CEE Welcomes UNSAM Students

Four students from Universidad Nacional de San Martin in Buenos Aires, Argentina are visiting Evanston for a month to conduct research in Northwestern University’s environmental engineering labs.

Victoria Passucci is a second-year PhD student studying the biotechnological potential of microalgae isolated from the Reconquista River, one of the most polluted rivers in Argentina. She is also interested in studying the production of sustainable energy and metabolites of commercial interest in bioremediation processes from microalgae.

Estefania Bracco is a third-year PhD student studying the degradation of organic pollutants through advanced oxidation processes. She currently works with isolated microorganisms obtained from real effluents of pig production.

Julieta Peluso is a fourth year PhD student working on the ecotoxicological evaluation of water bodies from the lower basin of the Paraná River by means of physicochemical parameters, toxicity bioassays and biomarkers with amphibians. She is also interested in bioremediation and water treatment for further studies.

Elias Cruz is a final year PhD student working to find the best culture system in bioreactors (batch, fed-batch, continuous, immobilized cells) to reduce Cr(VI) of effluents from electroplating industries with these microorganisms, using sugarcane molasses like C source, obtained from industries of Tucumán.

The UNSAM student visit follows a similar trip this past summer, wherein seven environmental PhD students from Northwestern—Han Fu, Liliana Hernandez-Gonzalez, Haley Lewis, Jieun Kim, Natalia Obrzut, Paul Roots, Shushan Wu—traveled to Argentina. The NU CEE students spent a week learning about the research at UNSAM and visiting a number of field sites.  The NU students also took advantage of being in the Southern Hemisphere and traveled to Patagonia for a few days of sightseeing before returning home.

This educational exchange program is sponsored by the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, designed to create partnerships that construct bridges of connectivity, increase academic exchanges, provide access to training opportunities, and strengthen regional education cooperation and competitiveness throughout the Americas. The grant funding the UNSAM and NU collaboration is one of ten new higher education partnerships between universities and colleges in the United States and higher education institutions in Argentina.

The partnership between the two universities is led by Professor Kimberly Gray, Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University and Professor Roberto Candal, Secretary of Research in the 3iA Institute for Environmental Engineering at the Universidad Nacional de San Martin in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The focus of this joint effort is on research for energy and water conservation.

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