About Us


The mission of the Purdue University Calumet Water Institute (PWI) is to conduct research and offer educational programs in water resources, and assist local, regional and state agencies, as well as the private sector in economic development and in resolving water-related issues. The PWI can provide an interdisciplinary approach to complex issues dealing with water efficiency, water quality, economy, and water security.

Who We Are

The PWI is an interdisciplinary academic research institute where researchers are actively engaged in the development and evaluation of advanced water technologies, such as opto-chemical sensors and membrane
systems, to address regional, national and global water challenges. The Water Institute collaborates with the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization on technology incubation and commercialization. These technologies help to secure the public water infrastructure, protect the environment and promote economic development.

Our Innovations

Scientists testing water in a lab

  1. Opto-chemical sensor for the detection of ammonia in water (patent pending): This will allow for water treatment plant operators to be instantly alerted at any remote location of ammonia detected in fresh water supplies, rather than having to gather and test samples in the lab. 
  2. Membrane technology for Water Treatment Plants: “Fouling” decreases the efficiency of water filtration. By reducing fouling, we reduce energy consumption and the cost of treating our water. 
  3. Pharmaceutical contaminants and volatile organic compounds in our drinking water: It is vitally important to public health to monitor the presence of unused pharmaceuticals in our water resources. Advanced sensory technologies are being investigated to potentially provide cheaper and more convenient detection methods. 
  4. Online optical sensors for contaminant detection: PWI is developing a sophisticated online monitoring system to protect human and natural eco-system heath, that would characterize and detect low level water contaminants and alert utility operators in the event of a terrorist threat to contaminate our drinking water with chemicals, microbes, or radioactive compounds. 

Dropper and bottle of water

Please click on our brochure for more detailed information about PWI.

PWI General brochure