October 7, 2013

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Geosyntec Selects University of Michigan PhD Candidate as Student Whitepaper Winner

A University of Michigan (UM) graduate student was the 2011 winner of a student whitepaper competition sponsored by the Groundwater Action Group (GWAG) at Geosyntec Consultants.

Adam Smith — a PhD candidate in the laboratory of Professor Lutgarde Raskin in UM's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering — earned a trip to a technical conference this year for his winning paper, Low-strength Wastewater Treatment using Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors at Psychrophilic Temperatures. He also presented his findings to the members of Geosyntec's GWAG during a webinar in October.

Adam's whitepaper described a novel process for domestic wastewater (DWW) treatment using anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) that offers more sustainable attributes and uses less energy than more conventional processes using aerobic treatment methods. When compared to other, more traditional DWW treatment methods, Adam's research found that AnMBRs produce methane in quantities that are recoverable as a renewable energy source; save energy by eliminating the need for water aeration; and generate a fraction of the amount of residual waste.

Each year, the GWAG's student whitepaper committee invites entries from master's level and doctorate level students representing several outstanding university research programs across the United States whose curriculum examines water and industrial wastewater engineering; groundwater hydrogeology; geochemistry; and the assessment and treatment of groundwater contaminants. The intent of the competition is to identify and reward students performing advanced research related to these areas.