CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Don Bretl

Where do you begin when asked to find a solution to the perpetual need for clean drinking water, a problem facing more than one billion people around the world? For Procter & Gamble, the answer lies in principles of chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Learn more about what STEMM professionals at the Cincinnati-based company are doing to combat this global issue during homeroom periods Tuesday, April 30. Guest presenter Don Bretl, a mechanical engineer with P&G, will discuss the research, development and production behind his company's Pur water filtration packets.

Bretl holds an engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin and has worked over 15 years for several P&G businesses. He is currently part of the corporate research and development team as a modeling and simulation section manager. This role allowed Bretl to help develop the Pur water filtration packet to support the company’s signature Children’s Safe Drinking Water program. The program provides low-cost, easy-to-use powdered water treatment technology to people in need.

“Modeling and simulation is about describing physics and chemistry phenomena with many mathematical equations, and then using computers (sometimes very large ones) to solve these many equations,” Bretl described in an email. “Think ‘virtual engineering’ of P&G products and systems to make our products.”

The West Chester resident is the inventor on nine patents related to water purification and wearable therapeutic thermal pads. In 2008, he started the UC Simulation Center with the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, where P&G professionals work with UC students to solve real-world problems using modeling and simulation.

In his free time, Bretl enjoys coaching FIRST robotics teams and athletics, and currently serves as the athletic booster president for his parish, St John the Evangelist Catholic Church. He and his wife have two sons in grades 8 and 9.