A group of more than 20 students and faculty members from EEES attended the annual South Carolina Environmental Conference (SCEC) in Myrtle Beach, SC, in March. The conference, with this year’s theme of “Water Life,” is an excellent venue for networking with water researchers and practitioners in the state. SCEC is organized by the South Carolina Section of the American Water Works Association (SCAWWA) and Water Environment Association of South Carolina (WEASC); it began in 1990 and has been growing for the last 28 years, with more than 1,500 attendees.
This year, EEES faculty and students presented three talks: Dr. Tanju Karanfil talked about his group’s research on “Forest Detritus as a Fuel of Wildfire & Source of Disinfection Byproduct Precursors,” while Dr. Mahmut Ersan, a postdoc in the Karanfil lab, talked about “Understanding the Impacts of Wildfires on Source Water.” Dr. Sudeep Popat presented on his group’s research on “Anaerobic Biodegradation of Fats in Wastewater & Sludge: Managing the Advantage of Enhanced Methane Production Against the Risk of Inhibition.”
In addition, EEES students presented posters at the Student Poster competition. Those presenting posters included: from Dr. Karanfil’s group, Utku Erdem, Lucy Zhang, Numan Habip, and Meryem Soyluoglu, and from Dr. Popat’s group, Ao Xie, Mehul Soni, Paige Taber, and Emily Murawski. The best poster presentations are awarded with either an opportunity to attend national water-themed conferences or a monetary award. Paige Taber, Mehul Soni, and Emily Murawski earned the top awards. Paige, whose poster was titled “Effect of Peroxide-based Advanced Oxidation on the Removal of UV-quenching Substances in Landfill Leachate,” will get an opportunity to attend the annual AWWA conference in Las Vegas, NV, in June. Mehul, who presented his poster on “Investigating the Microbial Inhibitions in Anaerobic Co-digestion of Fats, Oils, & Grease (FOG) with Municipal Sludge and Their Effect on Process Kinetics,” will get an opportunity to attend WEFTEC 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Emily, who presented on “The Effects of Catalyst Loading on Hydrogen Peroxide Production in a Microbial Fuel Cell” received a monetary award worth $200.