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Student Spotlight: Sherri Cook

Sherri’s dissertation examines the fields of waste management and water management, using environmental biotechnology models to answer important questions. Specifically, one aspect of her research focuses on how to best dispose of unused pharmaceuticals, examining the entire system, including issues of sustainability, environment, social ramifications and cost. Her goal is to determine what is the best decision for the environment and society. This research also aims to improve our understanding of technologies that meet sustainability standards but are not reliable across a wide range of applications and integrate systems and life cycle thinking with design methodology and treatment process models.

Student Spotlight: Yilan Zhang

“U.S. bridges were designed to serve for 50 years. Most of them were built 50-60 years ago.”

Uh oh.

Since many of the bridges are passing their useable service time, Yilan’s research on how we can effectively monitor the structural health of bridges is particularly important. “Our department studies a variety of issues around this subject, but my project features long-term instrumentation, using wireless nodes with sensors to collect bridge data and extracting information from collected data using cyber-infrastructure.

Student Spotlight: Lauren Reed

Lauren’s dissertation focuses on “digital dating abuse,” which is repeated patterns of abusive dating behaviors using the Internet or cell phones. She is looking specifically at the gender dynamics of behaviors, motivations, experiences and consequences of digital dating abuse for both boys and girls. She collaborates with a local high school system for her research. For the project, she surveyed about 1000 students regarding their cell phone and social media use, bullying, and physical, sexual, and psychological dating violence both online and offline. The focus of this project is to use the research to inform sustainable school programming to prevent digital dating abuse and other forms of gendered violence.