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Ashok Vaseashta

Ashok Vaseashta

Institute for Advanced Sciences Convergence & Int’l Clean Water Institute

Title: Risk Assessment, Safety and Sustainability by Design


Prof. Vaseashta received a PhD from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA in 1990. He currently serves as Vice Provost for Research at Molecular Science Research Center at the Claflin University and Strategic Advisor/Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sciences Convergence and International Clean Water Institute at Norwich University Applied Research Institutes. Previously, he served as a Professor of Physics and Physical Sciences and Director of Research at the Nanomaterials Processing and Characterization Laboratories, Graduate Program in Physical Sciences at Marshall University. Concurrently, he holds/held a visiting/distinguished Professorship at the 3 Nano-SAE Research Centre, University of Bucharest, Romania; Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Chisinau, Moldova; and at the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center of Nanoscale Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. In 2007-08, he was detailed as a William C. Foster fellow to the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the US Department of State working with the Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism and Foreign Consequence Management program.


From a technology standpoint, nanomaterials offer significant advantages due to their unique characteristics resulting from reduced dimensionality. Furthermore, advances in material synthesis have provided the means to control or even manipulate the transitional characteristics. Consequently, various “designer” materials with desired properties have recently been fabricated. Dual-use nature of technology coupled with the ability to functionalize with a plethora of biological configurations pose a significant safety and security concerns. Furthermore, a life cycle analysis of nanomaterials is largely unknown; and nanomaterials resulting from the laboratories, manufacture, and even incidental events pose serious concerns. Notwithstanding such concerns, the beneficial uses of nanomaterials offer a challenging scenario for policy-makers, researchers, and industrialists aliketo propose and implement viable alternatives for sustainable development in terms of keeping up with the latest technological innovations, social responsibility, and“being green”.With so much at stake, it is prudent to challenge conventional wisdom and investigate a new set of strategies that employa nexus of technological innovations, in conjunction with “acceptable” risk assessment and a strategic transformation in “use, reuse, and recycle” as effective management tools to address “design safety, security, and sustainability”. “Sustainability by design”employsstrategic transformations towards ensuring that humans andthe environment can simultaneously flourish on the Earth. Authors have investigated life-cycle-assessment based on the characterization, assessment, and management of risk to assess impacts on human and environmental health from a safety and sustainability standpoint.This presentation offers strategic solutions to a life cycle based approach to nanomaterials and foresight tools, already developed by the authors, to offer possible solutions pathways. The development of a nano-materials safety data sheet (n-MSDS) is being researched by the authors as one such transformation tool needed to provide guidance on the impact of engineered and incidental nanomaterials being introduced and recycled in our supply chain.