Funded by NSF

IRES: US-South Africa collaboration on sustainable sanitation and energy and resource recovery from wastewater

Funded by: NSF: National Science Foundation

Lead organisations: San Diego State University & Cal Poly Pomona University

June 2014 to July 2017

Project description

This research projects aims to bring five US students, recruited from groups including those under-represented in the sciences, to the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa every boreal summer to conduct research on a wide range of environmental engineering topics related to resource and energy recovery from wastewater, new perspectives on wastewater treatment, and sustainable sanitation in under-served communities. This research experience is aimed at giving upper-level undergraduate students the opportunity to envision themselves as researchers and equip them with the research skills they need to transition into graduate school.

The project also aims to strengthen the research and mentoring skills of graduate student participants. Also, environmental science and engineering undergraduate and graduate students will be working on novel research at the nexus of water, energy, and food with the Pollution Research Group at UKZN while also obtaining an enriching international experience on topics that are highly relevant for environmental scientists and engineers.

Two groups of students have undertaken visit to the PRG in June/July 2015 and June/July 2016. In the latter visit, 4 students from UKZN were also recruited to work alongside the visiting students to further strengthen the collaboration.

The focus of the research projects for both visits were aimed at supporting existing project work at the Newlands Mashu Research Site, and in particular, the DEWATS plant.

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