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UC Environmental Engineering PhD Candidate Receives Two Awards For Water Research

Ying Huang receives the Sigma Xi GIAR Award and the American Chemical Society Graduate Student Paper Award for her research in developing processes for removing contaminants from water.

Date: 3/5/2018 7:00:00 AM
By: Brandon Pytel
Phone: (513) 556-4686
Huang and Dionysiou stand next to each other in their lab.
Huang and her adviser, Dionysios Dionysiou, research water treatment processes.

 This has been quite a year for Ying Huang, PhD candidate for environmental engineering at the University of Cincinnati—she has already received two honors for her graduate work: the Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research Award and the American Chemical Society Graduate Student Paper Award.

Both awards recognized Huang’s achievements in the field of water research. Huang, who is advised by Dionysios Dionysiou, PhD, professor of environmental engineering at UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), develops novel advanced oxidation processes for use in the removal of contaminants in wastewater.

When talking of the honor, Huang notes the experiences she has had with her mentors and colleagues. “The guidance and support from Professor Dionysiou makes for a rewarding experience,” she says. “My lab colleagues have also been helpful in my research, reviewing my manuscript and advising my experiments.”

The Sigma Xi award, given specifically for Huang’s research on “The Significant Role of CO3 in Removing Contaminants of Emerging Concern by UV/NO3-/HCO3- for Water Reuse Applications,” comes with a $2,500 check. The reviewers noted that the proposal “addresses an important issue in the water quality of treated wastewater. An alternative to the use of H2O2 in treatment would be valuable. Preliminary results are encouraging. The proposer is quite experienced in the field.”

The Graduate Student Paper Award is the highest award given by the American Chemical Society's Division of Environmental Chemistry. The award comes with a $1,000 check and an invitation to present the paper at the society's fall meeting in Boston.

Originally from China’s Henan Province, Huang has a passion for water that comes from her experience in her home country. The air and water pollution in China drove her to the field of water contaminant research.

After UC, Huang hopes to continue research on wastewater treatment at another academic institution. These two awards have given her confidence in her contribution to the field.

“These honors validate my current research and make me believe what I am doing is beneficial to the development of advanced oxidation processes in the environmental engineering field,” she says. “They keep me going on the research to develop more novel and efficient advanced oxidation processes.”