increasing opportunities for student mentorship and internships.

UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari has signed a memorandum of understanding with EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry formalizing the relationship. UTA will continue to support EPA education and outreach programs through the University’s Environmental Training Institute and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration Education Center, while building strengths in areas of mutual interest and increasing opportunities for student mentorship and internships.

“UTA is positioned to become a significant research and education partner for the EPA through our our environmental research expertise and our commitment to lifelong workforce education,” President Karbhari said. “This agreement opens new pathways for our faculty members and students while ensuring that the EPA has a strong partner to meet the needs of professionals working in these essential fields.”

Curry said, “This agreement creates channels through which the EPA will work to strengthen UTA’s professional curriculum in all areas of environmental policy and programs, and it provides new opportunities for our staff to mentor students and encourage them as they identify potential careers. Together we will put these students on a path to improve the environment and shape the future.”

The four-year MOU is intended to provide a significant positive impact in the following areas:

  • Improve the quality of environmental engineering, science, technical, health, safety, and risk management education;
  • Increase the relevance of UTA research projects to EPA's environmental and public health mission;
  • Mentor students especially in the study of science, engineering, and mathematics;
  • Integrate UTA's community service and EPA's environmental justice programs, policies, and activities; and
  • Establish a reciprocal relationship focusing on educational and outreach programs with UTA’s Division for Enterprise Development Environment Training Institute and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Education Center.

Among other activities enabled by the MOU, the EPA will participate in joint research projects, share research information, enhance opportunities for UTA students through career fairs, mentoring and internships, enable faculty and student participation in EPA public policy forums, presentations and other EPA events and develop mechanisms for enhanced collaboration and communication.

The MOU further strengthens UTA’s progress under the global environmental impact theme of its Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact and will build on the scholarship and research accomplishments of faculty in areas related to environmental science, engineering and innovation.

UTA’s TMAC, an affiliate of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology has been a recipient of the EPA Region 6 Pollution Prevention Grant program since 2001 and since 2014 has worked under an EPA grant to create sustainable food manufacturing management systems.

The Division of Enterprise Development at UTA holds a cooperative agreement with the EPA to help area businesses reduce hazardous waste and manage the EPA’s pollution prevention resource exchange, known as the Zero Waste Network. The training program developed under these grants laid the foundation for UTA’s Environmental Training Institute. The division also has a two-year EPA grant that supports oil and gas environmental programs.

To learn about activities in EPA Region 6 visit, http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a R1 – Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 54,000 degree-seeking students in campus-based and online programs and is the second-largest institution in the University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.