Welcome to Nanoenvirology Research Group (NRG) at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Our work focuses on studying nanomaterials, finding new applications for nanomaterials, and understanding their impacts on the ecosystem components.

The group is headed by Dr. Achintya Bezbaruah from the department of civil and environmental engineering at NDSU. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in 2002. Achintya worked as an Assistant Professor in Assam Engineering College (AEC) in India (1988-1999). Prior to joining NDSU in 2002, he had a three year tenure at URS Corporation as an Environmental Engineering and was involved in environmental planning and management, modeling, design, and implementation of groundwater remediation projects. Since joining NDSU, Achintya has established a new research track on environmental nanotechnology. His major research awards include the NIFA-USDA Food Safety Award (2012) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) BRIGE Award (2011).

Recent news

07/07/2014: Achintya Bezbaruah has been named the College of Engineering Researcher of the Year (2014) by Dean Gary Smith. This is the highest award in the college that recognizes exemplary research by a faculty member. The awardee is selected based on his/her scholarly work, research funding, outreach activities related to research, and research advising record. The award carries a citation and cash incentives.

07/07/2014: NRG research featured on cover of the July issue of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. The American Chemical Society journal published the pioneering work by Talal Almeelbi (now in King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia) and Achintya Bezbaruah in the July issue and featured their green phosphate removal and reuse technology on the cover. In their work Almeelbi and Bezbaruah used nanoscale zero-valent iron (nzvi) to successfully remove phosphate from aqueous solution through sorption onto the metal surface. The sorbed phosphate was later used as a phosphate fertilizer for Spinacia oleracea (spinach) and Selenastrum capricornutum (algae). Phosphate fertilizer is typically produced from phosphate rocks mined in select countries, and it is feared that traditional phosphate production will not be able to meet the world phosphate demand in ~2033. The present research has proposed alternative “mines” (eutrophic lakes, wastewater, feedlot effluent) for phosphate mining! the researchers could also fortify the plants with iron. that nzvi can be used for the fortification iron in spinach has major ramifications for world nutrient (food) security as iron deficiency in human is very common across the world.

06/01/2014: NRG recruits five K-12 teachers under Research Experience for Teachers (RET) and Veteran Research Supplement (VRS) grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Retired Army National Guard Adam Gelhlar (Assistant Principal at Cheney Middle school, West Fargo, ND) and Active Duty Air National Guard Brent Nasset (Technology Teacher at West Fargo High School, ND) will work on aspects of nanotechnology and how the nanotechnology hands-on experiments can be used to recruit and retain students in the STEM field. Holly Erickson (STEM Teacher from Westside Elementary, West Fargo, ND) and Eric Dobervich (Science Teacher from Liberty Middle School, West Fargo, ND) will work on nanotechnology experiments and design lesson plans for their respective classes. Susan Duffy (Biology Teacher from West Fargo High School, ND) will conduct allium studies to find out toxicity of various nanomaterials to design a lesson plan for her AP Biology class for 2014-15.

05/15/2014: NRG recruits Cody Ritt as a summer research intern under Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Cody will work on phosphate removal from aqueous solution using a novel biopolymer bead technology.

04/10/2014: Achintya Bezbaruah (NRG), Kim Owen, Daniel Erichsen, and Bruce Curtis (all three from Information Technology Services at NDSU) presented a join session on the WateRediscover International program. Bezbaruah and Owen attended the Internet2 Global summit in Denver, CO, and Erichsen joined from Fargo. Participants from West Fargo Liberty Middle School and Tezpur University Central School in India participated remotely to demonstrate how Internet2 can be used to promote STEM education. NRG’s WateRediscover Initiative provides a platform for K-12 students and teachers from across the globe to interact with resources persons from NDSU using online resources, such as Internet2, and learn about research methodologies. Bezbaruah coordinates the program designed to promote STEM education across the globe and guides student groups and their mentors on research projects. The program culminates each year in a live international virtual conference where students present their findings. Click here for more news...

02/20/2014: The undergraduate researchers in NRG were featured by NDSU in a recent news coverage. With more than 1,600 products using nanotechnology on the market, the NRG team of undergraduate researchers at NDSU is examining how people perceive such products and how these products might ultimately affect the environment. Projects undertaken by undergraduate researchers Amanda Grosz, James Tibbles, Cody Ritt, Hannah Hoods, and Neal Dittrich were highlighted. Click here for more news...

01/30/2014: NRG presents a Nanotechnology Workshop in Cotton College University in India in its continued efforts for global capacity building. Achintya Bezbaruah visited the university and presented an invited lecture and coordinated the workshop. NRG members Mohammad Hossain (Enayet), Achintyamugdha Sharma (Tiku), Priyanka Deka, and Cody Ritt demonstrated nanoparticle production and some experiments remotely from NDSU via videoconferencing tool (and Internet2 resources).

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