Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Lafayette’s Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES) has received a $27,615 grant from the WERC environmental research consortium and a $25,764 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to further develop its method of removing the pollutant arsenic from drinking water.

SEES is a student club that conducts interdisciplinary research involving environmental engineering, green engineering, and sustainability. Recent work done by SEES led to a win at a research competition hosted May 3-5 by the PA-American Water Works Association in Valley Forge, Pa. Thirty-three projects were submitted for entry in the contest. In another extraordinary accomplishment within a field that included graduate students from strong environmental engineering programs, SEES finished second in the 2005 WERC International Environmental Engineering Design Contest hosted April 3-7 by New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M.

This summer, civil engineering majors Andy Baker ’06 (Seattle, Wash.) and Mark Battaglia ’06 (Wallingford, Pa.) expanded on work conducted by SEES last school year by conducting a thorough evaluation of the kinetics of material developed at Lafayette for arsenic removal. The students split time between the laboratories at Lafayette’s Acopian Engineering Center and New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M. They used the WERC grant in working with Arthur D. Kney, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Samuel A. Morton III, assistant professor of chemical engineering; and recent chemical engineering graduate Paul Dimick ’05.

The group used a novel technique to collect data about the performance of the material, which is providing more fundamental information about the treatment process than is possible with other methods. Baker and Battaglia spent August in New Mexico using the information collected about the material to conduct rapid small-scale column tests, a cutting-edge form of pilot study designed to reduce the cost and waste involved in conventional pilot testing.

Members of SEES are expected to use the skills they developed and the information gathered at NMSU to construct a well-head unit for removing arsenic as part of a “sustainability design” competition sponsored by the EPA. The EPA awarded its grant to SEES advisers Kney, Morton, and Steve Mylon, assistant professor of chemistry, for the group to compete in the contest, which is designed to foster innovation in the field of sustainability.

Categorized in: Academic News