- Jean MacRae, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Maine
While a number of strategies exist to recover food waste, such as anaerobic digestion and composting, they aren’t without challenges – one of which is contamination. Contamination comes in different forms, such as inappropriate materials (e.g. plastic, glass) or emerging contaminants (e.g. PFAS) and leads to a low quality final product, problems for facilities and environmental challenges.
Although significant attention has been given to traditional non-degradable contaminants, such as plastic and glass, emerging contaminants like PFAS pose increasing challenges regarding how organics should be managed and what risks are posed.
During this Science Session, Dr. Jean MacRae of the University of Maine will discuss emerging contaminants in food waste, what facility operators view as primary concerns and what efforts are needed to address them.
Jean MacRae, PhD
Dr. MacRae is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maine. In addition to teaching environmental engineering topics such as wastewater treatment, air pollution and solid waste management, she does research in environmental microbiology. She is part of the multidisciplinary Materials Management Research Group and the Maine Center for Genetics in the Environment.
Bryan Staley, PhD, PE
Dr. Bryan Staley currently serves as President and CEO of the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), one of the largest sources of research funding and graduate scholarships related to solid waste management. He joined EREF in 2008, where he started as Vice President of Environmental Programs, and has over 20 years’ experience in the environmental engineering field.
He is recognized nationally as a technical expert in sustainable solid waste management issues, and obtained a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University, where his research focused on understanding microbiological mechanisms for waste decomposition and methane generation from solid waste. He also holds a Master’s degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and a B.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Staley is a licensed professional engineer who has held key positions in consulting firms as a Project Manager and Vice President of Engineering, where he managed projects ranging from solid waste management, wastewater treatment system design, to retail/commercial land development and environmental management of large-scale livestock operations.