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CCEE Students Shine at International Environmental Meeting

Posted July 2, 2015

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) had a large and strong showing at the 108th Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) of the Air & Waste Management Association, held June 22-25, 2015 at the Raleigh Convention Center. This is the first time in the Association’s history that the ACE, which attracted over 1,700 environmental professionals worldwide, was held in Raleigh. U.S. Environmental Protection Administrator Gina McCarthy was the keynote speaker. The Secretary of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Donald van der Vaart, a former CCEE adjunct who taught department courses in air pollution control and air quality, addressed a wide range of policy and regulatory issues.

The place to meet and be seen during ACE was the exhibition hall booth sponsored by NC State’s Engineering Online program, courtesy of EOL director Dr. Linda Krute. CCEE Graduate Services Coordinator Renee Howard answered many questions from conference attendees, including many prospective students, parents of prospective students, and alumni, regarding graduate programs. A&WMA Student Chapter president and recent graduate Disha Gadre (MENE, 2015) was among the approximately dozen of NC State students who continuously staffed the booth.

Many CCEE students presented their work. Maryam Delaraffiee, Jiangchuan Hu, Tanzila Khan, and Xiaohui Zheng each delivered papers in the main technical program on various aspects of measurement and assessment of the real-world activity, energy use, and emissions of vehicles. Their papers addressed conventional passenger cars, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and railroad locomotives. Meagan Jaunich delivered two papers on municipal solid waste collection. Stephen Reece presented a student poster on development of a potential aerosol mass reactor for measuring biomass burning emissions. Shams Tanvir shared an assessment of the effect of highway construction projects on traffic and vehicle emissions. Roshan Wathore presented a student poster on exposure from in-home use of cook stoves. Joseph Weaver spoke regarding anaerobic degradation of solid waste. The faculty advisors of the presenting students include Morton Barlaz, Emily Berglund, Joseph DeCarolis, Joel Ducoste, H. Christopher Frey,Andrew Grieshop, James Levis, Ranji Ranjithan, and Nagui Rouphail.

Several CCEE alumni were authors or co-authors of presentations, including Terry Albrecht (MCE, 1996), Brandon Graver (MS, 2010), Wan Jiao (PhD, 2013), Phil Lewis (PhD, 2009), Meagan McGrath (BS ENE, 2012), and Gurdas Sandhu (PhD, 2015). Other CCEE alumni, such asKaroline Johnson (BS ENE, 2013), Ozge Kaplan (PhD, 2006) and Kitty Hiortdahl (BS ENE, 2012) participated in the meeting.

CCEE students and alumni earned a variety of honors during the meeting. Undergraduate studentsJacob Monroe and James East earned 2nd place and 1st place, respectively, in the undergraduate division of the A&WMA Student Poster Competition. Monroe presented on modeling of ultraviolet disinfection systems for water treatment, and East presented on an agent-based model to simulate water use in the Upper Neuse River basin. In the doctoral division of the Student Poster Competition, Provat Saha tied for 1st place for his work on near roadway measurement of organic aerosols. Ryan Repoff won 1st place in the student platform paper competition for his work on laboratory simulation of in-field operation of biomass cook stoves. Alumna Dr. Wan Jiao (PhD, 2013) was runner up for the Young Professional Best Paper Award in the air group for her work on low cost air quality sensors. Meaghan McGrath (BS ENE, 2012) was runner up for the Young Professional Best Paper Award in the sustainability group for her work on spatial analysis to determine priority landfill gas-to-energy projects.

The Research Triangle Chapter and the South Atlantic States Section of A&WMA provided financial support to several of the presenting students to help defray the costs of conference registration. The large student turnout this year was possible in large part because of A&WMA coming to Raleigh this year. Next year’s meeting will be held in New Orleans. Sponsorships of student travel are critical to enabling these valuable experiences for students.

In addition to encouraging students to network, engage in their professional community, and share their research, experiences such as these give students firsthand appreciation of the critical role of oral, written, and visual communication in professional practice. The active participation of students in an international technical conference such as the A&WMA annual conference is an important formative experience for those about to embark on a professional career.

Freyandstudents James Roshan Ryan Booth Provat NCDENRSecretary EPAAdministrator