The Department of Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences (EEES) at Clemson University is excited to announce three new faculty hires. Dr. Michael Carbajales-Dale joined Clemson University as an Assistant Professor in August 2014. His research focuses on the long-term, large-scale evolution and dynamics of the energy-economy system and is especially focused on how development of energy resources affects social development and the effects of a future transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Dr. Dale earned his M.Sc. in Physics and Philosophy from Bristol University (United Kingdom) and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Advanced Energy and Material Systems Laboratory at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). His doctoral thesis (Global Energy Modelling – A Biophysical Approach) married net energy analysis with systems dynamic modelling to study the interaction of the global economy with the energy sector. Dr. Dale also carried out a number of community-based energy-related projects while in New Zealand and was especially involved with Transition initiatives: local groups seeking innovative ways to address the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change. Dr. Dale did post-doctoral work as an Energy Systems Analyst with Stanford University’s Environmental Assessment & Optimization Lab and with the Global Climate & Energy Project.
Dr. Ezra Cates joined as an Assistant Professor in August 2014. Dr. Cates received his B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina – Asheville. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Cates’ research focuses on the development of advanced materials for environmental technology and public health applications, with an emphasis on optical materials and photocatalysts. The main achievement of his Ph.D. and postdoctoral work was in pioneering the field of visible-to-UVC upconversion phosphors – inorganic luminescent materials that are capable of converting ordinary visible light into germicidal ultraviolet radiation. He has contributed to fundamental advances in the design and understanding of light conversion by Pr3+-doped crystals and developed proof-of-concept material systems for applying upconversion to sustainable light-activated antimicrobial surfaces. His current research interests include: (1) fundamental phosphor development for improving the efficiency of visible-to-UV upconversion; and (2) development and applications of UV-radioluminescent materials for X-ray-induced antibiological and advanced oxidation processes.
Dr. Nicole Martinez joined Clemson University as an Assistant Professor in August 2014, as part of a unique EEES program designed to address broad environmental issues associated with anthropogenic and natural radioactivity. Dr. Martinez received her B.S. in Applied Mathematical Sciences from Texas A&M University. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Radiological Health Sciences from Colorado State University, specializing in health physics and radioecology, respectively. Prior to attending graduate school, she served in the United States Navy as a nuclear power instructor and radiation health officer. Dr. Martinez’s current research focuses on the behavior and effects of radiological contaminants in the environment. Major outcomes of her doctoral work were evaluation of lake trophic structure effect on iodine accumulation in fish, development and application of various computational phantoms for internal dosimetry of rainbow trout, and assessment of reflectance spectroscopy as a potential tool for use in phytoremediation. Her research interests include radiation transport modelling, improved dosimetric methods, chronic low dose effects to and multi-contaminant response in non-human biota, and mechanisms of competitive uptake in plants. This work contributes to the major research areas in radioecology that currently lack data, and supports the increasing public interest in nuclear energy, decommissioning, waste management, and environmental stewardship.