The Dean and Edward E Elson Professor of the University of Virginia School of Architecture, Berman is an architect, theorist, and curator of architecture and urbanism whose design and research investigate the relationships between culture and the evolution of contemporary material and spatial practices.
“I believe that new collaborative models of interdisciplinary research, teaching and practice are necessary to respond to the many forces – be they social, technological, environmental, urban or economic – that are dramatically changing the contexts within which we are operating, and that design, in its capacity to literally ‘remake the world,’ is a critical part of this endeavor.”
Before coming to the University of Virginia, Berman was the O’Donovan Director of the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, the associate dean of Tulane University School of Architecture, and the director of architecture at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
At Tulane, Berman founded and directed the URBANbuild program, a multi-scaled program enabled to support the urban rehabilitation and revitalization of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She also developed multiple global travel programs for students, including one focused on water cities.
Her book “URBANbuild local_global,” coauthored with Mona El Khafif, investigates temporary and permanent strategies for urban intervention in contemporary watercities. The publication received an AIGA Design Award for the 50 best-designed books and book covers of 2009 and a Communication Arts Award of Excellence.
Professor Sedlak’s research focuses on fate of chemical contaminants, with the long-term goal of developing cost-effective, safe, and sustainable systems to manage water resources. He is particularly interested in the development of local sources of water. His research has addressed water reuse–the practice of using municipal wastewater effluent to sustain aquatic ecosystems and augment drinking water supplies–as well as the treatment and use of urban runoff to contaminated groundwater form contaminated industrial sites as water supplies.
In recent years, his research on the fate of wastewater-derived contaminants has received considerable attention. He began this research in 1996 when he developed simple methods for measuring steroid hormones in wastewater. Since that time, he and his students have studied the fate of hormones, pharmaceuticals, toxic disinfection byproducts and other chemicals. His research team has also studied approaches for remediating contaminated soil and groundwater by in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) and advanced oxidation processes.
Currently, his research group focuses on topics including:
-The use of engineered treatment wetlands to remove chemical from effluent-impacted waters;
-The fate, transport and transformation of perfluorinated chemicals
-Development of passive systems for treatment of chemicals in urban runoff.
In addition to his laboratory and field research, Sedlak is interested in the developing new approaches for managing the urban water cycle. He pursues these efforts through research coordinated through the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water Insfrastructure (ReNUWIt) and the Berkeley Water Center. He also is the author of “Water 4.0“, a book that examines the ways in which we can gain insight into current water issues by understanding the history of urban water systems.