GreenUp Academy

Interview of the Month: Dr. Parna Mukherjee

This month, we welcome Dr. Mukherjee for the interview of the month:

MD: Dr. Mukherjee could you briefly talk about your environmental  experience?

PM: I am holding a BS and an MS degree in Civil Engineering  from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.

After my MS degree, I worked as an Environmental Engineer in the Enviroprotection Division of an engineering consulting firm; Development Consultants Ltd, in Kolkata, India for about 4 years. I graduated from Lehigh University with a PhD in 2003. My thesis was on “Relative Permeation Of Ions In Reverse Osmosis Processes Using Ion Exchange Selectivity Data: Theoretical Approach And Experimental Validation”. 

 Some of my roles after graduation includes:

 Teaching Assistant  in Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept of Lehigh University in PA.

Post Doctoral Researcher/Water and Wastewater Treatment Instructor in Howard University  in DC 

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. 

 In 2005, I resigned to take a break in my career to  raise my kids. I stayed current with my field during this break by continuing to publish journal papers, book chapter, etc. and doing related reviews.

MD: What are the main challenges of being a woman, mother, wife and an amazing environmentalist in this industry?

PM:The main challenge of being a woman in the industry is to balance  work and home life. I feel that the time when one is supposed to be the most productive at work is the same time when one is expected to build a family. I would like to see more support for women at this time. It is like feeling guilty at all fronts.

 MD: What are your thoughts regarding developments in reverse osmosis?

PM: Reverse Osmosis is a treatment method which will be used more and more in the future. It can be used as a treatment method for water treatment plants as well as for a small domestic individual unit. Since it is modular in construction, the system is extremely flexible in case there is a higher demand. Reverse Osmosis is the choice technology for desalination.

There are many other competitive water treatment technologies available. Ion exchange ,Donnan membrane, EDR are some of the water treatment technologies available.

 MD: Thank you, Dr. Mukherjee for sharing your experience with us. 

Dr. Mukherjee lives in NJ with her husband and her two beautiful children. She can be reached at

To see the answers to specific questions, to read the interview of our favorite EHS expert or to share your EHS experience and be our guest for the month;

 Please contact us at:

Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards

Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards
(October 2008 through September 2009)

  1. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
  2. Fall protection, construction
  3. Hazard communication standard, general industry
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
  6. Ladders, construction
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry
  8. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry
  9. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry
  10. Fall protection, training requirements
Standards for which OSHA assessed the highest penalties (October 2008 through September 2009)

  1. Fall protection, construction
  2. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
  3. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
  4. Excavations, requirements for protective systems, construction
  5. Machines, general requirements, general industry
  6. General duty clause
  7. Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals
  8. Ladders, construction
  9. Powered industrial trucks, general industry
  10. Aerial lift

"Lead Poison Prevention for Home Renovators"

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Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, Acting Office Director of the Office of Pollution, Prevention and Toxics, discusses steps do-it-yourself home renovators should take to reduce the risk of exposure to lead while completing home renovation projects.

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GreenUp Times-Vol 1:"Interview with an EHS Manager"

GreenUp Times is the newly launched monthly newsletter of GreenUp Consultants. Our goal is to encourage Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) networking, sharing EHS experiences and giving latest EHS updates.
Please check out the link below and post your comments, suggestions and feedback!
Thank you,
GreenUp Team

How to convince the Executive Team of a company about the benefits of EH&S Programs?

Well, this is one of the biggest challenges of most EHS professionals throughout the industry: Getting the executives on board with EHS program implementation!

I think one of the best ways to approach this challenge is to express the potential EHS benefits in numbers. In the manufacturing industry, one of the goals is to maximize the production while minimizing downtown. Effective EHS programs reduce cost and contribute to the continuous success of your business.

Appropriate implementation of the relevant EHS programs in a facility will dramatically reduce the injury rate, downtime caused by injuries and lost days at work, not to mention the workers’ compensation costs.

Also, by ensuring environmental, health and safety compliance, the related potential fines and penalties by the regulatory agencies will be eliminated as well.

Another example would be, by doing an EHS site audit, it’s very possible to discover that the “so-called” hazardous waste by-product that you pay thousands of dollards to be hauled every year is actually  nothing but 99% water with some impurities.

There might be similar cases in your facility. If you take some time, and try to put them in numbers and present your results to your management team, some positive outcomes might be in order!

Good Luck! 🙂

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