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October 18, 2011

A team of 10 students from North Dakota State University (NDSU) competed in the Environmental Design Competition at this year’s 84th Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC). The student design team comprised of Jason Baker, Jacob Strombeck, Leslee Storlie, Kevin Young, Anthony LaFontain, Abdul Namrou, Steven Jensen, Clifford Halvorson, Joseph Rezac and Tanush Wadhawan. Eight students were able to participate in the conference, out of which four presented the design project to an audience of over a 100 people. The competition is open to all universities nationwide and every year a dozen big name universities such as, University of Florida and Virginia Tech, participate.

This year NDSU’s student design team presented the project titled “Water and Environmental Issues Due to Oil Production in North Dakota” which involved solving problems associated with water use during hydraulic fracturing in Western North Dakota oil fields. Hydraulic fracturing is one of the advanced oil drilling techniques; however, the technology uses enormous amount of fresh water to recover oil. A large number of trucks are required to haul water which cause environmental problems along with destruction of the roadways. The NDSU student design team’s target was to reduce consumption of fresh water by reusing water involved in fracturing and simultaneously reducing the trucking load and activity. The project was well received by a panel of judges comprising of professional engineers and consultants. NDSU student team was awarded third place in the competition along with certificates, as shown in the photograph, and a monetary award of $1,000. The conference also allowed for professional networking through career fairs, a great learning experience through an open exhibition hall, technical sessions and much more. The funding to represent the team at WEFTEC was provided by Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Architecture, North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute, NDSU Student Government, Moore Engineering, Inc., and, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.

October 12, 2011

Tanush Wadhawan got first prize of $1500 in Poster competition at 83rd Annual North Dakota Water and Pollution Control Conference, Bismarck, ND. Qigang Chang won second prize and Murthy Kasi shared third prize in the same event.

September 2011

Achintya Bezbaruah, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering has won the prestigious Broadening Participation Research Initiation Grants in Engineering (BRIGE) from National Science Foundation (NSF). During this two year NSF project period (09/11-08/13), Dr. Bezbaruah’s Nanoenvirology Research Group will develop low-impact polymers to coat nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) particles for groundwater remediation. Plant-based polymers will be modified and their structure-property relationships will be studied to understand the impacts of various functional groups on dispersion, contaminant treatability, aquifer injectability, and subsurface mobility of coated NZVI (CNZVI) particles. The overall objective of this research is to study the impacts of manipulation of the biopolymer functional groups on dispersion, contaminant degradation, and transport behaviors of CNZVI particles as well as biodegradability of the polymer coatings themselves. The project is structured to facilitate broadening participation of underrepresented groups (Native American, first generation Americans, and women) in fundamental research. The students recruited for research in this project are expected to pursue higher education and careers in science and engineering. Programs proposed for Native American middle/high school students and students with disabilities will help inculcate the spirit of scientific research among them. Four female students have already joined the project, and at least two high school students will join the research team as summer interns in 2012 and 2013. Dr. Bezbaruah is collaborating with Bismarck, ND based Marketplace for Kids to organize Science Café in Standing Rock Reservation, ND. Outreach activities will also be done in West Fargo School District, ND.

June 27, 2011

Civil Engineering faculty Dr. Michael Chu, Dr. Eakalak Khan, Dr. Kalpana Katti and Dr. Magdy Abdelrahman (from left to right) have been acknowledged as CAREER Awardees for outstanding work in their respective disciplines. Dr. Michael Chu specializes in Water Resource Engineering, Dr. Kalpana Katti specializes in Material Science and Engineering, Dr. Magdy Abdelrahman specializes in Transportation Engineering and Dr. Eakalak Khan specilaizes in Environmental Engineering.

May 9, 2011

Dr. G. Padmanabhan was honored by NDSU's Diversity Council for his work in actively and positively promoting diversity at NDSU and the Fargo Moorhead community during the past year.

April 8, 2011

Congratulations to Dr. Dinesh Katti for being named the recipient of the “John Booker Excellence Medal”, a prestigious international award by the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG). This award is given every three years in the field of geomechanics and geotechnical engineering on a world-wide basis. The award is based on major contributions to the field of geomechanics and peer recommendations.

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