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John Tharakan is a Professor at Howard University in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences, where he also directs the Graduate Studies program in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Before joining the faculty at Howard, he worked as a research scientist at the American Red Cross. His research interests and experience are in environmental engineering and biotechnology, appropriate technology development and education, and sustainable development, with specific focus on technologies for water treatment and conservation, renewable energy production using solar and biomass resources, waste management and recovery, as well as on ethics and philosophy of technology. As Faculty Adviser to Howard University's Engineers Without Borders student chapter, he has worked on appropriate water, sanitation and energy technology implementation in developing communities in Senegal and Kenya (http://www.howard.edu/Kenya). He has also served as Chair or Co-Chair of an on-going series of International Conferences on Appropriate Technology (2004 - 2012) that have been held across Africa bringing together academics, researchers, practitioners and community groups to facilitate knowledge and technology transfer for social justice (http://www.appropriatetech.net).