Emerging Professionals Leadership
Robert Bair, PhD
Emerging Professionals Committee Chair
Dr. Bair is a senior development engineer in the civil and environmental engineering department at USF and specializes in anaerobic membrane bioreactors for decentralized wastewater treatment. In his current role, he aims to optimize and commercialize membrane-based wastewater treatment technologies. He has extensive experience in designing experimental pilot systems for testing and validation purposes. His research has expanded to include direct filtration of wastewater and membrane assisted struvite precipitation.<br><br>His passion lies in seeing technological advancements serve the needs of marginalized communities. During his PhD, he served as the inventor, designer, builder, and operator of the NEWgenerator™, a containerized wastewater treatment system designed to treat waste streams from informal settlements. He holds three patents on various reactor designs and has published over 12 peer-reviewed publications on topics spanning algal biofuel production, food waste digestion, bioaugmentation of anaerobic digestion, and anaerobic membrane bioreactor operation.
Emerging Professionals Committee Vice-Chair
Jon joined Infiltrator Water Technologies in 2016 as a Project Engineer after graduating with his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont. At Infiltrator, Jon works on the design and construction of decentralized wastewater treatment systems. Most recently, Jon has been working on design projects for the treatment of high strength waste streams, which includes wastewater generated from breweries, RV parks, and restaurants. <br>In addition to his engineering role, he also works on product regulation and research and development initiatives. He has presented and published on a multitude of industry-related topics. Jon is currently pursuing a Master of Engineering at the University of Connecticut with a concentration in environmental engineering.
Cynthia Castro, PhD, EIT
Emerging Professionals Committee Marketing Liaison
Dr. Castro is a wastewater engineer with experience in developing off-grid, autonomous decentralized wastewater treatment systems as sanitation solutions for low- and middle-income countries, particularly in western and southern Africa. Her research efforts have been focused on developing high-rate physiochemical treatment techniques for the efficient recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus from blackwater, including membrane separation, ion exchange, capacitive deionization, and precipitation. She also has expertise in biological wastewater treatment processes, having worked on energy-yielding bioprocesses such as bioelectrochemical systems, oxygenic photogranules, and anaerobic digestion. Dr. Castro has multiple peer-reviewed publications relating to resource recovery from blackwater. She has previously lectured graduate level biotechnology courses at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of South Florida. She is passionate about engineering education, mentorship, outreach, and advocating for underrepresented groups.
External Collaborations Manager
There is a finesse with the implementation of design once it meets real world conditions. Bringing data analysis to policy making and policy making to execution requires understanding every factor and impact. Cory Yarrington is a data scientist with a diverse background in chemical engineering, construction management focused on infrastructure, water-energy nexus, and water treatment. He currently works as a project manager and estimator for residential construction in Boston. In 2020, Cory Yarrington completed a national review on on-site wastewater treatment systems in new housing from 2015-2018. This report indicated that at least 1/3 of all new housing utilizes on-site systems. His work continues to show the socio-economic factors around this dataset.