Videos of presentations at ISTC’s anniversary event provide a fascinating look at problems of pollution contamination in Illinois and how the Center contributed to the clean up. Links to the videos will be made available over the next two weeks as they become available.
ISTC Looks Back, and to the Future During Anniversary
VIDEO 2: David Thomas, the founding ISTC director, joined in May, 1985. During his presentation he looked back to the early days of Illinois’ hazardous waste center. When President Jimmy Carter declaired a federal health emergency at Love Canal, the problem of hazardous waste management had become a front burner concern nationwide. Previously working at an engineering firm, Thomas could see the concern grow as he saw more and more of the firm’s work had to do with hazardous waste.
As an U of I alumnus, Thomas was delighted Illinois had proposed the new hazardous waste center for Champaign. He also relished the job as a way to delve full-time into the interesting and important challenges of the hazardous waste. During his talk, Thomas discusses the legislative mandate of the center and its early efforts to organize a scientific response to the problems.
Thomas and original Assistant Director Gary Miller studied design of modern research labs around the nation to guide the development of the center’s research laboratory capabilities. Thomas noted with satisfaction that ISTC’s focus has effectively evolved to remain relevant in the rapidly changing field.
NEXT UP: Gary Miller, founding ISTC assistant director, “30 Years: Projects, Politics, and People.”