TSU Civil and Architectural Engineering Students Capture Awards at Water Resources Conference


Students from the University's Civil and Architectural Engineering program recently attended the annual Tennessee American Water Resources Association conference at Montgomery Bell State Park, where they had the opportunity to present works of research to conference attendees. (Courtesy photo)

Students from the University’s Civil and Architectural Engineering program recently attended the annual Tennessee American Water Resources Association conference at Montgomery Bell State Park, where they had the opportunity to present works of research to conference attendees. (Courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than a dozen students associated with the environmental engineering program at Tennessee State University made a dramatic showing at the annual Tennessee American Water Resources Association conference including three first-place and grand-prize award winners.

Held Nov. 4-6 at Montgomery Bell State Park, 14 students represented the University’s engineering program at this year’s gathering. Overall, more than 300 participants attended the conference including scientists and engineers from private consulting firms, state and federal agencies, and academia.

The TSU representatives included area high school students conducting research in the laboratory under the guidance and mentorship of the University’s engineering faculty members, and undergraduate and graduate environmental engineering majors.

Students from the TSU program competed in the poster presentation section of the conference against students from area high schools, including Hume-Fogg Magnet, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet, and Stratford Magnet high schools, as well as Vanderbilt, Tennessee Tech University and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

“The competition was fierce and every student did an excellent job describing their research to attendees,” said Dr. Thomas Byl, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, and advisor to the group.

According to Byl, the TSU group presented a diverse array of research projects that included the development of a model to describe chemical transport in karst aquifers; storm runoff chemistry; biodegradation of quaternary ammonia compounds and linear alkyl sulfonates, sorption isotherms, and karst hydrology near the Cumberland River; electricity generation by wetland bacteria; and groundwater microbial response to antibiotics.

“My congratulations go out to the students and Dr. Byl for all of their excellent works,” said Dr. Gouranga Banik, chair of the Civil and Architectural Engineering deaprtment. “It is indeed a great honor for the department to get so many awards for the students from a reputed conference like AWRA.”

High school senior Petra Byl  from Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School, speaks to a conference attendee about her research project.

High school senior Petra Byl from Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School, speaks to a conference attendee about her research project.

Title of poster presentation, student researcher, and school affiliation included:

Biodegradation of Quaternary Ammonia Compounds by Biofilm and Free-Living Bacteria. Zheer Ahmed, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School

Antibiotic Resistance and Substrate Utilization by Bacteria Affiliated with Cave Streams at Different Levels of Mammoth Cave. Petra Byl, Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School (1st place high school, and, Grand Prize Award)

Reduction of Selected Chemical from Storm Runoff by Filters and Biodegradation. JeTara Brown, TSU  (1st place undergraduate research)

Solute Transport in Karst, a Dual Continuum Model. Justin Harris, TSU

Re-Designing the RV Waste-Transfer Station at MACA to Avoid Spills. Sean McMillan, TSU

Regression Analysis to Determine Correlations between Environment and Storm Runoff Water Quality. David Solomon, TSU

Fate and Transport of Chemicals at Mammoth Cave, Ky. Ashley West, TSU

Aquifer Tests to Characterize the Hydraulic Connection between the Cumberland River and Groundwater in Nashville, Tenn. Aras Barzanji, TSU

The Development and Use of Sorption Isotherms to Optimize Storm-Filter Design. Hung-wai Ho, TSU

Enhancing the Design of Microbial Batteries in Wetlands. Lina Khoury, TSU (1st place graduate research)

Evaluation of Green Remediation Strategies at the Velsicol Landfill, Hardeman County, Tennessee. Loreal Spear, TSU

The Tennessee Section of the American Water Resources Association strives to promote the advancement of water resources research, planning, and education by providing an annual forum to exchange multidisciplinary ideas about water issues throughout Tennessee and the surrounding region. The Tennessee Section has provided this annual forum since 1988.

 

 

 

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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.