Graduate Student Spotlights 

Bijay K C - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Area of study: Civil and Environmental Engineering, PhD

Faculty advisor: Dr. Ehsan Ghazanfari

From: Bhaktapur, Nepal

Why did you choose UVM? What do you like best about being at UVM?
The first reason is obviously its academic excellence. UVM is a well-reputed university. Moreover, UVM is a perfect sized university. It offers wide areas of study, wide enough that you will never feel constrained, yet small enough that your advisor will have enough time to work with you. UVM has all the resources that you can exploit to excel in your field. The faculty and staff at UVM work to make sure that you get all the possible help and resources to perform your research effectively. The second best thing about UVM is its location. Burlington is one of the best college towns in the country. There are so many things to do around UVM during free time. You can go to the Lake Champlain beaches, hike in the Green Mountains in the summer and ski during the winter.

Why did you choose this area of graduate study? What career will you pursue when you complete your degree?
During my undergraduate studies, I had no idea what to choose as my career. After I graduated, I started working for a consulting firm in Nepal. We performed a lot of site characterization, slope stability, soil and rock testing for the construction of roads and tunnels for hydropower. Geotechnical engineering never failed to amaze me. There was always something new that I would learn from each site I worked on. Once you start going deeper and deeper into the soil or rocks, you will keep on uncovering new facts. There is always something that amazes you in every site, which makes geotechnical engineering interesting. The deeper you go into it, the more interesting it becomes. This is why I chose geotechnical engineering as my area of graduate study. After graduating I plan to get a post-doc to expand my knowledge in the field, then I would like to go work for a research institution that works to develop bedrock, miles below us as a potential resource such as geothermal system, carbon capture and storage, or nuclear waste repository.

Tell us a little about the research or project you are working on.
Currently, in our lab at UVM, we are working on a geo-mechanical characterization of a rock specimen from a geothermal field at Nevada. We are also working to investigate how the coupled processes affect the fracture aperture and permeability evolution in an Enhanced Geothermal Systems. We are investigating the potential use of seismic signatures to monitor the condition of fracture aperture and permeability of a rock matrix in a geothermal system.

Can you share a time when a faculty advisor or mentor connected you with either new insights or a valuable opportunity (conference, publication etc.)?
Last summer, I was performing a test on a rock specimen from Blue Mountain Geothermal Area in Nevada. One day, my advisor (Dr. Ghazanfari) walked into the lab and talked to me about the American Geophysical Union conference. He asked me if I had any idea to present in the conference. I told him we should we present the current research we are performing in the conference. He said he had the same idea. Then, we applied for the presentation and we were selected to present at the conference. I will be going to Washington, D.C. this December to present at the conference, which I think is a great opportunity for me as a Ph.D. student.

Papers
Kamali-Asl, A., K C, B., Foroutan, M., Ghazanfari, E., Cladouhos, T. T., & Stevens, M. (2019). “Stress-strain response and seismic signature analysis of phyllite reservoir rocks from Blue Mountain geothermal field.” Geothermics, 77, 204-223.
Kamali-Asl, A., K C, B., Ghazanfari, E., Hedayat, A. “Flow-induced alterations of seismic signatures and fracture aperture under constant state-of-stress in a single-fractured rock.” [Submitted to Geophysics in July 2018 (Under Review, Manuscript # GEO_2018_0574].
Pasha, M. F. K., Yeasmin, D., Zoldoski, D., K C, B. and Hernandez, J (2016). “Performance of a Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant for a Dairy Farm: Case Study” Journal of Environmental Engineering, 144(1), 04017086.

Lindsay Worley - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Area of study: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ph.D.

Faculty advisor: Mandar Dewoolkar and Donna Rizzo

From: Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Why did you choose UVM? What do you like best about being at UVM?
I choose UVM 10 years ago for my undergraduate degree when I fell in love with beautiful Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains. After a short hiatus in consulting, I came back to UVM for Graduate School for the same beauty but also for the great Professors and small attentive classes. 

Why did you choose this area of graduate study? What career will you pursue when you complete your degree?
I choose Civil Engineering because I wanted to do work that would help the environment and the community.  I hope to become a Professor after completing my Ph.D. 

Tell us a little about the research or project you are working on.
I am part of the IGERT grant looking into the smart grid and I am hoping to combine my passion for hydrology and energy to form a thesis topic in the very near future. 

Can you share a time when a faculty advisor or mentor connected you with either new insights or a valuable opportunity (conference, publication etc.)?
My advisors help me every day to reach my goal of becoming a professor by going over prospective research topics that will be marketable upon graduation. I have also attended the HydroVision conference over the summer to expand my knowledge on possible topics.  

Have you had an internship? If yes, where was it? What were your responsibilities? What were the highlights?
During the summer of 2018, I had an internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee as part of the IGERT grant. I worked in the hydropower department on the team concentrating on the Standard Modular Hydropower Project. It was great to experience working at a National Lab and exploring Tennessee for the summer.