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May 5, 2017

Civil PhD student awarded major international scholarship for drinking water research

The American Water Works Association has awarded Civil PhD candidate Shona Robinson the 2017 Dave Caldwell Scholarship for her research in the drinking water field.

Shona is part of a research group investigating membrane filtration, a popular technology for drinking water treatment. Porous membranes effectively filter out microorganisms and other contaminants, but as membranes get older their performance deteriorates, causing operational hassles and costly replacements. The filtration technology group, led by Professor Pierre Bérubé, seeks to help improve membrane performance by better understanding this aging process. Researchers have aged membranes artificially in lab settings, but these results don't always correlate with the challenges water treatment plants face, so the group has partnered with plants across Canada over the last three years to monitor the performance of real-world membranes.

AWWA scholarships are presented to top students pursuing water-related research in North America. The Dave Caldwell Scholarship, which provides a student with one-time funding of $10,000, is given to a graduate student with demonstrated ability to provide leadership in applied research and consulting in the drinking water field.

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