Community Overview

Residents participating in this research experience are a part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project facilitated by the University’s College of Engineering to develop and demonstrate a new system for low-energy, low-emission, closed-loop recycling of wastewater.  The wastewater from the resident’s apartment will be treated to above drinking water standards, and returned to the apartment for all uses except for drinking and cooking.  Water for drinking and any minor cooking will come from standard drinking water supplied by the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department.  Following initial testing and maximization of the treatment process in the fall of 2012, full implementation of the system began during the spring 2013 semester.  The location of the residential research experience is in University Village.

Project Outline

The project is aimed at promoting principles of sustainable development to take advantage of new technologies to reduce energy and water demands by becoming autonomous in terms of water use.  Over the course of the four-year grant, researchers are developing the self-sustaining system for converting all the resident’s wastewater into potable water through the use of specialized electrocatalyzers and filters to remove contaminants.  The research team will also investigate concepts of architectural and socio-cultural acceptability working toward design concepts that will allow buildings of the future to incorporate this technology.

Application & Selection Process

Students interested in participating in the residential research experience must submit an application to the Department of Housing and Residential Life office located in Eaton Residential College, Suite #153.  Applicants will be informed if they have been selected to participate in the research experience once their application has been reviewed.  Students selected will then need to make arrangements for their specific apartment reservation with the Housing and Residential Life Office.

Community Requirements

Students interested in participating in this residential research experience must be full-time, undergraduate students and they will be required to:

  • Sign and submit the release form when applying to live in the community
  • Attend a mandatory orientation meeting to be held in April/early May
  • Attend participant meetings throughout the academic year
  • Participate fully in scheduled activities, community surveys, and related projects during the academic year
  • Actively assist in the creation and implementation of related programming initiatives


Important Dates / Deadlines

  • Application Due Date:       Being reviewed on a rolling basis
  • Selection Decisions Made: When a qualified group of residents is chosen


For more information about the NSF grant or the technical aspects of this project, please contact:

James D. Englehardt, Ph.D., P.E.
Graduate Program Director and Professor of Environmental Engineering
Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering
University of Miami, College of Engineering or
(305) 284-5557

For more information about the residential research experience application process or general housing-related questions, please contact:

Jon Baldessari, Director of Housing Operations and Facilities
Department of Housing & Residential Life
(305) 284-4505