Civil and Environmental Engineering Research Open House Presentation Schedule

Poster ID: 39

9:00 - 10:00

Bittle, Maeve

CEE

Undergrad

Investigating Indoor and Outdoor PCB Sources at Homes Near a PCB-Contaminated Waterway

Authors: Bittle, Maeve; Marek, Rachel F.; Thorne, Peter S.; Martinez, Andres; Hornbuckle, Keri

We determined airborne concentrations of persistent, toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) inside and outside urban homes using passive air samplers. These homes are located near a PCB-contaminated waterway that is being dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hypotheses for this study are: 1. Effects of dredging can be detected outside homes. 2. Historical and modern PCB sources can be identified inside homes. Concentrations ranged from 0.4 to 22.1ng/m^3 inside. We expect to inform our stakeholders, including study participants, Army Corps of Engineers, and the EPA, of dredging effects and of common housing construction materials on airborne PCB concentrations.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/99mvMie4EwE

Presentation: bittle_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 40

11:00 - 12:00

DeSalvo, Anthony

CEE

Undergrad

Evaluating Risk and Response to Well Water Quality in Under-Regulated Populations: Using data from well water quality investigations to understand risk to and response of well-users

Authors: DeSalvo, Anthony; Maggie Carolan

In the state of Iowa, a majority of rural landowners rely on pumped groundwater for their primary source of potable water. However, private wells are not federally or state regulated. This lack of knowledge could put these populations at risk. In this research, I will use compiled data on well water violations to determine how well-users respond after they have violated contaminant limits and quantify their risk.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/zXaQ3WSv6YE

Presentation: desalvo_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 41

1:00 - 2:00

Hua, Jason

CEE

Undergrad

Occurrence and spatial distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls in urban soils from East Chicago, Indiana

Authors: Hua, Jason B.X.; Martinez, Andres; Saktrakulkla, Panithi; Haque, Ezazul; Thorne, Peter S. ; and Hornbuckle, Keri C.

The Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal is known for historic contamination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a group of industrial chemicals that toxic to humans. This study aims to determine PCB levels in residential soil, compare the results with other urban sites, and investigate the spatial distribution. We hypothesize that samples collected near the canal will present higher PCB levels. 32 samples soil samples taken from yards were collected and analyzed for PCBs using gas chromatography in tandem with mass spectrometry. Preliminary results from a previous study support our hypothesis though our results do not show a strong correlation.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/Fzaqu1oWCZk

Presentation: hua_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 42

10:00 - 11:00

Johnson, Connor

CEE

Undergrad

Exploring the Unknown Variance: Comparing the Integrated Surface Database (ISD) weather observations to the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) weather dataset for predicting the sampling rate of Passive Air Samplers eq

Authors: Johnson, Connor

Polyurethane foam passive air samplers (PUF-PAS) are frequently deployed to collect polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other semivolatile compounds at locations around the globe. The samplers can produce unusual or unreliable results at times, which led to the creation of a model that calculates sample parameters, using wind speed and other meteorological data. Upon further use, it was discovered that opposing methods of the Herkert model report significantly different sampling rate (RS) values for some locations. There are two alternative methods of using this model. This project focused on comparing the opposing models and determining the accuracy of each.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/DSomCnXR8Ws

Presentation: johnson_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 43

10:00 - 11:00

Keshei, Moala

CEE

Grad

Room-to-Room Polychlorinated Biphenyl Variation in a Minority Predominant, Low Income Public School

Authors: Keshei, Moala; Jahnke, Jacob; Marek, Rachel; Just, Craig; Hornbuckle, Keri

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants that exist in school and home air due to use of PCBs in building materials and due to the presence of PCBs in modern pigments and polymers. PCBs are carcinogens, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors and their presence in schools can be harmful to students and other vulnerable populations of people who work in schools. But the variation between PCB concentrations and congener distributions have not yet been analyzed from room-to-room within a single school. Here we report measured PCB concentrations and congener distribution from 10 distinct locations inside and outside of Columbus Community High School (CCHS). Samples (n=36) were collected in triplicate using polyurethane foam passive air samplers (PUF-PAS) from July to August 2019. Samples were analyzed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS-MS) for all 209 PCBs. Concentrations were 1-2 orders of magnitude higher indoors than outdoors, ranging from 1 to 36 ng m-3 indoors. The average concentration for indoor air was 16 ± 11 ng m-3, which is much higher than outside air (0.09 ng m-3). Room air congener distributions are more similar in rooms that are in the same part of the building, despite decentralized heating cooling and air conditioning systems. This study is the first of its kind to study room-to-room variation of PCB congener distribution and concentration of indoor school air.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/4AvSL-gEFHQ

Presentation: keshei_bannavti_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 44

2:00 - 3:00

Li, Zhouyayan

CEE

Grad

An Evaluation of the HAND Based Flood Maps and Automating Performance Assessment in the Real-time Flood Mapping System

Authors: Li, Zhouyayan; Mount, Jerry; Demir, Ibrahim

The performance of Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND) was evaluated in Linn, Jones, Johnson, Cedar, and Muscatine counties in the State of Iowa. The impacts of three model parameters (drainage threshold, water depth, resolution of data) were studied. The effectiveness of improving approaches—variable water depths, community-level analysis, and the inner zone was explored. The model performance was compared against flood hazard maps of 100- and 500-year flooding events generated by the Iowa Flood Center. Results showed the Hit Rate, Proportion Correct and Kappa Value reached 0.80 (0.79 for the 500-year event), 0.93, and 0.69 (0.70 for the 500-year event) respectively, even when no improving approach was involved. The approaches helped Hit Rate improve to 0.88 for both flooding events, and the Mixed Index increase by 5.83 % (100-year event) and 5.77 % (500-year event).

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/dR__cLN3Zag

Presentation: li_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 45

9:00 - 10:00

Lindmark, Megan

CEE

Grad

Hey Siri, how’s my water quality? Smart drinking water systems for Central America : Improving community drinking water systems using cellular enabled sensor based monitoring

Authors: Lindmark, Megan; Just, Craig

In Central America, many rural communities lack access  to water that is safe to drink and free of bacterial contamination. These communities often use chlorination systems to improve their water, but these systems are unreliable without regular monitoring and maintenance. The purpose of my research is to outfit these chlorination systems with water quality sensors that can transmit data in real time via cellular networks. We use this data to alert technicians and community members to unsafe water and repair requirements. Ultimately these smart monitoring devices will improve the safety of water being delivered and minimize exposure to waterborne disease.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/JCw4ck-1res

Presentation: lindmark_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 46

11:00 - 12:00

Molitor, Hannah

CEE

Grad

Using Simulated Flue Gas to Rapidly Grow Nutritious Microalgae with Enhanced Settleability

Authors: Molitor, Hannah; Schnoor, Jerald

Conventional agriculture places significant demands on natural resources and is generally inefficient. As organisms with tolerance for varied conditions, microalgae (single-cell photosynthetic microorganisms) are a promising alternative to conventionally grown soy for more rapidly and sustainably produced protein-rich animal feed. Microalgae can use carbon dioxide from combustion emissions and the nutrients from wastewater to produce biomass. However, there are significant barriers to growing nutritious salable microalgae, recovering nutrients from wastewater, and fixing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions in full-scale sustainable operations, which my research seeks to address.

Three-Minute Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtaihNTaKWM&t=118s

Presentation: molitor_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 47

11:00 - 12:00

Xiang, Zhongrun

CEE

Grad

Distributed long-term hourly streamflow predictions using deep learning - A case study for State of Iowa

Authors: Xiang, Zhongrun; Demir, Ibrahim

Accurate streamflow forecasting has always been a challenge. Although there were many novel approaches using deep learning models, accuracy of these models is often limited to a short lead time. This study proposes a new deep recurrent neural network approach and applied on 125 USGS streamflow gages in the State of Iowa for predicting the next 120 hours. We use a semi-distributed model structure with observation and forecast data from the model output of upstream stations as additional input for downstream gages. The proposed model outperforms the streamflow persistence, ridge regression and random forest regression on majority of the gages.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/OtWE1jTzlK8

Presentation: xiang_iihr_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 48

1:00 - 2:00

Yildirim, Enes

CEE

Grad

Property-level Flood Mitigation Research Framework

Authors: Yildirim, Enes; Alabbad, Yazeed; Demir, Ibrahim

This study proposes a property-level mitigation research framework to analyze flood losses and discover multiple mitigation options. The system is built on an online map-based environment that utilizes flood maps, parcel information, damage functions, and mitigation options. The data analytics tool handles loss estimations, climate-based loss projections, mitigation benefits, and costs to investigate the feasibility of the best preparedness option.

Three-Minute Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTj14YSAFZU&ab_channel=EnesY%C4%B1ld%C4%B1r%C4%B1m

Presentation: yildirim_cee_vroh_2020.pdf

 

Poster ID: 49

11:00 - 12:00

Zhang, Duo

CEE

Grad

Identification of Polychlorinated Biphenyl Sulfates in Human Serum

Authors: Zhang, Duo; Duffel, Michael W; Hornbuckle, Keri C; Marek, Rachel F; Lehmler, Hans-Joachim; Wang, Kai; Saktrakulkla, Panithi; Tuttle, Christopher

PCBs and their metabolites including OH-PCBs and PCB sulfates can cause toxicological effects to humans. PCB sulfate concentrations in human serum were less known due to the lack of an efficient extraction method and instrumental standards. We have now developed a sensitive and specific method for the determination of PCB sulfates in human serum. In a pooled sample of human serum, we identified 13 PCB sulfate congeners which gave us more idea about PCB metabolisms in human bodies.

Three-Minute Video: https://youtu.be/tqsdAQTddUY

Presentation: zhang_cee_vroh_2020.pdf