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Alabama Water Institute Awards Multiple Equipment Grants

By Brock Parker

Dr. James Harris, assistant professor in UA’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has been awarded $30,130 from the AWI for a diffuse reflectance UV-Visible spectroscopy system, the first of its kind in Alabama. This system will allow UA researchers to quickly and easily measure oxidation states and coordination numbers of metal atoms in solid samples, which will help them detect and reduce the amount of pollutants in water. The equipment also received $25,000 in cost-share funding.

“The entire group of faculty members and I are extremely grateful for the support of the research infrastructure here at UA in general and of this AWI equipment support request in particular,” Harris said.

Dr. Feng Yan, assistant professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, was awarded $10,000 from AWI for a glovebox. The glovebox is designed to control air-sensitive and hazardous materials, and Yan’s version will prevent toxic materials from being exposed. Yan currently has six active research projects through various federal agencies where this glovebox will be useful in areas of water research. He was also given $16,457.10 in cost-share funding.

Dr. Mark Elliott, associate professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, was awarded $6,500 from AWI, along with $6,507 in cost-share funding, for a Sterlitech crossflow filtration system with digital pressure gauges. They system will allow Elliott’s research group and others on campus to leverage their expertise in wastewater and membrane technology to make substantial advances in understanding how emerging functionalized membranes perform in real-world applications.

The AWI has awarded $5,000 to Dr. Evan Wujcik, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, to purchase a high-speed camera for nanofiber research. The camera will complement Wujcik’s current electrospinning equipment, which is used in nanofiber production. Both applied and fundamental fiber studies will be made possible by the camera, allowing for an increase in the consistency and quality of the nanofibers for filtration, detection and remediation.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 5,800 students and more than 150 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.


Author: Brock Parker    /    Posted on: April 12, 2021    /    Posted in:   Awards and Honors, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Faculty and Staff, In The News, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering    /    Features:   , , ,