The University of Iowa

UI alum to receive International Impact Award on November 8 WorldCanvass

October 21st, 2013

Marcelo Mena-Carrasco, a Chilean alumnus of the UI College of Engineering and advocate of socially responsible and sustainable environmental practices, has been named the winner of the 2013 International Impact Award. President Sally Mason and Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas will present the award to Dr. Mena-Carrasco at 5 p.m., November 8, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum immediately preceding the taping of the television/radio/internet program “WorldCanvass: The Social Impact of Sustainability.” The public is invited to attend both the program and the following reception.

The International Impact Award is given by the University of Iowa and International Programs to honor exceptional individuals in any field who have made sustained and deep contributions internationally or in the U.S. to promote global understanding. Mena-Carrasco is the fourth recipient, following Richard and Mary Jo Stanley (2010), Trudy Huskamp Peterson (2011), and Hualing Nieh Engle (2012).

Mena-Carrasco, although still early in his career, has an impressive record of commitment, creativity, and passion for finding sustainable solutions to the world’s most vexing environmental challenges. His multi-faceted and visionary efforts to improve local air quality and public health in Chile do not begin and end in Mena-Carrasco’s research lab, nor does his research apply solely to Chilean problems. The work he and his international colleagues in civil and environmental engineering are doing to examine how the lessons learned in Chile might address megacity pollution in other countries will create positive change far beyond Chile’s shores.

Following the presentation of the award and personal reflections on his life and career, WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer will talk with Mena-Carrasco and fellow participants about not only the health consequences of pollution and the implications for global warming, but also the economic, social, and political consequences of environmental degradation on populations and governmental systems.

The discussion, which is taped for later television, radio, and internet distribution, will be broken into four segments:

International Impact Award interview—Marcelo Mena-Carrasco director, Centro de Investigación para la Sustentabilidad, Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile

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Sustainability as a social goal—Marcelo Mena-Carrasco; Craig Just, assistant professor, UI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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UI/Chile collaborative research on air pollution and forecasting models—Marcelo Mena-Carrasco; Greg Carmichael, associate dean, UI Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering; Pablo Saide, graduate research assistant, UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research

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International education and the global nature of research—Marcelo Mena-Carrasco; Jaime Mena, Instituto de Matemática, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile; Philip Kutzko, professor, UI Department of Mathematics

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WorldCanvass, produced monthly during the academic year, brings together faculty, scholars, students, and community experts to engage in rich, intimate, interdisciplinary conversations on a variety of subjects. The program is produced by International Programs in partnership with the Pentacrest Museums, the Hawkeye Network, and KRUI radio.

The Hawkeye Network distributes the televised series. WorldCanvass is also be available on KRUI radio and online at the Public Radio Exchange, the International Programs website (, and as an iTunes podcast. For more information, visit the WorldCanvass Web page.

This program will kick off a series of events in celebration of International Education Week. See the full schedule of events.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this eve, contact Kjaer in advance at or at 319-335-2026.