Schanen named one of seven top young innovators in state

Port Washington High School graduate Will Schanen has been named to the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Wisconsin Inno Under 25 Class of 2023, a group of seven “impressive technologists and innovators from across the state” who are 25 or younger.

Schanen, a 2020 graduate of Marquette University, is chief operating officer and an environmental economist for Rapid Radicals Technologies, a Milwaukee firm working to revolutionize the treatment of wastewater.

Schanen’s love of Lake Michigan led him to Rapid Radicals, where he started as a market research intern.

He became the company’s first full-time employee.

“Three years ago today, both the trajectory of Rapid Radicals Technology Inc. and my own life changed forever. William Schanen became our first full-time employee, fully embracing the water world and what it means to be a Rapid Radical,” the company’s founder and CEO, Paige Peters, said.

“Neither wastewater nor startups are for the faint of heart, but Will’s grit and determination have made it a joy to keep striving for a world where our technology is widely deployed, protecting public health and water quality in communities across the globe.”

Founded in 2016, Rapid Radicals’ mission is to transform the way wastewater is treated to target the billions of gallons of untreated sewage that flows into the Great Lakes every year during and after storms and flooding.

The firm is piloting a technology that treats wastewater in about 30 minutes, as opposed to eight hours with conventional methods.

“My role at Rapid Radicals has allowed me to apply my passion for water through the lens of economics while growing my knowledge of engineering and entrepreneurship,” Schanen said. “Joining this dynamic water tech startup has been nothing short of a dream come true. I couldn’t be more proud of the work that we do and the impact that we have.

“Every year, 22 billion gallons of untreated sewage are dumped into the Great Lakes, which make up 20% of the world’s surface freshwater. Storm events that cause this problem are becoming more intense and less predictable, further increasing the urgency to solve this problem.

“The widespread implementation of our Torrent3 Treatment System will prevent billions of gallons of untreated sewage from being released into our lakes and rivers, protecting the public, environmental and economic health of regions reliant upon the Great Lakes.”

Schanen, 25, has a bachelor of science degree in environmental studies and economics from Marquette and is a graduate of the Water Environmental Federation’s Water Leadership Institute, which educates the next generation of water industry leaders.

The Inno Under 25 list recognizes “entrepreneurs making a difference in the Milwaukee tech landscape,” according to the Business Journal.

Those on the list were nominated by readers and members of Wisconsin’s technology community and selected by the Wisconsin Inno and Milwaukee Business Journal team.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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