Advanced Drainage Systems donates $1 million dollars to UMD’s Advanced Materials Center
A major moment at UMD on Thursday morning, as they accept a $1 million dollar gift from Advanced Drainage Systems on behalf of the company’s foundation.
This money is headed to UMD’s Advanced Materials Center.
ADS is a leading provider of innovative water management solutions in the stormwater and on-site septic wastewater industries, and one of the largest plastic recyclers in North America.
Chancellor Dave McMillan said that this is likely the largest corporate donation in the institution’s history.
The money will provide scholarships and research funding for the school’s graduate students in Applied Materials Science and Engineering, supporting the education of future scientists and engineers, and further research on the repurposing of plastic waste.
One Master’s student, Sara Stone, shared she’s so excited about the gift from ADS. “It’s extremely generous. And it directly correlates to my research, which is amazing for me. This donation means that the work I’m doing will be able to be continued, because of that gift. I’m so grateful to them.”
Her research has been about sustainable infrastructure materials, specifically plastic pipes.
Director of the center, Michael Pluimer, said he’s especially excited about the scholarships. “If we want to solve problems, we need the most diverse group of people and the most diverse opinions and ideas to solve that problem. And so what better way to promote that than to have scholarships that are targeted towards underrepresented groups so we can truly advance and solve the world’s problems better than we ever could before,” he said.
Dan Figola, from ADS, shared, “It’s critical that we properly train the next generation of engineers and thought leaders, and prepare them to be able to tackle these problems. We feel that the work that’s being done here at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and specifically with the center, is really a very progressive approach to that and is on track to creating and providing that next letter level of leaders to help us tackle all of those issues.”
The money will be spread out over four years.