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Vinka Oyanedel-Craver is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Rhode Island. She has also published more than a dozen articles on the chemical and biological processes used for sustainable water and wastewater purification, as well as collaborated on several projects. Most recently, she is working with Jordanian researchers to improve desalination technology. She has been working on embedding silver nanoparticles into the membranes used in current systems. The nanoparticles will slow bacteria growth and reduce contamination, as well as maintenance because operations will no longer need to be shut down to clean the machines. The yearlong collaboration (which began in 2014) between several Jordanian and U.S. researchers is backed by a $314,000 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development and a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Oyanedel-Craver holds a Ph.D. from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and a B.S. and an M.S. from the Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso.