AEES Symposium competes with Final Four - and wins

Georgia Tech’s AEES Symposium had some stiff competition this year: the NCAA’s Final Four was in town and the mercury had finally risen above 60.

It looks like the AEES won.

Formerly known as the Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, the AEES attracted a a standing-room-only crowd of spectators and scholars to its poster presentations, career fair, and awards ceremony, held in the ES&T Building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 5. Emory University Professor Dr. Andrea Winquist was the keynote speaker.

“This year, we opened up the poster competition to undergraduates and we had three submissions,” said AEES President Malin Dartnell. “But that still doesn’t account for the increase in submissions. Last year, we had 13 posters and this year, we had 23.”

The annual event challenges environmental engineering students at all levels to bring their best work for public display and criticism. No academic credit is given for their work, but an awards ceremony at the end of the day gave recognition to students and faculty.

Undergraduates Christine Yi, Janna San Juan, Nick Macie, and Raj Krishnan were recognized with a first place award for their work, “Water Quality and Technology in the Developing World.”

Receiving the award in the Masters Poster competition was Matthew Gilstrap with his work, "Renewable Salinity Gradient Power through Reverse Electrodialysis."

Taking home the first place award in the doctoral poster competition was Seungdae Oh for his research, "Integrated Genomic, Transcriptomic, and Molecular Characterization of Microbial Community Responses to Benzalkonium Chloride Disinfectants"

Doctoral student William Edmund Morgan received the second place award for his research, "A Strong Coupling Algorithm for Hydraulic Fracture Modeling."

In addition to the awards for posters, the AEES bestowed recognition on four other individuals for their exemplary contributions to the field of environmental engineering in general.

The Outstanding AEES Undergraduate Award went to Lily Ponitz, a senior who is also the president of the Georgia Tech chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

The Outstanding AEES Masters Award went to Rashi Goel.

The Outstanding Doctoral Student Award went to Dr. Zohre 'Zuzi' Kurt.

The Outstanding Environmental Engineering Faculty Award went to Dr. John Koon.