Carolyn Desrochers, a student in the master’s degree program in Sustainable Engineering, has earned a travel fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will facilitate her participation in a graduate student poster presentation at the 2012 NSF Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Engineering Research and Innovation Conference, which will be held in Boston this July.
“I am really excited to be awarded this opportunity and am looking forward to attending the conference and meeting the other participants,” says Desrochers.
With a theme of "Engineering Transformation through Partnerships," the conference will focus on innovative and transformative research and provide opportunities to network and develop collaborative relationships.
Desrochers is working with Dr. Aleksandra Radlinska and Dr. Brian Chaplin, Assistant Professors of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to repurpose coal combustion fly ash (CCFA) waste into sustainable material for construction projects. Her work falls within a broader research investigation within the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering, which also includes the development of guidelines for the sustainable management of CCFA reuse and a detailed life cycle assessment of its impact on the economy, environment, and society.
Converting CCFA into concrete can help minimize waste and landfill storage, mitigate CO2 emissions, and reduce costs for concrete production. The team’s goal is to develop CCFA-based concrete materials that reduce heavy metal leaching and meet desired concrete performance.