Matrix New World Engineering Vice President Draws Much-Needed Attention To Environmental Sustainability

Dr. Laurie LaPat-Polasko discusses important issues that impact our planet

Phoenix, AZ — Dr. Laurie LaPat-Polasko, Vice President/National Director of Remediation, Matrix New World Engineering (Matrix), was featured in SWE Magazine in a recent article, “Women Engineers Work to Restore the Soil, Water, and Skies” where she offered insight on environmental sustainability matters and how to combat the damage caused by chemical pollution. 

Laurie LaPat-Polasko, Ph.D., specializes in environmental engineering and microbiology, developing sustainable ways to biodegrade the contaminants. To address chemical pollution, she suggested “To get microbes to biodegrade a contaminant, we need to understand what’s critical to their environment that will let them perform certain metabolic reactions.” 

She continued, “Biochemistry and enzymes decide whether something can be biodegraded. But a lot of contaminated sites lack some of the major nutrients that allow bacteria to biodegrade substances. Just like we need nitrogen and phosphorus to make our ATP enzymes, bacteria needs the same key nutrients.”

Dr. LaPat-Polasko, Ph.D.’s goal is to efficiently clean up sites with sustainable and green remediation by identifying if microorganisms in the native environment can biodegrade the contaminants. “As time goes on, we’ve realized that bacteria, fungus, and microbes have a lot more power than we knew. We’re getting much better at harnessing their abilities. Everybody said we could never degrade PFACs. They said the same thing 30 years ago about chlorinated solvents, and now I do in situ bioremediation of trichloroethylene all the time. Over time, we’re getting better and smarter.”

To read the article in its entirety, visit: "Women Engineers Work to Restore the Soil, Water & Skies"

To speak with and/or set up an interview with Matrix, please contact Amy Delman, Amy Delman Public Relations, LLC, 201.563.4614 or

About Dr. Laurie LaPat-Polasko
Known worldwide for her work developing innovative solutions to address water and soil contamination issues, Dr. LaPat-Polasko has a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Maryland, a M.S. and Engineers Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Biology from Chatham University.
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