The Water Quality & Health Council Welcomes Assistant Professor Heather Murphy, PhD, P Eng

The Water Quality & Health Council is delighted to introduce our new member, Assistant Professor Heather Murphy, PhD, P Eng. A recognized expert in the field of water quality and public health, Dr. Murphy is an assistant professor in the College of Public Health at Temple University. She was invited to join the Council during our recent meeting in Reno, Nevada, where we also celebrated the friendship and marvelous intellectual contributions of recently retired original member, engineer Fred M. Reiff.

Dr. Murphy’s Background

The Water Quality & Health Council welcomes Dr. Heather Murphy

Dr. Murphy completed her PhD in Environmental Engineering in 2010 at the University of Guelph in Canada; she is a professional engineer in Ontario. In addition to experience with U.S. and Canadian water issues, Dr. Murphy has worked or conducted research in the area of water and sanitation in a variety of global venues, including Uganda, Nepal, Mali, Madagascar, and Cambodia. In Mali and Madagascar, Dr. Murphy worked as a water, sanitation, and hygiene specialist for UNICEF before deciding to pursue an academic career. Her research interests span a diverse assortment of issues, including:

  • Integrated disinfection strategies for the microbial protection of distribution systems
  • Epidemiological studies to evaluate the effectiveness of engineering interventions from a public health perspective
  • Microbial risk assessment
  • Burden of disease modeling
  • Water and sanitation challenges in developing nations and First Nations communities in Canada

Dr. Murphy’s research projects have been supported by organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Institutes of Health, the Philadelphia Water Department, Grand Challenges Canada, and UNICEF.

A New Perspective

The Water Quality & Health Council is an outside group of experts in public health and consumer advocacy that advises the American Chemistry Council’s Chlorine Chemistry Division on the use of chlorine chemistry to help protect public health. The nine-member group has been active since 1992, meeting several times per year, but regularly via email as we develop our weekly Perspectives articles. These articles are completed by incorporating each member’s unique perspective based on their expertise. As chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, I welcome Dr. Murphy to our ranks and look forward to being informed by her own unique perspective as we continue to navigate the world of public health and consumer advocacy issues.

Chris Wiant, MPH, PhD, is president and CEO of the Caring for Colorado Foundation. He is also chair of the Water Quality & Health Council and a member of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council.

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