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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-03-01 - 2025-02-28

The main goal of PlasticsFatE (Plastics Fate and Effects in the Human Body) is to improve our present understanding of the impact of micro- and nano-plastics (MP/NP) and associated additives/adsorbed contaminants (A/C) in the human body. Human exposure to MP/NP may result from the widespread use of plastic products and their release to the environment, where they degrade to MP/NP particles. But plastics particles reach natural systems also as secondary by-products, e.g., from tyre wear or abrasion of textiles. As a consequence, these particles are found in food, drinking water, air and environmental media (food chain, soils). Despite recent efforts to assess the real dimension of human risks associated with MP/NP, our current knowledge is still insufficient. One of the reasons is the lack of reliable and validated methods that are able to generate the science-based data we need. PlasticsFatE will address this challenge and associated uncertainties by implementing a comprehensive measurement and testing program ("test the test"), including inter-laboratory studies, to improve and validate the performance and applicability of available methods and tools to MP/NP. The tested and validated approaches will be used to (1) identify and detect MP/NP and A/C in a variety of complex matrices, such as food (vegetables, fruits, beverages, fish etc.), human tissues and consumer products (tooth paste, beauty products), as well as relevant environmental media (air, drinking water, soils), and to (2) assess their (also long-term) fate and toxicity in the human body by using advanced cell culture and organ models that simulate real exposure to MP/NP in the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract. The newly developed innovative approaches will be integrated into a novel risk assessment strategy specifically designed for MP/NP to provide the policy relevant and scientifically sound data needed to support the health-relevant aims of European strategies for plastics. PlasticsFatE is part of the European MNP cluster on human health.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-01-01 - 2022-03-31

The City of Vienna takes the challenge of urban stormwater management. One of the measures to be developed is bring the street runoff to the root zones of the urban trees. Considering the (micro)pollutants flushed away from the urban street surface innovative substrates are needed to cope with the requirements for tree growth and retention and elimination capacities to assist in water and soil pollution control. The project is part of a green infrastructure initiative contributing to an improved urban life quality through effects on e.g. microclimate.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-07-15 - 2024-01-14

As part of the "Digital Transformation at the BMLRT", the planned project KIHoRiMo is to develop a digital flood risk monitoring system (HRMS) for the whole of Austria. In doing so, the potentials of modern geodata and innovative AI technologies will first be analyzed and then integrated into the HRMS, if necessary. In the project, the HyWa Institute will be responsible for coordinating the areas of flood monitoring, flooding and event scenarios, as well as predisposition analysis and current risk situation. The work will be coordinated and jointly developed with other project partners (ZAMG-meteorology/forecast; TU Vienna-soil moisture/floodplains; BOKU-land use/cover) and the activities in the "Earth-Observation-Data-Center (EODC)". The overall objective is to support the governmental crisis and disaster management (SKKM) in the broadest possible form with detailed information for efficient action within the risk cycle. The aim is to derive statements for the whole of Austria at any given time regarding the risk posed by a flood at a given point in time. In the project area "Flood Monitoring", coordinated by HyWa, the focus is on the presentation (forecast, monitoring) of flood inundation areas. In the project area "risk analysis", a modular prototype (service) for the presentation of the current development and forecasts of the consequences of a flood (affected areas, risk categories, user groups) is to be developed. In both areas, the optimal use of internal know-how and data (ministries, subordinate authorities, federal states), as well as networking with all available external systems should be ensured. Likewise, all available real-time measurements (sensors, trusted spotters, social media, etc.) should be used for resilient forecasts or feedback for system optimization. In this way, not only the SKMM but all groups of people and institutions involved in the risk cycle should benefit from the project.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations