CEMS graduate student Hua Chen wins 1st prize in ARCADIS competition on remediation research
Release Date: 02-17-2009
Fall semester for graduate student Hua Chen began with an unusual opportunity. Chen's graduate advisor, Dr. George F. Pinder, suggested she submit a research paper on environmental remediation to the Student Research Paper Competition sponsored by the ARCADIS Corporation. Little did she know that she would take 1st place.
Dr. Pinder, an internationally renowned expert in groundwater modeling, is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering with secondary appointments in Mathematics & Statistics and Computer Science, at UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS). "Hua is a talented, motivated student who is able to quickly absorb new concepts and effectively apply them to her research," says Dr. Pinder. "I am delighted she has won this award."
Chen received notification of her $5000 1st prize award on February 10, 2009. The award also includes registration, travel and accommodations to attend the REMTec 09 Remediation Technology Summit: The Future of Remediation Technology to be held March 3-5 in Atlanta, Georgia.
ARCADIS is a leader in the field of remediation engineering and
remediation hydrogeology, and challenges students from around the world
through their Student Research Paper Competition to find new frontiers in
remediation geochemistry and to lead the way in discovering new remediation
Seeing Beyond Others Making an Impact on the Remediation Industry
Hua Chen's research is supported by the DuPont Corporation and focuses on evaluating tidal effects on groundwater contaminant discharging to coastal waters.
"In coastal areas the hydraulic gradients from the land to the ocean are positive, which means contaminated groundwater can go into the ocean," Chen explains. According to Chen's experiments, tidal fluctuation can decrease the average concentration of the contaminants in the groundwater as it discharges into coastal waters. Her research involves laboratory-scale experiments conducted in the subsurface research facility, Fourier analysis of the resulting experimental data, equation development using concepts found in the theory of flow through porous media, and finally numerical simulation of the observed results using a groundwater flow and transport model.
Chen received a Bachelor's degree in hydrogeology from Nanjing University and a Master's in environmental engineering from Tsinghua University in China. Dr. Pinder was in contact with Tsinghua University to seek graduate students to join his research endeavors at the University of Vermont. Introduced to Dr. Pinder by Dr. Calvin Chien from DuPont Corporation, Chen says, "The decision was easy who would not want to join forces with Dr George F. Pinder. His book Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations in Science and Engineering was published and available in Chinese when I was two years old."
"Receiving this award is truly an honor," says Chen, who has a 16-month-old daughter. She expects to graduate in 2010 with a PhD in civil and environmental engineering and plans to continue work in groundwater hydrology.