Dykstra wins highly competitive Canham Scholarship from Water Environment Federation

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Ph.D. student Christine Dykstra in her lab.
(Photo: Christine Dykstra)

Graduate student Christine Dykstra has the final piece of funding to help her finish her Ph.D. this year: The Water Environment Federation has selected her for its Canham Graduate Studies Scholarship.

Dykstra said she’s especially thankful for the scholarship since her National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship has ended.

“I applied because WEF is the leading professional organization in my field,” she said.

“This scholarship will make it possible for me to complete the final year of my Ph.D. program and will also give me the opportunity to participate in the 2016 WEFTEC conference in New Orleans and network with other water professionals.”

Dykstra works with Professor Spyros Pavlostathis on bioelectrochemical systems to convert carbon dioxide to methane in an effort to improve energy production from biogas.

“Biogas from anaerobic digestion, a common wastewater treatment technology, contains a mixture of carbon dioxide and methane, along with other trace gases. To improve the energy content of the biogas, [this] technology may be used to convert the biogas carbon dioxide into methane, allowing for carbon-neutral energy production that may displace fossil fuel use,” Dykstra said.

Federation members say the award is heavily sought after each year, so Dykstra’s selection speaks highly of her work.