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MizzouForward Keynote: Unwrapping the Plastics: An Investigation of Plastics’ Fate and Contaminant Transport within the Environment


April 27th | 4pm-5pm

Ketcham Auditorium – W1005 Lafferre Hall

College of Engineering or ZOOM


Join us for Unwrapping the Plastics: An Investigation of Plastics’ Fate and Contaminant Transport within the Environment", a keynote presentation by Dr. Maryam Salehi, College of Engineering MizzouForward faculty candidate.  Dr. Salehi will present on her research for approximately 40-minutes with a 20-minute question and answer session to follow.


Dr. Maryam Salehi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis. She earned her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Environmental) from Purdue University in 2017. In addition to her studies in Civil Engineering, Dr. Salehi holds BSc, MSc, and Ph.D. degrees in Textile Engineering. She applies her expertise in water chemistry, polymers, and surface sciences to investigate plastic pollutants’ fate within the environment and examine the contaminant transport within potable water plumbing systems. Dr. Salehi is the NSF Early CAREER awardee and UMRF Ventures Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis.


Plastics are persistent pollutants that will take hundreds of years to decompose completely. Thus, the rapidly growing plastic production created plastic pollution as a long-lasting threat to public health and environmental safety. The small plastic fragments released to the environment by the disintegration of plastic litters are called “microplastics,” which could leach toxic chemicals and act as vehicles to transport heavy metals. Moreover, plastic pipes are increasingly being used to rehabilitate aging water infrastructure and construct new potable water systems, which reduces cost and ameliorates drinking water quality concerns associated with metal pipe corrosion. However, their surface can act as the resting site for heavy metals present within the tap water. This presentation discusses her current and future research agenda to study microplastics’ fate and contaminant transport and elucidate the water quality variations within the plastic potable water pipes. Her plastic pollution research links the microplastics’ microstructure and surface physiochemistry variations due to the environmental weathering to their heavy metals transport within stormwater. Her research on plastic potable water pipes examines the combined physicochemical and microbiological processes that impact heavy metals accumulation onto and release from plastic water pipes. Lastly, this presentation introduces her most recent research on heavy metal removal from water using functionalized polymeric nanofibers.


You can access Dr. Salehi’s CV via OneDrive here:  

​pdf icon Maryam-Salehi-CV.pdf (University log in required to access)


After the keynote, please provide candidate feedback with our brief survey.




MizzouForward is a transformational effort to strengthen innovation in research to improve lives around the world—and it all begins with the right people. By attracting exceptional researchers and further developing our talented faculty, MizzouForward will set us apart as one of the best research universities in the nation. Learn more about MizzouForward and see other upcoming keynotes.

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