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 Low-input Kiln Expert to Visit SRU as Part of Water Purification Project 

 

SPOTLIGHT

4/13/2005

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

LOW-INPUT KILN EXPERT TO VISIT SRU AS PART OF WATER PURIFICATION PROJECT

      SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Manny Hernandez, art professor at Northern Illinois University and one of the world’s foremost experts on the construction of low-input kilns used in the manufacture of the Filtron filter used to purify water in numerous countries around the world, will be on campus next week for discussions and demonstrations.

      The filters are used to make water potable in areas where drinking water is contaminated.

      Hernandez’s visit will run Monday through Saturday and will include visits with various art, geology, international business and science classes, reports Richard Wukich, professor of art, who recently traveled to the Darfur region of the Sudan to assess the feasibility of building a filter manufacturing facility there. He points out he and Hernandez are working with Potters for Peace to spearhead manufacture of the filters. They have also traveled to Iraq for the organization.

            Potters for Peace, an organization of ceramic artists, is working to build an independent, nonprofit, international network of individuals concerned with peace and justice issues.

            Wukich explains he and several art students have received an SRU Faculty-Student Research Grant to fund the development of standardized kiln design that can be used by developing nations. The kilns, which can burn sawdust or peanut shells or other agricultural or industrial wastes, are used in the manufacture of the actual water filters.

       A low-input kiln will be demonstrated as part of SRU’s Earth Festival set for April 23 at the Robert N. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research.

      “The expectation is that the kiln design developed at SRU will be the one implemented in the Sudan,” Wukich explains, adding that since last December’s tsunami in southeast Asia, requests for filer technology has increased dramatically. Potters for Peach has extended its areas of concentration to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Cambodia.

          Wukich may be reached at rwuckich@pathways.net

PN, PgN, WPN, PR

 

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