Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has appointed University of Iowa College of Engineering distinguished alumnus and deputy environment minister Marcelo Mena-Carrasco (MS 2003, PhD 2007 civil and environmental engineering) as the new minister of the environment, following the resignation of Pablo Badenier from the post.

Badenier resigned to join the presidential campaign of senator Carolina Goic, who is currently vying to be the presidential nominee for the ruling Nueva Mayoría coalition.

Mena had been serving as deputy environmental minister since the start of the Bachelet administration in March 2014.

During the past several years, Mena-Carrasco joined forces with UI colleagues as well as officials of the city of Santiago, Chile, to implement a dramatically improved pollution-forecasting model for the city of Santiago. Armed with accurate forecasts, the government has been able to reduce automobile usage and other pollution-causing activities during certain weather events and enable millions of people to avoid exposure to pollution-fouled air.

Mena-Carrasco is a member of the college’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy and received the 2013 UI International Impact Award.