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Meet Civil Engineering's NSERC USRA WinnersMay 31, 2018

Gavin Boyd, Cassandra Chidiac, and Dain Na, recipients of 2017-18 NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs), will be working with Civil Engineering Faculty Members during their research work term this summer

Gavin Boyd

During my 16 weeks in the lab, I will be working with Dr. Li and her research on forecasting wastewater influent quality and quantity, as well as helping to develop a model that will predict climate change in Ontario for the next 100 years. The models were developed by graduate students and require further testing. Therefore, my purpose is to understand the models and run them using data given from external companies. In order to run the computer model snad gain an understanding of their purpose, the job is performed on campus in a computer lab. I will be working with another undergrad student in the lab to r un these models and understand the importance of them.

Cassandra Chidiac

This summer I will be working with Dr. Kim and Dr. de Lannoy in establishing a modified system for microbial electrolysis systems (MEC). MEC systems are bio-electrical systems which utilize exoelectrogenic bacteria at the anode to break-down organics and simultaneously produce electrons and thus current. Through a small applied voltage to these system, this technology also has the capacity to produce hydrogen gas through water hydrolysis at the cathode.

I am working this summer on modifying these MEC systems to incorporate a single membrane that can act as both the cathode and the anode in these systems through the utilization of conductive coatings. In these modified MEC systems, I am interested in assessing its efficiency in terms of its water treatment capabilities, bio-fouling mitigation and hydrogen production.


Dain Na

My name is Dain and I just finished my second year in Civil Engineering. This summer, I have been given the great opportunity to work with Dr. Li and her team on two projects concerning wastewater influent forecasting, as well as climate change. My classmate and I are lucky enough to work together and help Dr. Li’s team with their modelling for these two projects. We help run and/or modify codes written by graduate students by testing various of collected data. Throughout this process, we need to research about multiple modelling methods which allows us to develop a better understanding of the methods and the project themselves. I look forward to learning lots this summer!