Wayne State hosted a wrap-up forum recapping the University Research Corridor’s (URC) Infrastructure Innovation Tour on Tuesday, June 25. Experts from Wayne State, University of Michigan and Michigan State University joined with business and community leaders and local, state and federal officials to review key lessons learned during the first five stops on the tour, involving water quality and algal blooms, access to broadband, fixing roads and bridges, PFAS contamination, and challenges in maritime trade.
During the forum, URC experts explored how to implement that which was learned from the tour and discussed infrastructure solutions for Detroit and other communities around the state. The three URC institutions have conducted $1.64 billion in infrastructure-related research and development over the past five years and continue to work with others on everything from better road construction materials to new and less expensive ways to filter PFAS contamination from drinking water.
URC experts, including engineering professors from all three universities, met at Wayne State’s Integrated Biosciences Center (IBio) with Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson and a host of private-sector professionals who brought expertise in many areas of infrastructure improvement. Elizabeth Riggs, managing director of Freshwater Coast Solutions, moderated the discussion.
Engineering professors Carol Miller of Wayne State and Peter Adriaens of U-M, along with MSU College of Engineering Dean Leo C. Kempel, talked about how creating data-based solutions that can be used by federal, state and local leaders is one way the URC is leading on innovation.
Stops on the URC Infrastructure Innovation Tour included discussions in Monroe (algae and water infrastructure), Sanilac County (rural broadband access), Sterling Heights (roads), Kalamazoo (PFAS contamination) and Sault Ste. Marie (challenges in maritime trade).