Grand Challenges Scholar
Class year: 2023
Major: Chemical Engineering
Challenge: Provide Access to Clean Water
Can you provide a short summary of your project?
Throughout my time in undergrad, I worked on several projects with a focus on keeping water sources clean. I have two favorites, the first being the Community Rating System project I completed in my Hydrology and Water Resources class. My teammates and I researched wastewater and stormwater management practices in Monroe County that counted for points in the Community Rating System program, then presented our findings to a local environmental engineering company to help implement the program in more municipalities. I also really liked my senior design project, where we tested adsorption using biochar as a method to remove PFAS from landfill leachate, which helps to keep these potentially harmful chemicals out of freshwater sources.
Why did you want to address this particular challenge?
My purpose for choosing a major in chemical engineering and a minor in environmental engineering was to be able to apply myself to solving environmental problems. This particular challenge has that environmental focus, since providing access to clean water for people has benefits for the ecosystem too.
What was the most important takeaway or thing you learned through the course of the project?
I learned that more of my experiences in undergrad tied together than I thought.
Now that you are graduating, what are your next steps?
I'll be working as a Systems Engineer at Plug Power in Concord, Massachusetts.