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New Director and Assistant Director Named at IWR

Darrell W. Donahue, chair of the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering since July 2015, has been named director of the Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research (IWR).

He replaces Jon Bartholic who retired Jan. 31, after having served as IWR director since 1986.

Donahue, who will continue his role as department chair in addition to IWR director, has recently worked in the realm of food safety, lending his expertise in statistics, modeling and simulation to issues related with chemical and microbial risk assessment. He served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2007-2008 at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where he focused on security and health affairs. He continues to consult with the government on security issues related to risk assessment. Additionally, he has served on three National Academy of Sciences and international panels addressing food safety and currently serves as a consultant on two World Health Organization food safety committees.

Prior to coming to MSU in 2015, Donahue served as vice president of operations and research director at Maine Maritime Academy. He began his academic career in 1995 at the University of Maine where he served as professor of chemical engineering, associate director of the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute and was affiliated with the Maine Water Research Institute. Prior to that, he was a process engineer with a private company for nine years while earning his graduate degrees. Donahue earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University. He is an outdoors person who grew up on a farm in North Carolina.

In addition to Donahue joining the IWR team, Jeremiah Asher will serve as assistant director at IWR. Asher has worked at IWR since 1997 and has an extensive background in geographic information systems, decision support system development, and natural resource management.  His interest is in web/GIS decision support systems. His most recent activities and research are focused on networking environmental practitioners and communities in the Great Lakes, evaluating wetland treatment of nutrients from agricultural tile drains for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and exploring a groundwater credit trading system for Michigan high capacity water users.