Laval gift to Fresno State bolsters water-related research

Research into the most pressing water issues facing Central California will significantly expand with a gift to Fresno State from local entrepreneur Claude Laval. The university will receive $300,000 over two years to establish the Claude Laval Water Research Fund.

Claude Laval Water Research Fund

Because water is a multifaceted topic that involves a broad spectrum of curricula, Fresno State is establishing an eight-member cohort of faculty in order to draw on their expertise in science, engineering, education, geography, business, public health and journalism.

The Claude Laval Water Research Fund will provide faculty start-up funding for research projects, enhancing Fresno State s position for recruiting distinguished faculty.

During the 2012-13 academic year, the fund will offer $220,000 for research in five university departments including plant science, civil and geomatics engineering, earth and environmental science, curriculum and instruction, and mass communication and journalism. Research focus areas will include irrigation and water management, hydrogeology, water quality monitoring, delivery systems, and wastewater treatment.

The fund will provide $80,000 to support research for faculty members appointed during the 2013-14 academic year in geography, specializing in water management at the landscape water level; in public health, specializing in water quality and community health; and in management, with specialization in water policy, quality, sustainability, logistics and entrepreneurship.

Laval founded the Claude Laval Corporation and LAKOS Separators and Filtration Systems. For more than 30 years the Fresno-based companies have provided innovative and adaptable solutions for specific filtration issues. LAKOS is a world leader in the water filtration industry.

Many of the products offered by the companies were invented by Laval s father, Claude C. Laval Jr. In 1984, Laval honored his father s legacy by establishing the Claude C. Laval Jr. Award for Innovative Technology and Research at Fresno State.

His support for and advice to Fresno State on water and irrigation issues over the years was recognized by the naming of the Claude Laval Water and Energy Technology Incubator (WET Lab) on campus. The lab operates in partnership with the Central Valley Business Incubator.

Operating in conjunction with the Center for Irrigation Technology, the WET Lab is a vital resource for innovative local entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their business in water and energy technology and help stimulate the regional economy.

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