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CEE Ph.D. Student Julie Bliss Mullen Makes Forbes “30 Under 30” All-star list for Science

Julie Bliss Mullen

Julie Bliss Mullen

Forbes magazine, which had previously profiled Ph.D. student Julie Bliss Mullen from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in a feature story last June, has now named her in the magazine’s all-star listing of “30 Under 30 for Science” in 2018. Bliss is the co-founder and CEO of Aclarity, a company she has started as a CEE doctoral student. Aclarity produces a device which uses low levels of electricity to purify and disinfect water, and even to remove metals, without filters or chemicals. The technology is based on her research at UMass Amherst. See Forbes for entire list.

The Forbes “30 Under 30 for Science” is part and parcel of the magazine’s “30 Under 30” –  a set of comprehensive lists issued annually by Forbes and some of its regional editions to recognize 600 business and industry figures around the world, with 30 selected in twenty industries each.

Aclarity was also featured in June by Forbes Magazine as one of 30 startups chosen by the Los Angeles-based Cleantech Open for its 2018 business acceleration program. Mullen and Barrett Mully, a UMass Amherst MBA student, founded Aclarity in 2017 and won $26,000 from the Innovation Challenge, an entrepreneurship contest run by Berthiaume Center at the Isenberg School of Management.

As Forbes headlined the new company in June, “Aclarity Has Shocking Way to Purify Water: with Electricity.” The UMass Amherst spinoff is developing technology to remove contaminants from water in a cost-effective way.

Forbes contributor Jeff Kart explained that “A Massachusetts startup called Aclarity has what it calls a transformational method for clean H2O: Using electricity to zap away pathogens, metals, and other impurities from water. Co-founder Barrett Mully says the technology could solve crises like one that occurred in Flint, Michigan, where lead leached from aging pipes after the city switched its source from one river to another in 2014.”

A portable prototype of the new technology was taken to India by UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy when he demonstrated Mullen’s technology in a rural part of the country using solar power.

Aclarity also took second place at the Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator program to win a $27,500 prize. In addition, Aclarity received $225,000 from the federal Small Business Innovation Research office.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science list was created using nominations from a variety of sources. The judges for this category were Tim Downing, an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UC Irvine and an alumnus of the 2017 Under 30 list; Jason Kelly, founder of synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks; Josh Wolfe, Cofounder of Lux Capital; and Dr. Sara Seager, a Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Science at MIT. (December 2018)