International » Student Activities
WaterCAMPWS supports a broad range of international experiences for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students through coursework, community service-oriented engineering projects, and collaborative and individual research activities. International experiences often involve interdisciplinary and inter-agency activities and have duration periods varying from weeks to years. All trips result in long-term collaborations.
Since its creation as an NSF STC in 2001, more than 40 WaterCAMPWS students have expanded the Center's partnerships into 14 countries and with over 28 researchers; each trip has resulted in long-term collaborations. WaterCAMPWS also invites and supports the participation of international students in collaborative research projects located in the United States. Since 2001, WaterCAMPWS has supported 15 students whose research directly benefits the United States as well as the global community.
Capstone International Project with an International Flair
A senior civil engineering course created and taught by WaterCAMPWS senior faculty member, Benito Marinas, enables UIUC students to explore the development of sustainable approaches to providing safe drinking water to small communities.
CEE 449 is a collaboratively taught course between UIUC and the Universidad de Las Americas (UDLA-P) in Puebla, Mexico via internet focuses on Los Llanos, located in one of the poorest regions in Mexico.bbDuring the spring of 2007, an integrated team of students and faculty from UIUC and UDLA-P undertook a pilot educational program with field activities directed toward the development of sustainable approaches for safe drinking water supply at Mixteca Poblana, Mexico. In 2008, student demand for this course prompted two similar research sessions on-site in Tamiahua, Mexico. Sites for the upcoming spring 2010 semester will be two communities in the Sierra Mixteca of the State of Oaxaca with similar climate and environmental challenges to those of Los Llanos.
WaterCAMPWS International Research Program
WaterCAMPWS has established an international research program for our students using established collaborations with researchers and laboratories in China, Denmark, South Africa, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Students travel abroad for four to eight weeks to conduct research and learn laboratory techniques transferable to WaterCAMPWS laboratories. This experience enhances their knowledge and techniques and also enables them to experience, first hand, potable water problems in other countries.
US EPA People, Planet, and Prosperity Projects
WaterCAMPWS students have played key roles in UIUC student engineering teams that have been awarded six US Environmental Protection Agency P3: People, Planet, and Prosperity grants for a total of $256,000. Several on-going and new projects in India, Nigeria, Guatemala, and at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota are supported, in part, by WaterCAMPWS and the P3 grants.
- In India, students have completed Phase I and are working Phase II of a project that seeks to create and sustainably engage an innovative system for bioremediation of agricultural chemicals. For more information about the Sustainable Water Development Program for India, visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/abstract/8623/report/F.
- In Nigeria, a multi-phase, multi-year water development program conducted in collaboration with public health students from Ebonyi State University, addresses issues of safe, sustainable water supply as well as education for residents of the rural village of Adu Achi. For more information about the Sustainable Water Development Program for Rural Nigeria, visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/abstract/8623/report/F
- At the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, students have undertaken work aimed at developing an inexpensive, easy-to-use technology for removing arsenic and uranium from the groundwater.
- In Guatemala, students are implementing community-constructed concrete biosand filters that incorporate the addition of iron oxides to the sand media in order to remove viruses from the drinking water. The water system is built with local materials and designed so that the residents of Socorro will not have to rely on outside help for its operation.
Engineers without Borders
Water safety and sustainability projects through Engineers Without Borders include the Guatemala Water Project in the village of Socorro; a project in Ntisaw, Cameroon; and a project in conjunction with the Oglala Lakota College focusing on heavy metal detection in water supplies on the Oglala Sioux reservation. For more information, visit the UIUC chapter of Engineers Without Borders: http://www.ewb-uiuc.org/
Other International Research Experiences
- A WaterCAMPWS Fulbright Scholar is providing potable drinking water in South Africa.
- A project through the University of Pittsburgh enabled a WaterCAMPWS student to compare Brazil's ethanol plants to those ethanol plants here in the Midwest
- Work on groundwater filtration by WaterCAMPWS students took place in Pretoria, South Africa
- A graduate student traveled to Aalborg University in Denmark to learn a technique for staining protein hydrolyzing organisms in activated sludge and then identifying these organisms using fluorescence in situ hybridization.