New Director Selected to Head New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

Anahita Williamson will lead statewide effort to enhance environment and economy

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Anahita Williamson, a former senior engineer with Xerox Corp.on, has been named director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology.

The research and technology transfer center sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducts comprehensive, statewide pollution prevention activities, and works with additional universities and government agencies to enhance the development of green industrial practices and reduce pollution.

At Xerox, Williamson served as a senior environmental engineer, then as a senior chemical engineer where she was a leader in the company’s efforts to incorporate sustainable design practices into new products. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s and doctoral degrees in civil and environmental engineering, all from Clarkson University.

“I am very excited to be working with such a talented team at RIT and look forward to working with our numerous university, government and corporate partners to assist New York State in reaching its full potential in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainable production,” she says.

“Anahita Williamson has significant experience in transforming corporate design and production processes to improve environmental quality and economic competitiveness,” says Nabil Nasr, director of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “She has the skill set and experience required to help take the institute to the next level, advancing its technical capabilities and expanding the companies and organizations it serves.”

As director, Williamson will lead institute activities including the development of 16 research and development test beds across the state, through partnerships with Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Following an extensive peer review process, New York State announced RIT as the site for the Pollution Prevention Institute in 2008, noting its collaborative efforts with a host of organizations throughout the state and its decade of experience in pollution prevention research and technology transfer. The institute focuses on assisting companies and industry sectors in developing new technologies and practices that will both prevent pollution and improve efficiency and productivity.

“The Pollution Prevention Institute is uniquely positioned to provide needed assistance to companies looking to reduce their environmental footprint,” adds Williamson. “By disseminating best practices and developing quantitative metrics to assess environmental quality, the center will serve as a key component in the broader effort to make our society more sustainable.”