Environmental Engineering Students Won Awards at Water Conference



Alessandro Culotti & Kimberly Huynh with competition organizer Kristin Regh (center)Alessandro Culotti and Kimberly Huynh were awarded first and second place, respectively, in the Student and Young Professional poster competition at WATERCON 2014, organized by the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association and the Illinois Water Environment Association.  WATERCON is the largest water conference in the central U.S.

Alessandro is a Ph.D. student in CEE studying the role of bacterial biofilms as reservoirs for pathogens in water distribution systems.  He is investigating the interactions of pathogens with biofilms, and characterizing the composition of microbial communities in drinking water distribution systems. Alessandro will be completing his Ph.D. in the summer of 2014 under the direction of Professor Aaron Packman.  Alessandro received his B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia, and his M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University.

Kimberly is studying the visualization of dissolved oxygen concentrations on submerged surfaces using oxygen-sensitive paints, with the objective of understanding oxygen distributions in sediment beds.  Kimberly is a senior in CEE, and, through McCormick’s B.S./M.S. program, will complete her B.S. in Environmental Engineering in June 2014, and her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering  in December 2014. The work she presented at ISAWWA was completed as part of her B.S. Honors Thesis, under the direction of Professor Packman.  Kimberly has also conducted microbiology research at Northwestern and the University of California, Berkeley, and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology.

For winning first place, Alessandro will have his expenses paid to compete in the AWWA national poster competition at the Annual Conference and Exposition 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts this June.  For winning second place, Kimberly was awarded a cash prize of $250.