Dunkelberg to Help Connect Scientists, Technology Business Leaders

Claus Dunkelberg, an engineer with Procorp Enterprises LLC, has been hired by the Milwaukee 7 (M7) economic development group to help connect scientists and water technology businesses. The M7's goal is to facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship in water engineering, while consolidating the region's water-technology companies to accelerate the creation of new jobs for the region -- and sustainable drinking water solutions around the globe.

"With a finite amount of drinkable water available globally, the demand for water engineering is primed to grow. The Greater Milwaukee area is home to roughly 120 water technology companies, and our hope is that by connecting leading researchers with local businesses, we can work together to establish the region as the national hub of water technology," says Dunkelberg.

The initiative's pilot project involves testing an innovative water treatment solution for stripping excessive radium per federal limits, as well as calcium and other minerals, from a local municipality's water supply. The treatment process removes the radium and other minerals and creates a hard mineral pellet byproduct that is completely nonhazardous, and can actually be recycled as ceramic filler for cement, among other potential uses.

"Though the initial project's scope has been somewhat limited, initial testing by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee engineering department has shown extremely promising results, with a reduction in the water's radium level of greater than 70 percent. If this pilot effort continues to show promise over time, we will seek a federal grant to expand the project beyond even further," he says.

Launched in September 2005, the Milwaukee 7 was formed to create a regional, cooperative economic development platform for the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Waukesha, and Washington. Its mission is to attract, retain, and grow diverse businesses and talent. Together, these seven counties have a wealth of corporate headquarters, a pool of highly skilled workers, and world-class amenities.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is supporting those efforts, with plans to create a graduate-level School of Freshwater Science. The school will enhance ongoing technology research efforts while attracting water experts to stay and work in the region.

Established in 1987, Procorp provides customized and innovative sustainable water and wastewater treatment solutions to municipal clients as well as the dairy, food, beverage, and meat industries.

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