University of Vermont

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Awarded to Scott Hamshaw

Scott HamshawScott Hamshaw, UVM ’06 Civil Engineering (and St. Michael’s College articulation agreement student) has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Award in support of his graduate studies in civil & environmental engineering.   After finishing his undergraduate work, Scott pursued work in engineering consulting, but now he is poised to resume his studies and his proposed research will tackle the current lack of understanding of human-induced changes on rural drinking water treatment systems. His advisor during this exploration will be Professor Donna Rizzo of the Civil & Environmental Engineering program. 

“Doing this research with Dr. Rizzo will expand my understanding of watershed-level impacts on drinking water treatment in rural Honduras,” said Scott.  “My goal is to empower rural communities with the knowledge and skills that improve their quality of life” he further added.

This prestigious fellowship is awarded to select M.S. and Ph.D. candidates who demonstrate exceptional intellectual merit and the potential to achieve broad impact in their respective fields.  Scott’s interest in water systems research began in 2005, where, in collaboration with Dan Baker, professor in UVM Community Development & Applied Economics (CDAE), he designed and constructed a slow-sand filtration system for a rural community in Honduras.  Scott came to UVM from St. Michaels College through the articulation agreement which is a collaborative effort between the two institutions. After arriving on campus, Scott, through involvement with UVM’s Engineers Without Borders (UVM-EWB), developed his ongoing efforts in Honduras where he returns regularly to provide mentoring and technical assistance to undergraduate engineering students. 

His graduate work with Dr. Rizzo will focus on the application of new dynamic modeling/computational methods to the field project design.  Scott will also draw expertise from a variety of departments across campus and will also continue to work with Dr. Baker in CDAE. 

“The new complex systems methods and technology in watershed modeling contain practical applications to small-scale drinking water treatment systems,” says Scott. “These new applications will provide a platform for more innovative project designs.”