Current Group Members

Erik

Erik Pfeiffer: Erik obtained his BS in Physics and a BA in Mathematics from Rowan University in 2005, followed by two years as a systems engineer for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As of August 2011 Erik will is pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Wyoming. His graduate research will center on characterizing the removal of manufactured nanomaterials in conventional and advanced water treatment processes in order to determine a realistic dose of these materials in drinking water. In his personal time he enjoys hiking, running and geocaching, and everything related to sushi.
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Bryce

Bryce Dorr: Bryce Dorr is currently a first year graduate student in the Environmental Engineering program at the University of Wyoming. His graduate research will focus on improving the backwash efficiency of microfiltration membranes for water reuse applications through the introduction of an electropositive nano-fibrous filter into the treatment train. Prior to entering the program, he spent 4-years working as a process engineer in the beverage manufacturing industry after earning his Chemical Engineering B.S. degree in 2007 from the University of Wyoming.
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Leah

Leah Birgen: Leah is originally from Orange County, California and graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming in May 2011. She is now pursuing here Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. Her graduate research involves developing treatment schemes for the water that is displaced during CO2 sequestration at the Rock Springs Uplift formation in Wyoming. As part of this effort she is also evaluating the recovery of various dissolved metals of value (e.g., lithium, gold) using magnetic nanoparticles having tailored surface chemistries.
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Emily

Emily Huth: Emily grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from Highland High School in 2006. During the first four years at the University of Wyoming she was a member of the University of Wyoming Diving Team. Emily will be graduating in December 2010 with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering having taken part in the Quick Start Program, which allows exceptional students to begin taking graduate courses during their senior year.

Emily’s graduate research will focus on evaluating the feasibility and performance of a pervaporation membrane process for treating and reusing produced water from oil and gas operations. A pilot-scale system will be set-up and evaluated in Northeastern Wyoming and will be using produced water from an operating coal bed methane site. The membranes will be installed and operated as a subsurface irrigation process. This project is a collaboration between the University of Wyoming and the Imperial College London.
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Carrie

Carrie Harns: : Carrie, who hails from Eden, WY, graduated from the University of Wyoming in May 2010 with a B.S. in Microbiology and is now pursuing her Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering. Carrie’s undergraduate research work focused on understanding the role of cytochromes in microbial Fe(III) reduction and on electrically-induced reduction of TCE in groundwater. Her graduate research centers on characterizing the transformation and mobility of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and cerium dioxide (CeO2) nanoparticles in solid waste landfills. The overall objective of her research will be to assess the ability of these nanoparticles to pass through the clay liners that are commonly used to contain liquid (leachate) and solid wastes in municipal landfills. In her spare time, Carrie enjoys participating in various intramural sports, reading and watching college basketball.
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Group Alumni

Coleman

Coleman Henry: Coleman completed his Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering in August 2011 from the University of Wyoming and is now working for Trihydro Corporation in Laramie, WY. Coleman’s graduate research focused on elucidating the fundamental mechanisms associated with nanoparticle, Buckminsterfullerene (C60) and phospholipids, fouling of microfiltration (MF) membranes in water reuse applications. The overall objective of this research was to develop and evaluate new mechanical (backwashing) and chemical cleaning techniques for restoring MF membrane performance following nanoparticle fouling.

Jia

Qiuhong Jia: Qiuhong graduated with her Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering in August 2011 from the University of Wyoming and is now pursuing her Ph.D. at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Qiuhong’s graduate research focused on improving our understanding of nanoparticle, and specifically Buckminsterfullerene (C60) nanoparticles, mobility in porous media. She is specifically focused on determining whether nanoparticles of different sizes, but having similar surface chemistries, were characterized by different mobility’s in porous media (i.e., does the ‘nano-effect’ apply to nanoparticle transport?). The nano-effect refers to the unique properties and behaviors that are attributed to the small size (< 100 nm) of nanoparticles.

KIGEN PHOTO

Kigen Limo: Kigen graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering in 2010 and now works for Trihydro Corporation in Laramie, WY. Kigen received an NSF EPSCoR Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 2009 and worked with Dr. Brant on a project where he characterized the performance and fouling resistance of nanostructured ceramic membranes. The goal of his research was to develop next generation membranes that are both low fouling and more cost effective to operate (higher specific permeate flux, improved rejection efficiencies).

 
Jonathan A. Brant, Ph.D. | University of Wyoming | Phone: (307) 766-5446 | Fax: (307) 766-2221
Email: jbrant1@uwyo.edu | School Web: http://www.uwyo.edu/ceas/faculty/jbrant1/